Going Once, Going Twice…SOLD! PBR Officially Sold!

By Jim Cohen | June 28, 2010 | 1 Comments |
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On May 25th we wrote an article that noted Pabst Brewing Company needing $100 million to close the deal. Well last week, the deal was confirmed: C. Dean Metropoulos purchased Pabst Brewing Company from the California-based charitable organization that owned it. While the deal closed and rumors had been circulating about the price – apparently $250 million was incorrect according to Lou Giraudo, who was chairman of the board of Pabst prior to the sale.

As a reminder, Pabst  Blue Ribbon is manufactured under contract by MillerCoors, the U.S. joint venture of Molson Coors and SABMiller. Despite a decline in the general beer industry, Pabst Blue Ribbon was rediscovered by the young, the thirsty, and yes the sometimes economically challenged (broke) demographic. In fact, the beer recently has been considered “trendy” given its blue-collar roots in the Midwest. Sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon in food, drug and other retail outlets rose 33% to about $172.7 million in the 52 weeks ending April 18, 2010.

Pabst was bought from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, which had been running it since shortly after the 1994 death of the widow of Pabst owner, Paul Kalmanovitz. The IRS told the charity that it could not run a for-profit organization under its umbrella and had to sell the asset by 2010.  Apparently, this asset was only worth ~$63 million in 2008…

Pabst Blue Ribbon was first brewed in 1848 by Jacob Best. As of 1872, it was the second-largest brewery in the US. The “Pabst Blue Ribbon” name originated from a blue ribbon tied around a Pabst Best Select bottle from 1882 to 1916. From 1919 to 1933, the era of Prohibition in the United States, Pabst focused on making cheese, a business that was eventually bought by Kraft.

The beers in Pabst's portfolio (outside of PBR) include:

  • Schaefer
  • Carling's Black Label
  • Blatz
  • Colt 45 Malt Liquor
  • Schmidt
  • Special Export
  • Schlitz
  • Lone Star
  • Jacob Best
  • Ballantine
  • Falstaff
  • Rainier
  • Ice Man Malt Liquor
  • Silver Thunder Malt Liquor
  • Stroh's Beer

We wish the best for PBR and the brands of Pabst Brewing Company and hope they have found a good home.


1 Comment · Going Once, Going Twice…SOLD! PBR Officially Sol...

  • Pouring a little out for our fallen comrades. Let the new owners treat the PBR tradition with the same respect as the beer has had over the past 150 years!

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