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Eric Strader
Eric Strader
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He's a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach, special education paraprofessional, who likes to read, bike, hike, and canoe.

Drewrys Brewing Company to Return to South Bend

Posted on Jan. 7, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.

Drewrys Case Original case from the South Bend Drewrys Brewery. From my breweriana collection.

Many locals will remember Drewrys Beer as a local brand brewed in South Bend until November of 1972, when the last case was shipped from the plant.  For nearly 40 years, Drewrys was brewed in the original Muessel Brewing complex until it was taken over by G. Heileman Brewing Co. and eventually shut down. After decades, the new Drewrys Brewing Company announces plans to revive the historic brand in 2013 and return to it's roots in South Bend.

Press release:

South Bend, Ind., January 7, 2013 -- Drewrys Beer, once a popular brand throughout the Great Lakes region, is being revived.  This announcement will take place at the South Bend Brewfest on January 12th. South Bend was home to this iconic working class brew at the height of its popularity, and the new owner intends to make South Bend a big part of the brand’s revival. Francis Manzo, a Chicago-based entrepreneur, acquired the Drewrys trademark and incorporated as the Drewrys Brewing Company in 2011.

With plans for the first bottles to roll off the line in 2013, Mr. Manzo has already taken several steps towards this goal, including SEC filings for an initial public offering.   Though Drewrys was popular through the Midwest, Mr. Manzo plans to establish South Bend as ground zero for launch of the new product.

“For years, South Bend was Drewrys' home and there are still folks here who worked in the brewery.  Its departure came at a tough time for South Bend, but I think this community still has fond memories of this iconic brand.  That’s why I wanted begin its revival right here in its original home town.”

Manzo is now seeking investors to bring the brand back to market as soon as possible.  He intends to use contractors to brew the beer and is committed to involving the local community as much as possible.  To demonstrate this commitment, he has retained South Bend-based PR and marketing firm Ugly Dog Media to help market the restored Drewrys brand.

Though the new Drewrys beer is still months away, the restored company will be introducing itself to South Bend beer lovers with a booth at the South Bend Brewfest being held this Saturday, January 12th at the Century Center.  Those seeking more information or interested in investing in the company can find more information at the website  at  www.drewrys-bigd.com .

“We are looking to this community to bring the Drewrys brand back to life”, says Manzo.  “South Bend has been through a lot since Drewrys shut down, and I've seen the incredible Renaissance that has been taking place in the city center. I am proud to be able to include Drewrys as part of South Bend's economic resurgence."

Drewrys was originally a Canadian beer company that expanded to the US after prohibition was repealed.  In 1936 it took over the original Muessel Brewing complex on Elwood Road in South Bend and continued brewing there for nearly 40 years.   Drewrys grew to become one of the most popular regional beer brands in the Midwest until the 1970’s when it was taken over by G. Heileman Brewing Co. and the South Bend operation was shut down.

Drewrys bottlesOriginal Drewrys bottles from my breweriana collection.


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