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Dubuque Star Brewery sold for third time in decade.

Dubuque Star Brewery sold for third time in decade

The troubled Dubuque Star Brewing Co. has been sold for the third time in a decade, this time to a Seattle brewing company.

Zele Brewing Co. bought most of the assets of Dubuque Star for $652,000 last week, Zele President Michael Imeson said.

Imeson said Zele's owners, a group of investors from Seattle, are willing to pour money into the Dubuque brewery that was founded in 1898 by the Rhomberg family of Dubuque, IA.

The brewery was sold in 1971 to Chicago brewer Joseph Pickett, and sold again in 1980 to Agri Industries Inc. of West Des Moines, IA, which closed the brewery in 1983 before it was reopened a year later by a group of Milwaukee investors.

The brewery was "virtually out of business" and headed for bankruptcy when Zele arrived, Imeson said. He added Zele did not actually buy the brewery, but rather purchased from secured lenders the inventory, machinery and rights to the brewery's brand names: Dubuque Star, Rhomberg and others. Additionally, Zele will not be responsible for about $4 million in debts owed by Dubuque Star, Imeson reported.

That money is owed mainly to an investor group from Milwaukee, who will likely be left empty-handed, he added.

Zele will continue the Dubuque Star brands and plans to pour $1 million into marketing in the next six months.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 23, 1989
Words:231
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