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Pabst, Southampton deal announced

Exhibit A: At the recent Great American Beer Festival, Pabst Brewing Co. won four medals and Large Brewing Company of the Year. Southampton Publick House on Long Island won a silver medal for its Double White Ale and a bronze for its Saison.

Which do we think it cooler?

Exhibit B: Wednesday Pabst Brewing announced (you may have to give them your age, then click on “News” to read the press release) that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Southampton Bottling to market and distribute its award-winning line of craft-brewed ales and lagers.

Remember Exhibit A.

Farmhouse AlesI’m sorry, but beyond that I’m not prepared to connect the dots. I do know that this does not mean that Pabst will be brewing a saison. Anywhere. Anytime. Pabst doesn’t own a brewery. It has Pabst, Lone Star, Pearl, Ranier, Blatz, Schlitz and a raft of others brewed under contract.

So a little more from the press release:

– The agreement is expected to take effect by year’s end with shipments to commence in the second quarter of 2008.

– “Success in the craft industry today requires three key components: High quality beers, a strong distribution network, and excellent marketing capabilities. This alliance combines all of these necessary elements. We are excited and energized by the prospect of working with a partner whose standards for quality and excellence are consistently recognized as world-class,” said Kevin Kotecki, CEO of Pabst Brewing Company.

– “The opportunity to distribute Southampton products to a wider base of consumers is something we have been interested in for quite some time,” Southampton President Don Sullivan noted. “Pabst Brewing’s extensive sales and distribution network and its ability to provide superior marketing support ensures that our brands will have the ingredients for continued success.”

– As part of the agreement, Southampton brewmaster Phil Markowski will continue to oversee production of their beers. He will work closely with Pabst Brewing’s Robert Newman. Markowski is author of Farmhouse Ales (pictured above), and one of the country’s most respected brewers.

Anyway, this it is doubly intriguing to pair this news with the rumor I heard at the Great American Beer Festival that Pabst plans to re-launch Schlitz using a throwback recipe.

5 Responses to Pabst, Southampton deal announced

  1. Rick November 7, 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    Hmmmm… thanks for the news. Any thoughts on who wins in this, or who loses – or will this simply be a draw for Pabst, Southampton and those who love their beer? I still don’t fully understand a “Strategic Alliance”, it doesn’t sound as if Pabst has bought Southampton, but… seems odd.

  2. Loren November 8, 2007 at 6:00 am #

    Wow. I can already hear the groans of “sell outs!” across the beer geek landscape. Which actually has been piped up now and then with all of Southampton’s contract brewed, by Phil though of course, offerings.

    Interesting…and no doubt not the last big “deal” to happen with macros and micros I would wager?

  3. Stan Hieronymus November 8, 2007 at 7:27 am #

    As I noted above, I’m not inclined to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately today I don’t have the time to make some phone calls and satisfy my curiosity.

    What I saw first was a blurb in Newsday that Google News sent me. I forgot to look at it again when I found the full press release at the Pabst site.

    I don’t know if this is just Newsday’s take on the press release or an additional clarification: “Pabst will take on production of select Southampton labels, a spokeswoman said.”

  4. jesskidden November 10, 2007 at 6:37 am #

    re: Pabst’s “relaunch” of Schlitz-

    I stumbled across this new website a few month ago (while looking for some Schlitz history info)- . At the time, many pages were “Under Construction”, but I see they’re being filled in slowly- with events taking place in Florida and Minnesota, and even some old (and new!) TV commercials. S+P/Pabst spending money on TV ads would be real news (maybe they’re web only?).

    As for the “throwback” recipe, it appears (at least from the ads, etc) they’re only going as far back as the early 1960-70’s- what with the “Gusto” slogan and the “Timeline” that skips from 1973 to 2007 (conveniently leaving out the fall of the brewing company and the legendary changes in the recipe for the worst, and the purchase by Stroh).

    Amusingly (and somewhat confusingly) the most obvious web address (”) is a sex site.

  5. Stan Hieronymus November 10, 2007 at 7:33 am #

    Great link, Jess. Thanks.

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