By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Aug 09, 2018 at 8:35 AM

A little more than a year after the official groundbreaking for the renovation to transform a hulking old Pabst Brewing Co. distribution building into the sparkling new home of Milwaukee Brewing Co., brewery founder Jim McCabe says the expanded brewery and taproom is nearly ready to open.

Drive past today and you'll see that the sign is up and crews are working at fever pitch to ready the exterior spaces.

McCabe says he hopes to soft open the taproom in time for the 115th anniversary celebrations for Harley-Davidson, slated for Aug. 29-Sept. 2. Then, he says, the place – which also includes a restaurant called Glass + Griddle – will open to the public officially.

There is no specific date yet, though, as McCabe points out that it "is dependent on a lot of technical and construction things for the full brewery experience," but promises, "it's getting close."

You can read more about the plan here, see a progress report from last March here and take a look at how the place looked when Milwaukee Brewing acquired it in the summer of 2016 here.

The renovations were designed by Milwaukee's Rinka Chung Architecture.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.