Pabst Blue Ribbon found a second life when hipsters embraced the beer as a tried-and-true, old-school standby that much of the (then) modern world had abandoned. But though its ironic appeal may have catapulted PBR back into beer’s top 20 sellers, ironically enough, as PBR looks to once again boost sales, the brand has been releasing every modern spinoff in the book. So far this year, we’ve seen both a higher strength version and a non-alcoholic version of PBR. And before that, news broke of a PBR whiskey. The brand’s latest announcement: Arriving this month is Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee.
Pabst says that this new hard coffee “will be among the first of its kind in the industry, a fun and deliciously unique drink made using Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and rich, creamy American milk,” resulting in a “great tasting vanilla infused premium iced coffee with a 5 percent ABV kick.” The look of the packaging is admittedly pleasing — holding on to PBR’s signature look but swapping out the red on white stripe for the brown on cream hues of java.
The new product was only officially announced and released yesterday, but the early buzz has been that it has a distinct resemblance to the classic not-quite-chocolate-milk drink Yoo-hoo. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to the individual drinker. “Can honestly say it’s better than normal PBR,” someone wrote with a shrug on the beer rating site Untappd. Speaking of which, after the first 160 reviews, PBR Hard Coffee has an uncannily high rating of 4.21 out of 5, putting it in the upper echelon of beers on the site. Maybe it’s that PBR drinkers’ irony flaring up again? The beer is also listed as an American stout which is completely inaccurate, so who knows what is going on there.
Regardless, if your love of either PBR or Yoo-hoo has you dying to try this new beverage, be aware that it’s currently available “in limited test markets” only. A Pabst spokesperson told the site VinePair that, specifically, that means Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Florida, and Georgia. They recommend using the product finder on the PBR website.