CONTACT: Lisa Doherty
Photos Attached (312) 988-4314
SCHLITZ® EXPANDS CHICAGOLAND
DISTRIBUTION OF “CLASSIC 1960s FORMULA”
Original Formula Now Available at 28 City and Suburban Locations
Chicago, May 9, 2008 – Chicago beer-lovers are goin’ for the gusto, big time! Response to the April 7 re-launch of Schlitz® “Classic 1960s Formula,” based on the original recipe of what was once the best-selling beer in America, and packaged in traditional “Brown Glass,” has been so great that the Pabst Brewing Company in Woodridge, Ill. is expanding distribution beyond 11 core accounts in Chicago, slightly ahead of schedule. Company officials today announced that 17 more retail locations are now carrying the six- and twelve-pack varieties of the classic formula, priced comparable to other premium domestic brands, bringing the total to 28. “We’re thrilled that introductory plans are going so well,” said Kyle Wortham, senior brand manager for Schlitz.
Among the select Schlitz accounts in Chicago that received the first coveted cases early last month were Cardinal Wine & Spirits at 4905 N. Lincoln Ave. and Schubas’ Tavern at 3159 N. Southport Ave. “We’ve had customers come from far and wide and they all say that Schlitz brings back good memories, including a group who traveled from Milwaukee to buy the beer and live across the street from the old brewery,” said Chris Melidones, owner of Cardinal Wine & Spirits, who has sold more than 150 cases to date. “We sold-out so fast, we were answering the phone, ‘Sorry, out of Schlitz,’” but he was quick to add that he’s since restocked. Mike Schuba, co-owner of Schubas’, said that lots of older Chicagoans from the tri-state area have stopped-in to try the beer. “Many say Schlitz reminds them of their fathers, and share fond remembrances.”
“The number of retailers demanding the classic Schlitz formula for their customers, combined with the media’s response and very favorable reviews of the beer, exceeded our expectations,” said Jerry Glunz, general manager of Lincolnwood, Ill.-based Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., the exclusive Schlitz distributor in Chicagoland. “We’re pleased to be able to add more locations at this time, and look forward to fully meeting demand.” Following is the list of just added retailers now offering Schlitz “Classic 1960s Formula,” but you may want to call ahead!
- Bruno & Tim’s Lounge and Liquor Store, 6562 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago – 773-764-7900
- Cardinal Liquors, 3501 N. Central Ave., Chicago – 773-725-0900
- Cary’s Lounge, 2251 W. Devon Ave., Chicago – 773-743-5737
- Charlie’s Place (Beinlich’s), 290 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook – 847-714-9375
- more -
Schlitz Expands Chicagoland Distribution – page 2 of 3
- Discount Liquor Store, 3 E. Camp McDonald Rd., Prospect Hts. – 847-483-9411
- 42 Degrees N. Latitude, 4500 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago – 773-907-2226
- Hackney’s On Lake, 1514 E. Lake Ave., Glenview – 847-724-7171
- iO Chicago (“ImprovOlympic”), 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago – 773-880-0199
- Jake’s Pub, 2932 N. Clark St., Chicago – 773-248-3318
- L. Woods Tap, 7110 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood – 847-677-3350
- Leland Inn, 4662 N. Western Ave., Chicago – 773-561-4109
- Liquor Center, 5301 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago – 773-631-2600
- Merle’s #1 Barbecue, 1727 Benson Ave., Evanston – 847-475-7766
- Miska’s Deli & Liquor, 2156 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago – 773-935-5373
- Paddy Long’s, 1028 W. Diversey Pkwy., Chicago – 773-290-6988
- Teddy’s Liquor Store, 1050 E. Rand Rd., Arlington Hts. – 847-368-9166
- Toni’s Liquors, 4033 Old Orchard Rd., Skokie – 847-673-0045
These retailers join the 11 others now carrying Schlitz “Classic 1960s Formula.” In addition to the previously mentioned Cardinal Wine & Spirits and Schubas’ Tavern, they include: Chicago Brauhaus, 4732 N. Lincoln Ave.; Glunz Bavarian Haus, 4128 N. Lincoln Ave.; Green Mill Lounge, 4802 N. Broadway St.; 1000 Liquors, 1000 W. Belmont Ave.; Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave.; Simon’s Tavern, 5210 N. Clark St.; Southport Lanes, 3325 N. Southport Ave.; The House of Glunz, 1206 N. Wells St.; and, The Long Room, 1612 W. Irving Park Rd.
“We’re delighted that a return to the original formula and the ‘Brown Glass’ long neck bottles, are revitalizing the Schlitz brand,” said Glunz, whose company has been distributing Schlitz since 1888 in spite of the brand’s losing its “Gusto” along the way to keep up with beer trends. He attributes the steady decline in sales of Schlitz to a changed formula in the mid 1970s, and packaging that was converted from a full package line to only cans in 1998.
According to Wortham, the classic taste profile of Schlitz "Classic 1960s Formula" is the result of research by Pabst Brewmaster, Bob Newman, who was named the 2006 and 2007 Brewmaster of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival®. "Bob tracked down and interviewed retired Schlitz brewhouse employees and others to recreate the classic taste," explained Wortham. Jack Glunz, president of Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., was among those interviewed and also provided access to marketing materials in his company’s archives.
About Schlitz Beer
The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and produced Schlitz, often considered the archetype of working-class beers and supported by one of the best-known slogans in the American brewing industry: "The beer that made Milwaukee famous."
The company was founded by Joseph Schlitz who came to America from Germany in 1850 at the age of 20. Schlitz flourished in pre-Civil War Milwaukee, where saloons and breweries sprang up by the hundreds. The company really began to succeed, however, after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, when Schlitz donated thousands of barrels of water and beer to the city, which had lost most of its breweries. He ultimately opened a distribution point in Chicago and built dozens of tied-houses as part of an almost modern franchise concept, most with a concrete relief of the Schlitz logo embedded in the exterior brickwork.
Schlitz died in 1875, but the brewery continued producing his namesake beer which became the best-seller in the U.S. in the 1950s. The brewery continued to grow through the 1970s selling 24 million cases annually in the Chicago Metro area alone, and was ranked No. 2 in America as late as 1976, surpassed only by Budweiser. Cost-cutting in the brewing process, which produced a product that the public deemed inferior, combined with a crippling 1981 strike by workers, led to an acquisition in 1982 by the Stroh Brewery Company in Detroit. In 1999, Stroh befell the same fate and closed its doors, selling the Schlitz label to Pabst Brewing Company. Founded by Jacob Best in Milwaukee in 1844, Pabst Brewing has since relocated its corporate headquarters to Woodridge, Ill., and was recently named Large Brewing Company of the Year in both 2006 and 2007 at the Great American Beer Festival.
About Louis Glunz Beer, Inc.
Founded in 1888 by Louis Glunz I in Chicago, Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. is among the oldest beer distributors in the United States and the recipient of the 2007 "Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award" from the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Brewers Association for promoting craft beer and making consumer choice a top priority. The 120-year-old company is family-owned and operated by president, Jack Glunz, the grandson of Louis Glunz I, with day-to-day operations led by five of his and his late wife Patricia''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s seven children as members of the fourth generation. The first member of the fifth generation has also joined the staff, with other members working during school breaks. Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. features an extensive portfolio of 665 micro, specialty and import beers from 67 suppliers representing 152 breweries worldwide, and is the premier distributor to restaurants, bars, liquor and grocery stores in Chicagoland. The company is dedicated to quality service and to educating its customers and the public about beer tastes and trends.
Photo 1: Schlitz “Classic 1960s Formula”
Photo 2: Jacob Cousineau, a helper for Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., delivered Schlitz to Cardinal Wine & Spirits in Chicago, among the select accounts to receive the first coveted cases last month. (Photo by Ted Lacey)