Monday, April 07, 2008

News of vital importance Original Schlitz to be bottled up once more
Boozing baby boomers, rejoice.

Schlitz beer, once the world's top-selling beer brand, has gone back to its original formula.

Woodridge-based Pabst Brewing Co. relaunches the formula -- packaged in the long-neck bottles it abandoned in the 1990s -- this week in Chicago.

I have somewhat fond memories of Schlitz. Back in Wisconsin it was pretty popular in the '60s and early '70s; I recall my uncles drinking it (that and Hamm's). By the time I came of age it appears they had already changed the brewing process, so it had taken on 'cheap beer' status.

I hope some of the old midwestern names make something of a comeback, although it may be like putting the toothpaste back in the tube. IIRC, many of the old breweries reformulated in the latter half of the 20th century to be able to compete on price with the large players (A-B and Miller) and watched their market share drop anyway. One would hope that with the advent of microbreweries some of these old timey brands can go back to their original formulations and get some of that marketshare back, or at least get a comfortable enough share to stay around. That could be difficult after getting a rep as cheapie beer. It's possible, I suppose, to change that; used to be that Leinenkugels was 'cheap' but in the last decade or so they've managed to rebrand fairly successfully.

And, er, the archaeological significance of this is. . .well, archaeologists drink a lot of beer and beer is one of the oldest known alcoholic beverages, sooooo. . . . .