Instagram / PBR
After decades as an iconic beer brand and a staple of tailgates, parties, holidays, and even hipster get-togethers, Pabst Blue Ribbon very recently was close to extinction…but now, it appears they are back in the game – and are bringing along a new drink they’ve labeled “whiskey.”
From its peak in 1977 producing more than 18 million barrels to the sharp decline of the company that put it around 1 million barrels in 2001, PBR has fought for its life more than once…but they’ve never come back swinging with a jug of whiskey! And we are very interested to see how this turns out!
Teasing this new drink on their official Instagram profile, the well-known brewery captioned a picture of clear liquid coming from the mouth of a glass bottle, saying “Legend has it…Jacob Best was interested in more than brewing.”
This coy sentence referenced the Pabst Blue Ribbon founder, Jacob Best, who passed away before the company became known by the Pabst name – but apparently had a desire to make more than just great beer.
The first-ever spirit from this brewing company is being called a “whiskey” but we will let you make that call after having a swig.
According to a report by Esquire Magazine, the company’s story of how they crafted their first hard liquor came to light – and how they got around to calling it whiskey.
175 years after Best founded the beer company, Pabst is thriving thanks to many hipsters, lager lovers, and people who love a good quality, and value-friendly beer. But, this new experiment into spirits has started a tale of its own.
PBR is a creative company. They’ve unlocked the key to success with a huge number of millennials and it’s clear that their clever outlook has transitioned over to this new whiskey.
Simply called Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey, the spirit is an 80-proof product that literally is on the border of what is defined as “whiskey” and what is called “moonshine.”
MiBiz sleuthed up the registration for PBR’s new spirit and discovered that they cleverly toed the line of a whiskey with this product that’s “aged 5 seconds.”
In speaking with PBR’s general manager, Matt Bruhn, Esquire got all the details as to how it all came together – and why they wanted the “whiskey” label so bad.
“Jacob was famous for beer, not famous for his style of whiskey. We asked ourselves, ‘What would be a great whiskey today, but also have some connection to the past?’ The first thing is, he wouldn’t have the access or the desire to put whiskey in barrels.”
PBR wanted to create a whiskey with no aging. Something that Bruhn says carries a stigma about the quality of the whiskey – and they wanted to buck the trend. Also, the founder wouldn’t have done it as an aged spirit.
“So, let’s make a killer, off-the-still liquid,” Bruhn added.
But the agency moderating booze like whiskey, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, wouldn’t approve them to sell it as a whiskey because it wasn’t aged. It would have to be called “moonshine.”
“I’m not calling it moonshine; it is not that, it is a crafted whiskey,” Bruhn explained. “They’re like, ‘You need to age it.’ I go, ‘For how long?’ And they went, ‘No determined amount of time. If it touches wood, it’s a whiskey.’
We literally aged it in a barrel for five seconds so we have the ability to call it what it is, which is whiskey.“
So, there it is.
This is a full-on 80-proof whiskey that PBR says is great for shots (has a bit of a kick) but is also killer for a mixed drink, and the un-aged aspect gives it a strong flavor to cut straight through the sugar.
Watch the video below of PBR Facts and then tell us what you think this drink should be called in the comments.