But I know all you really care about is the beer right? Well I couldn’t get my hands on Fred’s secret recipe of hops and malt that makes PBR the liquid gold that we all know and love, but I did find that the recipe has remained generally unchanged since the days Phil Best brewed it. “The Blue Ribbon” got its name after winning first place at the 1893 Chicago Colombian Exposition. As a marketing ploy and way for drinkers to distinguish Pabst’s beer from competitors, Fred started tying a blue ribbon around the neck of every bottle. Eventually the actual blue ribbon was replaced with a printed label inspired by the blue ribbon.
In 1977, America’s love affair with PBR was at its peak; the company reported selling 18 million barrels. After a period of unimpressive sales in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, PBR has made a massive come back thanks to our friend the hipster. Despite the fact that many ads feature trendy dressed 20 somethings enjoying PBR, and even NPR (a hipster’s verbal bible and their most prized topic of conversation next to awkwardly obscure music groups) has started airing spots for the Blue Ribbon, the Pabst Company refuses to fully embrace these new thirsty consumers as its new target demographic. Their Fear?… Hugging the hipsters close would challenge the beers authenticity and result in the loss of lifelong drinkers like the blue collar Chrysler engine builders of Kenosha, WI.
Despite its reputation of being responsible for some of the most awesome hangovers ever, PBR has remained a staple in Wisconsin bars and fridges for decades.