Lucky Lager, a beer that was born in San Francisco in 1934 and grew to be become one California’s most of the prominent brands is returning after a many decade hiatus.
First developed by Eugene Selvage, the Founder and CEO of General Brewing Company (where he remained until 1961), Lucky Lager was launched in San Francisco via a series of sleek newspaper ads, billboards, and advertisements on street cars, becoming the #2 selling beer in California by 1937.
And the General Brewing Company, which basically only brewed Lucky Lager was its own fantastic brewing story back in the day.
Its first brewery, designed by Frederick H. Meyer, a prominent San Francisco architect, in partnership with George L. Lehle, a big-time brewery engineer from Chicago, was once the talk of the industry.
General Brewing was the most modern brewery of its time, a state-of-the-art facility with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per year and the almost unheard of capability at that time of being able to double its production if needed.
Lucky Lager garnered a huge reputation with consumers as high beer quality product, which unlike many of its post-Prohibition competitors of that era took the time to adequately age its beers. And standing proudly behind its brews, General Brewing Company posted a bond of $1,000 as a guarantee that the age-date of the beer was authentic.
Lucky Lager’s original marketing strategy, which relied strongly on its bold X packaging and label design, was uber-crafty and progressive for its time. And in 1939, the Pacific Advertising Club Association granted Lucky Lager the highest award for its distinctive beer package.
After WWII, General Brewing entered a period of rapid expansion…opening new breweries in Azusa, California (1949), Vancouver, Washington (1950), and Salt Lake City, (1960) to keep up with increasing demand.
Lucky Lager became less lucky in the 1970s. General Brewing was sold several times over…and the once proud brand fell to the times and indifferent ownership.
But now Pabst (who own US distribution rights) has decided to bring the legendary West Coast brand back and they hired a significant bay area craft brewery 21st Amendment to oversee its return.
“The brand’s well-known X logo has been re-imagined for the 2019 version by San Francisco design agency Hatch” according to the Mercury News. And the “five can designs feature the word Lucky in several languages heard in the Bay Area: English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.”
H/T to Wikipedia for its considerable help with this article.