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beans

PBR is Making a Comeback!

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This doesn't suprise me too much. I think I may have posted this either here or at Webtender, but one of Cleveland's most popular Warehouse District watering holes started a buzz during their very lawerly/ad agency/accountant happy hour following. Mondays were the day for "in the biz." Specific promotions for food and drink and it quickly became *the* night to hang with fellow bar and restaurant troops. Then came the problem of the draging, dead business on Tuesdays.

The solution? PBR and Jim Beam teamed up with this local hot spot. For a specific price (I forgot) one purchased a can, yes a can, of PBR and a shot of Beam. Table tents were everywhere for this and many a yup could be seen standing around with a can of beer in their hands. It worked and became nearly as busy at the cash register as the booze guzzling fellow servers, barbacks and bartenders on Mondays! :biggrin:

If I'm not mistaken, this was also a big Classic Rock music night as well. Made me scream with laughter to see these new college grads (this bar attracts the young and beautiful), all of about 23 years old, suited up in their Brooks Brothers best suits, albeit wrinkley from a long hard day at work, jamming to Stairway to Heaven and swilling down a can of beer.

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," 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."

Article here.

Cheers! :raz:

edit: grammar :blink:


Edited by beans (log)

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Dude. I love PBR. In fact, it might be my PBR consumption alone that is responsible for this upswing in numbers.

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I'm a fan of PBR as well. Straightforward American beer that is reasonably clean tasting. Much better, in my opinion, than MGD or Bud.

But I'm still pissed that they left Milwaukee.

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Man, I drank so much PBR last Saturday that I made a complete idiot of myself at this concert I was at. Seems like more and more DC bars are starting to carry it - even on tap!

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There was a NY Times Magazine article on the resurgence of PBR last Spring. Apparently it's part of an "anti-brand" / buzz markeitng strategy.

MAGAZINE DESK | June 22, 2003, Sunday

The Marketing of No Marketing

By Rob Walker (NYT) 3116 words

Late Edition - Final , Section 6 , Page 42 , Column 1

ABSTRACT - Rob Walker article tracks resurgence of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, fastest growing of top-50 domestic beer brands; brand was considered stodgy and company was closing down breweries when Neal Stewart joined Pabst as divisional marketing manager and exploited its anti-trendiness and fact that rejuvenated identity was being created by young consumers rather than advertisers; photos (L)

I found the whole article free: http://www.robwalker.net/html_docs/pabst.html

[edited to include new link]


Edited by malcolmjolley (log)

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beans, funny you should mention the pabst/beam combo--around here (Philadelphia) it's known as the special. There's a bar near my house that started it in Philadelphia and has been doing it for about 15 years to my knowledge. The place is completely covered in Pabst paraphernalia.

It's also filthy and smoky and there's often a dog behind the bar. I mean, the four-legged kind.

In the early 1990s a friend and I were broke and did a taste-test of beers under $10 a case. The big winners were Pabst and Yuengling Premium Beer, with the edge going to Yuengling because it came in 16 oz returnable bottles...

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Here in Columbia, SC my favorite watering hole has been selling PBR on the cheap for a couple of years... First it was $1 for the can, now it's $1.50 for the bottle. It's really popular with the rock crowd. I'm surprised The Strokes haven't started endorsing them... :raz:

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As far as cheap American lagers go, you can certainly do worse than PBR. I feel that it's one of the "premium" cheap piss-water beers :biggrin:

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beans, funny you should mention the pabst/beam combo--around here (Philadelphia) it's known as the special. There's a bar near my house that started it in Philadelphia and has been doing it for about 15 years to my knowledge. The place is completely covered in Pabst paraphernalia.

It's also filthy and smoky and there's often a dog behind the bar. I mean, the four-legged kind.

Bob & Barbara's! God I miss that place... every night I spent there resulted in a bizarre story to tell the next day (assuming I could remember it), and that has been over the course of well over ten years.

Last time I was there was with 20 german future-inlaws, after our pre-wedding dinner, and right before my husband and I moved to the midwest for our jobs. This place is now a legend in Hamburg, which is really saying something.

The single most requested photo from our wedding is a group of our friends lined up against the wall with a can of PBR in one hand, a shot glass in the other.

Now I'm homesick again, damnit!

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PBRs what we used to get when we couldn't afford anything else. Cheapest beer on earth. I think a 6 was something like $1.49. Ah. The memories. :rolleyes:

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In the PBR epicenter here according to the previously mentioned NY Times article. PBR has been the thing to drink for a few years now. $5ish for a 12-pack, $1.50 for a 40oz, how could you go wrong? ;)

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I have noticed a serious resurgence in the drinking of PBR by people. Many of our friends who fit into the "professional" mold and are the types who would be labeled "YUPPIES" and "PREPPIES" are purchasing PBR as the beer of choice. These are the same folks who had airs & pretensions through their teen and college years and drank the latest import or micro brew or the white wine "fad cellar of the moment". Now they order PBR when ever they are out and expect the bar to carry it and carry cans of the stuff to outings. They make in the six figures and are fighting to join all the right clubs and be seen in all the right places and do not seem like your typical PBR crowd.

I think much of it is a retro-redneck/working class, "in your face", anti-establishment type of attitude that has become "chic". When did any one ever think PBR would be "chic"?

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It has been the fad for a while now, and I'm sure in a little while will go the way of trucker hats, horn-rimmed glasses, and thrift-store salvaged gas station shirts with someone else's name on them. But for now I wouldn't be caught dead with a PBR in my hands -- once something has become the symbol of suburban-raised proto-yuppies who don't know if their ironic borrowings of working-class culture support the working class or make fun of it, I avoid it. I do enough things that get me labeled a hipster already. I'd rather have a Yuengling.

Besides, since I rarely drink for the sole purpose of getting drunk any more, I'd like something that tastes a lot better than PBR.

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Oh, here is an old article about the bar mentioned up-thread. The main reason to go there is the music. If you are ever in Philly you need to stop by there on the Friday or Saturday night (or Monday if you can play), to see Nate Wiley & the crowd pleasers before they retire. I don't know when the PBR theme started there, though as far as I know the specials predate all that.

BTW, that's the back of my head in the picture, looking at the jukebox. I think the white guy in the picture was one of this large & funny group of recent CIA graduates who were there for some reason I can't recall. (But, uh, food related, sorta...)

Bob & Barbara's Lounge


Edited by Behemoth (log)

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Oh, here is an old article about the bar mentioned up-thread. The main reason to go there is the music. If you are ever in Philly you need to stop by there on the Friday or Saturday night (or Monday if you can play), to see Nate Wiley & the crowd pleasers before they retire. I don't know when the PBR theme started there, though as far as I know the specials predate all that.

BTW, that's the back of my head in the picture, looking at the jukebox. I think the white guy in the picture was one of this large & funny group of recent CIA graduates who were there for some reason I can't recall. (But, uh, food related, sorta...)

Bob & Barbara's Lounge

Ahhh Behemoth. You have certainly touched a nerve with me. I used to live on the 1500 block of Rodman Street and the back door of Bob and Barbara's practically faced my front door. I used to sit out on my front stoop and listen to the music wafting out the door. It was pure bliss.

That is absolutely one of the coolest bars ever. Every manner of humanity, race, color, creed, religion, lifestyle, and social strata would gather in there and have unadulterated FUN together. I don't think I ever saw anyone so much as say an unkind word to another patron. A model for the Perfect World we all see in our mind's eye.

And of course, the "Bob and Barbara's Happy Meal" (a shot of Jim Beam and a can of PBR for $3) should go down in history as one of the best bar promotions of all time. :biggrin:

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PBR is almost as bad as Miller High Life. (The worst beer I have ever tasted.) I'm sure they are giving you the Beam shot as a chaser for the PBR.

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Ahhh Behemoth. You have certainly touched a nerve with me. I used to live on the 1500 block of Rodman Street and the back door of Bob and Barbara's practically faced my front door. I used to sit out on my front stoop and listen to the music wafting out the door. It was pure bliss.

That is absolutely one of the coolest bars ever. Every manner of humanity, race, color, creed, religion, lifestyle, and social strata would gather in there and have unadulterated FUN together. I don't think I ever saw anyone so much as say an unkind word to another patron. A model for the Perfect World we all see in our mind's eye.

And of course, the "Bob and Barbara's Happy Meal" (a shot of Jim Beam and a can of PBR for $3) should go down in history as one of the best bar promotions of all time. :biggrin:

That place is probably one of the things I miss most about Philly. And one of the top things on my list next time I come visit. I think it was just about the only bar that couldn't be summed up as "hipster bar" "rocker bar" "hip hop scene" "college kids" "brokers" etc. They all showed up there, no one looks out of place no matter how over or under-dressed they were.

And when did they stop calling it a happy meal? At some point they would always correct you and say "you mean the special?". I wonder if they got a cease and desist order, or if they were just being careful :smile:

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PBR is almost as bad as Miller High Life. (The worst beer I have ever tasted.) I'm sure they are giving you the Beam shot as a chaser for the PBR.

Speaking of High Life, it seems to be making a huge comeback as well. I think Miller is trying to market to the same hipsters-who-look-like-the-Strokes crowd as PBR.

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That place is probably one of the things I miss most about Philly. And one of the top things on my list next time I come visit. I think it was just about the only bar that couldn't be summed up as "hipster bar" "rocker bar" "hip hop scene" "college kids" "brokers" etc. They all showed up there, no one looks out of place no matter how over or under-dressed they were.

And when did they stop calling it a happy meal? At some point they would always correct you and say "you mean the special?". I wonder if they got a cease and desist order, or if they were just being careful :smile:

Lemme know when you come back to town, Behemoth. We'll meet you over there and have a couple specials. I think I'm heading over tonight; it's my birthday, and maybe Nate & crew will play happy birthday for me.

Then again, maybe they'll play "Take 5" in waltz time, which they do occasionally (sorry, music geek reference).

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I do enough things that get me labeled a hipster already.  I'd rather have a Yuengling.

Well, Yuengling's getting hip too.

It's got a lot of cache up in NYC, and evidently is considered a cool, premium thing to bring to house parties.

Haven't seen it on a bar list there, but I haven't drank in a lot of NYC bars either.

That place is probably one of the things I miss most about Philly. And one of the top things on my list next time I come visit. I think it was just about the only bar that couldn't be summed up as "hipster bar" "rocker bar" "hip hop scene" "college kids" "brokers" etc. They all showed up there, no one looks out of place no matter how over or under-dressed they were.

Except for B&B's having live entertainment (still gotta check out the Drag Show sometime) Frank's and McGlinchey's fit that role too, or at least used to.

But around 1998 it started getting cool to go to dive bars, so the college kids were there (at Frank's, at least) in ever increasing numbers.

I hung out at Frank's tonight for the first time in a while.

It was thankfully not crowded due to the rain.

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Then again, maybe they'll play "Take 5" in waltz time, which they do occasionally (sorry, music geek reference).

Only on Mondays, to confuse the guest drummer! :biggrin:

Hope you had a nice birthday.

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PBR is almost as bad as Miller High Life. (The worst beer I have ever tasted.)...

Wow. Far be it for me to tell you how wrong you are about PBR and Miller High Life. Different strokes etc. But, boy, if these are the two worst beers you've ever tasted you either drink nothing but fancy-pants beers or simply haven't tasted very many beers. I'm guessing it's the latter 'cos there are plenty of lousy fancy-pants beers too. Had a couple this weekend as a matter of fact...

At worst, PBR and MHL are drinkable. At best, say, on a hot summer day fresh from an ice-filled cooler, they're damn fine examples of American-style beer. I feel safe in assuming you've never had an Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best, Carlings Black Label, Rhinelander, Old Style, Michelob, Busch or even a Miller Lite. Miller Lite, now there's an example of a popular beer that I simply cannot abide.

Other fine, cheap, drinkable American beers include Hamms, Schlitz and Blatz. Gimme an ice cold Hamms ANY summer day.

Frank Booth was right.

Kurt

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Well, Yuengling's getting hip too.

I just wish people would see the glory of Yuengling Premium Beer instead of Lager, which I have been liking a little less every time I've had it for the past several years. Of course that doesn't stop me from consuming vast quantities of it, but if I have a choice in the summer when you want an ice cold cheap beer? It's Premium all the way.

Or Pabst. I do drink plenty of that too. Miller--all miller products--has this weird flavor to it that I don't like.

Edited because of Lew Bryson's post below: all Miller products that I know but Pabst--by which I mean High Life, Genuine Draft, and Lite--have that weird flavor I hate.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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You guys are aware that Pabst has no more breweries, right? That the company is running out of a storefront in San Antonio, and the beer is brewed at Miller plants for the most part (some of it at smaller breweries like The Lion in Wilkes-Barre)?

NOT THAT IT MATTERS. If you're drinking beer like this, you're drinking the beer you're drinking for refreshment and buzz. No sweat, that's why people drink screwdrivers. And you're drinking the brand you're drinking because of psychological reasons. Because taste test after taste test with long-time drinkers of these various brands show EVERY STINKING TIME that they can't really tell one from the other.

That said...I drink Straub, Yuengling Premium and Lager, and High Life on occasion. But the worst beer of this type is certainly not Pabst. It's Utica Club.

Lew

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