Pig's Eye Brewing

Discussion in 'Midwest' started by HoppyJoe328, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. HoppyJoe328

    HoppyJoe328 Initiate (0) Sep 28, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Does anyone know if these guys are still brewing? It seems they maintain an active website, I have tried to contact them only to have emails bounce back as undeliverable.

  2. CavemanBrau

    CavemanBrau Initiate (181) Apr 5, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Pig's Eye Lean was my go to as a college kid (2005ish). $9.99 a case, sure! Let's get lean! Store employees told my buddies and me that we were the only people who purchased the stuff.
  3. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,933) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I see the website is "under reconstruction" but presumed email addresses were active up until recently? Up 'til a year or two ago I saw retail placement for the cans.
  4. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Schells owns the brand and has been brewing it in New Ulm for almost a decade.
  5. brewseum

    brewseum Initiate (91) Nov 11, 2004 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Phil Gagne (former MN Brewing Co. brewmaster) and another guy bought the name from the MN. Brewing creditors and contract brewed it in LaCrosse and Stevens Point over the years. I believe there was a recent "settlement" that may have changed that,which they are not too happy with.

    They are the same guys that also brew Pit Bull Ice Malt Liquor in the larger cans.
    Chaz likes this.
  6. deadbody

    deadbody Aspirant (296) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader


    No they don't. It was brewed at City in Lacrosse until about a year ago. Owned by a dude who just contracted out the brewing.
  7. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Odd because I swear the last time we toured Schells they had it in their sampling room and said they were brewing it? That was in 2004.
  8. deadbody

    deadbody Aspirant (296) May 10, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    They might have been doing the contract brewing then, but they haven't been for a long time.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,256) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    There are two TTB COLAs dated 11/18/13 for can labels for Pig's Eye Pilsner, so it doesn't sound like the beer is dead. Many more COLAs for their other brands (Pit Bull, Lean, Milwaukee Select) approved around the same time.

    Interesting thing is the beers are still listed as being brewed at City-La Crosse but the dba brewery name is now "Evans Brewing Co., La Crosse WI" and the COLA was filled out by a company called BevLaw.
    #9 jesskidden, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
    Chaz and BrettHead like this.
  10. BottleCaps80

    BottleCaps80 Defender (606) Jan 12, 2013 Iowa
    Beer Trader

    Legit one of the worst beers I've ever had. Worse than Stroh's.
  11. muck1979

    muck1979 Initiate (153) Jul 3, 2005 Minnesota

    Stroh's was good back when it was "fire-brewed"....right? Right?
    BottleCaps80 likes this.
  12. allouez86

    allouez86 Aspirant (204) Jan 24, 2009 Wisconsin

    I remember a buddy got a keg of Pigs Eye for a party in college about 9 years ago. It was awful. Nothing of note to contribute to the thread, just thought you'd all like to know about my Pigs Eye experience.
  13. Chaz

    Chaz Poo-Bah (1,933) Feb 3, 2002 Minnesota
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Short but sweet, eh Barry? :wink: You can take the following as a shorthand account of what transpired:

    After Minnesota Brewing Company closed in 2002, the Pig's Eye brands were purchased by Phil Gagné and Jeff Crawford, the former brewmaster and vice president of sales (respectively) for the very same company.

    In 2003, Gagné and Crawford successfully re-launched the flagship, Pig's Eye Pilsner brand, and eventually introduced an expanded family of Pig's Eye brands (e.g. Pig's Eye Lean, which became Pig's Eye Light). With the contract for brewing and packaging their brands undertaken at both Stevens Point and La Crosse breweries they also successfully introduced several other brands and families of beer (including the Milwaukee Select family).

    In 2013 the Pig's Eye brands (including the new brands introduced by Mr. Gagné and Mr. Crawford) were purchased by the Evans Brewing Company -- see this 2014 PDF, and the following from Evans Brewing Company's SEC filings:
    While the Pig's Eye family effectively ceased being 'Minnesota brands' in 2014, Brewers Association and other sources continue to list the previous corporate address to this very day.

    For what it's worth, the email contact at the (functional) Pig's Eye website re-directs to the original Evans Lager website (evanslager.com) which in turn re-directs to the present Evans Brewing Company site.

    As to whether the Pig's Eye brands are still being brewed in 2016, I am unsure.

    While the Pig's Eye labels continued to be approved with La Crosse (City Brewery) listed into late 2014, I haven't seen any packages in the original home market in many years.

    Finally (and for what it's worth) 2015 was a big year for Evans Brewing, as they purchased Bayhawk Ales. But that's a entirely different matter which you can delve into at your leisure. :sunglasses:
  14. hamham

    hamham Initiate (37) Oct 26, 2011 Minnesota

    i've got a can of circa 2007 lean if anyone needs it to complete a vertical.
    accordselux likes this.
  15. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Last time I was at Schells in New Ulm, in 2004, they were brewing Pigs Eye.
    #15 MNPikey, Feb 18, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2016
  16. Atom13

    Atom13 Initiate (176) Jun 29, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Was it 2003 or 2004?!!!!!!!!!!
  17. MNPikey

    MNPikey Devotee (415) Feb 27, 2011 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Actually it was 2004. I got engaged on the grounds there that day. Forgot was year it was...oops!
  18. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,577) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    It was
  19. unterhopft

    unterhopft Initiate (126) Dec 20, 2008 Minnesota

    Sorry, but when MN Brew went under, we only purchased the Grain Belt labels. We were looking to get out of the contract business, and Premium brought an abrupt end to that. It was way more than we could handle those first few years, and pretty much the only box I remember closing during college in the bottle house. I think Phil relaunched Pigs Eye out of LaCrosse.
    Chaz likes this.