In a new lawsuit, the Pabst Blue Ribbon Company alleges MillerCoors is attempting to put them out of business, TIME reports. They've taken the beer giant to court over fears they might soon be extinct.
According to court documents, MillerCoors is seemingly planning to end a longstanding partnership between the two brands in which MillerCoors packages and produces almost all of PBR's products.
MillerCoors says they don't have the means to continue producing the 4-to-4.5 million barrels PBR requires annually and that PBR isn't paying them enough to warrant continuation of the deal. PBR's camp has said MillerCoors is lying about their brewing capacity and could easily continue helping them regardless. Either way, PBR claims they are entirely dependent on MillerCoors for production and won't be able to survive without them.
The deal in question (which was originally issued before 2001) is meant to expire in 2020, Esquire.com explains, though there are stipulations that allow for two five-year extensions. Again, each side contends they have the right to determine if and how the partnership would continue.
Perma-college freshmen and hipsters alike have already begun mourning their beloved beer on Twitter:
we all need to come together and save pbr- panda hut express (@winterstole) November 13, 2018
The trial started in Milwaukee on Monday and is expected to continue through November 30. Delish.com received the following statement from a PBR spokesperson in response to the widespread news about the lawsuit:
Since 1844, Pabst has been offering authentic, great tasting and affordable beers to all Americans. From our flagship brand, Pabst Blue Ribbon, to our local legends, which include Rainier, Lone Star, Old Style, Stag, Stroh, Natty Boh, Olympia, and others – these iconic brands all have rich histories and deep roots in communities across the country. We are deeply disappointed that MillerCoors, the U.S. subsidiary of multinational brewing conglomerate Molson Coors, has willfully breached our 19-year agreement in an effort to stomp out the competition.
Even though MillerCoors’ market power is much larger than Pabst’s, we will not allow this industry bully to push us around. We are confident that the court will see MillerCoors’ fabricated “capacity” concerns for what they are: a thinly veiled, bad faith attempt to unlawfully hurt a competitor.
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