Historic Wisconsin brewery sold

Real estate broker acquires Stevens Point Brewery from Barton Beers

Mar 11, 2002 - A Milwaukee real estate broker has struck a deal to buy Stevens Point Brewery, with a plan to strengthen the Wisconsin company's signature Point Special brand. In 1972, Point Special was rated the No. 1 beer in the country in a famous tasting conducted by the late Mike Royko, a nationally known columnist for the Chicago Daily News.


Founded in 1857, Stevens Point Brewery is the nation's sixth-oldest surviving brewery. Until 1990, it was sold exclusively in Wisconsin.

James Wiechman expects to take possession from owner Barton Beers about April 1. Barton spokesman Bill Ligas said the continued rapid growth of the company's imported beer brands led to the decision to sell Stevens Point Brewery. Ligas said Barton management wanted to focus more on selling Corona, which continues to record double-digit sales increases in the United States.

Barton had acquired the Point brewery in 1992 with plans to expand sales, but never focused on that. The brands are sold throughout Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, portions of Iowa and in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Chicago areas. Stevens Point Brewery brews around 50,000 barrels annually. About 60% of that production consists of the company's brands, with the remaining production generated by contract brewing.

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