Schlitz Happens

December 9, 2010

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Every Thursday, Zengage brings you a classic correspondence from the Write The Company archives.  (For more, see our interview with Write The Company.)

Schlitz Happens

Schlitz happens to be an interesting name. That’s why I happened to select them for this letter…

Dear Schlitz Beer Brewers:

I think one of the coolest names for beer is Schlitz. How did the name come about? Did someone get so drunk they couldn’t talk straight and the Schlitz hit the fan?

Can you also please clear up a rumor I’ve heard about beer? If you pour beer on a snail, will it disintegrate (the snail, not the beer)? Kind of like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz when she was “mellll-ting … mellll-tinggg!” I’m curious as to what beer could do to someone’s stomach if they went to a seafood restaurant and ordered it with escargot.

If there are any other weird rumors you’ve heard about beer that aren’t true, please share them with me so I can ignore them.


A Pabst Brewing Company Representative responded with

The Pabst Brewing Company wants to thank you for sending your kind comments about Schlitz beer. Schlitz beer was named because of the Joseph Schlitz the founder and owner of the brand. We appreciate the fact that you took time out of your busy day to write us.

I am not sure if you poured beer on a snail if the snail would disintegrate. We don’t recommend animal cruelty. We request that you look for a search engine that can answer your question.

Pabst Brewing Company appreciates your product loyalty. If we can be of further assistance, please write to me at the above address.

Final Thoughts

Schlitz happens to be right about not recommending animal cruelty. Bringing harm to snails wasn’t the purpose of my inquiry at all. It was to determine if beer, when mixed with snails, or in this case escargot, would have any interaction in the stomach. It’s interesting that Schlitz didn’t suggest I try a search engine for an answer, they requested I do, so I did.

I learned that snails do find beer irresistible. That’s unfortunate because they’re lousy swimmers. Many people are not only drowning their sorrows in beer, but also their snails by setting beer traps. I’m not sure if “disintegrate” is the right word, although some articles pointed out that alcohol destroys their body tissue. On the other hand, salt seems to make snails shrivel up. Now I’ll have to write a salt company to see how that comes into play with escargot. I spent about 60 minutes researching this, which did not make for a happy hour. Google “beer, snails” or “snails, salt” if you’d like to take it from here. But remember, beer and live snails don’t mix, although beer’s relationship with eaten escargot is still unclear. You may also enjoy this article, “32 Things You Can Do with Beer.”

Schlitz happens to be “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous.” Its colorful history dates back to the 1800s. After enjoying huge popularity, things changed, and those who loved the beer found themselves up Schlitz creek when production stopped. After acquiring the rights to Schlitz in 1999, Pabst Brewing Company brought the brand back. Here’s more about the return of Schlitz and the original formula’s comeback.

Next time you’re in the mood for a beer, see if Schlitz happens to be available. However, if you’re trying to lure a brand out of its shell, one approach is to Write The Company.

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