Rainier Beer Coming Home

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While we generally tend to focus on craft beer and not swill, we think this is worth a quick mention. The Rainier beer brand has apparently been sold again. This time to a local company. Since 1999, Rainier has been the property of Pabst Brewing Company, brewed under contract by MillerCoors. (MillerCoors is the joint venture launched in July 2008 between Coors Brewing Co. and Miller Brewing Co.)

According to a Business Wire press release, Seattle-based Claussen-Sweeney LLC has reached an agreement in terms to assume legal rights to the Rainier Beer brand. The agreement would return the venerable Rainier brand to the northwest.

Edward Sweeney, President of Claussen-Sweeney LLC, says, “The negotiations took more than six months to complete. Because Rainier was of limited value as a brand to Pabst, they were willing to negotiate. Things became considerably more complicated when MillerCoors’ contract to produce Rainier for Pabst came into play. It has always been our intention to end that relationship and brew Rainier ourselves in the Seattle area. The brand is otherwise of no value to us.”

In the agreement, Claussen-Sweeney LLC will pay Pabst Brewing Co. for the brand and will pay MillerCoors a settlement on behalf of Pabst to compensate for the loss of the contract.


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“We are currently in negotiations to build a new Rainier Brewery south of downtown Seattle,” said Sweeney. “It has long been our goal to bring Rainier back to Seattle. Gaining control of the brand was a paramount first step.”

UPDATE – April 2, 2009 – Adding this update to point out the date on which this article was originally published.


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7 thoughts on “Rainier Beer Coming Home

  1. That’s the same company that started Rainier in like 1890. They are the old Seattle Malt Company that started the Georgetown Brewery around 1910. The prodigal son has returned!

  2. dammit. i had already sent this out to like 50 friends. now i look like a dumbass 😐

  3. Right??!? That would have been terrific. I’d love to see some of those old, iconic NW brands come back to the region. I remember my dad would, on occasion, bring home a six-pack of Rainier or Blitz. Reminds me of my youth.

  4. It’s gonna come back. You know it will some day… Ranier is just at it’s life stage where it’s doing bullshit life-discovery crap.

    It’s not quite the backpacking around Europe thing… it’s more like the mid 30’s .commer freakout thing when you go to Thailand for 2 years and talk about how off the grid you are.

    I think Ranier will be gone for about 20 more years, and make a return similar to Rheingold, minus the hot chick bathing in beer.

    But yeah for now don’t joke about Ranier around Mookie, he will beershit the backseat of your BMW and not think twice about it.

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