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New Pabst owner sees strong future for brands.

In a recent interview with the Milwaukee Biz Times, new Pabst owner C. Dean Metropoulos gave Pabst Blue Ribbon his vote of confidence, and said the company would work to similarly revive its other national and regional brands.

Mr. Metropoulos said that the new owners would be careful not to tamper with Pabst Blue Ribbon, saying "it is the one brand that we probably feel needs the least change ... Something is working very well with it, and we want to be very careful observers of that."

Mr. Metropoulos said he saw potential in reviving Colt .45, given the evolution of the malt liquor category. He said, "Colt 45...has an incredible opportunity to get back to its original roots and grow to fit other growing niches that have evolved over the past two, three, four years ... in that malt category."

Mr. Metropoulos also noted the off-overlooked quality heritage of Old Milwaukee. "Old Milwaukee is a very value-oriented brand," he said, "but people don't realize that Old Milwaukee has earned 30 percent more medals for its light beer, gold medals, than its nearest competitor. There are a lot of great consumers who like their traditional brew that has great flavor and at the same time is very value-oriented. We need to focus on that consumer and not worry about what the Heineken consumer is. It is a different consumer, and we want to stay true to the old Milwaukee brand."

Metropoulos also gave a nod to the rich trove of once-great regional brands that stock the Pabst portfolio. "Old Style is as respected in Chicago as any brand you can get, " he said. "1 want to focus on a regional strategy that brings back the meaning of Stroh's in Ohio and Detroit and Lone Star in Texas and Rainier in Seattle and Oregon and National Bohemian in the Atlantic states, and Schlitz in Milwaukee. These brands have great traction and have good, positive momentum in their growth trends. There is, I think, another thing that is going on in the country and the craft brewers have identified that--the desire to come back to our roots by creating an identity between our consumption patterns and a product that is more local. There is an opportunity to create significant penetration with some of our regional brands that already have momentum and are well-recognized in a lot of these regional markets."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Jul 23, 2010
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