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Dec 17, 2010 11:45 AM

PBR in the can the New Old Hot Beer???

Every Restaurant I now go to Has PBR in the can..When did this trend start..and I am talking some hot new places too..are they doing it to be cool or Trendy or is this just the new thing at this time ???

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  1. It's been trendy for a long time now. 8 years by my count.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Yeah, The New York Times even noted it around then (2003) in an article in their Sunday Magazine section- which you'd think would be certain death to anything trendy ("...even the Gray Lady knows about PBR! Oh, the Irony!"), but it does seem to be either a very long-lived "fad" or a great example of some parts of the country being well behind the curve when it comes to being "hip" - not that it hasn't always been ever the case- is there anything more "unhip" than being "hip" too late?

      What I always find amusing is, that for all the "success" the now ironically named Pabst Brewing Company (which closed all it's breweries, and even uses the term "virtual brewery" for itself) has had with Pabst Blue Ribbon, they can't seem to duplicate it with their dozens of other brands. While PBR sales have increased in the recent economic down turn which saw many macro beer drinkers "moving down" (from Bud to Busch, Coors to Keystone, etc.) the actual total sales of the entire 2 dozen or more brands now owned by Pabst continues to drop,

      They now sell between 5-6 million barrels of beer a year- down from over 10m bbl. a decade ago when they first bought the Heileman-Stroh collection of labels. And a far cry from 30 years ago, before they where first bought by Heileman and then S&P and were the #4 brewery with sales of 15 million barrels, and only a handful of brands, mostly Blue Ribbon, but also Olde English 800, Andecker and Red, White and Blue. Some "success".

      1. re: Josh

        If anything, it's faded a bit now. High Life & Bud Lite Lime seem to be the current hipster beers of choice. Given that high life is my favorite of the BMC macrolagers, I'm not complaining.

        1. Hipsters and Trustafarians in North Carolina at least drink cheap beer in the can as a form of irony.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Nocturnalbill

            Not sure where in NC you are but the hipsters in Charlotte can't even spell irony and they certainly aren't drinking PBR as a form of irony.

            1. re: leftinthekitchen

              Well, in Charlotte, but I was referring more towards Greensboro and Asheville.

          2. The current popularity of PBR actually has little to do with the beer itself.

            8 Replies
            1. re: Tripeler

              I actually had to revise my opinion of PBR ( scorned it because of the hipster connection) after finding 7 cans on the sidewalk. Not craft brew by any stretch of the imagination but not bad at all. It was a couple of days past date so maybe the extra aging helped. ;) It was good enough that I picked some up recently when I wanted a beer that wouldn't steal the spotlight from fresh cracked crab.

              1. re: bbq babe

                Perfect beer for that would have been a Narragansett tallboy.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Agreed. It's a throwback beer. Schlitz also appears to be making a comeback, or maybe it never left.

                    1. re: Shaggy

                      When I see it ordered, it's less a "throwback beer"' than a "backlash beer". As in, "don't give that fancy micro-stuff; I wanna crappy yellow beer, durnit!"

                      1. re: brandywiner

                        if you're gonna drink the crappy yellow beer (which i admit, i get a taste for from time to time), you might as well get a cheap one ala PBR or Shlitz. It's not like Bud, Miller, Coors taste any better.

                  2. Remember the corny C&W song " Red Necks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon beer"?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: chimay5

                      Interesting also is that there is a Chimay Red, a Chimay White and a Chimay Blue.
                      Anyone know what the fourth one is?

                      1. re: Tripeler

                        Chimay is Belgian Trappist beer, so about as far from PBR in a can as you can get.

                        And it's red, bleu, and Triple -- which has an ivory-colored label, not white.

                        (ask the French and the Dutch if red, white, and blue is specially reserved for a single country or not)

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          The Tripel has been referred to as 'white' for many years, and in fact, I only recall it being billed as a tripel in recent years. I think the colors refer to the capsules, or whatever you call the metal thing on top of the cork, and that is quite white, as I recall. I also recall that Chimay white has an unusual taste for a tripel, being perhaps more overtly hoppy, not that brewers are obliged to meet rigid stylistic guidelines, particularly in Belgium.

                          I wonder if the 'tripel' moniker came about in an attempt to hike sales of the white. I'm just speculating ...

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch

                            I think you are right. Since the mid-90s, Chimay has been dumbed down quite a lot, and the move to add the Tripel designation to White has been a result of the increasing popularity of Belgian ale styles in the U.S. I believe. Interestingly, the beer Chimay chose to offer on tap was the White. Of course, I am happy about that because I love Tripel as a style. I think that White really does fail as a Tripel because it doesn't have the right spicing or other typically Tripel aspects. For those, I look for Westmalle Tripel, which, sadly, has also been dumbed down in recent years.

                            1. re: Tripeler

                              but I'm still not sure I understand where the comparison of Chimay *anything* to PBR in a can originates...

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                I thought it interesting that a poster named Chimay would bring up a song about Red, White & Blue. That's all.