Speeking of beer, I think i'll be running on Schlitz this year in Crandon....
Relaunched Schlitz Beer selling out in Milwaukee area
By Tom Daykin of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Jul. 2, 2008
When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer, according to an old ad campaign.
And, as Milwaukee-area beer lovers are discovering, a lot of places are out of Schlitz, at least in the bottled form.
Within days of the Schlitz 1960s formula being brought back to Milwaukee, the beer was largely sold out - snapped up by both older guys who remember the beer from back in the day, and younger drinkers curious about the fuss.
A new shipment is coming to liquor stores and taverns beginning Wednesday, but it will be relatively small, said Mike Merriman, president of Beer Capitol Distributing Inc., the wholesaler for Schlitz in Milwaukee County.
Pabst Brewing Co., which owns the Schlitz brand, is expanding production based on the heavy demand in Milwaukee, and Merriman hopes to see the supply situation smoothed out by mid-July. Until then, he said, it will be "a little bit hit and miss" for consumers.
"The overwhelming success was much better than anticipated," Merriman said Tuesday.
The bottled Schlitz, which is being sold as the "Classic 1960s formula," was first rolled out last year in Tampa, Fla., and Minneapolis. Pabst launched it in Chicago in April, and in Milwaukee last week.
Compared with the Schlitz sold in cans, the reformulated Schlitz in bottles has a more full-bodied taste. Pabst, based in suburban Chicago, owns dozens of brands but doesn't operate any breweries. Classic Schlitz is brewed under a contract arrangement by MillerCoors LLC at its Eden, N.C., brewery.
Based on sales in those other cities, Pabst rolled out Classic Schlitz in a handful of Milwaukee-area liquor stores and taverns. Beer Capitol is initially selling it at around 30 locations, Merriman said. He'd like to eventually see it in roughly 700 outlets throughout Milwaukee County.
W.O.W. Distributing Co., a Schlitz wholesaler for Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, saw the beer quickly sell out within its 10 accounts, said President Aldo Madrigrano. He's eager to get more cases delivered.
"It's a good problem, but it is a problem," Madrigrano said.
At Ray's Liquor, in Wauwatosa, Beer Capitol delivered 70 cases - the equivalent of 112 12-packs, and 56 six-packs - a week ago Tuesday. It was virtually all gone by the time Ray's opened the next day, said Roy Mueller, general manager.
"That's quite amazing," Mueller said.
He said the customers were a mix of older and younger drinkers, including people in their 30s who wanted to try bottled Schlitz. With the strong demand, it's priced at $5.49 for a six-pack. By comparison, a six-pack of Miller Lite sells for $4.99.
Ray's will receive a new shipment today from Beer Capitol. But Mueller said it probably won't even make it to the sales floor. He has a waiting list with about 40 names, and plans to call those customers.
"We'll probably allocate a six-pack apiece," he said.