Pabst Blue Ribbon, or PBR as it’s so affectionately called, has seen its sales rise 25% this year despite a crippling recession and price hike that brought a case to “$1.50 more than MillerCoors’ Keystone, $1 more than Anheuser-Busch’s Busch and Natural brands, and 50 cents more than Miller High Life.” Hipsters, it’s long been known, have led the charge in making PBR such a powerhorse in the shitty piss-water beer market. But when did this all start? Years ago, Ad age reports.
Back in 2004, Pabst executed a highly effective word-of-mouth campaign that made the long-declining brand an “ironic downscale chic” choice for bike messengers and other younger drinkers who viewed the beer as a statement of non-mainstream taste. PBR sales surged by nearly 17% that year, and have climbed at single-digit rates since, until this year, when the recession sent its sales soaring as more drinkers were pushed into the subpremium category.
You hear that? PBR is now subpremium, which by my scale is way too close to that “mainstream beer” that you all refuse to imbibe in. So what’s next, PBR drinkers? Expect Monday Night Football commercials featuring dudes getting laaaaaid while holding footballs and throwing high fives.
It’s time to let our Ribbon’d friend go, bike messengers and angry youths, and start the hunt for a new icon of the underground to slurp up with your rebellious lips.
My vote? Genny Cream Ale and/or Modelo. Or what if we all just drank Hugs, those little juice drinks that look like grenades. That’ll get ’em. What’s your vote?