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Partner Spotlight: Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

Each month we want to shine a light on businesses and organizations who support 88Nine and our mission.

This month, meet Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery and find out what song they can't stop listening to!


Hi, what's your name and title?

Jim Haertel, Owner of Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery

What's one song you can't stop listening to?

"Imagine" by John Lennon

What are you most passionate about in regards to what is happening in our community and what is Best Place doing for the community?

Historic preservation of Milwaukee's architectural gems and sharing Milwaukee's unique brewing history is what we are most passionate about.

We have helped save and repurpose two historic buildings in the former Pabst Brewery. The Pabst Corporate Offices & Visitors Center. They are on the National Register of Historic Places. They now house "Best Place" with event space for weddings and special events and the "Best Beer History Tour" and an unbelievable Beer Gift Shop and, of course, the Best Tavern with 12 local beers, wine, mixed drinks and pretzels:)

My wife Karen and I are also saving and repurposing a 1912 Alexander Eschweiler Building in Wauwatosa. It had been slated for demolition.

I was also appointed to the Wauwatosa Historic Preservation Commission.

How did Best Place get started and what's new in 2018?

That's a story in itself. Things really started September 11, 2001 of all days! We had started in 1999, but it all came to a head that fateful day. We signed an offer to purchase the entire Pabst Brewery for $11 million. We found a buyer a year later and ended up with two of thee most historic buildings in Milwaukee. Yet, it still took 8 years to first open our little former Pabst Gift Shop. Then we opened ornate banquet halls, the Tavern and - not a brewery tour - but a beer "History Tour!"

"Everything is new at one of the oldest places in Milwaukee!" We've moved, enlarged and improved the Beer Gift Shop. We've added the Captain's Corner and improved the Courtyards. We even improved our highly rated Beer History Tour and repeat guests are living it. Our local, craft beers now also include Classic Pabst brands, brewed a block away by Pabst Brewing Company in an 1872 former church. Brands like Andeker, Old Tankard Ale and Red, White & Blue!

Why do you choose to support 88Nine?

Because 88Nine is small, local and listener supported. Most people assume we are owned by Pabst or that we are a big corporate company. Nope! My wife Karen and I are blessed to own most of the company with a few family members and friends supporting us. So, we are small, local and appreciative of local support to keep our dream alive!