After nearly a quarter of a century, Old Style is coming home to La Crosse, WI.
In 1999, Pabst, which owned the brand, moved production of this iconic Midwestern beer east to Milwaukee, after nearly a century of production in La Crosse. Old Style was first brewed in 1902, as Old Times Lager, at the G. Heileman’s Brewery.
But this November, Old Style will be back. “Bringing back Old Style (production) to La Crosse is part of a bigger plan with Pabst moving all production to the City Brewery network,” says Adam Powers, brand manager for Old Style, Stag and Stroh’s.
City and Pabst are separate businesses with different ownership, but Pabst is expected to be one of City’s top customers, Powers points out.
“That being said we know how important the Old Style brand is to La Crosse, so we decided to move the production of Old Style beer back to its original home,” Powers says. “Production will start this November in La Crosse and fully be transitioned by the end of the year.”
The City of La Crosse is excited about the move, and there are several events planned to celebrate Old Styles return. “We are always excited to welcome businesses to our fair city, and we can down proclaim an enthusiastic cheers to a comeback kid,” says Mitch Reynolds, La Crosse mayor. “The homecoming of Old Style is a testament to our brewing heritage and a testament to the timeless appeal of this beloved beer.”
Old Style will be brewed at the City Brewing facility in La Crosse, says John Kims, senior vice president of brewing operations for Pabst. “We will embrace modern techniques while preserving the traditional craftsmanship that has defined Old Style for generations,” Kims says “The brewing operations team has decades of experience and is dedicated to ensuring that each sip delivers the same authentic taste and quality that patrons have come to love.”
La Crosse’s famed Oktoberfest, which annually draws in 150,000 celebrants at the end of September, will toast the iconic beer during the World’s Largest Six-Pack Pub Crawl. To follow in November, a special event will be hosted at the site of the World’s Largest Six-Pack, a national treasure and impressive beer storage system still in operation at City Brewery.
La Crosse bars will exclusively feature custom Old Style tap handles, bar signs, pint glasses and flags. The return of Old Style to La Crosse not only symbolizes the revival of a legacy but also the enduring connection between the beer and its place of origin, Powers says.
“We are thrilled to finally bring Old Style home,” says Powers. “We’re eager to reconnect with the community that nurtured the origins of Old Style, and we hope these events will honor the deep history this beer has with the people and culture of La Crosse.”
For more information on the move and the events celebrating Old Style beer, check the beer’s pages on Instagram and Facebook for dates and times for each event.