Originally posted by marshrat
Looks like Schlitz is engaged in some revisionist history based on the timeline on their website.
Well, more "deletionist" than "revisionist", I'd say. They have left out going to a faster fermentation period, switching to corn syrup and hop extract (from corn grits and hop pellets) and playing around with chemical additives that often didn't work well together, resulting in either cloudy or flat beer. Some of their advertising campaigns are also blamed for helping bring them down- in particular, the Schlitz Light commercials with tough guy actor James Coburn, which, as legend has it, were ridiculed on Madison Ave as the "drink Schlitz Light or I'll Kill You" campaign. And, when they finally collapsed, the fight between Stroh (the eventual buyer) and Heileman (Schlitz's preferred partner) over the once great brewing company.
The interesting thing is, with the failure of both Schlitz and Pabst (and before that, Blatz) Milwaukee became a one mega-brewery town. But, with Pabst now contracting with Miller for it's beers, all those brands are once again "brewed in Milwaukee" - as is Old Milwaukee, Schlitz's former economy beer that eventually outsold both the former-flagship Schlitz and Stroh beers and is even Pabst's best selling brand- outselling Pabst Blue Ribbon by almost 2 to 1 (based on 2006 sales, anyway).
The former Schlitz breweries are mostly closed, with the NY state facility having been bought by Anheuser Busch (they made a big deal about spending a lot of money bringing it up to A-B standards, IIRC)and the Memphis brewery recently closed by Coors after they finally got their Virginia plant brewing and merging with Molson (Blue Moon, once brewed in Memphis, is now coming from Canada).
Maybe the most "successful" former Schlitz plant is the one in Florida that was eventually sold by Stroh to Yuengling. The once tiny PA brewing company is now in the top five of US breweries. (When I started my interest in beer, Yuengling was #7- in Pennsylvania. They didn't even make the top 30 in the US).