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“My beer is Rheingold, the dry beer.”  Man, that is a great line and it is completely true. This really is a dry beer.  Rheingold is pretty great. You know how some Champagnes are drier than others…it’s like that.  It has a very unique taste and to me, it really is very refreshing.  It’s becoming a true favorite, something you can drink a couple of with no problem.

I tried this beer on my retro beer can tour.  PBR was the entry.  Since, I’ve had Schlitz and Schaefer, as well.  All have been pretty good, and all about $6-$7 for a 12 pack!  Can’t beat that.  Recession specials all the time.  Anyway, Rheingold is not quite as cheap nor is it as easy to find.  It was about $10 for a 12 pack at the local beer distributor.

Here’s a little history from WikiPedia:

Rheingold Beer, introduced in 1883, is a New York beer that held 35 percent of the state’s beer market from 1950 to 1960. The company was sold by the founding Liebmann family in 1963. According to the New York Times, “Rheingold Beer was once a top New York brew guzzled regularly by a loyal cadre of workingmen who would just as soon have eaten nails as drink another beer maker’s suds.” Its VP-Technical Joseph Owades claims credit for Rheingold developing the first light beer.

Rheingold shut down operations in 1976, when they were unable to compete with the large national breweries. Corporate consolidation and the rise of national breweries led to the demise of dozens of regional breweries. The Orange, New Jersey brewery was the last facility to close. The company shut down four years after the construction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center was completed. During the cleanup of the WTC site following the collapse of the towers on September 11, 2001, numerous Rheingold beer cans were found in the rubble, having been hidden in the beams of the building decades earlier by construction workers who had drunk the beers on the job.

During the interim period, it appears that the name was most likely licensed to the Miller brewing company for an inexpensive beer sold primarily in the northeastern part of the United States.

The label was revived in 1998 by Terry Liebmann and partner Mike Mitaro.  According to an October 18, 1999 New York Observer article, Mitaro’s Rheingold Brewing Company LLC bought the brand in 1998. Liebmann is a relative of Rheingold’s founding family. When Rheingold re-launched, they revived the Miss Rheingold pageant. The new Miss Rheingold contestants no longer wore ball gowns and white gloves–“They had tattoos. They were pierced. They were badasses.” In 2003, the Village Voice noted Rheingold for “the best marketing campaign co-opting hipster drinking habits.”  In 2004, Rheingold stirred controversy in New York City with a series of ads which mock New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on smoking in bars and enforcement of city laws which prohibit dancing in bars which do not have a “cabaret license.” Bloomberg responded by drinking Coors in public.

In 2005, Drinks Americas of Wilton Ct., whose iconic brands include Trump Vodka and Dr. Dre Cognac, purchased Rheingold Brewing. Drinks Americas has reformulated the Rheingold product for follow through distribution throughout the US. The date of the release is currently unknown.

Well, it’s back and it seems like it’s being marketed as “New York’s beer.”  I fully support having a local, cheap, everywhere beer.  I noticed that Narragansett beer is like that in Rhode Island…all over the place and maybe $2-$3 a pint! I would love to see this all over the place. I do love PBR, but this could be right next to it. NY needs it’s own.  There’s a lot of breweries in NY now, and it’s great, but many are very crafty, heavier type of producers.  There needs to be an “everyday” beer for all, too!

Check out these old time ads.  Awesome:

Even better, here’s a old time ad. That jingle is great. I wish commercials were like this today! Talk about being “hyper local.

Here’s a little sample of the great Miss Rheingold!

If you can find it, I would really recommend it.  It’s a bit of history, but it’s a good bit. Drink up and let me know what you think.

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