The next trick from the folks behind Pabst Blue Ribbon is the revival of another legendary U.S. brand. This week, Pabst announced the return of Schaefer, a classic New York brew.
A quick primer for the uninitiated: Funded in 1842, Schaefer was an iconic NYC brew. The suds were featured at Worlds Fairs, the official beverage of Ebbets Field, and the focus of a Lena Horne fronted ad campaign. In 1976, the last batch was brewed in NY;a brief period of production in Allentown, PA followed before the brand disappeared.
It turns out the rights to the brand (along with many other classics) were owned by Pabst Blue Ribbon who decided to reboot Schaefer.
“At Pabst we’re fortunate enough to have access to so many classic American trademarks,” Nick Reely, Pabst VP for Marketing, explained in a release. “Of course, tastes have changed over the years, New York has evolved, so must we. With that, we’ve reimagined and modernized Schaefer quite a bit – not to walk away from our past and our rich history, but to give the brand new life. Making it at a local brewery, updating the recipe, having it designed by an incredible NY agency — all these things bring a sense of freshness to the brand that we think people will really enjoy.”
By “local brewery,” Reely is actually referring to the F.X. Matt Brewery, five hours from NYC, in Utica, NY. F.X. Matt is know for Saranac and the regionally beloved Utica Club. (Shoutout to the
Golden Nectar and Schultz & Dooley). However, the brewery was a pioneer of contract brewing; they were one of the first, landing a contract to brew New Amsterdam back in the 80’s.
The Schaefer recipe and packaging will be updated for modern times. Yet, one signature feature, a low alcohol content, will remain intact. So, with a 3.8% ABV, Pabst can keep using Schaefer’s old slogan, “The One Beer to Have When You’re Having More Than One!”