VOL. 126 | NO. 63 | Thursday, March 31, 2011
IDB Approves Blues City Brewery PILOT
By Bill Dries
The Memphis-Shelby County Industrial Development Board on Wednesday approved a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program for City Brewing Co. LLC, the La Crosse, Wis., brewer that will buy the Hardy Bottling Co. plant in Hickory Hill.
The unanimous IDB vote is contingent on the sale of the plant for $30 million, which City Brewing CEO George Park said he expects to happen by the end of April.
City Brewing plans to make a capital investment of $41 million and create 500 jobs paying an average annual wage of $41,705 without benefits and $68,027 with benefits.
Hardy Bottling founder Carolyn Hardy will remain with the company, to be renamed Blues City Brewery LLC, for a year as a consultant.
And the facility will probably continue to produce and package the non-alcoholic beverages it has as Hardy Bottling in addition to the beer City Brewing makes in La Crosse and another plant in Latrobe, Pa., Park said.
Both of those plants will remain open. They had reached capacity and, Park said, City Brewing had to make a decision whether to expand those plants or buy another brewery.
The tax incentives approved by the IDB Wednesday will go to the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission for approval.
Park said City Brewing executives will be on site at the Hickory Hill plant next week to begin the transition back to brewing and hope to begin turning out product as early as July.