If PBR Goes Under, The Company Could Take Lone Star Down With It
You may hate Pabst Blue Ribbon because of hipsters but if the company goes belly up, two Texas beers may be gone too.
When the news stories started to circulate about the dispute between beer companies Pabst and MillerCoors — which could end with Pabst being driven out of business — many of them took the same tack: “Ha-ha, those hipsters won’t be able to drink their Pabst Blue Ribbon anymore.” Well, guess what, Texans. You're about to start caring. If you enjoy drinking Lone Star beer that is. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the owner of Lone Star Beer as well as San Antonio's Pearl Beer. There are 19 brands owned by Pabst and all of them could be threatened if the lawsuit between PBR and Miller ends in favor of Miller.
Here's some history behind the lawsuit between the two beer companies. Back in 2001, Pabst and Miller came to an agreement that Miller would brew, package and ship Pabst's various beers for them. This includes Around that time, PBR started having a renaissance, with many trendy individuals embracing the brand. While more popular beer companies like Budweiser and Miller spent millions advertising their brands, marketing for PBR was basically non-existent, something the younger generation embraced. The sales of PBR went up in 2002 by 5.3 percent and in 2003 by 9.4 percent. Since then, PBR and hipsters have gone hand in hand like avocado and toast.
Now the agreement between Pabst and Miller, now known as MillerCoors, expires in 2020 and Pabst says the company is now trying to sabotage them. MillerCoors say they don't have the infrastructure and capacity to continue brewing PBR's beer lineup that includes Ballantine, Colt 45, Lone Star, Pearl, Olympia, Old Style and more. Texas beers Lone Star and Pearl are both brewed at the Miller brewery in Fort Worth. PBR says the price MillerCoors wants for them to extend the contract isn't feasible which is why they're now suing. They say without the contract and with no breweries of their own they can't produce the 4 million barrels of beer a year they sell. The company also says this is their only option since the only other company of that size is Anheuser-Busch and they do not do contract brewing. If PBR does end up going out of business, they may end up selling off their brands, including Lone Star and Pearl. If they don't, we start seeing Shiner Premium as the only "original" Texas beer left. The trial is supposed to run until the end of November.