Wall-e GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/4/08 11:10 p.m.


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.

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.

bludroptop Dork
8/5/08 11:58 a.m.

Didn't Rhinegold have those little jug shaped bottles with the wide mouth and the big (and sharp) pull-off lids?

Anybody else remember "the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

seann New Reader
8/5/08 12:06 p.m.


Wall-e GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/6/08 1:48 a.m.
bludroptop wrote: Didn't Rhinegold have those little jug shaped bottles with the wide mouth and the big (and sharp) pull-off lids? Anybody else remember "the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

My uncle drank Schaffer religiously. they came in little bottles that kinda looked like grennades. He always had a few in a cooler in the front seat when he took us out to Montauk.

Jensenman SuperDork
8/6/08 7:31 a.m.
bludroptop wrote: Didn't Rhinegold have those little jug shaped bottles with the wide mouth and the big (and sharp) pull-off lids? Anybody else remember "the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

That was the Rheingold 'Chug A Mug'. I remember the TV ads from when I was a kid.

92dxman New Reader
8/6/08 11:19 a.m.

My uncle drinks Schaefer to this day.. Random tidbit of info but the Schaefer sign at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn would light up every game.. The H would light up for hits and the E would like up for errors..

integraguy Reader
8/6/08 12:44 p.m.

If ever a beer is/was undrinkable it's Budweiser. Yeah, I remember Schlitz....though it's been a long time since I've had any beer, so I don't remember anything good or bad about it. I guess I've been seeing old, VERY old billboards, or have been on drugs the last few times I was home, but isn't Rheingold still available in some parts of the northeastern U.S.?

Jensenman SuperDork
8/6/08 1:00 p.m.

I remember Blatz beer. (shiver). A middle school buddy's dad used to drink it and of course we swiped some. It was nasty.

Boy, they stretched the truth in their advertising.

Twin_Cam Dork
8/6/08 1:08 p.m.

That ad is positively...hilarious

93celicaGT2 Reader
8/6/08 1:11 p.m.

Mountain Dew.... Oh, how i love you. On my keyboard.

geowit Reader
8/6/08 3:32 p.m.

I remember Schlitz. We lovingly referred to it a "Schitz" from the effect it had the following day.

seann New Reader
8/6/08 3:50 p.m.

Still lots of Blatz around here (Madison, WI). In a blind taste test, the only way to tell the difference between Blatz Light and soda water is to see which one gives you the E36 M3s the next morning. Wisconsin is the land of small time crappy breweries, Rienlander, Mountain Creek. Folks from the Twin Cities can't get enough of their Grain Belt. I'm pretty partial to Old Style and Point Special but I'm pretty excited to try this Shlitz.

Salanis Dork
8/6/08 4:00 p.m.

I love the quality of breweries in California. Stone Brew Co.'s flagship I think says it all:

seann Reader
8/6/08 4:16 p.m.

I'm not saying there aren't any decent microbrews around. Not quite like Oregon and Northern California, but it's hard to compete with Rogue and Bear Republic.
P.S. sometimes a fizzy yellow beer is just what your looking for, especially this time of year.

Salanis Dork
8/6/08 4:26 p.m.

Some of the best are in SoCal. Stone is based in San Diego.

North Coast is quite possibly the best brewery in the western U.S. It was named One of the Ten Best Breweries in the World.

I have been known to reach for a Corona with lime during the summer. Right now I'm loving a very hoppy lager that my favorite local brewery has in season. Very refreshing and tasty.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
8/6/08 4:27 p.m.

For our 8th grade class field trip the geniuses at my Jr. High decided it would be a great idea to take us to Milwaulkee for a Schlitz brewery tour. Wonderful, take impressionable 13 year olds who are just starting to experiment with booze to a brewery. I remember my chaperones reeking of beer during the bus ride home. (they got free samples)


Nashco Dork
8/6/08 5:10 p.m.

For those that like stuff like Corona with lime, try Rising Moon (offshoot from Blue Moon)...it's like a Corona with a lime, but better, without having to actually put a lime in it. I had one a while back, there was a single bottle mixed in with another 6 pack I bought, and I liked it a lot, it's the only pre-limed beer I've ever had. Of course, I haven't been able to find any more since...doh!

I'd be really interested to compare an old recipe for a given beer and the newer recipe to see how the taste of the times compares. I've also thought the same thing about mass produced vs. small volume of a given recipe to compare the quality/taste. Of course, nobody actually publishes their exact recipes so it's hard to do a direct comparison.


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