Pabst Blue Ribbon Sales up 25% in 2009 (Prices, Too)

Pabst Blue Ribbon Sales up 25% in 2009 (Prices, Too)

The hipster backlash has begun!

Per Advertising Age:

For starters, PBR isn’t that cheap any more. The brand hiked prices this year, and a case of PBR 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.

And it’s growing at a faster clip than all of the aforementioned brands — all of which are growing this year — despite the higher price.

Think of it as conspicuous downscale consumption, or something like it.

“There’s still a bit of hipness to it,” said Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights. “Of all the subpremiums, it’s got a little more cache.”

“It’s an anti-establishment badge,” added a major market wholesaler. “It seems to play to the retro, nonconformist crowd pretty well.”

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. AK on September 22, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    As a guitarist-in-a-rock-band, artist-heavy-neighborhood-dwelling, obscure-music-listening, early-20’s pretty-much-a-hipster, I find the spread of PBR as a badge of “cool” “indie” “anti-establishment” life to be wholly disgusting. When I see someone ordering a PBR at an establishment with decent beers and liquors I find myself incensed at both their conformity and their total lack of taste.

    Why couldn’t they attach themselves to something worth drinking?

  2. ItsNoGood on April 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    As a rock & roll hippy 20 year-old, you don’t really know much yet. PBR won first prize probably back in the 1800’s, but if you really want to know anything about the USA son, learn a bit of history about the ‘Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth’. Read about Samuel Adams who repented of his tax collector job because he hated taking other people’s money against their wishes, brewed beer, and help found our country. -Or about Benjamin Franklin who invented all sorts of things to improve peoples lives (even save them). He treasured the idea that a man could make and keep his own money from his own hard work, and yet gave some inventions patent-free to society by his choosing. He said, “Beer is evidence that God loves man and wants him to be happy.” If you want to see what kind of fella drinks PBR. watch the movie, “Ford Fairlane”. Compare all of this here with all the experience and wisdom you and your rock & roll 20-year-old friends can muster. By the way, be sure to turn upstairs and yell goodnight to your mother each night.

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