Search this site and our local communities. Wisconsin History Search Only
You may now join, or renew your SLAHS membership using your PayPal account, credit, or debit card. Please use the following link to make a secure on-line payment.
Search this site
Pages from the Past
School History / Hamilton School District / Hamilton High School
Business History Index
Buy A Brick Donation
Lisbon Township Map – Interactive
Wisconsin History Search Only
Books / Publications
Local Area Historical Societies
Sussex Antique Power Association, Inc.
Wisconsin Brewery and Related
Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. Chronological History eBook
Tins, Bottles Pottery & More
Pauline Haass Public Library
WAUKESHA COUNTY, WISCONSIN
Historical Marker Database – Wisconsin
Lannon, Village of
State of Wisconsin Website
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Sussex Area Outreach Services
Click to Go Home
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
History > 1848-1873 History2 > 1873-1881 History3 > 1881-1907 History4 > 1907-1933 History5 > 1933-1969 History6 > 1969-1982 History7 > Post-1982 JSBC History Index
Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. : A Chronological History
edited and written by Michael R. Reilly, copyright 1995
Date of Last Revision 03/01/2015
wpe8.jpg (33128 bytes)
Schlitz had 35 carloads, 800 cases to the car, and uncounted trucks awaiting the “zero hour” signal to begin distribution. Many distributors in adjoining states had sent their trucks here also to add to the lines that jammed “brewery row” – Juneau Ave. from N. Jefferson to N. 11th Sts. As the clock chimes toiled past midnight, cases of beer slid swiftly down roller chutes to waiting trucks. An American Legion band at the Schlitz brewery blared out the “Happy Days Are Here Again” theme as the first case was hustled off to the airport to be flown to FDR, the man who had brought beer back (when President Roosevelt stopped and spoke here briefly from the platform of his train at the North Western station on a hot and thirsty day in August, 1934, the city’s nine breweries remembered their benefactor and sent cases of beer to stock the presidential train for the remainder of his trip. 7-192).
<-- Photo from Milwaukee Public Library The re legalization of beer - on April 7, 1933 - brought the promise of prosperity regained. Fifty thousand spectators milled around the breweries on the eve of the new day; and when 12:01 a.m. arrived, there was dancing in the streets, factory and tugboat whistles blew, and an American Legion band at the Schlitz brewery blared out, "Happy Days Are Here Again." The city's breweries, with plans for expansion already under way, had 15,000,000 bottles of beer ready for shipment across the nation, as the signal struck; and by the end of the year, sales had mounted to $30,000,000; nearly $10,000,000 had been spent in reconditioning plants, and more than 8,000 workers had been returned to brewery and allied pay rolls. "The Blatz brewery had to call out police squad cars when several hundred job seekers stormed the company employment office in a near riot. For a week after the big rush, the breweries issued a daily joint statement asking workers not to apply. The jobs were filled. "Other jobs opened elsewhere.... The A.O. Smith Corporation began production on the first steel barrels with an order for 200,000 to start." This early 1930's postcard isn't advertising Schlitz but it is interesting. Looks like someone making fun of Milwaukee's reputation for drinking though. "The Schlitz brewery hired a man to drive through Milwaukee streets for a week, bumping beer around in the new-fangled barrel to test for effect. There wasn't any - so steel barrels were here to stay." One hard hit industry was the "speakeasy" (or "soft drink parlors" and "wet cabarets") trade. It waned in the new era of beer and died altogether when liquor became legal, too. Others not happy were the malt and hops retailers, who had done a rushing business in 50 stores, selling to home brewers, had to close down. Within a few days, all but 10 of the stores had disappeared. 7-192 In 1933, after Prohibition, new Wisconsin state regulations prohibited the breweries from owning taverns and saloons. Schlitz realized the need for a second-tier brand - "popular-priced" brand in Old Milwaukee to help build sales volume in regions where shipping costs were not a significant factor. 24-225. In its first post-prohibition year, beer production soared to one million barrels. Erwin C. Uihlein, youngest son of August, headed the brewery at this time making improvements to the buildings covering eight city blocks. Joseph E. Uihlein, brother of Erwin, is first vice-president, George K. Uihlein, son of another pioneer brother is 2nd vice-president, and Robert Uihlein, another son of August, is 3rd vice-president and secretary. The address is W. Galena southeast corner of 3rd St.. Even after Prohibition ended, beer was still bottled by distributors - a 64 oz, half gallon Picnic bottle with the original bale and stopper still intact. BOTTLED BY JOHN LUCAS INC., ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING. Copyright 1934 is a fine example of early post prohibition methods of getting the beer to the beer drinkers. In this case, a rail car of beer brewed in Milwaukee was sent to Rock Springs and bottled there. Taverns, barrooms, and "cocktail lounges" take the place of the saloon. Tavern - keepers begin stocking beer in bottles being simpler to keep and maintain than draught. Sol E. Abrams is the JSBCo.'s representative in the United States Brewers Association in 1933. Don't Say Beer, "SAY SCHLITZ"; 1934 slogan. The gossip in 1934 was about the common council's banning of "come-on girls", the women who solicited drinks and plied an older trade in some of the newly reopened taverns. People also talked that year about the state code authority's order fixing beer prices at 5 cents for a seven ounce glass and 10 cents for a 14 oz glass. Gone was the big 32 oz schooner which had sold for a nickel, and later for a dime. "A nickel a Schnitt is too much!" was the cry heard in taverns. (Schnitt means "cut", in German, and hence, an abbreviated glass of beer.) 7-195 Metal ("Keglined") cans were first used in packaging beer in January 24,1935 by the American Can Co. in cooperation with the Krueger Brewing Co. of Newark, New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia was the first test market. The lining used in the first cans was developed by the Mobil Chemical Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa.. Owens-Illinois Glass Company introduces the "Stubby" and "Steinie" bottles (1935 - about late '40's). wpeB.jpg (23087 bytes) wpe5.jpg (8284 bytes) Schlitz introduces its crown-sealed spout top can; this can, known as "Cap-Sealed", was designed by the Continental Can Company. The introduction of the can virtually eliminated one of the obstacles for national breweries to compete with local and regional breweries, that is shipping/transportation costs were lowered substantially because of the can's lighter weight versus the glass bottle. Production mounted as the Thirties progressed. In June 1936, Pabst reported the best month in its history; and Schlitz, Blatz, and Miller were making shipments of unprecedented size. In 1936 and 1937, the major breweries undertook costly plant expansion, until 1940 the total value of brewery property in the city approached $20,000,000. By that date, their comeback had restored the industry to a position on the "Big Ten" list; and the output of the city's nine brewing establishments, valued at nearly $40,000,000, exceeded by 10 percent the value of production in pre-prohibition days. Functional construction characterized the $2,000,000 addition to the Schlitz Company's brewery, which was opened in 1937. The development of new and intricate machinery in the post-prohibition era revolutionized the style of brewing. Glass-lined, steel storage tanks replaced the copper kettles and wooden tanks of the nineteenth century. Scientifically diffused light and new style automatic germinating drums improved the malting process. Monster grain dryers and 400 ton ice machines dwarfed earlier apparatus of this type; and new mechanical casing equipment made it possible to insert twenty-four bottles into cardboard cases without resorting to manual labor. Comprehensive conveyor systems, in this as in other mechanical industries, symbolized the substitution of mechanical for human power; and outside the breweries, motor tractors replaced the rumbling, horse-drawn wagons of earlier day. Unusual pottery pilsner glass, c. 1936 wpe5.jpg (20959 bytes) Schlitz opened its Brown Bottle Hospitality room in 1938 and invited the press, including a copy editor from the Milwaukee Journal who claimed to be allergic to beer. He brought his own bottle. Before the evening ended, he threatened to throw Erwin Uihlein out the front door. That ended his Journal employment. 6-243 (note: Erwin began the Brown Bottle project back in 1936. Many of its furnishings and decorations were brought over from Germany. On a sad note, when Strohs took over Schlitz in 1982, many of these furnishings were trucked to Detroit to be used in the reconstruction of a similar establishment, the project never happened with many of the furnishings being given to local community centers). In Feb., 1939 the first "No Deposit, No Return, Not To Be Refilled " beer bottle is introduced by the beer industry weighing only 7 1/2 ounces compared to the 12 or 13 for the standard deposit bottle (throw-aways did not become a major beer container until the 1960's, in 1950, only 2.6 % of all packaged beer sales were in this type of container). To the right is the Schlitz Palm Garden pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. July,1940 the federal barrel tax is raised from $5 to $6; this was called the "Defense Tax". wpe6.jpg (17326 bytes) The era of the horse had a fascinating revival during World War II, the recall of the beer wagon in Milwaukee. In 1942 when gasoline rationing began, the Schlitz Brewery decided to resurrect the horse-drawn beer wagons, and until the end of the war in 1945 well-groomed horses with new harness, drawing freshly painted wagons were a familiar sight on the streets of Milwaukee. The wagons were built on truck bodies, and a complete stable of finely matched horses was obtained under the supervision of the well known judge of horses, Alfred Schwartz. Among the handsome animals was a "watch-eyed" team, a pair with white eyes, caused not by blindness but by a peculiarity in the breed. The Schlitz Company had discontinued the use of horses in 1918, after W.W.I. The wagons were not used for long hauls but for yard use and for hauling between the plant and the railroad station. On a Sunday morning, a line of these wagons could be seen going to the terminal down Wisconsin Ave.. The Schlitz "fleet" consisted of one three-horse wagon and twenty-one two-horse teams. They had a handsome show wagon, pulled by four well matched horses, with their tails expertly braided, and rigged with silver-trimmed harness. This wagon was a special feature at several State Fairs. 17-304 & 305. Driving all these team of wagons was not without mishap though. On August 5, 1943, Arthur Schwader, driving a three-horse Schlitz Brewery wagon was at North Water St. near East Michigan, when the line became snarled, the horses became frightened and turned sharply into East Michigan, throwing out driver, Schwader. The wagon side-swiped a taxicab near North Broadway, which struck a car and the horses continued galloping for six more blocks up to Van Buren St. where they were stopped by another brewery worker. None of the car's occupants were injured, but driver Schwader was critically hurt and hospitalized. 17-310 In 1944 the barrel tax rose to $8 per barrel with taxes paid to the government at the close of the fiscal year on June 30th of 1944 being $567,000,000 (by all breweries). 1947 shots of Kilroy's Tavern in Chicago After Repeal and even more so, after the end of WWII, the automobile and the beginnings of the national interstate highway system offered more flexibility in transportation. And when the ability to replicate its' product in another brewery, another state became possible, expansion rapidly took place. 24-217/218. Schlitz became the world's top producer of beer when it opened its brand new Bottlehouse on the west bank of the Milwaukee River in 1947. Soon after Milwaukee's first TV station went on the air, many city taverns installed TV sets; business picked up dramatically (most homes didn't have them). Milwaukee's breweries first begin hiring Negroes, 1948-1950. 16-330 & 362. February, 1948 the Milwaukee Polo Club becomes a member of the United States Polo Association. Summer 1948 - A 30 foot long brewhouse model is first exhibited at the state centennial exposition at State Fair Park in Milwaukee. 21-112. In 1949, Schlitz began its geographical expansion when it purchased a brewery, formerly owned by George Ehert, at 193 Melrose Street in Brooklyn, New York (This brewery traced its roots back to 1866, when Leonhard Eppig and Hubert Fischer erected the Eppig and Fischer Brewery; Ehert bought it after Prohibition ended). This was the beginning of the growth of Schlitz breweries throughout the country (and the world). The Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company celebrated its 100th anniversary holding five parties at the Milwaukee Auditorium and entertained over 25,000 guests. A replica of the Schlitz globe logo was frozen into an ice rink set-up for the occasion and a miniature version of "Holiday on Ice' was performed for the guests. A model of the old Schlitz Park was constructed along with murals depicting those times. The events were highlighted by speeches from Governor Oscar Rennebohn, Mayor Frank Zeidler and Schlitz president Erwin Uihlein. wpe2.jpg (13681 bytes) Postcard - the Brewery in 1949 1950 marked the manufacture and first (?) use of the Royal Ruby red (gold oxide enables the deep red color) beer bottles by the Anchor Hocking Glass Corporation for Schlitz's exclusive use. These were the "no deposit, no return" full quart size and the 7-ounce returnable bottle sizes. Because the bottles were being test-marketed (though they were marketed nation-wide) rather than full commercial use and that the quart was non-returnable probably accounts for its scarcity. Schlitz's corporate decision towards the end of World War II to expand got it to more than 5 million barrels sold in 1950. The label to the left is from a proof sheet; in 1951 the word Schlitz was changed slightly - notice, no leading tail coming into the "c" - look at earlier advertising. LUSTOUR CORP. Murphysboro, Ill, July 23, 1951 Schlitz a world record in 1952 by producing 6.35 million barrels of beer in a single year. The beer production was greater than the combined production of the brewery in its first 44 years. A 30 foot long model brewhouse is placed on exhibit in the Milwaukee Museum. The exhibit was first shown in 1948 at State Fair Park It was designed and built by Orville Stewart, a draftsman engineer at Pabst Brewing Co. Fifteen steps of the brewing process - from barley grain to bottled beer - is demonstrated. All processes from barley grinding to truck delivery of final product are visible through glass windows. MS3/13/1952. (Editor's Question - Whatever happened to this exhibit?) Schlitz's Milwaukee workers go on strike along with others between May 14 and July 28,1953 in order to win contracts comparable to East and West coast workers. The strike is won because Blatz Brewery accepts their demands, but Blatz is ousted from the Brewers Association for "unethical" business methods. 8-73. This set production back so far that in 1953 Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis took over leadership in the national beer market. 3-104 1954 - The following year Schlitz president Erwin C. Uihlein told guests at Schlitz' annual Christmas party that "Irreparable harm was done to the Milwaukee brewery industry during the 76-day strike of 1953, and unemployed brewery workers must endure 'continued suffering' before the prestige of Milwaukee beer is re-established on the world market." <---1950's tavern interior scene Schlitz opened a new 35 -acre brewery in Van Nuys, California during 1954, utilizing the most modern and efficient brewing methods known and had a capacity of one million barrels. This brewery was a completely self-contained operation and set the current trend in that direction. Unfortunately, this expansion caused sales to flatten out, and some industry leaders described the huge company as a "big lion dozing in the sun." 3-104 A number of Milwaukee breweries used to make it a practice of sending cases of their beer to the city's various newspapers' newsrooms, especially around Christmas time; at least one would send a case to a reporters home for his/her birthday. During the 1950's, the Milwaukee Journal adopted a policy of newsmen not accepting "gifts" with a value of over $5.00. The story goes that Ron Leys, head of the local copy desk, dropped off a case of his famous home-brew at Robert Uihlein's house after sampling a case he got from the Schlitz brewery for Christmas; he left his to return the favor. 6-433 Schlitz was able to rebound from the 1953 strike in 1955 to become the forerunner again and in 1956, but in 1957 it once more lost first position to the St. Louis brewer. 3-105 For fifteen years Schlitz and Anheuser-Busch had been battling each other for the number one position. In 1955 August A. "Gussie" Busch, Jr., out of frustration, made this remark about Robert Uihlein and Schlitz, " I'm so goddamn mad at that whole outfit; that son of a bitch Uihlein had swiped our men. They are the worst goddamn thieves on prices." 19-254 1955 1955 - James Dean with Pat Hardy on TV's Schlitz Playhouse of Stars. Morgen Dist., Chicago , IL. Schlitz was active in Kansas City even before buying the Muehlebach Brewery the following year. For example: Kansas City A's Schlitz 1955 Roster Book. 15 pages . It gives you background information about the players and the league and the A's Stadium, "Kansas City Municipal Stadium. It includes: A note from the Pres. Edwin C. Uihlein, Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co.. A little bit about the Pres. of the Athletics, Inc. also the manager Lou Boudreau .Schedule of the A's 1955 season, Ticket information, A roster of the Pitchers, catchers, infielders, outfielders. Also World series Results from 1903-1954. The back cover : The Fighting A's on the Schlitz Baseball Broadcast, with Larry Ray and Merle Harmon. In 1956, Schlitz purchased the old George Muehlebach Brewery in Kansas City and after a massive renovation of the facility it held a formal dedication the following year. This plant was considered one of the nation's safest, winning the President's Award for Safety Performance three times, most recently in 1965, which gave the plant (company) permanent possession of the plaque. wpe8.jpg (5709 bytes) Joy Farm Polo Club joins the U.S.P.A.. in March,1956. 1957,Vice-president Robert A. Uihlein, Jr., grandson of August Uihlein, turned a shovel of sand, officially marking the start of construction of a new plant in Tampa, Florida. Anhauser-Busch surpasses Schlitz in production. Schlitz begins the short-lived "Schlitzerland" promotion with the Bavarian village theme. 1958 - "Move Up To Quality - Move Up To Schlitz! slogan February, 1959 had R.A. Uihlein, Jr., Sol Abrams (general manager) and other officials greet over 5,000 guests to a five-day Tampa plant opening celebration. March 1959 marked the beginning of the Milwaukee "Battle of the Banks". It was the Marine National Exchange Bank who wanted to build the 28-story Marine Plaza against the First Wisconsin Bank with the Uihlein family closely supporting it. Eliot G. Fitch, the Marine's general, opened this climactic battle by remarking that opponents of the Plaza " are throwing all the chairs they can in our way." Then he declared: "We are being attacked by the First Wisconsin National Bank, the Uihleins and a few property owners... This is a direct attack on them. They have never done anything for this community." Erwin C. Uihlein fired back by saying, "What the hell's wrong with that man? I'll go down there and straighten him out! He's speaking untruths." ( Journal cartoonist, Ross A. Lewis produced a drawing that summed up the situation. It showed an Uihlein crouched behind a barricade of beer barrels, his squirrel rifle at the ready, while a warrior who looked suspiciously like Fitch was approaching in a rowboat marked the Marine Bank and firing a cannon ball straight at the brewer's top hat. in the background was City Hall, where aldermen and other alarmed officials could be seen hiding or fleeing for their lives.) 11-249 1959 - Schlitz' Kansas City, MO. brewery won first place for its' record of no disabling injuries during the year. Presentation by the United States Brewers Foundation. 21-83 Charles P. Fox liked parades like anyone else but his favorite was the circus. Before long, he was director of the newly established Circus World Museum in Baraboo. He wanted to hold a circus parade in Baraboo but while looking for sponsors, Ben Barkin, the public relations firm that handled Schlitz's account, introduced him to Robert A. Uihlein Jr. . After a 20 minute discussion Mr. Fox had his backing and the Milwaukee annual Fourth of July circus parade got its start in 1962. 11-262 In 1960, Schlitz promoted the Old Milwaukee brand of beer making it the nation's fastest growing beer. Sol Abrams retired after 70 years in 1961 of service (the only employee to attain the position of general manager who was not related to the Uihlein family) Sol was against the marketing of a less expensive beer, namely Old Milwaukee. Shortly thereafter, Robert A. Uihlein, Jr. was elected president and Erwin Uihlein became chairman of the board. wpeA.jpg (21863 bytes) For the first time in 1961 the tradition of not selling Schlitz stock outside the family was broken. Mrs. Frances Higgins Uihlein Pheiffer, whose marriage to George E. Uihlein aroused considerable interest in Milwaukee society during the 1920s sold off 75,000 shares at $1.50 per share. The bride was described as the daughter of a humble family whose beauty and talent attracted the attention of Henry Uihlein's son, George, while she was still a schoolgirl. Uihlein was 11 years her senior. According to accounts published at the time, he sent her East to a fashionable finishing school. But when she came home she married a prominent Milwaukee physician, Dr. Samuel Higgins, and Uihlein married a divorcee with two children, Mrs. Clara Post. Two years later the latter marriage ended with Clara awarded $1 a year alimony, the smallest amount ever set in a Wisconsin divorce case. The following year, Dr Higgens and Frances were divorced and in 1928 Uihlein and the former Mrs. Higgins were married. Before George died childless in 1950 at the age of 69, he followed the custom and made a will designed to insure that the Schlitz stock would stay in the hands of descendants of the original brothers. His $7 million was left in trust for his five nieces and nephews. His wife was to get the family home at 3562 N. Lake Dr. ,Shorewood and a $60,000 annual income from the trust. Frances took the matter to court and was awarded her dower right of a third of the estate. Four years later, she married the American ambassador to the Dominican Republic, William T. Pheiffer. 9-3 Once the tradition had been broken, more Schlitz stock went on sale but still in 1972 the Uihlein family retained an 82% total share. 9-3 1961, David V. Uihlein purchases the Oshkosh Brewing Co. ; sells it in 1969. The Pittsburgh Brewing Co. first uses the "tab top opener" for its Iron City beer in 1962; this had been developed by the Alcoa Aluminum Co. in the late 1950's. The Old Milwaukee Days celebrations were initiated in 1962 during the Fourth of July holidays under the sponsorship of Schlitz. The 12-ounce and the 16-ounce "no return" Royal Ruby red bottles are issued by Schlitz, this time only in the Midwest. 1962 - "real gusto in a great light beer" slogan. With two serving tray examples below. This one may have been used until at least 1965 - SCHLITZ 'REAL GUSTO' BEER SERVING TRAY. THE BACK OF THE TRAY SAYS "FORM 176-R9 C1965 JOS. SCHLITZ BREWING COMPANY MILWAUKEE, BROOKLYN, LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO, KANSAS CITY AND TAMPA! Also in blue/green color. Schlitz's 1963 acquisition of Burgermeister Beer made a new appearance on the beer market with a light premium beer approach. Californians were impressed by the new image and sales went up 17% the following year. As a result, Burgermeister was marketed in nine western states so that between it and Old Milwaukee, Schlitz had a popular priced beer in every state but seven. JSBCo. began to market Schlitz Malt Liquor in 1963, a premium product, with less carbonation and a higher alcoholic content than beer, eventually became the fastest growing malt liquor brand in the nation. (A note about the origin of the BULL found at an eBay auction - Circa 1925-1930 unused mint condition real photo postcard view of Henry Uihlein's prize winning bull.. "Prince" taken in front of the barn at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid, New York in the Adirondack Mountains. Henry Uihlein was heir to the Schlitz Brewery/Beer Company and a 70 year resident of Lake Placid, N.Y. "Prince" was the star of many early paper Schlitz beer and malt liquor advertising campaigns and was the center piece of a couple advertising trays. The original barn at Heaven Hill Farm can be seen in the background. Postally unused and in mint condition. Inscribed on the back "Prince at 2 years 4 months" ) wpe9.jpg (20074 bytes) During 1963, Schlitz undertook the total sponsorship of Old Milwaukee Days and introduced the first of the great Fourth of July circus parades (was it 1962 or 1963?). Schlitz also sponsored many other events, including a nation-wide tour of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Watts Festival. One of JSBCo.'s most significant innovations in 1963) was in packaging; being the first brewery to introduce "soft top" aluminum cans and later the "pop top" or "pull-tab" beer can. During the early 1960's Schlitz was among the major breweries that began to advertise heavily on television. Increased sales were the result. It was during those days that Schlitz began using the slogan "Real gusto in a great light beer." In 1966 this gave way to ,"When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer." Both were sung everywhere, bringing more prominence to Wisconsin brewing. 3-105 Schlitz officially acquired the Hawaii Brewing Company from Beatrice Foods also in 1964 and by the next year, Primo beer sales had climbed at a phenomenal rate and this operation then began to run on a 24-hour basis. Primo made brewery history by gradually capturing 70% of the Hawaiian beer market, holding this position until 1971. In 1965 ground was broken in Hawaii for a new brewery. As the old Primo brewery was phased out the new one produced and shipped its first barrel in 1966. The courts ruled in 1966 that Schlitz had to dissolve its interests in the Burgermeister operations and over a three year period was sold to Meister Brau brewing operations. The Schlitz brewer, like Pabst and Miller, maintained a keen interest in the Milwaukee community and donated large amounts of money to various projects over the years. Milwaukee's Performing Arts Center, near the site of Kitty Williams' vanished hospitality center, includes Uihlein Hall, a memorial funded by a million-dollar donation from the brewery. The opening night saw Uihlein Hall filled to capacity with tickets costing $100 each. 11-267 For many years Schlitz also sponsored the Circus World Museum's Fourth-of-July parade in downtown Milwaukee. In addition, the Uihlein family donated land for the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and contributed generously to the city's zoo, museum, and polo grounds. 3-106 1965 A newly opened plant in Longview Texas began operations; the new 135-acre brewery had a capacity of over one million barrels annually after it opened in 1966. 1967 sees JSBCo. introduce the ABF process (accurate balanced fermentation or accelerated batch fermentation) ,where every yeast cell is held in active suspension in the fermenter until it has converted the sugars to the desired amount of alcohol. ABF was devised as a control over beer quality and uniformity. It hastened fermentation by 10 days and allowed a 25 % increase in the brewery's production capacity (this process was widely adopted by other brewers). But the word was out among beer drinkers that Schlitz had changed the taste of its beer. The rumor was that the beer was still "green", not properly aged. While some thought the taste change came from the new process, others thought that it was due to the kind of barley available in the mid-1970's (some believed that Schlitz had switched from barley to corn). 1967-69 - "When you're out of Schlitz, you're out of beer." slogan Initially, the altered Schlitz beer was thought to possess several advantages. A lighter beer, one which the public had begun to demand, resulted from the new recipe. An aftertaste was eliminated, encouraging beer drinkers to consume more. Also production costs were trimmed by as much as fifty cents per barrel. Yet, as it appeared to the public, Schlitz was cutting on quality in order to increase profits-and was ruining the taste of the beer in the process. 1969 saw JSBCo. become the first American brewery to enter the European Common Market when it acquired S.A. Brasserie de Ghlin, Belgium's 3rd largest brewery. The brewery expanded on the international level by acquiring interest in three Spanish breweries - La Cruz del Campo,S.A., of Seville; Henniger Espanola, S.A. , at Madrid; and Cereceras Asociadas,S.A., at Barcelona.