In a victory for brand loyalists, Carlton & United Breweries is bringing back the iconic Reschs Silver Bullet cans after a long-running campaign by the Reschs Appreciation Society.
Unaffiliated with CUB, the group is a grassroots movement with more than 7,300 members on its Facebook group. It aims to become a “powerful force for good in the liquor industry” and support the pubs and venues which are still stocking Reschs.
Something about Reschs has captured the imaginations of both the public and members of the Appreciation Society, and it caused waves after being named the nation’s favourite beer last year.
Now, CUB has listened to the brand’s superfans, and brought back the Reschs Silver Bullet cans, which were replaced with bottles back in 2005.
Matt Henricks, who founded the Reschs Appreciation Society in 2010, said it was a great achievement for the Society.
“It’s a big deal in a couple of major ways,” he told Brews News.
“First of all, we all call the current stubbies the Silver Bullet anyways, that’s how iconic the cans were originally.
“We believe that Reschs has been left to die on the vine, but we think it’s the best beer on the planet and have been really frustrated by the lack of investment and marketing.
“So we’re excited about the can coming back, not just because it’s the return of an Aussie icon, but also the tide is starting to turn and Carlton is starting to invest in this hidden gem they’ve got.”
He said the biggest thing for them is that the Reschs Appreciation Society logo features on the new cardboard cartons.
“Having our logo on the case is significant for us. For CB to support a completely independent entity in this way is amazing, it’s a source of huge pride for all of us,” Henricks explained.
“That’s the power of the people. Over the years it’s been a difficult balance, CUB love what we’re doing, but they also know we’re completely independent.
“I see this as just the start of what we’re hoping to achieve, and it’s a great platform to build on. There’s a whole bunch of things we’d like to influence with Carlton, and work in closer collaboration with them to do those things.”
The 375ml cans of Reschs Pilsener will replace the 375ml glass bottles although CUB said that the 750ml glass bottles will still be sold, as well as Reschs Draught being available in select NSW pubs.
Reschs marketing manager Hugh Jellie said in a media statement the reason that the company had stopped making Silver Bullets 15 years ago was because sales were down.
“But the Society’s passion has helped us realise this was a mistake,” he said.
“They’re a great bunch of men and women who love bonding over good beer and we love to support them.
“With their support, a cracking design and delicious beer, the new Silver Bullet could be a big success. And we’re hoping it will kick-start a Reschs renaissance across NSW and beyond.”
While Reschs has been considered a NSW beverage, it is brewed at CUB’s Yatala site, although Henricks said this hasn’t ever been a major concern for him.
“It doesn’t bother me, I’ve never really pinned CUB down too much about that, if it’s brewed up there it may help us infiltrate Queensland too! Venues up there that stock Reschs have increased dramatically year-on-year, and the main thing from our perspective is that people across Australia are drinking it.”
The Society has been involved throughout the process of re-launching the Silver Bullets, voting for the return of the cans as well as for its preferred packaging, and to mark the Silver Bullet’s return it will hold a live-streamed event from the Imperial Hotel, Paddington, on Saturday 15th August.
Henricks explained that the group was ramping up its fundraising efforts, and actor Cameron Daddo will attend the event to announce the Society’s collaboration with his mens’ health charity Men’s Team. Alice Resch, great granddaughter of Reschs founder Edmund Resch, will also be attending to mark the occasion.
“Members are giddy with excitement,” Henricks said. “With the launch of the Silver Bullet it’s dawning on us that we are a real force in the industry, and hopefully a bit of marketing we become an unstoppable juggernaut,” Henricks said.