Some call it the Preferred Beer of Richmond, but most know it as Pabst Blue Ribbon.
But whatever you call it, you can own it—if you got $300 million to spare.
Pabst Brewing Company, which owns the PBR brand in addition to Colt 45, Schlitz, and Old Milwaukee, is for sale and the ownership group has recently hired Bank of America to push the sale.
From an article on MSN Money:
Despite its hardscrabble, old-school image, Pabst is actually owned by a charitable foundation in Northern California. But the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t like charities to run for-profit companies, and is demanding a sale.
Problem is, no one wants to buy. The charitable foundation hasn’t been able to find a buyer for years, and the IRS has extended its original 2005 sell deadline to 2010, reports the Chicago Tribune.
PBR is arguably the most popular beer in Richmond, especially among the college crowd. Nationwide the brand, which has been around since 1844, has experienced a resurgence as the beer of choice for, as Crain’s put it, “bike messengers and other younger drinkers who viewed the beer as a statement of non-mainstream taste.”
According to industry reports sales of the beer are up 25 percent this year, and its not because its a cheap recession-alternative. Pabsts raised its prices last year and now PBR is about as $1.50 more per case than Keystone and a $1 more than Busch and Natural Lite.
Its selling because its hip to drink it, as blogger for NBC in Chicago Matt Bartosik puts it in a recent article:
Let’s call a spade a spade: Those “non-mainstream,” “younger drinkers” are hipsters.
Usually found smoking European cigarettes and/or cloves, hipsters are known for their despise of anything “mainstream” and their fondness for irony. They listen to bands that no one has ever heard of and start fashion trends that are cool because of their “uncoolness”, e.g., trucker hats or vintage plaid shirts.
This is where Pabst Blue Ribbon comes in.
“It’s an anti-establishment badge,” said a major market wholesaler. “It seems to play to the retro, nonconformist crowd pretty well.”
So Richmond, anybody out there ready to make an offer?