Local investors save brewery

New life from former Heileman Brewery in Wisconsin

Nov 3, 2000 - Local investors have banded to buy the former G. Heileman Brewery in LaCrosse, Wis., and save it from being closed.


CBC Acquisition LLC, a Wisconsin corporation, purchased the financially troubled brewery from New York investors Jim Strupp and John Mazzuto, who bought it last November and reopened it as City Brewing Co.

"We are extremely fortunate to have ownership of the brewery passing into the hands of persons who are willing to invest in its success," said Randy Smith, currently the president of City Brewing and one of the investors in CBC Acquisition.

Six of the investors, including Smith, have ties to the former G. Heileman Brewing Co., make of Old Style beer and once one of the major brewers in the United States. The new buyers agreed to assume at least $7 million worth of Strupp and Mazzuto's debts and invest $6.5 million into venture, Smith said.

Strupp and Mazzuto, acting as Platinum Holdings bought the brewery last November from The Stroh Brewery Co., weeks after Stroh announced it was leaving the beer business.

The new owners renamed it City Brewery, its original name when Gottlieb Heileman and John Gund founded it in 1858.

But City Brewery was plagued with financial trouble from the beginning. Most of the brewery's 62 employees have been laid off since June, when the brewery ran out of canning and bottling supplies.

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