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Pabst is Back


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Pabst is back




By Jonathan Drew



COLUMBUS, Ohio — Matt Dixon sips beer from a red, white and blue aluminum can in a smoky corner of Betty's Food and Spirits, a dimly lit hangout for local artists, college students and restaurant workers.

Bartenders pour 13 different microbrews for $3.75 a pint at Betty's, but the best-selling beer is Mr. Dixon's choice, $1.50-a-pint Pabst Blue Ribbon, a former blue-collar favorite decades removed from its heyday.

Pabst Blue Ribbon, or simply PBR, is enjoying an unlikely comeback across the country. After a steady decline since the 1970s, sales rose about 5 percent in 2002 and 15 percent in 2003.

"It's just cold and refreshing," Mr. Dixon said between gulps. "It's not a bad beer. You just have to get beyond the fact that it's what your dad drinks."

In 2001, sales of the 160-year-old brand had fallen to less than 1 million barrels, about one-tenth its peak in 1975, said Pabst Brewing Co. brand manager Neal Stewart.

Betty's owner Elizabeth Lessner said distributors laughed at her when she began asking for kegs of Pabst three years ago. But it was about that time that Pabst's comeback had started. Mr. Stewart said the beer's resurgence began in Portland, Ore. when customers adopted the brew.

There had been no change in marketing. Pabst somehow appealed to trendsetters: punk rockers, kayakers and mountain bikers, Mr. Stewart said.

The brand is the top seller in Portland's Lutz Tavern, which began carrying it in 1999 to replace a discontinued regional beer.

"It's really popular with not only the college students but also the working class guy and the Social Security crowd," said Lilias Barisich, whose family has operated the bar since 1954.

The revival spread to cities like San Francisco and Seattle before hopping across the country to the Northeast, Mr. Stewart said. By some accounts, its young buyers are rebelling against established, mass-marketed brands.

"There's a theory that there's a niche out here for a consumer that's antimarketing," said Eric Shepard, executive editor of Beer Marketer's Insights.

The San Antonio-based Pabst Brewing Co.'s marketing strategy — or lack thereof — eschews conventional advertising in favor of generating word-of-mouth buzz.

"It's a nice story for Pabst that Pabst Blue Ribbon has caught on and is quite popular in many markets, but I don't know if any of the major brewers are quaking in their boots," Mr. Shepard said.

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I remember drinking this stuff back in Maine when I was 16...


Narragansett is the classic New England working mans beer. This is not some Nancy boy Pacific Northwest microbrew infused with berries and herbs. By god, its a beer with a sharp taste good carbonation and is perfect when very cold. If you’re looking for a creamy, sweet, or heavy taste look elsewhere. This is beer meant to wash the days work dust and salt from your throat. A natural chaser, probably that is the reason why it was so popular in shot & beer joints frequented by local tradesmen.




check out your favorite beer and see how it rates!

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And some more from my early days in Maine...


Black Label:

Appearance: clear and extraordinarily pale, just a shade above invisible, with bubbly bone-white foam above, short in duration.

Aroma: best compared to ripe cardboard, dried lemon peel, dirty socks, and yesterday's urinal cakes.

Taste: None. No, sorry, there's an over-abundance of nothingness, and me, I'm stuck with no way to describe it. I'll try harder...lemonade without the sugar and the lemons..iced tea without the ice and the tea...a moist ghost faintly traveling through the palate, leaving the mind with only a fuzzy, bad memory, and the bladder with another load to bear.

This is the Official Beer for Nihilists, Everywhere. If you believe in Nothing, this is your God.


Schlitz (the one beer to have when you're having more than one!) Apparantly not...

Pours out that same light yellow/straw color that all the other Schlitz beers pour, giving a decent head which goes AWOL quickly. Aroma is of grains and alcohol. Taste is even worse, with the alcohol burn/bitterness covering everything and clinging to the tongue and palette long after the beer has left. Mouthfeel is bubbly and like champage--thin, watery and highly cabonated. Beer goes down burning, lowering the drinkability by a lot. I gave the rest of this six-pack away when I was done with the first.


Schaefer: Ok, quite possibly one of the worst beers I've ever had. Out of the worst of the worst crap beers I would deffinatly take Beast or Natty over this. This stuff is God Awful. I am only drinking one, because it is all there is. If I had any choice I would gladly drink my own vomit.


Genesee Cream Ale: make sure you don't have any important meetings the next day. Farting is a side effect of this beer.


Edited by David_Parker
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don't forget National Bohemian Premium, Naragansett Portneer, Carling Black Label, Piels and a bunch of other old favorites


PABST IS MORE THAN YOU THINK!!!! Most of the above mentioned beers ARE Pabst!!!


The following Beers are all brewed by Pabst:


Piels,Lucky Lager, Olympia,Black Label,Lone Star,Big Bear, Black Bull, Blatz, Bott Ice, Colt 45, Country Club Malt Liquor,Goebel,Heidelburg,Jacob Best, National Bohemian,Old Milwaukee,Old Style,Pearl,Rainier,Schmidts,Silver Thunder, Special Export,Stag,Strohs, Texas Cowboy Lagar,Texas Crude Bock and more!!!


You just never knew you were drinking Pabst, did you!!!

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