Old School Old Style's Comeback Attempt
Posted: April 09, 2009
Throughout most of the 1900s, Old Style krausened their beer, but ditched this traditional German brewing process in the early 90s, only to recently return to krausening their beer. Old Style has seen a decline in sales, and hopes that their new krausening campaign will spark sales and elevate their beer to premium status alongside Bud and Miller products. The only problem is that premium status will carry a premium price tag, causing the used to be $14.99 Old Style 30- pack to now be a $16.99 24- pack. In my eyes, Old Style took a huge gamble in changing the face of their brand and created a double edged sword. In talking to customers at Binnys and reading several articles on websites like beeradvocate, I have come across mixed reviews. Some say that the "new" Old Style is much better than the old stuff, and they are content with the change. Others say that they have compared the "old" and "new" Old Style side by side and say it tastes exactly the same, and it was just an excuse for Old Style to take out 6 cans from the package and raise the price by a couple bucks. I have enjoyed the "new" and "old" Old Style on a number of occasions. Every Monday night, a group of us hits the local bowling alley, and the Old Style pitchers start flowing. Old Style is the cheapest pitcher there, but did go from $6 to $6.50 since the krausening. And then of course there is the cubbies games; for some reason nothing can compare to an Old Style at the ballpark. The company says that re-employing the krausening technique will give Old Style a smoother finish, and I totally agree with this statement. The only problem is that part of what I liked about Old Style, believe it or not, was the bite on the finish. This gave Old Style a unique flavor, and set it apart from other massively produced American light lagers. Now on Mondays at the bowling alley, it will be tough to distinguish a pitcher of Old Style taste wise from the other mass produced American light lagers they have on tap. There is good news for people who like the "old" Old Style though. La Crosse lager uses the "old" Old Style recipe, and is available in 30 packs for $14.99. I have heard from some die hard Old Style drinkers that the "new" Old Style tastes watered down, and these devoted life long Old Style drinkers are now switching to others beers like La Crosse as their daily choice. These guys are no doubt used to and enjoy the bite on the finish that Old Style used to encompass, and arent huge fans of the smoother finish that comes along with the krausening of the new product. I know one thing for sure, and that is that I will continue to enjoy Old Style at the bowling alley and at cubs games. Time will tell whether or not Old Styles bold move will attract new drinkers without losing to many of the long time devoted ones. I am pulling for Old Style, I like their old recipe, I enjoy their new recipe, they are a local brewery, and I hope the move works out for them. So I pose a couple of questions to you. Economically, do you think this move will work out for Old Style? More importantly, what do you think of the newly krausened beer compared to the non- krausened Old Style that is now a thing of the past?