Pabst Blue Ribbon Fans See Red

Russian-owned  Oasis Beverages is set to purchase American Pabst Brewing Co.

Pabst Brewing Co. is the beverage company responsible for favorite American beer brands such as Lone Star, Colt 45, Schlitz, Stroh, Schmidt, Schaefer, Olympia, Old Milwaukee and Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR). In recent years, foreign beer brands have been buying out American beer brands, especially in the craft beer industry.

Chris Rice, president and publisher of All About Beer Magazine, said “Pabst very successfully targeted hipsters looking for alternative brand choices. There’s a lot of crossover between the Pabst brand and craft beer drinkers.”

Reaction to this reportedly $750 million business transaction was not well-received by PBR patrons. Many PBR lovers took to Twitter to express their concern with their favorite American craft beer being sold to the Russian company.

Oasis’s acquisition of the popular American brand even made an appearance on the Colbert Report.

“It’s not just the classic American beer enjoyed by your grandfather, thanks to the hipster revival it is the classic American beer enjoyed by young people trying to look like your grandfather,” Colbert said.

Joking aside, Colbert’s comment does a pretty good job summing up the sentiments and nostalgia Americans feel when popping open a can of PBR.

Do you think that Oasis Beverages acquisition of Pabst Brewing Co. will hurt the PBR brand?

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3 Responses to Pabst Blue Ribbon Fans See Red

  1. Tayllor Lillestol says:

    I think that PBR might have made a mistake in selling to a Russian company, because its customers were very loyal to the fact that it was an American beer. It’s possible they’re going to see a drop in sales for a while because of this. That being said, I think the brand has enough of a following that they’ll rebound from any repercussions. I also think people will likely forget about any of this in six months, assuming PBR doesn’t suddenly change its packaging or advertising, and PBR will live to see another day.

  2. Megan Breinig says:

    I think that the initial shock will be far greater than the effect it will actually have on the brand. It will hurt the American sentiment that the beer had. I’m not sure I see how hipsters are the primary market. It seems to me like the brand targets the patriotic drinker.

  3. Bianca Repasi says:

    I feel like this change in ownership will absolutely hurt the PBR brand. So many people, especially college kids, have a soft spot for the brand, so I think that initially PBR will see a slight loss in popularity. There’s such a strong connection between PBR and the love for America (as we can see by the embedded tweets), so it will be very interesting to see how things play out for the brand.

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