sketchyvan appreciates its Pabst Blue Ribbon. no secret there. it’s been that way ever since we participated in the Great Emigration of Unemployed-College-Grads to Portland, Ore. in the early 2000s. ahh, good times — lots of hours spent playing ping pong and looking for the hippest place to hit on baristas with doctorates.
that’s why this article scared us, then made us laugh, then nod in agreement, then puke in our mouths a little. then we ran out and grabbed a six-pack of Molson Golden.
Pabst Blue Ribbon Now More Popular Than Ever; Sorry, Hipsters.
“Well, of course,” you say. In this economy, consumers are looking for low-cost options, and cheaper beers are going to do better than more expensive ones.
But Pabst raised its prices last year and now it isn’t as cheap as you may think: The beer now costs $1.50 more than MillerCoors‘ Keystone, $1 more than Anheuser-Busch‘s Busch and Natural brands, and 50 cents more than Miller High Life, Crain’s reports.
Yet, despite being more expensive, PBR is doing remarkably better than all those brands in profit.
Pabst managed to pull of a strangely effective word-of-mouth campaign that made the long-declining brand an “ironic downscale chic choice for bike messengers and other younger drinkers who viewed the beer as a statement of non-mainstream taste,” reports Crain’s.
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.”
Hipsters enjoy drinking a beer that isn’t as “established” as other better-known brands, asserting themselves are more “genuine” and “unique” than the mainstream that surrounds them.
They should be careful though. With the incredible rise in sales, Pabst Blue Ribbon could become so popular, it may enter the mainstream, and hipsters will have to abandon it in favor of another “cheap” beer.
Matt Bartosik, a “between blogs” blogger, will drink any beer you buy for him.
Copyright NBC Local Media / NBC Los Angeles
First Published: Sep 16, 2009 10:11 PM PDT
original article is chillin’ at nbclosangeles.com