18 October 2016
Glendale (Milwaukee), WI – In the 1970s and 80s, Malt Duck was a very popular adult beverage.
Although it disappeared from store shelves in the 1990s, it lives on in various social media
platforms including facebook, blogs and chatrooms that recount fond memories and good times
featuring Malt Duck. Aware not only of the nostalgia for Malt Duck but also the expressed desire
for its return by an ardent fan base, Sprecher Brewing Company worked closely with its
distributors to see if something could be done to revive the brand.
After learning the mark had been abandoned, Sprecher registered the mark and began working
on a contemporary version of Malt Duck that would pay homage to its past while appealing to
contemporary taste preferences. Sprecher’s brewmaster, Craig Burge, decided to make a
rendition with wide appeal that did not require added sugar. For Burge, “fruit seemed to be the
logical starting point, and Concord grape quickly emerged as the best choice to create the
balance of flavors we wanted.”
Sprecher president Jeff Hamilton sampled several diverse focus groups & found that Burge’s
blend of premium beer and Concord grapes appealed to a large majority in all age groups (21+),
including those with nostalgic memories of Malt Duck and those who had never tried it.
Overwhelmingly, the tasters noted that they enjoyed how the Malt Duck started sweet and
finished dry, “a bit like a wine; a bit like a beer.” Some were reminded of Cold Duck. Those
apprehensive that the beverage would be too sweet found just the opposite. Most deemed it
Best enjoyed when cold, Malt Duck is 5.9% abv (alcohol by volume). Packaged in 12 ounce
bottles and 6 packs, it will be available in stores and bars throughout Wisconsin starting mid-
October, with future rollouts to additional states planned.