Thursday, August 2, 2007

Old Schaefer Brewery to make beer again: Sam Adams beer

Huge story, IMO: Boston Beer, tired of screwing around with tax incentives and sewer service in Freetown Mass, is in an agreement to buy the big former Pabst/Stroh/Schaefer brewery in Fogelsville, PA, outside Allentown, from Diageo, who is currently using it to manufacture Smirnoff Ice. If all goes correctly, the purchase will take place in Spring, 2008.

I toured this big brewery twice in the early 1990s, and it's a beauty, a showpiece, built to be toured. I've heard it called "the last big brewery built in the United States." I'm just really happy to see it going to guys like Boston Beer.

Will this cause even more grousing about "Boston" Beer Company not being from Boston? Sure. So what? Like I keep saying: I don't drink that. I drink beer. Cheers to Samuel Adams, Jim Koch, and the guys who kept the lights on in Fogelsville (and to Stephen Beaumont, who passed this on to me).

13 comments:

Stephen Beaumont said...

Granted that part of the agreement is that Boston Beer will continue to make and package Diageo products as necessary, but still, to me one of the big elements of this deal is that obviously Smirnoff Ice is not as robust a brand as it once was! (Or else, why would they sell the brewery?) Maybe this will pacify some of those people still bent out of shape about Miller Chill...

Bill in Hbg said...

I'm so happy about this. That brewery looks so cool when you zip up I-78; and now it'll make beer I'll enjoy drinking. Nice.

Lew Bryson said...

Nothing will pacify the Legions of Chill Kill!

It is kinda funny that Boston Beer will be making beer under contract...for someone else.

bill mc said...

Ick, that Miller Chill is awful.

I remember touring the place a few times as well. I remember when I was a kid (1970s) and toured it (the smell was heavenly, kinda like the old Nabisco plant on the Boulevard...you know where I mean Lew...) and when they allowed adults unlimited beer samples [of course I was drinking either root beer or birch beer, my parents allowed me to sample their beer]...it was funny to watch men and women get falling down drunk. Good that it was kept up and will be still used as a brewery.

LandmarkBeer said...

So what does this mean for the old latrobe plant bought by City to brew Sam under contract?

Lew Bryson said...

Well...from what I hear, they're having enough problems getting a labeler fit into the bottling line at Latrobe. Very low volume of labeled bottles going through there before!

Seriously, though? Make more Mike's, and hope it keeps selling. Hey, why not make a serious beer of their own?

Stan Hieronymus said...

Hey, why not make a serious beer of their own?

City seems to be going the other direction - selling off their locally owned brands.

Loren said...

Right on with the "Boston" Beer Co. not from Boston comment. I mean...isn't the reality already that there's more SA beer brewed elsewhere NOW?

Good for all parties involved...and maybe SA will taint the Diageo crap with actual FLAVOR!?!?

[gulp]

Stonch said...

The only issue with breweries moving locality is that some people prefer to eat and drink local produce. If they're misled into believing Sam Adams beers are from Boston, you could say that was a bad thing.

Having said that, I wouldn't for a moment suggest the company change it's name. It would be bad if they marketed themselves to Bostonians as local though.

This is an issue that people get worked up about here in Britain. Not me, I am perfectly able to inform myself of what's local and what's not and decide accordingly.

Bill said...

I guess this now makes Sam Adams the one beer to have when you're having more than one.

Just wish it scanned better to make the jingle easier to sing.

Anonymous said...

The old Schaeffer brewery was a local jewel. When I was a student at Kutztown my public speaking class project was bringing my classmates to the brewery for a tour. After a couple beers with the group I then gave my speech. I don't even remember what the point was but my classmates were so smashed that I got over all my stage fright and aced the class. Thinking back now, I bet the prof was too sloshed to know a coherent speech from a bad one.

Anonymous said...

Some of you make not realize that the old Schaefer/Stroh/Pabst plant made Sam Adams under contract in the late 1990's. The beer produced and packaged at this plant was sent mostly away from the East coast as to keep the mystique of Boston Beer that was made in Boston stayed near Boston.

Lew Bryson said...

They made Sam Adams seasonals and side brands, as I recall: I remember the Honey Porter was made there. But I still don't get the indignation about Boston Beer not being made in Boston: I don't drink that, I drink beer. Is the beer good? Does it taste the same the next time I have it? Is it reasonably priced for what I'm getting? Is it not made by children or slave labor? Good enough for me.