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Lucky Lager Returns

Pabst announced today that they’re re-introducing Lucky Lager in the Bay Area. The iconic local beer has been absent from store shelves for four decades, but I’m pretty sure it was still around when I moved here in 1985. By then, according to Wikipedia, beginning in “July 1985, the Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, WA began to produce Lucky Lager in the US. In July 2003, this brewery was also closed. Lucky Lager continued to be sold in its original Northern California range at Lucky Stores supermarkets, which although not affiliated, sold Lucky Lager as an unofficial value store brand, until Lucky Stores supermarkets were bought out by Albertson’s and the name of the supermarkets was changed around 2000.”

But as long as I’ve been here, people have been waxing nostalgic about the brand. Apparently, it saw a lot of Bay Area folks through college and their lean years, as an affordable beer brand. And now, they’re bringing it back, albeit without the iconic label and a reimagined modern take on the packaging. I feel like appealing to the nostalgia for the brand — something Pabst knows a thing or two about — would have been a better idea, although only time will tell. On the plus side, it’s being brewed under contract by the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro. When I spoke to co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan, he told me it was under arrangement with Pabst to brew and can the beer for them. At 4.2% it could be a good session lager, something that could definitely be useful. I’m actually looking forward to tasting it, and part of that has to do with 21st Amendment’s involvement.

Here’s the press release from Pabst:

The Gold Rush and Tech Boom are iconic examples of the good fortune emanating from the Bay Area. San Francisco attracts visionaries and entrepreneurs willing to put in the sweat equity to make their dreams a reality. For most of the last century, Lucky Lager was the Bay Area’s beer of choice after a long day. Now, this Bay Area classic has been reimagined as a premium lager to inspire a new generation working tirelessly to turn dreams into reality.

Founded on the heels of prohibition, Lucky Lager became synonymous with the city of San Francisco and a favorite of the diverse cultures that call it home. In an effort to revive Lucky and restore its local roots, Pabst tapped San Leandro-based 21 st Amendment for help with brewing and canning, and San Francisco-based design agency Hatch to helm the redesign. “San Francisco is a town where anyone with a persevering mindset and dedicated spirit can get ‘lucky’ and strike it big,” said Matt Bruhn, General Manger at Pabst. “We want Lucky Lager to be your reward for a hard day’s work.”

San Francisco-based design agency Hatch created the new Lucky Lager can, a modern interpretation of the iconic original. Six packs present “Lucky” in one of five local languages heard every day on the streets of San Francisco, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. This new design concept is an initial nod to the area’s rich cultural diversity and a subtle reminder that luck is a universal phenomenon. “Lucky represents sketch dreams and napkin schemes; it’s a beer meant to celebrate both the wins and failures that pave the road to success,” said Nicole Flores, Creative Director at Hatch.

“Born in San Francisco, Lucky Lager is infused with the same drive, where “X” marks the spot for determination, imagination and desire that make the Bay Area so alluring. Such qualities are inherent to the beer and to those in the Bay who drink it.”

A unique, unfiltered lager that pours with a pale straw color and a clean white head, Lucky Lager introduces itself with the aroma of sweet corn, toasted bread and light notes of citrus fruits from delicate hops. At 4.2% ABV, Lucky welcomes you with notes of light malt, floral earthy hops, and slight honey, with a creamy and satisfying carbonation. It finishes crisp with a pleasant linger, proving that being Lucky is refreshing.

Lucky Lager is exclusively available throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. For more information on distribution and our story, please visit

The five different Lucky cans being prodiced.
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