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The Original Hybrid: Champale

Way before the Prius and the Civic Hybrid, the original hybrid was Pink Champale. We call it a hybrid because it looks a lot like Champagne (sort of) — but it’s really beer. In tiny print, the label says it is a Malt Beverage with Natural Flavors and Artificial Color. Champale has certainly stood the test of time; the above approval is from this year and Gono.com has an excellent collection of Champale ads going all the way back to 1960. The above ad is from about 1978, and the 1962 ad refers directly to Champagne. Smirnoff Ice is a much later example of the increasingly common trend toward hybrids (it has a malt beverage base but a hugely famous spirits brand name). The beer versus wine versus spirits categorization is a critically important part of TTB’s role, because of a dramatically different excise tax on each category. In many cases (such as beers loaded up with flavors) it is very difficult to assign the product to the most appropriate category.

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37 Responses to “The Original Hybrid: Champale”

  1. November 21st, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Tannat Madiran says:

    Should I run out and lockdown “Champipple” Sanford’s blend of choice for all black tie affairs, Champagne and Ripple?

  2. November 21st, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    admin says:

    Only if you are dressed appropriately.

  3. March 26th, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Beverly Maxfield says:

    Hello,

    I’m a newbie to this form, and thank you in advance for any assistance.

    We moved to Pearland, Texas (southern suburb of Houston, Texas), and I cannot find Champale. Hopefully, some member of this forum can provide me with some direction. I have pretty much exhausted my avenues – I have Goggled, yahooed, mozillaed, you name it, I have “ed” it. Any help will be graciously received. Thanks again.

    B~

  4. March 27th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Bob Skilnik says:

    Contact your local Pabst distributor. I do believe, however, that while they own the label, the brand is not currently in production.

  5. April 14th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Chick Carlton says:

    Years ago I use to buy Champale in California and then it was just gone. I live in North Las Vegas, Nevada and wonder if there is any place I can order the “green” bottles of Champale? Does it even exist anymore ?
    Chick Carlton -shadowfaces@aol.com

  6. May 25th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    Ruth Wilson says:

    Looking for places to buy Champale in Richmond, VA area. Please, Has been many years since I have seen it and would like to get re-acquainted.

  7. June 26th, 2009 at 8:53 am

    calvin sanders says:

    Where can one find this Champale?

  8. August 9th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    K COOPER says:

    you can find it in philly…….

  9. October 11th, 2009 at 3:45 am

    Chick Carlton says:

    WHERE CAN CHAMPALE BE PURCHASED IN AMERICA IN THE GREEN BOTTLES? DOES ANYONE KNOW?

  10. October 14th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Steve says:

    I live in South-west Virginia and I can’t find it either. I’ve decided to e-mail Pabst and ask them what the situation is. I’ve gone too long with no Champale.
    Does anyone know of a link that may have a recipe for a brew that might taste similiar? Are there any products on the market now that taste like Pink Champale?
    THANKS!

  11. October 18th, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Linda says:

    ive bought Champale in the smaller bottles in Ohio..i cant find it here in Texas…is there anywhere here that sells it??/…….Linda Lewis

  12. October 26th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Alola says:

    I live in Cincinnati and I cant find it know where, I use to drink this back in the day HMMMMMMMMMM so good I wish they would bring this drink back

  13. October 28th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    carl says:

    steve did u hear back from pabst?!? i been trying to find champale since piggly wiggly stopped having it. i’m in kansas so if u tlak to then PLEASE ask if they will send some to kansas!1 or i might make my own lol!

  14. April 15th, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    DAN says:

    I FOUND PINK IN WEST VA ABOUT 7 OR 8 YEARS AGO.THE GREEN BOTTLE IS THE BEST.I GOT STARTED ON IT IN FLORDIA IN 1970.
    I’VE LOOKED IN MOST EAST COAST STATES SINCE. NO LUCK.

  15. May 17th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Billy says:

    you guys are not looking hard enough i found a whole daggone mess of champale and buy some every week. i dont want to give up my source to all of the world wide web but send me a mail and i will let you know where you can get you some champale.

  16. June 7th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Pat says:

    Billy, did you find Champale in Houston? I don’t know how to email you direct.

  17. June 24th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Gil says:

    I just came from Puerto Rico. They sell Pink Champale in a lot of places. I had several Pink Champale during my 10 days in the island.

  18. July 30th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    rainbowfire says:

    billy, please send info on where to buy pink champale. thank you.

  19. August 25th, 2010 at 12:12 am

    PATTY OF NY says:

    hey billy whats your email.. email me on where you found that pink champale..pnastz@yahoo.com looking forward to your response

  20. October 11th, 2010 at 4:53 am

    A.O. says:

    I’d seen advertisements for Champale before, but I just saw it in a store for the first time in my life. If anyone lives in Brooklyn, you can find it here:

    Nana Deli and Grocery, Wilson Ave. at Dekalb Ave. (Between a liquor store and a Chinese restaurant)

    Maybe I’ve seen it elsewhere before and missed it, because the bottle does look a lot like the Miller Genuine Draft Bottle. But in any case, there you have it.

  21. November 23rd, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Matt says:

    We’ve created a Facebook group called Bring Back Champale for anyone interested. If we get enough response we might be able to get a production run started again.

  22. January 24th, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Billy says:

    Wow guys I got liek 20 BILLION mails about champail so I guess I better let yall know where I got it before I get SPAM on my PC. it is at Tick tock Liqiour in Hyatsville Maryland. The pink and originel is their. Tell them that Billy and Rickywayne sent you beacause if you buy any they might give me a free gift card to Marshalls and i need a new hat.
    submit comment.

  23. January 23rd, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Judy Carter says:

    Where can I find extra dry CHAMPALE Near Newport News, VA 23608?

    (757) 369-3266

  24. February 25th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Jessy Moore says:

    I found the Golden Champale at a deli this past Tuesday in Philly. The clerk said that they stopped making the pink, but my sister swears that she got it there last summer. The Golden now comes in a clear bottle, 24oz size, & costs $3. Loved every drop, as I was listening to Prince & the Batman cd!!! Anyone run into Malt Duck???

  25. February 27th, 2012 at 10:53 am

    L.A. Jackson says:

    I feel the same in alabama,can’t find it any more as of last year I was able to but it in all favors, what happening with the company that distributes it, we want it back, please keep the same taste and the original look don’t change any thing.

  26. March 1st, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Marcus Arnett says:

    I have looked for Years Now, I got it sent to Alaska in the Late 80′s it was here till Late 90′s where is it we all eed it back. The Super Wine Warehouse states it has some in Peterson NJ 07514 at 4.99 per 4 pack we need it all over

  27. March 8th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Champale Sippa. says:

    I looked all over the web my damnself and there’s only one place. Super Wine Warehouse. I was told Pabst still makes it once a month but I highly doubt it. They want 5.00 dollars for a four pack and shipping is mad crazy. I quoted him on a case (24) of 12oz. bottles shipped to PA and they wanted 70.00 dollars for the shipping plus the 30.00 dollars for the product.

    I love Champale but I’ll pass.

    I even emailed Lion Brewery in PA ( they made and bottled Champale here) and they said that they don’t bottle for Pabst/Champale anymore.

    Anybody in Pennsylvania know where I can buy at least six cases of this for a 70s party I’m having in July ? Any info is much appreciated.

    Thanks.

  28. March 8th, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Champale Sippa. says:

    Malt Duck was the shizznit.

    They haven’t made this since the late 80s. They had the regular, Apple and grape. Everybody has different taste buds but I loved the Apple flavor. Many liked the grape.

    If anybody wanted to try a flavored malt drink, go with the St. Ides Special Brew….lol.

    Get a case of Mixed Fruit, throw them in a freezer until slushy. Stick a long straw in the bottle and serve that to your girl…lol. After two of those, she’ll DEFINITELY thank you later ; )

  29. April 30th, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Gloria Yoakum says:

    Would like to know where Champale can currently be found.
    Anyone out there know of any place in Texas this beverage can be found?

  30. April 30th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Gloria Yoakum says:

    Would like to know where Champale can currently be found in Texas. Any responses?

  31. April 30th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Jeb says:

    I inherited a box of Champail from my cousin so let me know who is up for sharing it.

  32. October 22nd, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Bree Bree says:

    I am in Texas and I would love to know where I can find Golden Champale.

  33. March 8th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Fran says:

    I just got my Champale today! They have it at Superwinewarehouse.com in Paterson, NJ!!! The number is 973-684-2337. It isn’t in the original green bottles,but the taste is still the same…AWESOME. They have it in the Golden, Pink and Extra Dry. Hope this helps everyone. It was 4.99 for a 4 pack, plus shipping and handling. Enjoy all :)

  34. April 14th, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Ann J says:

    I live in Miami Florida and I am looking for the pink champale. Can anyone tell me where I can find some

  35. July 18th, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Charles says:

    I live in Pueblo, Colorado. How can I get some Champale here?

  36. October 24th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Eric H says:

    San Juan, P.R., 1979, Disco party at some kid’s neighborhood carport or garage.
    drink of the day? pink champale! that was the chick drink of the time.

  37. December 7th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Bee says:

    Where can I find Golden Champale in Orlando Florida ?

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