Schlitz collectibles & memorabilia
Schlitz is an American brand of lager beer produced by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Wisconsin. Advertising memorabilia related to the brand is a popular area of breweriana collectibles.


The company was founded in 1849 by August Krug in Milwaukee, and was acquired by Joseph Schlitz in 1858.

Joseph Schlitz was a shrewd businessman. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, he donated thousands of barrels of beer to the city. He also built dozens of houses in Chicago with the company’s logo built into the brickwork of each, thus cementing Schlitz beer’s success.

In 1902, Schlitz became the top producer of beer in the world.

During prohibition, the company survived by changing its name from Brewing Company to Beverage Company. Following the lifting of prohibition, Schlitz once again rose to brewing prominence.

Advertising campaigns

Schlitz was known as ‘the beer that made Milwaukee famous’, and ran the slogan: ‘When you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer’.
During the 1960s and 1970s, they began producing merchandise to advertise their product, such as lamps to hang in bars and public places and other items that have since become collectible.

Collectible items of memorabilia

Schlitz Marklin model car
Schlitz Marklin model car

Variants and other products

  • Schlitz Old Milwaukee lager
  • Schlitz Malt Liquor
  • Schlitz Red Bull lager
  • Schlitz Light

Collecting tips

Schlitz is a popular brand of beer, having been at various points in history the top brewery in the world. It symbolises nostalgic American culture for many collectors.

Memorabilia can be found on online auction sites such as eBay, and at garage sales, flea markets, second hand stores and at auctions.

Often the most valuable items are the Marklin Schlitz model box cars, as here, two collecting categories collide.

Schlitz reverse glass advertising signs also see high prices at auction.

Notable sales

  • Marklin model Schlitz refrigerator car, sold for $25,000 at a Dirk Soulis Auction in 2012.
  • Schlitz Atlas Brau reverse glass advertising sign. Sold for $10,500 at Showtime Auction Services in 2009.
  • Schlitz reverse glass light-up globe sign, sold for $2,000 at Dan Morphy Auctions in 2012.

See also

Advertising collectibles
Vintage Budweiser collectibles and memorabilia
Ballantine collectibles & memorabilia
Blatz collectibles & memorabilia
Coors collectibles & memorabilia

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