Saturday, June 4, 2011

Schlitz Beer Classic 1960's Formula

"The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous."  "Just the Kiss of Hops."

It might be hard to fathom for most today, but from post-World War II until the early 1970's, it was Schlitz that was the king of beers, and was often the top selling brand in America, beating all other beers, including Budweiser.  I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1992-1993 and every pub had two American beers, Budweiser and, to my amazement, Schlitz.

Schlitz is from the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, which is now actually owned by Pabst, who has all of their portfolio contract brewed. The Schlitz brewery started in 1858 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after Joseph Schlitz married the widow of the previous owner of the brewery.  Schlitz took off in 1871 after the Great Chicago Fire put its Chicago competition out of business, at least temporarily.

This beer pours golden in color with an inch of white smooth head that disappears quickly, but leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is fresh dry corn, a touch of straw, tangy, with a little hop zestiness in the back.  The taste is fairly light and follows the aroma with a little bit of crisp, dry, bitterness on the finish.  There is a little bit of sweetness, but for its category, it finishes nicely dry.  It is well carbonated with a crisp burn in the mouthfeel. A pale adjunct lager? Yes, but an American classic.

2016, about the only change is the bottle no longer says "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous." The beer pours a very clear golden in color. There is an inch of white head. The aroma is lightly toasted golden grain, a touch of grassy hops, with a bit of breadiness. The taste follows the aromas, mild, grain and bread dough, with just a touch of hops, adding a hint of bitterness to the finish. The beer drinks very easy and refreshing. This is an oldie and a goodie.

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