Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Schlitz...go for the gusto?

Beer Review
While grocery shopping at the Piggly Wiggy yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find near the back, center of the store a display of Schlitz beer. I have known about the
reintroduction of Schlitz and their "Classic 1960s Formula" for several months now and have been waiting for it to find its way into our area (why in the world "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous" wasn't immediately made available throughout Wisconsin is a mystery).
"It's ok...I saved the Schlitz!"
What a great advert from the 50s. How many couples go canoeing wearing their Sunday best? And the guy looks like he may have had a few before capsizing the canoe

I love the Schlitz marketing imagery, absolutely love it. Love what they've done with the Schlitz website to make accessible those vintage print and television commercials. Love the new commercials that embrace that vintage feel and buck the modern style of associating beer with big-boobed bimbos and partying on rooftops. Love the retro vibe that is associated with beers like Schlitz. Even love the Schlitz color scheme and the ornate, vintage font that says Schlitz on the bottles. Love everything about this product.

...well, almost everything.

I knew Schlitz was not an upper echelon beer like the craft and microbrewed beers I prefer. I knew it was a beer along the lines of your average watered down, flavorless, mass market, big brewery beers. I didn't however, expect it to be as bad as it is. I took the picture of the beer in this post immediately after pouring. That fizzy little head of foam lasted approximately 90 seconds. Any other fizziness (carbonation) that might have come from the beer underneath that fleeting head lasted even less than that. Within two minutes I had a glass of flat, yellowish tea that looked like it had been sitting undisturbed all afternoon. Worse than that was the flavor. Flat, uninteresting, a tad mediciney, and not unlike the tepid water that canned corn soaks in before you eat it. This was truly a boring, uninspired and almost flavorless beer (and what flavor it did have was not pleasing). I thought, "this is the beer that made Milwaukee famous?" Good grief. The 60-second head tops an equally uninspiring beer-like liquid. Cool bottlecap though!

Well, it's lousy beer. But, man, I do love the way they're marketing it. I'll probably drink one of these every now and then simply because I am such a huge sucker for great marketing and imagery (or maybe I'll pour the Schlitz out and refill the bottle with something drinkable, like a Leinies). The folks in the Schlitz PR department ought to all get raises and a free case of beer each week as a bonus...but not Schlitz beer. The idea is to reward them, after all.


DaveTheiss(at)gmail(dot)com said...

I love, love, loved this post... Laughed my butt off....
To bad this beer is the Schitz.

Unknown said...

I own a bar, we had one die-hard old-timer that comes in every day for a can of Schlitz, we charged him a buck…then cans disappeared and out comes the “Gusto” in bottles, actually costing us a few cents more than Bud™ or Coors™, even though we sell it at the same price.
I was a kid when Schlitz™ was the big thing, but I still had enough to remember it fondly and to look forward to the “rechristening.”
While we still had a case or so of cans on hand we did a blind taste test. NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON COULD TELL THE DIFFERENCE! There was no “preference,” every one just said, “It’s the same thing,” regardless of witch glass they tried it from.
Yup, the marketing is nothing short of great, but they’re peeing down our collective legs and telling us it’s raining. It is the same stuff either in a bottle or a can AND the stuff is awful!

S C Dixon
"The Noose™"
Emporia, KS.