Monday, September 27, 2010

Do you drink Pabst Blue Ribbon?

Q: Are you a good American for drinking PBR?
A: NO. NO. You are dumb to believe so, NO.

If you like the taste of PBR, fine.
If it's your "cheap beer of choice," fine.
I just think you need to know what you're supporting.

Most often, I don't give people a hard time for drinking (unless they are about to get behind the wheel, where my gloves come off). However, if someone starts praising how awesome PBR is, I like to pick a fight.

I'll give the current owners of the Pabst Blue Ribbon label credit for an excellent brand revitalization and a point-by-point perfect image perception strategy. Salon wrote an excellent dissection of their campaign, and I'm glad they included the caveat I always remind people who ask me if I want a PBR:

Pabst shuttered its Milwaukee brewery, eliminating nearly 250 jobs and touching off a legal battle over pension obligations to former workers.

I've seen the Pabst Brewery in downtown Milwaukee. Or to be more truthful, I've seen the ruins of what used to be the Pabst Brewery in downtown Milwaukee.

Like I said before, if you like PBR - good for you. Enjoy. Personally, I can't see a can of it without having that "skin crawling" feeling. It's an beautifully marketed beverage to hipsters who are blissfully unaware of the carnage it caused to the "regular people" who they intend to mimic by drinking.

Truth be told, you dig deep enough you're going to find unpleasantness. Am I any better for preferring Schlitz? Also a Milwaukee staple, a worker strike in the early 80s crippled the company to get bought out by another, then sold again to... Pabst Brewing Company!

Crap.

How much of a sham is my own beer? Is there any difference between the pension-less people who screwed themselves or were screwed by others? Even though I knew that Miller was owned by a foreign outfit - that plant down Wisconsin Avenue was tangible. The company, no matter where it was headquartered, was employing neighbors. And Miller has been a long supporter of my fave MU.

Still, I choose Schlitz - and their somewhat current historic and local tie to Louis Glunz Beer over the rising Phoenix of PBR. All this typing has made me thirsty... for water.

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