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Mar 6, 2014 07:06 AM

Flashback.........HOME BEER circa 1985-89

A response in my Pabst Blue Ribbon thread gave me a flashback to this beer from my high school days. I'm from NJ and there was only one liquor store that sold this beer, it was simply called HOME beer. It was a plain white label with brown H O M E and beer underneath it. If memory serves me correct, it only cost about $5 or maybe $10 a case, I can't remember which it was, but it was CHEAP. The funniest thing about it, we would buy it and I swear we could stick it in the freezer for half an hour, take one out pop it open, take a sip and it would still be room temp. lol it was impossible to get it cold, we use to drink it on ice.

Anyone else remember this beer? Sold at Service Liquors on Amboy Ave in Perth Amboy, NJ. I lived about 15 min car ride from this liquor store. When I was in high school I use to drive my moped (15-16 years old) park it around the block from the store and walk in wearing my leather jacket and motorcycle helmet to get served. I would then take my case or two and tie them onto the back fender of my moped and drive the 30 mins home. How I never got pulled those were the days.

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  1. Was it independently brewed, or part of a multi-brand portfolio?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TombstoneShadow

      I honestly have no idea but I would assume it was independently brewed. I did a google search and the first page only came up with home brewing kits etc. That's why I wondered if anyone else had any memory or experiences with it.

    2. It was sold by the mini chain of Home Liquors

      1. Brewed by The Lion in Wilkes-Barre, PA, better know then for economy brands Stegmaier, Gibbons, Bartels, Liebotchaner Cream Ale, etc.

        11 Replies
        1. re: JessKidden

          Don't they also do a lot of contract brew, maybe 6 points?

          1. re: MOREKASHA

            Yeah, The Lion has done a lot of contracting over the years (tho' the Home Beer would probably more properly be called a "private label/store brand" deal, since the Home Liquor chain was not a brewery) - one of the earliest I recall from them was bottled Manhattan Gold they did for the Manhattan brewpub.

            In Sixpoint's case, owner Shane Welch would quickly correct you and say that it's not a contract brewing arrangement, it's an alternating proprietorship. (Of course, AP's are considered by most to be a type of contract brewing).

            Sixpoint is now doing some of the brewing and canning at the Schlitz-built, former Stroh and Coors facility in Memphis that City of La Crosse, WI now owns, and runs as their "Blues City Brewery" subsidiary. Since Sixpoint still does not list actual brewing site on their labels, there's no way to tell where their beers were actually brewed and canned.

            1. re: JessKidden

              For those not up on arcane brewing regulations, an alternating proprietorship indicates that the brewery for which the beer is being made essentially takes over the producing brewery and runs it for a brief period of time as if it's their own. They are likely to have their own people on hand to participate in brewing the beer.

              1. re: JessKidden

                Alternating proprietorship? Sounds like a Passover thing to me, where you "sell" your business to someone for a dollar, for a limited time, then it reverts back to you. This way, technically you are not violating any laws about producing beer, bread or what ever during the Passover holiday.

                1. re: MOREKASHA

                  I'm not the expert, but I believe it has tax implications. For example, a brewery with relatively low sales figures might use this arrangement to pay a lower tax rate, whereas a larger brewery producing beer for them under a contract might incur the higher rate assessed on large brewers.

                  1. re: Jim Dorsch

                    More than most anyone would need to know about AP's at

                    Contrary to what a lot of brewers who use the AP model claim, it is not strictly about using their own employees vs. the host/contractors employees. From the above:

                    "Host brewery employees may engage in the production of beer at the brewery on behalf of the tenant. TTB recognizes that a tenant brewer may not find it practical or desirable to provide his or her own employees or brewmaster at the host brewery and does not expect use of tenant employees for beer production when this function is part of the agreement with the host."

            2. re: JessKidden

              If you don't mind me asking how did you know this? Just curious, did you ever drink it?

              1. re: jrvedivici

                Yup, I've had a 6 points a bunch of times. My comment wasn't meant as a knock just a question. It's a well known fact the 6 points canned brew is NOT made in Brooklyn but PA.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  I read the label. :)

                  Yeah, I probably had it (a buddy of mine lived up in that north Jersey area and it's the sort of beer he'd buy for "everyday" drinking) - was probably the same beer they put in Stegmaier and other of their bottles.

                  Even still have the original ad from their sales paper (and, I'm sure cans and labels are common in the breweriana hobby).

                  "Sierra" was Pittsburgh Brewing Co.'s short-lived superpremium - circa late 1970s, IIRC.

                  (Never tried to post a photo here - looks like if you click the clipped jpeg below, you'll see the entire ad).

                  1. re: JessKidden

                    Wow, interesting ad. You couldn't really say "throw-away bottles" today. And, if you are thinking about selling a beer called Sierra, you'd better make sure you have a good lawyer.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      Well, "throw-away" (often abbreviated as "T/A") was common industry terminology when "deposit/returnable" bottles were also still routinely available in the US.

                      With the advent of mandatory bottle laws in various states, many bottles that had deposits on them were no longer actually refilled (and were usually confusingly "throw-away" bottles) so the industry renamed them "refillable" bottles - well, before they all-but-disappeared completely (Straub being one of the last users).

                      Of course, one might consider the modern glass "growler" to also be a "reusable/refillable" bottle. But unlike in the past, when a brewery charged beer drinkers a token, refundable deposit (such as 2ยข per 12 oz. bottle, $1 total on a case for the bottles and reusable cardboard "shell") and did the cleaning/sterilizing of the empties before refilling, the modern "craft" brewer makes their customers BUY the bottles (often at inflated prices) AND clean them themselves.