Stroh’s Looks To Tap Into Michigan’s Craft Beer Market With Return To Detroit

“Stroh’s was craft before craft was cool,” says Brand Manager Eric Phillips.

“I like to say there’s this dormant love for Stroh’s. The people just needed a reason to re-engage with us,” says Phillips. 

Jake Neher/WDET

The Stroh Brewing Company took hold in Detroit in the mid-1800s and eventually became one of the largest beer companies in America.

But the company faced tough times in the latter-half of the Twentieth Century and ended up leaving Detroit in 1985.

The Stroh label is now owned by Pabst. And that company hopes to reconnect the brand with Detroit. It’s launching a new brew under the Stroh’s name, a Bohemian-style Pilsner, which will be brewed right here in Detroit.

Stroh’s Brand Manager Eric Phillips joins Detroit Today to talk about the move and the new product, which will be available only in Michigan stores starting August 22.

“I like to say there’s this dormant love for Stroh’s. The people just needed a reason to re-engage with us,” says Phillips.

He says the goal is to appeal to craft beer lovers who are fueling a renaissance in the beer world, while also staying true to the Stroh’s brand.

“We say that Stroh’s was craft before craft was cool,” he says. “You don’t get much more craft than delivering beer out of a wheelbarrow when you’re starting up. Using the finest ingredients, the innovation that Stroh’s used over the years with the fire brewing process and sourcing the highest quality ingredients from Europe. We’re taking that spirit and putting it into the product that we’re bringing out today with the Stroh’s Bohemian.”

Phillips says this might not be the last “new” or re-introduced brew we see from Stroh’s.

“We’ve got this great heritage of recipes that we have access to,” he says. “Stroh’s Bock, Stroh’s Signature, there’s these great beers that people remember that we have access to and can bring back should we decide that’s the right move.”

Phillips goes on to talk about the differing philosophies large “macro” breweries are taking toward operating in a new beer landscape, the history of Stroh’s in Detroit, and reflects on other companies who have utilized — critics would say coopted — the Detroit brand. 

To hear the full interview, click on the audio player above.


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