Joel Sandrey was shocked.
Cellar Rats Brewery was searching for a new name for its popular pilsner and he thought it’d be cool to name the beer P.O.C. – a special tribute to the once popular Cleveland brand.
Everybody in northern Ohio above a certain age, especially those who collected beer cans, remembers P.O.C. Nobody, though, knew what it stood for. Pilsner on Call. Pride of Cleveland. Critics even bashed it by calling it Piss on Cleveland.
Regardless, it was an immensely popular brand made by the Pilsener Brewing Co. that lasted until the mid 1980s. (And then returned for a bit in the late 1990s.)
Sandrey figured there was no way that identifiable trademark would be available.
“Believe it or not, nobody owned the trademark,” said Sandrey, director of sales and marketing for both the brewery and Debonné Vineyards in Madison.
So Cellar Rats snapped it up and now “P.O.C. Pride of Cleveland Pilsner” will have its coming out party Saturday at The Big Tap In in Youngstown. It will be available in bottles starting in mid- to late May throughout northern Ohio at Giant Eagle, Acme Fresh Market, Heinen’s, Buehler’s Fresh Foods and other independent beer retailers.
P.O.C. isn’t the original recipe, obviously. Just a new/old name for a Cellar Rats beer.
“We think we have a really great product and we’re proud of it,” Sandrey said.