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Schell’s Plans $2 Million Brewery Expansion

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by jesskidden, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Bitterbill likes this.
  2. lionking

    lionking Savant (320) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2006

    I was suprised 70% of production is Grain Belt.
  3. “70% of production is Grain Belt”. That sounds about right to me. I know that Shiner Bock is 75% of Spoetzl Brewery’s production (I learned that on a tour of the brewery). I don’t know the specific figures for Yuengling Lager but I suspect that it is the majority of Yuengling Brewery’s production.

    I did take note within the article of: “Schell’s produced 131,600 barrels of beer in 2012 and Marti said the expansion will allow the company to capitalize on growing consumer thirst for craft beer.”

    I live in SEPA and I hope that the expansion will permit Schell to distribute to the Eastern portion of PA; they now only distribute to Western PA (Pittsburgh area). I would like to try some of their seasonal offerings in particular their Bock beer.

  4. The figure I usually see for the Yuengling Traditional Lager is 80% of Yuengling's total barrelage.

    But, I'd say that Schell's Grain Belt revival is somewhat different than those two brands. Shiner Bock's been Spoetzl's flagship since the '80's (IIRC - and was a seasonal before that) and Yunegling Lager dates from the late '80's and both are, obviously, line extensions of the brewers' traditional brand.

    Grain Belt is more of a "revived brand" (acquired by Schell only a decade ago or so), which had bounced around from owner to owner -Heileman and then the spin-off Minnesota Brewing Co.- after the original Grain Belt Brewing Co. folded in the mid '70's. Previously, it had once been an upper mid-West powerhouse, million barrel brewery - though in the Twin Cities region it always played second fiddle to Hamm's. (The Twin Cities other big brand/brewery, Schmidt, was owned by outside companies since the early 60's- first by Associated, and then Heileman > Stroh > Pabst).

    Altho' it doesn't get nearly as much press or beer geek commentary, Grain Belt - if one looks at the total barrelage - is a more successful revival than Narragansett (and, of course, is brewed in the new owner's brewery, rather than contracted out).
    budgood1, Stinkypuss and BrettHead like this.
  5. JK, needless to say but you are da man!

    So, from my perspective the ‘commonality’ between the popularity of Shiner Bock, Yuengling Lager, and the Grain Belt beers is that they are AAL beer alternatives to the BMC beers. While I duly note your discussion on the history of the Grain Belt beers (there is no need to debate that you are the ‘master’ of American beer history) I am of the opinion that there is a desire amongst a fairly large segment of beer drinkers to drink an AAL beer that is not a BMC beer.

  6. darky

    darky Savant (270) South Dakota Apr 16, 2010

    This awesome news!
  7. runfoodrun

    runfoodrun Savant (335) Minnesota Jun 18, 2008

    Seems like a lot of money for a "crafty" brewery to spend.

    JK of course. Schell's has been on an amazing run lately, producing some wonderful, and rarely brewed styles. All solid, can't wait to try their Barley wine.
  8. Well, I'd say that even among the non-geekery, Yuengling Trad. Lager and Shiner Bock are seen as something "other" than AAL (even lumping both light lager and light beer into that category) - a bit darker, just a little roasted malt flavor. Plus, the latter has the "bock" term (even if it was always lighter than normal for the anemic US bock style). Both appeal to people looking for something "different" but...(when handed an SABL or SNPA).... "Not THAT different!"

    I'd say that the 20 million barrels or so (10% of the market) that is still sold by Pabst, Crown, NAB and the few other AAL breweries in the US and Mexico proves that better than Grain Belt's successful revival by Schell. But (other than the Mexican AAL's) generally non-BMC adjunct beer is a diminishing market.

    NAB's Genesee brand is a fraction of what it was two decades ago when they brewed close to 4m bbl.

    Pabst was actually up for 2012, the first year they've been up since they bought the bulk of the Heileman/Stroh portfolio. Although that's still about a third of what they sold when they peaked in the '70's - back when they primarily marketed 3 brands not the 30+ they have now. And they're still a "small brewer" according to the Brewers Assoc. definition ;)

    As for the original topic, I think Schell's Grain Belt success is interesting given that it's an "acquired" label and one that had been (as I understand it) generally neglected by the two previous owners*, and reduced to one more also-ran discount brands. So, in that case, it's closer to Narragansett's story.

    * From what I remember, the spun-off Minnesota Brewing seemed to put more effort into it's "Pig's Eye" and "Landmark" labels and, of course, in contract brewing. The east coast even saw Landmark and Pig's Eye distribution. But I have no idea what Grain Belt was selling under Heileman and MBC.
    Bluecane likes this.
  9. lionking

    lionking Savant (320) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2006

    What was Shiner brewing as their flagship before Shiner Bock became year round? did they produce some AAL beer.
  10. Yeah, just Shiner Premium Beer, a standard AAL.

    Pretty sure there was a recent story that they've re-introduced the label.

    Like most US brewers, they did have a seasonal bock at times (US bock popularity had it ups and downs after Repeal).

    Ranbot likes this.
  11. beergurujr

    beergurujr Savant (435) Illinois Oct 27, 2003

    Gotta love Jess Kidden. Cheers!
  12. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,355) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Verified

  13. Three (simple) things.

    1) Awesome news.
    2) Please ship to Missouri.
    3) SERIOUSLY, more Burton Ale, please!
    Bitterbill likes this.
  14. JamesMN

    JamesMN Savant (410) Minnesota Jul 12, 2012

    I've had a lot of Schell's offerings and never been all that impressed. Which ones should I be seeking out?
  15. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poobah (1,355) Wyoming Sep 14, 2002 Verified

  16. Schells Hopfenmalz is one of my fav beers. A very nice hoppy lager
  17. mellowmark

    mellowmark Advocate (510) Minnesota Mar 31, 2010 Verified

    Schell's makes awesome beer. This is great news!
  18. It seems that the Shiner Premium Lager is just a re-packaged Blonde. From the thread you linked:

    “New Shiner Premium Lager used to be Shiner's flagship product and Shiner Bock was an offshoot (Think Michelob & Michelob Amber Bock). When Shiner Bock took off as their #1 seller, they renamed Shiner "Premium" Lager to Shiner Blonde (thus making IT the offshoot of their now flagship Bock).

    Blonde/Premium was the first product that Shiner took to market.”

    I took a tour of Spoetzl last fall and the tour guide stated that the Blonde was the original lager that head-brewer Kosmos Spoetzl brewed circa 1915. I personally have a hard time believing that the Blonde (Premium Lager) they are brewing today is the same recipe since it is such a light beer (light in color and light in flavor).

    IMHO, the Shiner Bohemian Black Lager is a very, very tasty Schwartzbier!

  19. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (350) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    Hi Jack. They have a mix six that has a pilsner,stout,bock and I can not remember the rest. I like them all but none are earth shattering. take care.
  20. Thank you for your input! The one Schell beer that I find intriguing (from reading about it) is their bock:

    The new Bock is more of a German rendition--2 kinds of German Munich malt, German Vienna, and 3 kinds of German Caramunich malts. Schell's also used a German lager yeast that is very different from their normal lager yeasts.

    According to German law a bock must be at least 16 Plato, so that's what the starting gravity of this beer.”

    If I ever get a chance to taste this beer (i.e., Schell’s expands their distribution to Eastern PA) I will try it!

    Permit to regal you with a different Bock story that I posted in a thread on the Germany forum:

    So, permit me to tell a story. I was recently in Lake Placid, NY with my wife and a bunch of friends cross country skiing. My wife and I stopped at a Rite Aid to pick up some stuff. In the Rite Aid there is a beer in multiple refrigerators. While my wife pick up the needed items I briskly went to see what beer was available (the supply of homebrewed beers I brought was getting low). I spied a twelve pack of Genny Bock beer (in cans). My wife sees me take it out and immediately asked: “Why are you buying that?’ What she was really asking was: Why are you buying that crap?” I replied: “I want to try it”. She asked me several more times over the course of 2-3 minutes: “Why are you buying that (crap)?” I was actually getting a little bit irritated. I paid $6.99 for twelve beers; what a deal!! So, we went back to the house we rented. I changed into my swim trunks and took my twelve pack to the hot tub. Now, I will readily admit that Genny Bock is not a craft beer but it sure was an enjoyable beer to drink while soaking in the hot tub after an exhausting day of cross country skiing (in 7°F conditions). I would guess that Genny Bock is ‘similar’ to Oettinger in that there is nothing exceptional about the beer but it is my now means “bad”. I would go so far as to say that if somebody is exhausted from cross country skiing and soaking in a hot tub that Genny Bock is the perfect beer for that exact situation.


    P.S. Several other of the people in the hot tub tried the Genny Bock and they enjoyed drinking it. My wife did not drink a single Genny Bock (she only drank my homebrewed beers). My wife is such a beer snob!;)
  21. premierpro

    premierpro Savant (350) Michigan Mar 21, 2009

    Thats a good story. Thanks for sharing!