Everything old is new again

Schlitz, once a giant among brewers, is trying to recapture some of its past by reviving some of its past.

"The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous," as its marketing tagline went, is going the reto route to reestablish itself, dredging up images from its 1950s sales campaigns to grab consumer attention as well as reinstituiting its gilded bottle that carried the beer in those days.

Schlitz, which has been in business for 157 years, has been hurt in its price category by rival Annheuser-Busch price reductions.

Says Advertising Age magazine, "Distributors say renewed marketing efforts are sorely needed for much of the low-priced portfolio of Schlitz's marketer, San Antonio-based Pabst Brewing Co., which has suffered disproportionately from price cuts instituted by A-B's Natural Light and Busch that rendered them cheaper than Schlitz and Pabst Blue Ribbon."

Schlitz ranked as high as No. 3 among domestic brewers before, as Advertising Age puts it, "its profile dramatically faded under a succession of owners that emphasized other brands before it."

The Schlitz brewery in Milwaukee closed in the 1990s. The beer then was brewed in Milwaukee and elsewhere under contracts.

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