Saturday, April 05, 2008

Schlitz is Back!

But we'll have to travel to Chicago to get some... Is Biotech big there?

Chicago Tribune, By Mike Hughlett, April 5

"When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of …" what? Can you remember?

If you said "beer," congratulations, you're the target market for an attempt to revive the once-ubiquitous but now nearly dead beer brand right here in Chicago, where Schlitz once reigned supreme. And yes, it is a long, long shot, beer industry experts say.

Next week, at select North Side outlets, Pabst Brewing Co., current owner of the Schlitz brand, will launch the revamped brew with an old 1960s recipe. That would be the recipe used before the old Schlitz company changed its formula in the 1970s, sending the brew on a path to near oblivion.

New Schlitz will come in traditional long-neck bottles too. Nowadays Schlitz comes only in cans, and they don't exactly fly off the shelves. About as many barrels of Schlitz beer are shipped per year as Bud Light, the leading U.S. beer, are shipped in a day.


Pabst is a virtual company, contracting out brewing and bottling to others. Its stated goal with Schlitz: Make a nostalgia play of sorts to Baby Boomers—guys in their 50s and even late 40s—who remember Schlitz as a no-nonsense beer of their youth.

"These are the guys who remember how great the brand was and what it means," said Kyle Wortham, Pabst's senior brand manager for Schlitz. "It's guys who were drinking this beer back in the day."


But what about the taste?

Well, Wortham said he hears this from people in the first two test markets: "It tastes like the first beer I stole out of my dad's refrigerator." And that, he said, is definitely a compliment.


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