July 1975: The chair of Horlacher Brewing in Allentown, PA, tells a reporter that he’s “fighting like hell” to keep his doors open.
Struggling, more like it. Over the previous year or so, the price of malt had risen 120% and corn 100%. Cans had gone up 40 cents a case. The price of coal had risen from $15.75 a ton to $48.45. Horlacher’s city water bill was about to go up 72%. The company made 60,000 barrels of beer a year, a mere drop compared to A-B’s 1975 output of 35 milllion barrels. Just a few months earlier, Miller Brewing had unleashed Miller Lite on the world (along with millions of dollars in advertising.) And Schaefer Brewing of New York was making some of its six million barrels at a new and highly efficient brewhouse just down the road from Horlacher.
Horlacher’s fight ended in 1978.
Quote from “Kleine Nachrichten,” Modern Brewery Age, volume 26 (July 21, 1975), page 3.