La Crosse's City Brewery Profits From Nonalcholic Products

There's not much brew in many of the beverages City Brewery is making a profit from these days.

The historic La Crosse brewery has seen production rise this year, mostly because of nonalcoholic energy drinks and teas.

Production has been up the last couple of years with popular flavored malt drinks such as Smirnoff Ice and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

In fact, sales have grown each year since the former G. Heileman Brewery closed and reopened under new ownership as the City Brewery in 1999.

Company president Randy Smith says last year, nonalcoholic energy drinks and teas accounted for around a tenth of the brewery's business, but that will be even higher this year.

But although production overall is up, the brewery is making more canned goods rather than bottled ones.

Smith says cans require fewer workers. Employment is around 350 right now, down from 400 last year.