We get this question a LOT, and the answer is: not anymore. However, Sprecher still makes award-winning craft beers including our flagship Special Amber and Black Bavarian, which can be found at the brewery gift shop at 701 W Glendale Ave, Glendale WI, 53209 and other retailers across Wisconsin.
Sprecher briefly revived Malt Duck in 2016, but it has since been discontinued. So why doesn't Sprecher make Malt Duck anymore? And what is Malt Duck, anyway? Here is the story on Malt Duck.
What is Malt Duck?
Kathy Flanigan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Malt Duck was a mixture of beer and concord grape juice. Malt Duck was put on the market in the '60s by National Brewing Co., acquired by G. Heileman Brewing Co. in '75, and produced and sold into the early 1990s. Malt Duck was retired in 1992, much to the chagrin of its small but dedicated fanbase.
How can Malt Duck fans get their fix?
Sprecher does still make a Grape Soda with real concord grape juice. My suggestion is to splash some Sprecher Grape Soda into a malty craft beer of your choice (perhaps an Abbey Triple) and make a grape radler. It's not the same, but it's still pretty grape.
When did Sprecher Recreate Malt Duck?
According to a press release on Brewbound.com, Sprecher rolled out a new and improved version of Malt Duck in October of 2016. Finding that the trademark had lapsed, Sprecher registered the Malt Duck trademark and worked closely with former distributors to bring back the brand.
However, tastes had changed since Malt Duck's heyday, so the Sprecher Brewmaster at the time, Craig Burge, decided to tweak the recipe to suit the 21st century palate. Burge settled on a mix of craft beer and real concord grape juice that evoked the flavor of the original Malt Duck without matching the overpowering sweetness of the original.
Why did Sprecher Stop Making Malt Duck?
There is rarely one simple reason why a product gets discontinued, and Malt Duck was no exception. Sprecher has made many seasonal, limited-edition, or experimental brews that have had short runs because they were difficult to produce, best served during certain times of year, or only appealed to a niche market.
Sprecher Brewery's recreation of Malt Duck was generally well received, and the brewers enjoyed making it, but after a time the natural thing to do was to stop producing it as priorities and consumer tastes changed. It was fun while it lasted, but Malt Duck is unlikely to return.