Big beer deal adds new chapter to Milwaukee, a city steeped in beer history

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MILWAUKEE -- The deal would create the world's largest beermaker. Anheuser-Busch InBev is offering to buy SABMiller for $104 billion. For Milwaukee, the deal goes far beyond "business news" as the city is steeped in beer history.

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Only in Milwaukee can a Pilsner beer be a pillar in society. But sure enough, held up on a second floor, Ben Barbera flips through old ads.

"It's part of our culture. It's part of our heritage. It's part of our national identity if you say Milwaukee to anybody they think about beer," said Barbera.

The Milwaukee County Historical Society is buzzing as it prepares for next year's feature exhibit titled, "The Art of Brewing." Barbera says the announcement that Anheuser-Busch is buying SABMiller undoubtedly has a symbolic impact on the city.

"Whenever you see something like this you know there is going to be reverberations that are going to be felt throughout the city. It'll just be a matter of time to see what exactly happens," said Barbera.

"This project started with having full access to the Miller Brewery," said Paul Bialas.

Bialas knows what happened up until now. His book, "Miller, Inside the High Life," is fresh off the press.

Miller: Inside the High Life

"Taking photographs of very square inch of the brewery," said Bialas.

His book chronicles Miller from the beginning. Bialas says the future of Miller is important to the people because of how much it has meant to them in the past.

"Even the Braves coming to Milwaukee, historically is largely in part to the Miller Brewing Company," said Bialas.

If you would like to know more about the Milwaukee County Historical Society's upcoming exhibit on the history of Milwaukee beer, CLICK HERE.

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