Hipsters across the country are shedding a collective tear after hearing of this report that Pabst Blue Ribbon is being put up for sale. The 170-year-old company officially began fielding offers this past weekend, and is projected to bring in north of $1 billion. While nowhere close to the $52 billion that Anheuser-Busch accepted for their buy-out, the LA-based brewery will likely still be getting a pretty penny.
After seeing a sales plateau and an eventual sales decline throughout the 1990s and early 2000s — when production dropped beneath a million barrels annually (for reference, Coors moved around 1.4 million barrels a month) — PBR experienced quite the “comeback kid” success story in the late 2000s . In 2009, for example, they actually surpassed Coors and Sam Adams in total volume sold. Pretty neat.
In a time when the craft beer sensation has been trending in the U.S., domestic beer sales have stagnated. PBR, however, has seen its market share increase. The genius is in its simplicity. By not devoting much of their attention toward advertising, consumers considered it a low-brow, cheaper option to the big conglomerate breweries of Coors and Anheuser. It’s ironic, that while hipsters were drinking that terrible piss water ironically, they were actually helping to create one of the most successful beer brands in the country. It’s like an irony-inception.
No details have surfaced regarding any of the offers for the brewery, but with the recent history of American booze being acquired by international companies (see: Jim Beam & Anheuser Busch), we may be losing another U.S. staple. So find your nearest Happy Hour, hand over a $1 and enjoy a cold PBR while you still can.