Something Old, Something Brew

Classic beer brands are reborn with their original formulas

If you visited a Wisconsin beer store last summer, you would have spotted an extinct species. On the shelf, for the first time in a decade, sat bottles of the beer that made Milwaukee famous: Schlitz.

This rerelease caused a sensation, but not for the same reasons that PBR has enjoyed its hipster revival (namely irony and thrift). The new Schlitz is the old Schlitz, brewed according to its fuller-bodied, more flavorful 1960s formula.

To re-create the classic recipe, Schlitz head brewer Bob Newman interviewed retired brewers and restored the beer's missing pieces: more malt, more hops, more flavor. Once again, a bottle of Schlitz possesses a malty, floral aroma, with riotous bubbles and a crisp, hoppy finish.

"Schlitz was once America's number one beer for a reason," says Kyle Wortham, Pabst senior brand manager, whose company has also revamped Old Style, returning the classic Midwestern lager to its original double-fermentation process, which increases carbonation and adds a richer flavor–a macrobrew with a microbrew personality.

Old Style is available in Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, and Schlitz is slowly undergoing a nationwide rollout. It's currently sold at stores across the Midwest, New York, New Jersey and Florida.