Friday, April 4, 2008

NYT: Politics from the glass-lined tanks of Old Latrobe

Long-time Pitcher This readers may recall my erstwhile fondness for Rolling Rock, and my concern for the fortunes of Latrobe, Pa., where it was once produced. I wrote a column last year relating to Anheuser-Busch's purchase of the brand, and the decision to move production to New Jersey. City Brewing later bought the shuttered Latrobe plant and began using it to brew Samuel Adams under contract (along with other brands?).

In advance of Pennsylvania's looming presidential primary, the New York Times today carried a story exploring the thoughts of Latrobe's citizenry on the election, and particularly on Barack Obama. It is hard, though, to talk about Latrobe without mentioning beer. From the story:

Latrobe is probably best known as the birthplace of Rolling Rock beer. The label was sold to Anheuser-Busch, and brewing was moved in 2006 to Newark.

A new company came in that employs fewer people, mostly at lower wages.

“I’m making $5 an hour less than I did before,” said Rick Musick, who parked his truck outside the brewery just before the 5 p.m. shift.

Sounds like things in Latrobe haven't improved all that much. My only suggestion to help those folks out: Drink more Sam Adams.