NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last month, Yuengling ice cream returned to grocery-store freezers after a 28-year hiatus.
Yuengling -- long synonymous with beer -- went into the ice cream business in 1920 in order to remain solvent during Prohibition. While the businesses are no longer affiliated, the name recognition alone has resulted in strong demand for the ice cream, as well as some confusion. When I jokingly told the pastor of our church last week that I'd given our 15-year-old son some Yuengling, he gave me a strange, confused look. I, of course was referring to ice cream, not beer.
I experienced a similar confusion last week when Biglari Holdings (BH), which owns the Steak n Shake and Western Sizzlin restaurant chains, as well as 20% of Cracker Barrel (CBRL), announced its latest acquisition: Maxim magazine.
That's right, Biglari Holdings -- the capital allocation vehicle operated by CEO Sardar Biglari, and best known for rehabbing restaurants and taking the occasional stab at small insurance companies -- is now in the men's magazine publishing business.
As a long-time shareholder, and also former senior markets editor for a defunct personal-finance magazine who has experienced the challenges and perils of that business, I never saw this coming.
Biglari Holdings has been so embroiled in its shareholder activism efforts with Cracker Barrel -- it has tried three times to gain seats on the board and is now attempting to convince Cracker Barrel shareholders that the company needs to be sold -- that the Maxim purchase seems to be out of left field.