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Lucky Beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by IPASearcher, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. I remember drinking this in college 1998-2002 in southern CA. Does anyone remember this beer and what happened to it? I remember it was cheap and I guess a decent beer for the price. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again, but it would be a lil nostalgic to taste it.
  2. "Lucky Lager" was the flagship beer of the General Brewing Co. (which also went by the name Lucky Lager Brewing Co. at some points) and was for a time in the 40's and 50's the largest brewery on the West Coast .

    It was eventually bought by Paul Kalmanovitz of the S&P Corp., which went on, in the 1970-80's, to buy Falstaff, Pearl and finally Pabst. Kalmanovitz was notorious for buying and closing breweries and accumulating dying brands that he would milk profit out of and then discard. That's what happened to Lucky - eventually all the General breweries were closed and the brand was brewed by other S&P breweries until they were all closed, too.

    As I understand it, Lucky was eventually converted to a supermarket brand for the Lucky grocery chain before disappearing all together (some time in the early '00's?). What's left of S&P, Pabst, still markets dozens of brands (brewed mostly at MillerCoors breweries) it has collected over the years, but has probably dropped even more.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  3. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,135) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Yeah, and I don't remember ever having it from the can. This is the bottle I drank from:

  4. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    This makes me miss ok cola.
  5. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,135) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Edit: It was a tasty one but...I preferred this one. 102 brews gone wrong until:


    Originally brewed by Maier but I had the General Brewing version.
  6. When I lived in LA in the mid -70's, the Lucky bottles were the standard "US style" stubbies, not the classic round shouldered stubby style in your photo. I recall them even coming in a closed 12 pack with no labels, just embossed bottles (which was possible to do before the Health Warning mandate- Rolling Rock did it for their throw-aways, too, on the east coast).


    Pretty sure Lucky Lager was also available in cans back then (the LA General Brewery closed around that time, but SF was still open and probably the source of LA's Lucky Lager) but it seems to me the bottles were most common.

    My favorite can was their "superpremium" Lucky Red Carpet Beer can, so ugly it was cool.

    ufmj and Bitterbill like this.
  7. HomeBrewed

    HomeBrewed Savant (355) Minnesota Dec 10, 2006

    Pretty sure I had a six pack of Lucky Lager in Canada in about 2004 or 2005. In fact, I know it was called Lucky Lager because I will never forget how terrible it was. It was the cheapest 6 pack the store has and it was still 7.99. Canada prices are insane. Damn free healthcare.
    BeerGuyEsquire likes this.
  8. Yeah, it was "Perfected after 101 brews", as I recall. Maier I believe was actually Kalmanovitz's first brewery purchase, and he folded it into General after he bought the latter.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  9. Ri0

    Ri0 Champion (935) Wisconsin Jul 1, 2012

    I thought thought this was going to be about what beer where you lucky to get, like KBS.
    DanE likes this.
  10. Different beer- originally they had common ownership (Labatt owned General for awhile IIRC) but the brands went separate ways when the breweries were sold.
  11. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,135) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    I remember the embossed bottles too. I moved to CA in 73 so maybe the bottle pic I posted was gone by the time you got there?
  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,135) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002

    Yeah, I should have said 101 gone wrong...my paraphrasing of their slogan.;)
  13. ramnuts

    ramnuts Aficionado (235) Oregon Feb 16, 2009

    No mention of the famous Lucky rebus bottle caps? They featured a rebus on the underside, most of which were easily deciphered by even the most toxic low cost drunks. And a 12 pack was an undeniable bargain @ $2.19, at least in Marin County where I resided in the early to mid 70's....
  14. kojevergas

    kojevergas Champion (895) Texas Aug 15, 2010

    I bought a sixer of this stuff in Calgary in June of 2008. I also have not forgotten it.
  15. ramnuts

    ramnuts Aficionado (235) Oregon Feb 16, 2009

    And as for Brew 102, I vividly recall the signs for that establishment off the Santa Ana freeway, near the Mission Rd. exit, in the late 50's and early 60's. Los Angeles Brewing Company was a behemoth back then. Of course, I was too young to sample their products, but suspect that the beer was swill if based upon the pricing alone. Even the Old Man, who was a bargain hunter of epic renown, would not touch that stuff.
  16. 19etz55

    19etz55 Savant (345) New Jersey Aug 12, 2007

    Haven't been lucky enough to try it. In fact never heard of it till now.
  17. Los Angeles Brewing Co., best known for it's Eastside and Old Tap brands, was bought by Pabst in the late 1940's and run as a wholly-owned subsidiary - merged into Pabst formally in 1953. LABC was where Karl Strauss brewed on the west coast originally (transferred by Pabst after purchase). Pabst closed the LA plant right after they bought Blitz-Weinhard in the late 1970's - before that, I remember them still brewing Old Tap, Eastside and the old California Burgermeister/Burgie! label that had bounced around (previously had been owned by Schlitz and Hamm's).

    An interesting aspect of Strauss and the Old Tap brand is that it was developed by Karl as their first post-Prohibition "full strength" draught beer in California - the state was "3.2 abw or under" only for draught beer until 1955.

    Those 3 brands by then were bottom-shelf cheapies and competing for the economy beer shoppers' dollar with all those S&P General brands like Lucky Lager, Brew 102, Fischer, Regal Select, Maier, and what seemed like dozens more.

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