The items weren’t actually owned by the Pabst family, but they are interesting artifacts in their own right.

By Mike Pomranz
May 31, 2019
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

We can level with each other: Pabst Blue Ribbon is a fine old-school American lager, but the beer’s return to prominence and dedicated fan base since is almost entirely based around the brand’s semi-ironic cachet. Most people are probably more attracted to the name Pabst than the liquid inside. And that’s totally fine: Plenty of brands are bolstered by their name — and if you’re into that brand, why not embrace it with things like Dunkin’ shoes or KFC whatever-they’re-selling? Along those lines, next Saturday, Pabst fans will have a truly unique opportunity: a chance to own a piece of Pabst history… kind of.

Milwaukee’s Pabst Mansion — the now historic home of the founder of Pabst Brewing Company — will be holding its first-ever outdoor estate sale on Saturday, June 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. across the street from the residence at 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about 1,000 items will be sold in all as caretakers look to get rid of items stashed in attic.

“A 1920s coffee grinder, Christmas tree stands, tobacco cards of scantily clad (for the 1890s) women? For sale,” the paper writes. “Beer steins, beer bottles and decanters? Priced to go. Tea services, light fixtures, Victorian-era wooden folding screen (needs fabric), a couple of dozen 19th-century chairs, cast iron railing from Milwaukee's old Chicago and North Western Railway station? First come, first served. The entry gable into a pavilion at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair? Yours for $450.”

Importantly, though the items have been stashed in the Pabst Mansion for decades, organizers made clear that these antiques were not from the house itself or even owned by the Pabst family. Instead, they were donated in the years after the house opened to the public to give the property some visual flair. “We didn't have all the decorations and ornamentations in 1978 so we acquired staging pieces," Pabst Mansion President Pamela Williams-Lime was quoted as saying.

But that doesn’t mean the items aren’t “original” in their own right: Fredrick Pabst lived in the house from 1892 to 1908, so many of the pieces are from that era. And not only can you say you own something that was housed in the Pabst Mansion, but proceeds from the sale go to support events at the building. So it’s for a good cause. Plus, the organizers say that everything will be priced to sell: So maybe you can finally throw away the collection of PBR cans you display in your kitchen and replace them with something classy?

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