Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Original "Schlitz" Recipe Is In Columbus, Ohio

From the Columbus Dispatch:

:The Columbus Dispatch;
:Jan 20, 2009;
Demand pours in for retro Schlitz

Schlitz is back. The owners of the brand have recreated the recipe and are marketing Schlitz’s Classic 1960s formula beer at several Columbus-area stores and bars.

The original formula, described as a maltier, fuller-bodied lager than typical American beers, was changed in the late 1960s and 1970s, according to Pabst Brewing Co., which bought the Schlitz brand in 1999. The formula was changed as American brewers gradually made beers lighter in body, flavor and taste to cut costs and appeal to a broad market, company spokesman Brad Hittle said in a statement. But like the New Coke, the new Schlitz wasn’t warmly embraced. So last year, the old Schlitz began its comeback. It has been reintroduced in several cities, including this month in Columbus, based on consumer demand.

“Our goal was to bring back the taste of the ’60s, when beer wasn’t watered down,” Hittle said. “The response has been overwhelming, and we’re proud to bring back the beer that generations of Schlitz lovers enjoyed for years.” “We believe that Schlitz is, if not the, one of the most iconic brands of the 20th century,” Pabst President Kevin Kotecki told the Associated Press last year. “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.” Beer retailers across Columbus said sales have been growing as customers realize that the old formula is available. “One guy came, saw it, said he couldn’t believe we had it and bought three six-packs,” said James Delewese, who works at Kenny Road Market, 4658 Kenny Rd. on the Northwest Side. The specialty shop, which sells 500 varieties of beer, said it’s ready to order a second shipment based on the demand. “It’s sold faster than people may have expected it to,” Delewese said.

“Throwing back to this original formula is pretty significant and a draw for the younger generation that thinks retro is kitsch, and the older drinkers, who remember the old formula. “It’s rare for us to see this kind of excitement on a domestic beer.” Whole Foods erected a retro display of the beer at its 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd. location on the Northwest Side. “It seems to be pretty popular so far,” said Mandy Farnsworth, a manager at the store. King Avenue 5 Restaurant and Sports Lounge plans to have a tasting party for the old formula at 6 p.m. Wednesday at its 945 King Ave. location, owner Nick Pavich said.

He said many of his regular customers have embraced the beer since he’s been offering it. “They see the old brown bottles, see the label, scratch their head and say, ‘Really, is that what I think it is?’” Pavich said. “We’ve had quite a good response. “It won’t outsell Bud Light or Miller Lite, but I think it’s going to do well in this market.”

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