Old Milwaukee

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Old Milwaukee Beer
Type American-style lager
Manufacturer Pabst Brewing Company
Introduced 1849
Alcohol by volume 4.6%
Website oldmilwaukee.com

Old Milwaukee is a brand of American dry lager owned by the Pabst Brewing Company and consists of four different brews—Old Milwaukee Lager, Old Milwaukee Light, Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic, and Old Milwaukee Ice. Old Milwaukee is brewed throughout the USA and various packages are currently distributed in all 50 states and in select international markets.


Old Milwaukee Beer was first brewed in 1849 as a value priced beer by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. In 1982, the Schlitz Brewing Company and the Old Milwaukee brand were acquired by Stroh Brewery Company of Detroit. In 2000, Stroh's and all of its beer brands and recipes were acquired by Pabst Brewing Company, where the brand currently resides.

Canada is one exception: in 1999, Sleeman Breweries of Guelph, Ontario (a division of Sapporo Breweries) acquired Stroh Canada, becoming the Canadian manufacturer and distributor of Old Milwaukee.[1][2] The purchase doubled Sleeman's volumes, although the Old Milwaukee brand competes on lower margins than premium beers.[1]

In 1987 Old Milwaukee introduced a beer/party ball to the market.[3] It contains five gallons of beer. The "Beer Ball" was first introduced by F. X. Matt (at the time called the West End Brewing Co.) of Utica, New York, and that brewer coined the name "Beer Ball". Matt's first Beer Ball hit the market in 1977 and by 1982 it was being used by 10 other US and Canadian breweries.


All four Old Milwaukee brews have won top honors at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup. Over the past 10 years, Old Milwaukee Light has won more awards than any other light beer in America.[4]

Old Milwaukee Light was awarded the Gold medal in the category American-Style Light Lager at the 2008 World Beer Cup.[5]

All four brews have won numerous awards at the Great American Brew Festival including:[6] Old Milwaukee Lager:

  • 1997 GABF – American-Style Lager – Bronze
  • 1998 GABF – American-Style Lager – Silver
  • 1999 GABF – American-Style Lager – Gold
  • 2003 GABF – American Style Lager – Gold
  • 2004 GABF – American Style Lager - Gold
  • 2010 GABF – American Style Lager - Silver

Old Milwaukee Light:[7]

  • 1997 GABF – American-Style Light Lager - Gold
  • 1999 GABF – American-Style Light Lager – Gold
  • 2003 GABF – American-Style Light Lager – Bronze
  • 2004 GABF – American Style Light Lager – Silver
  • 2005 GABF – American Style Light Lager – Gold
  • 2006 GABF – American Style Light Lager – Gold
  • 2007 GABF – American Style Light Lager – Gold
  • 2008 GABF – American Style Light Lager - Silver
  • 2011 GABF – American Style Light Lager – Gold

Old Milwaukee NA:[8]

  • 1995 GABF Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage – Bronze
  • 1999 GABF – Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage – Gold
  • 2002 GABF – Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage – Silver
  • 2004 GABF – Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage - Gold

Old Milwaukee Ice:[9]

  • 2001 GABF – American-Style Specialty Lager - Silver


In 1991, Old Milwaukee ran TV ads featuring the fictional "Swedish Bikini Team". [10]

In 2013, Will Ferrell recorded a series of ads for the company.[11]

In 2014, Old Milwaukee teamed up with the Packard Brothers to create the Pass Me a Beer series. The latest release features Nick Packard and Tim Higgins completing challenging and comedic beer tosses for the Pass Me a Beer Summer Finale. [12]

Tasting profiles[edit]

Old Milwaukee Lager: A tried and true brewing process and fermentation profile to convert a variety of hops and six-row blend malt into an award winning, full-bodied, carefully balanced American-style lager. Old Milwaukee has a creamy mouth feel, slightly malty flavor with a hint of corn, low to medium hop bitterness, and a clean finish

Old Milwaukee Light: Similar in malt ratio to Old Milwaukee, but differs in its mashing profile, shifting the balance of extract and alcohol to an American-style light lager beer. The hopping protocol is similar to the full calorie version so that the taste character and aromas are retained.

Alcohol content/nutritional value[edit]

Type  % Alcohol by Weight  % Alcohol by Volume Carbs Calories
Old Milwaukee 3.6 4.6 12.5 145
Old Milwaukee Light 3.1 3.82 8.3 110
Old Milwaukee Ice 4.6 5.9 14.4 179
Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic 0.3 0.4 12.1 58


External links[edit]