Arts & Entertainment

Brews News That Won’t Make You Snooze

When I was a teenager, one of our fads was to use a beer tap handle on our car’s gearshift lever. Mine said “Schlitz.”

That wasn’t nostalgic at the time. Schlitz, which called itself “The beer that made Milwaukee famous,” was the top-selling beer for much of the first six decades of the 20th Century. In the latter half, some bad business decisions and some tinkering with the recipe spelled disaster for the taste and, ultimately, the brand.

Pabst Brewing Co., which bought the rights to the Schlitz name and original recipe from Stroh’s in 1999, is trying for a comeback of the once-icon beer, using the old formula and lots of tips from former brewmasters.

“We believe that Schlitz was, if not ‘the,’ one of the most iconic brands of the 20th century,” Pabst President Kevin Kotecki told the Associated Press. “And there’s still a lot of people who have very positive, residual memories about their experience. For many of them it was the first beer they drank and we wanted to give it back to those consumers.”

So far, local consumer reaction is strong. Many Milwaukee area stores have sold out of Schlitz, and some are limiting purchases.

For a bit more on the history of Schlitz, go online to

When patrons showed up at the Windsor Castle pub in Maidenhead, England, last week to watch England vs. Croatia in a World Cup soccer qualifier and quaff beer, they had to be patient. Not with the TV set, but with the drink supply.

Turns out a truck carrying 12 barrels of beer had mistakenly tried to deliver the load to a place five miles away. That other Windsor Castle. The one with a queen in it.

Once guards at Queen Elizabeth’s abode determined that no such shipment was expected, they called around and found out the pub was in need of its beer.

“It was a silly mistake. These things can happen. The barrels did eventually arrive, about three hours late, so there was no problem,” pub landlord Misko Coric told reporters.

“We have received mail for the royal household here before, but I think this is the first time they have received anything meant for us,” he said.

More than 15,000 people attended the annual Oktoberfest that began in Manila, The Philippines, last week.

While it beat the arrival of October by 25 days, it was intentional scheduling to create a 120-day Oktoberfest to be held in several major cities rather than the traditional 16-day event. That may not be a record in itself, but the event’s organizers are claiming a pair of world records:

— The longest bar.

— The largest toast.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the length of San Miguel Avenue in Mandaluyong City was blocked off and lined with steel sheets to form a bar 603.5 meters long. The existing Guinness Book of World Records record is 220 meters, set in Taiwan.

The current record of 13,000 guests toasting with a glass of beer is held by Las Vegas. The Manila event got 15,000 to do the same.

Now what’s left in the process if to have an independent third party, usually Guinness, check and verify the statistics.

(William M. Dowd covers the adult beverage industry online at