More behind the Straub re-branding effort

ny beer aficionado knows that all beer doesn't taste the same. A lager, a pilsner, an ale-- people want to know what's inside the bottle or glass before they try it. That's a major reason why Straub Brewery is changing its packaging, labels, and marketing strategy and announced the changes late last month. Straub Brewery, Inc. President and CEO William C. Brock provided some history about the brewery business and how changes in the industry over the years have led to Straub's rebranding effort. "After Prohibition, all malt-beverage products were required to be labeled 'beer,' moving away from the more European designations of 'lager' or 'ales.' Over time, and specifically with the rise of the craft beer industry over the last 30 years, and due to the overwhelming types of beer available on the market, breweries moved away from the more generic term 'beer' to the specific style of beer they make," Brock said. "In the case of Straub, our beer is referred to as an American-style lager. While it definitely has Germanic roots, brewers in America used a different type of malt (6-row) which was easier to grow but required the addition of corn or rice to balance the flavor. In our case, like many others, Straub used corn."While the beer recipes will stay the same, according to Brock, the labels will reflect the history of the company and its hometown heritage. "We are a company that is 140 years old, so that really prevents us from being trendy, following fads or moving to the outrageous as we sometimes see on some of the new beer labels. What Straub did was go back to our roots," Brock said. "The Straub name is still very prominently displayed, as is the '1872 [year of the brewery's founding].' It is not only the Straub name that is important, but also letting people know that it is brewed in St. Marys, Pa. While we are several hours from Pittsburgh, and even further from Philadelphia, the fact that Straub is a Pa. beer gives it a 'local' feel, and to many people that is very important."Brock said the rebranding effort will help people understand the appeal of Straub products, as now the beverages, all American-style lagers, will be labeled properly according to their category. He said one reason Straub should be able to grow in new markets is that it is a "sessionable beer," meaning someone can have a few Straubies during happy hour without getting super-sloshed.