Goodbye, Michelob Original Lager.

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Scottsbeer, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    Despite loving great beer I will admit that I have usually had some original Michelob in the refrigerator for the past 30+ years. It is (was) an inexpensive, readily available, mass produced macro lager available at corner gas stations and grocery stores that actually had some flavor. I kept it around for company and enjoyed them myself as a not great but not bad beer.

    Evidently it is no longer available in my area. I stopped at the corner convenience store last week to pick some up and was told that it has been discontinued. This beer has been around forever and despite declining sales due to many factors it was always consistent and in my opinion a reasonable option for an inexpensive readily available macro lager.

    I reached out to the local AB InBev distributor to see if the local store was just not carrying it anymore and it was still available elsewhere. Just got this email response this morning "It looks like our last Michelob package has just been discontinued, we no longer have this brand available. Sorry, it just didn't sell enough to keep it around."

    I guess I need to find another option for my always on hand gas station beer. Hope the Yuengling is fresh.
  2. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Sounds like it was your local AB house which discontinued carrying it, not that Anheuser-Busch no longer brews it. Still on their TAP INTO YOUR BEER website MICHELOB LAGER (not that websites aren't often incorrect).
    AB's toll free number operators usually have the accurate story.
    1 (800) 342-5283
    (1-800-DIAL BUD)
    #2 jesskidden, Apr 27, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  3. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (0) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    My first beer, aged 9. I still think it's among the best in category. Not easy to find these days.
  4. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (3,896) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Wow, that's too bad. Normal Michelob became an all-malt lager something like 10-12 years ago and was pretty damn tasty even if it probably needed some more hops.
    On top of that, several of the other Michelob beers like Dunkelweizen and Marzen were quite good. In at least a couple cases, they were well liked AB pilot beers from the Ft. Collins location.

    I think my fondest Michelob memories are from the Casino Royale in Las Vegas. They had $1 Mich bottles with no limit going back to the early 2000's.
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  5. honkey

    honkey Maven (1,314) Aug 28, 2010 Arizona

    That actually happened at my distributor here in Southern AZ as well. We were able to get it in Phoenix though. A friend of mine is a GM for Chili's and he ordered me a case of bottles. It actually was a bit of a hassle for him to get it too, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually discontinued.
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  6. NYRunner

    NYRunner Crusader (408) Nov 5, 2018 New York

    Wow, memories! I graduated from high school in the late 1970s, and that was our go-to lager, in those wonderful brown bottles!
  7. keithmurray

    keithmurray Pooh-Bah (2,721) Oct 7, 2009 Connecticut

    Have not seen this beer in many years
  8. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    Always liked this beer, I did not pay attention it was going away. That sucks.
  9. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Paying for drinks in a casino? When I was in Vegas in 2008 I was getting a gratis bottle of SNPA at every slot machine I plunked. Sure wasn't looking for Mich.
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  10. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Zealot (695) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    I suppose I should enjoy the few Michelob Amber Bocks that I have while I can. It's a shame that perhaps soon, the only association Michelob will have will be those tasteless, watery Ultras.
  11. Domingo

    Domingo Grand Pooh-Bah (3,896) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    They still have the waitresses circling around, but it's a pretty elaborate game to spend less than the cost of a $1 beer while you're waiting for them. There's also the tip for each one, which offsets things. I honestly like Michelob, so I'd usually buy several and wander with them. That deal is gone now, though. They went from $1 to $2 and eventually $3 (same price as their craft beers) before the Casino Royale dropped Michelob altogether. A $3 Black Butte is still a pretty rockin' deal, so I'm okay with that. A lot of the free drinks options don't include SNPA or Guinness anymore, but just about everyone has Stella and Sam Adams.
  12. scottakelly

    scottakelly Initiate (0) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    It's been awhile since I've seen Michelob Lager in Ohio as well. It used to be a go-to for me at bars that priced it similar to other domestics. One of those beers that disappeared and I unfortunately did not notice it.
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  13. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Just checked the web site from the place I buy beer. $27.55 a case in stock 30 of cans is $27.99

  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    You may want to buy them now. Might not be there next visit?

  15. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I'd have tipped anyway, so that wasn't a factor when I wasn't paying $8 for a beer. :slight_smile:
    I figured that might have gone away, too bad. Couple of spots I was also getting Gordon Biersch taps on the house for feeding the slots. Was a fun time.
    Junior likes this.
  16. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

    All of you lamenting the passing of the Michelob line, check the link @jesskidden posted, the beer is still being brewed in all its ilks.
    cavedave, plaid75 and Bitterbill like this.
  17. billandsuz

    billandsuz Pooh-Bah (1,951) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    In the very least Michelob had a foil neck wrapper.

    And you have to admit, if a beer bottle could be sexy, that bottle is fishnets, heels and red lipstick. Or whatever your thing might be.

    Still I don't miss it, have not bought it since college, maybe?, and don't really care if it's gone.
  18. Mvsmvs92

    Mvsmvs92 Crusader (432) May 31, 2011 Ohio

    Fond memories of buying cases of Michelob for .99 for a 6pk at the local Grand Union in Pompano Bch Fl early 70's
  19. hottenot

    hottenot Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2018 North Carolina

    I will check our local Food Lion here in NC and get back to you.
    They have been pretty reliable about having Michelob.
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  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Those early bottle labels (60s and 70s) were paper with a metallic finish, perforated just below the crown so they split off nicely when opened. Nicer than some of those more difficult imports where the actual foil was glued to the neck.

    That first design (left - an Industrial Designer Institute award winner from Jerome Gould) gave AB a lot of trouble so they did a slight re-work (right) to make them more stable. "Every fifth bottle fell off the bottling line," according to one article, which referred to the original as the "perfume bottle" shape.​
  21. Giantspace

    Giantspace Pooh-Bah (2,757) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Not a drinker of Michelob anymore. Was a beer I drank in high school and occasionally in college. I did curbside so I did not get to look to see if this was still around.

    I opted to get 2 week old Jai Alai for $27.59 a case. I know I talk bad about this beer quality wise but I took a chance at the price and freshnes. I will report back.

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  22. bsp77

    bsp77 Pooh-Bah (2,123) Apr 27, 2008 Minnesota

    That 70s bottle really is gorgeous
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  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Grand Pooh-Bah (3,169) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Please do.

    A month+ ago I was in Florida (St. Pete & Cocoa Beach) visiting friends. The Jai Alai I had on draft was very good! The cans were hit or miss. Maybe the 'good' cans were those that were refrigerated for much of the time?

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  24. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Michelob was the beer we choose to serve at our wedding, That was is 1981when Michelob was considered a top shelf brew. Still drink it once in a while now.
  25. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Grand Pooh-Bah (3,229) Nov 4, 2015 New York
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I had one of those revamped bottles ,empty, that my dad got in a 6pk he bought. Wonder if that was when they were transitioning?
    Lost it in the flood of '11. Wooden shelf in the cellar floated off the floor, & dumped everything.
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  26. nc41

    nc41 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Worst decision ever to stop their unique bottle, I do buy it when I see it. Bring that bottle back.
  27. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Yeah, that would have been pretty much smack dab at the peak of Michelob's heyday. In '81, it was the Sixth best selling beer in the US at 8.3 million barrels, so around 5% market share.

    That sounds damn cheap alright. AB slowly brought Michelob's suggested retail price down - and their marketing/pricing strategy differed from market to market based on a number of conditions - a few years after it's release it was nearly twice the price of a Budweiser sixpack in NJ in 1964 ($2.25 v $1.25)*.

    Here's AB's full line-up's pricing in another Florida store's AD in 1972:

    * According to the DoL's Inflation Calculator those prices, in today's dollars, equal:

    1964 sixpack at $2.25 = $18.79
    1972 case at $5.99 = $37.62
  28. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    The local distributor for AB InBev for me is no longer carrying it so I can't get it in my area. It has been tougher and tougher to find over the years, most people don't even know what Michelob is these days except for the tasteless Michelob Ultra. I wouldn't be surprised if the Michelob Original Lager disappears completely in the near future since the AB distributor in Daytona Beach ( a big time beer drinking, festive kind of place) no longer carries it because sales are so low.

    An excerpt from

    These are the beers Americans no longer drink.

    1. Michelob

    · Sales loss (2006-2011): 72.0 percent

    · Brewer: Anheuser-Busch InBev

    · Barrels sold (2011): 140,000

    American consumers have abandoned Michelob -- a lager brewed since 1896 -- at a faster rate than any other beer. From 2006 to 2011, sales declined from 500,000 barrels to 140,000, with a 20 percent drop between 2010 and 2011 alone. No other beer on this list sold less than Michelob. The next-lowest selling beer, Amstel Light, still sold 200,000 barrels more than Michelob last year. The brand has not always struggled. According to Beer Marketer’s INSIGHTS’ Eric Shepard, “the superpremium category -- basically between Budweiser and the imports -- Michelob pretty much had that to itself for many years.”

    They abandoned the foil/paper and the curvy " fishnets, heels and red lipstick" bottle a while ago. Maybe that contributed to the decline.
  29. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Assuming Budweiser was #1 what beers were 2,3,4, +5? I'm guessing in no order Miller Lite, Schlitz, PBR & Coors.
  30. steveh

    steveh Grand Pooh-Bah (3,988) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society

  31. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,253) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Just slapping lipstick on a pig?

    I'm with you though. I haven't had a bottle of original Michelob since I was in college (so probably close to 40 years ago now), and I remember at the time being pretty underwhelmed by it. Haven't had any interest in revisiting it since then, though I did try a bottle of Michelob light roughly 10 years ago. It was dreadful
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  32. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Ha. Ya know, I was gonna list 'em... but figured "TMI" for some folks. :grin: You're pretty close - missed High Life (Schlitz was well-into its tumble into oblivion...).

    Yeah, I was going to look for that article (well, series of articles...) since I recall they listed Michelob's then current tiny barrelage.
    #32 jesskidden, Apr 27, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  33. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    Article is 8 years old but the decline has continued. Michelob was always Budweiser with "lipstick and fishnet stockings" but at least it had some flavor for a gas station beer. I don't want to share my good beer with in laws and some neighbors who think Bud Light is good and sometimes I just like to drink an inexpensive mediocre beer. Michelob was my go to for these occasions but since it is discontinued in my area I will find another acceptable, inexpensive gas station beer.

    And there was no "freaking out over assumptions" Michelob is not available in the Daytona Beach area because the AB distributor has discontinued it. I will not be posting ISO FT posts for it but it was an acceptable inexpensive gas station beer that is no longer an option for me.
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  34. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Oh, I wouldn't say that. In that period - 1960s-1980s (previously it has been an all-malt beer, one of the few in the US, and available only in kegs) it was certainly different than Budweiser - only 2-row malt, all imported hops, smaller percentage of rice adjunct.

    I had it fresh at the brewery in Columbus Ohio in the late 1970s and it was the hoppiest US lager beer I'd ever had up to that point. Granted, it never tasted that good before or again to me - the industry scuttlebutt had always been that the recipe conversion to an adjunct bottled product wasn't as successful as they'd hoped, tastewise, but the sales figures more than made up for it.
  35. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Zealot (695) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    I guess distribution for this thing has been pretty spotty, not giving it a fair chance from the outset. What has caused the drop in sales for this beer? The same trend towards light beers?

    In any case, that’s a shame. It sounds like a beer I’d like. I guess the closest thing to a light all-malt lager would be Heineken or a craft lager?
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  36. Scottsbeer

    Scottsbeer Initiate (0) Nov 3, 2017 Florida

    I didn't know that they started using adjuncts in Michelob. The Budweiser comment was more about AB InBev than the malts. According to

    "Michelob Original Lager is a malty, full-bodied European-style premium lager. From its inception to today, it stands out as a distinctive, high-quality beer for connoisseurs.

    Our Original Lager is brewed traditionally, using European noble aroma hop varieties and a 100-percent-malt blend of the finest two-row and caramel malts. It is fermented and aged with our classic lager yeast strain, and cold-matured for balanced crispness."

    No mention of rice.
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  37. Singlefinpin

    Singlefinpin Pooh-Bah (2,108) Jul 17, 2018 North Carolina
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I have not drank this beer in over 40 years, so I wouldn't miss it if were to disappear.
    But the old bottles were very cool, and you'd be viewed as a pretty cool dude if you were drinking one of these back in the early 1970's, either this or a Heineken. LOL!
  38. EmperorBatman

    EmperorBatman Zealot (695) Mar 16, 2018 Tennessee

    With that description, I suppose that Stella Artois is the spiritual replacement for it within the AB-InBev portfolio, except that the caramel malts must have made Michelob Original darker and sweeter than the Belgian import.
  39. jesskidden

    jesskidden Pooh-Bah (2,969) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    My post was about Michelob, circa 1960 - 1980 - its first two decades as a bottled (and, later, canned) product. The recipe was changed in 1961 when the beer was first packaged and the rice adjunct was added (usually quoted as being around 20% of the grain versus Bud's 30% at the time, IIRC). It was converted back to an all-malt beer in 2007.
    Circa 1970s ad text (labels also noted "rice"):
    #39 jesskidden, Apr 27, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  40. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,750) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Pooh-Bah Society

    It's still around locally.
    I bought a 6pack several months ago and I
    thought it was particularly bland. For an all malt, I was disappointed. Like I was when the likes of Erlanger, Andeker, and Augsburger were around.
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