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Sean_CaseyRules
08-04-2008, 01:05 AM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25970479?GT1=43001

Schlitz returns, drums up nostalgic drinkers
After decades of dormancy, Milwaukee's iconic beer is back on the shelves
Bottles of Schlitz beer are seen at Sobelman's Pub and Grill in Milwaukee. That beer with the old-time mystique is back on shelves in bottles of its original formula in the city where it was first brewed more than a century and a half ago.
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Morry Gash / AP

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updated 12:54 p.m. ET, Sun., Aug. 3, 2008
MILWAUKEE - It's the beer that made Milwaukee famous. Now Schlitz is making the city nostalgic.

That beer with the old-time mystique is back on shelves in bottles of its original formula in the city where it was first brewed more than a century and a half ago.

Schlitz was the top-selling beer for much of the first half of the 20th century. But recipe changes and a series of snafus made the beer — in many a drinker's opinion — undrinkable, turning what was once the world's most popular brew into little more than a joke.

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But after decades of dormancy, the beer is back.

Schlitz' owner, Pabst Brewing Co., is recreating the old formula, using notes and interviews with old brew masters to concoct the pilsner again. The maker of another nostalgic favorite, Pabst Blue Ribbon, it hopes baby boomers will reach for the drink of their youth, otherwise known as "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous." They also want to create a following among younger drinkers who want to know what grandma and grandpa drank.

"We believe that Schlitz is if not the, one of most iconic brands of the 20th century," said Kevin Kotecki, president of Pabst Brewing Co., which bought the brand that dates to 1849 from Stroh's in 1999. "And there's still a lot of people who have very positive, residual memories about their experience. For many of them it was the first beer they drank and we wanted to give it back to those consumers."

In Milwaukee, the comeback is creating a buzz. Stores are depleted of their stock within days, they're taking names for waiting lists and limiting customers to just a few six- or 12-packs each.

Through the years
A look at the history of Schlitz beer:

1849: German immigrant August Krug opens a small restaurant and tavern in Milwaukee, begins to brew beer and turns it into a brewery.

1850: Joseph A. Schlitz, 20, immigrates from Germany and works for Krug as a bookkeeper.

1856: Krug dies, leaving no offspring, and Schlitz takes over management of the brewery.

1858: Schlitz marries Krug's widow, Ann Marie.

1861: The brewery is renamed the Joseph Schlitz Brewery. Schlitz runs it with Krug's four nephews, the Uihlein brothers.

1871: The Great Chicago Fire destroys many of that city's breweries, giving Schlitz an opening to expand his business.

1875: Schlitz travels to Germany and is presumed dead when his ship sinks in a storm. Since he had no children with Krug's widow, the Uihlein brothers take over the brewery.

1893: The company introduces the slogan "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous."

1902: Schlitz surpasses Pabst as the world's best-selling beer after selling 1 million barrels that year.

1912: Schlitz bottles its beer in brown bottles, marking the first time a brewer does so. The dark color prevents light from spoiling the beer.

1920: Prohibition begins. The brewery makes soda, malt syrup and candy. It survives because the Uihlein brothers have extensive real estate holdings.

1934: Prohibition ends, Schlitz resumes production and retakes No. 1 sales spot.

1953: Strike by Milwaukee brewery workers hurts brewers like Pabst, Blatz and Schlitz, which lose market share to rivals such as Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. of St. Louis.

1954: Schlitz briefly rebounds to again be the world's best-selling beer.

1955: Anheuser-Busch takes over the top spot, which it still holds.

1975: Immediate family management of Schlitz ends and distant relatives and outsiders take over the operation.

Mid-to-late 1970s: Schlitz still sells well, so the new owners try to make more by shortening the fermenting process. But the beer has no foam and is flat, so managers add a seaweed extract. But that turns solid after sitting in bottles for a few months. Schlitz sales fall and the old formula is gone.

1981: Production of Schlitz ends in Milwaukee when workers strike.

1982: Detroit's Stroh Brewery Co. acquires Schlitz and sells off many of Schlitz's plants to pay for the acquisition. It focuses on promoting Schlitz' secondary brand, Old Milwaukee.

1999: Pabst Brewing Co. buys Schlitz from Stroh.

2008: Schlitz reintroduces the classic formula.



People like Leonard Jurgensen say the beer reminds them of better days. The 67-year-old, who grew up on the edge of the brewery downtown, said decades ago it seemed that everyone in the city either worked for the brewery or knew someone who did. If there was a special occasion, you drank Schlitz. Jurgensen had it on his wedding day 45 years ago.'

"For many years the product was associated with happy times, especially to people my age," said Jurgensen, who's writing a book on Milwaukee's breweries. "As we all know, the world is not the best it can be today. We used to think those were hard times and when we look back on them, those were the good old days."

Schlitz' comeback has been slow, just like its fall from the top. It was tested in a few markets and is available in Minneapolis, Chicago and western Florida, besides Milwaukee.

Its ties to the city are deep. Schlitz began its life at a brewery founded by August Krug in 1849. Joseph Schlitz took over and opened the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. several years later.

Nostalgia could prove a driving factor in sales, Kotecki said. Pabst is certainly using it in its marketing, reusing its '60s-era advertisements urging drinkers to "Go For the Gusto" and simple maroon and gold packaging, marked with fanciful script.

The Woodridge, Ill.-based company wants the brew to go national but is taking a slow approach, reintroducing it first in places like the Midwest where the beer was popular.

Hearing from Schlitz-thirsty consumers prompted Pabst to revive the brand, Kotecki said. A malt-liquor form of Schlitz has been available for years in cans. But fans say it's not the same.

The brew became a top-seller, Jurgensen said, after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 wiped out its competitors. It was the world's best-selling beer from 1903 until Prohibition in 1920, and regained the crown in 1934 until the mid-1950s. That's when a strike by Milwaukee brewery workers interrupted production and made way for others, like St. Louis' Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., to eat into Schlitz' market share. That company, which makes Budweiser and Bud Light, has held the top spot to this day.

camisadelgolf
08-04-2008, 03:33 AM
The last time I drank Schlitz, I thought, "Wow, this tastes an awful lot like PBR." It's the cheapest beer at the Northside Tavern, and as far as dirt-cheap (American) beers go, PBR might be my favorite.

SunDeck
08-04-2008, 08:13 AM
I'll wait for this one.

http://www.baseball-fever.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=2488&stc=1&d=1120600354

LoganBuck
08-04-2008, 08:41 AM
Schlitz comes back, can Crystal Pepsi be far behind?

Johnny Footstool
08-04-2008, 10:28 AM
Crystal Schlitz?

Chip R
08-04-2008, 10:32 AM
I never even knew it was gone. :dunno:

919191
08-04-2008, 10:38 AM
I never even knew it was gone. :dunno:

You mean you never checked?:)

Chip R
08-04-2008, 11:15 AM
You mean you never checked?:)


Well, I just guessed that if they were out of Schlitz, they were out of beer. ;)

RichRed
08-04-2008, 11:26 AM
Crystal Schlitz?

Cryschlitz?

Unassisted
08-04-2008, 11:38 AM
If you need more evidence that we're living in the Bizarro World, the Pabst Brewing Co. is now headquartered in San Antonio. Its HQ is a modest space in a nondescript office park where there isn't any beer being brewed.

Heath
08-04-2008, 11:48 AM
I had a Schaefer 12 oz can about 15 years ago.

I'd rather have the Schlitz.

westofyou
08-04-2008, 12:02 PM
If you need more evidence that we're living in the Bizarro World, the Pabst Brewing Co. is now headquartered in San Antonio. Its HQ is a modest space in a nondescript office park where there isn't any beer being brewed.

That's the data center, the home office is in Illinois.

Even stranger is it's brewed by Miller, the beer they took on head to head over 100 years ago.

Schlitz was king in the 50's, by the end of the 60's Bud had eaten up most of their market after they got SERIOUS about advertising.

Lately I've been drinking this as a summer beer, made by Full Sail

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2410/2527218534_77c29d5b73.jpg?v=0

RANDY IN INDY
08-04-2008, 12:16 PM
The day after Schlitz or Pabst was never good.

Chip R
08-04-2008, 01:33 PM
The day after Schlitz or Pabst was never good.


Or Schmidt.

gilpdawg
08-04-2008, 01:43 PM
Gosh, I feel like a poser.


/I drink Mic Ultra. :)

PedroBourbon
08-04-2008, 01:55 PM
/I drink Mic Ultra. :)[/QUOTE] (Originally posted by gilpdawg)


No women in the beer threads please!!;)

improbus
08-04-2008, 03:32 PM
/I drink Mic Ultra. :) (Originally posted by gilpdawg)


No women in the beer threads please!!;)[/QUOTE]

Mic Ultra must set records for the least amount of flavor per ounce. What a waste...

Anyone had a Blatz lately?

westofyou
08-04-2008, 03:53 PM
(Originally posted by gilpdawg)


Anyone had a Blatz lately?

There is crazy irony in beer world

The "Blatz" beer label currently is produced by the Miller Brewing Company of Milwaukee, under contract for Pabst Brewing Company, managed by CEO, Charles Thomas Blatz.

Roy Tucker
08-04-2008, 04:03 PM
The day after Schlitz or Pabst was never good.


Many a morning I had a bad case of the Schlitz.

Keep the windows open.

camisadelgolf
08-05-2008, 04:49 AM
Crystal Schlitz?

My favorite cover band! They do a Doors show. You'd be really impressed.

Unassisted
08-05-2008, 11:35 AM
That's the data center, the home office is in Illinois.
That would make more sense, considering the setting. The plastic sign says "Pabst Brewing Co. Corporate Headquarters."

minus5
08-05-2008, 01:09 PM
There is crazy irony in beer world

The "Blatz" beer label currently is produced by the Miller Brewing Company of Milwaukee, under contract for Pabst Brewing Company, managed by CEO, Charles Thomas Blatz.

For a while Blatz was brewed by Heileman and brewed in Newport, KY at Weidemann.

SunDeck
08-05-2008, 01:49 PM
I don't think it has really ever been that unusual for breweries to contract out their excess capacity. It doesn't mean that Miller is putting High Life in Blatz cans; it's the recipe not the brewery.

westofyou
08-05-2008, 02:21 PM
I don't think it has really ever been that unusual for breweries to contract out their excess capacity. It doesn't mean that Miller is putting High Life in Blatz cans; it's the recipe not the brewery.

No Doubt, but after reading this beer book (http://www.amazon.com/Ambitious-Brew-Story-American-Beer/dp/0156033593/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217956862&sr=1-17) you have to think the founders are spinning in their grave at the action nonetheless.

GAC
08-05-2008, 08:54 PM
Always gave me the schlitz. ;)

MartyFan
08-10-2008, 07:05 PM
They also want to create a following among younger drinkers who want to know what grandma and grandpa drank.

I remember climbing up on my passed out grandfathers lap and asking him "Papa, what did you drink"...oh, the memories.

Yachtzee
08-11-2008, 08:15 AM
My favorite cover band! They do a Doors show. You'd be really impressed.

Did you see their show at the Sandbar?

camisadelgolf
08-11-2008, 08:37 AM
Did you see their show at the Sandbar?

Uh, what's the sand bar?

Yachtzee
08-11-2008, 10:54 AM
Uh, what's the sand bar?

It's this place that lets sixteen-year-old kids drink.

wheels
08-15-2008, 08:57 AM
Still my favorite jingle of all time:

"When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer..."

Ahhhh....I love yellow beer.