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TUMWATER, WA-A recently formed water bottling company based in Nevada says it is close to signing a contract to acquire the idle Miller brewery here and the associated water rights.

All-American Bottled Water Corp. VP Don Kubley last week revealed his company has been in talks with Miller Brewing to buy the 176-acre brewery. This week, according to published reports, he said the deal should be done before the end of the week; however, Dennis Matson, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Thurston County, tells GlobeSt.com he believes Miller Brewing is still considering other offers. Miller itself is not speaking on the subject, and Kubley could not immediately be reached for further comment.

The brewery opened in 1896 to produce Olympia beer. Pabst bought the facility in 1983 and Miller bought it in 1999. Miller Brewing appointed a disposition team to unload the property in March of this year and permanently closed the facility in June.

The multi-building facility borders on the Deschutes River, Capitol Lake and a golf course. Much of the acreage has always remained undeveloped and will likely have to remain that way because the Deschutes River is a salmon stream and there will be increased buffers to deal with, say local officials.

A big part of the deal with All-American are the artesian well water rights associated with the brewery. According to state Department of Ecology records, the brewery controls access to no less than 6.6 million gallons per day or 7,344 acre-feet, making it one of the largest water rights holders in South Puget Sound region.

If All-American is able to acquire the brewery and the water rights, Kubley has said his company will bottle and market the water under All-American’s own label as well do private label bottling for supermarkets and retail chains nationally and internationally. The plant could be retrofitted for the new process within weeks of a sale, says Kubley.

The asking price for the brewery–eight buildings with more than one million sf of space–and the water rights is $15 million. Kubley has not said how much his company is offering.

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