Shuttered Eden Brewery A Factor In Pabst Lawsuit
Pabst Brewing Company is taking MillerCoors to trial this week, saying the company is trying to put it out of business. A closed brewery in Rockingham County is a key part of the dispute.
The lawsuit involves a longstanding partnership through which MillerCoors has brewed Pabst beers. Pabst needs the company to produce about four million gallons of beer annually and says MillerCoors is its only option.
MillerCoors produces, packages and ships nearly all of Pabst’s products. The company says it’s not obligated to continue brewing for Pabst, and says Pabst doesn’t want to pay enough for them to continue.
During 2015 contract negotiations, MillerCoors announced it would be closing its Eden brewery. Pabst says the company refused to lease the facility and would only sell it for what Pabst considered an astronomical price.
MillerCoors argues that Pabst’s proposals to keep the Eden facility open were commercially unreasonable. MillerCoors also said closing the brewery was a move to boost the company’s long-term sustainability as thousands of new beers entered the marketplace over the last decade.
It was a huge blow to the Rockingham County economy when the Eden brewery closed in 2016. More than 500 workers were laid off.