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The Pabst Brewing Company (/ˈpæpst/) is an American company that dates its origins to a brewing company founded in 1844 by Jacob Best and was, by 1889, named after Frederick Pabst. It is currently a holding company which contracts the brewing of over two dozen brands of beer and malt liquor: these include its own flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon, as well as brands from now defunct breweries including P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, G. Heileman Brewing Company, Lone Star Brewing Company, Pearl Brewing Company, Piels Bros., Valentin Blatz Brewing Company, National Brewing Company, Olympia Brewing Company, Falstaff Brewing Corporation, Primo Brewing & Malting Company, Rainier Brewing Company, F & M Schaefer Brewing Company, Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company and Stroh Brewery Company.[1]

Pabst Brewing Company
Industry Alcoholic beverage
Founded 1844 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Founder Jacob Best
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Key people
Frederick Pabst
Products Beer
Owner TSG Consumer Partners and Eugene Kashper
Parent Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC
Website http://www.pabstbrewingco.com

The company is also responsible for the brewing of Ice Man Malt Liquor, St. Ides High Gravity Malt Liquor, and retail versions of beers from McSorley's Old Ale House and Southampton Publick House (of Southampton, New York).[1]

Pabst is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.[2][3] On November 13, 2014, Pabst announced that it had completed its sale to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between Russian-American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and TSG Consumer Partners, a San Francisco–based private equity firm.[4] Prior reports suggested the price agreed upon was around $700 million.[5]

In 2017 the company opened the Pabst Milwaukee Brewery, a brewpub located in an old chapel on the original Milwaukee Pabst Brewery campus, that brews relatively small batches of craft-type beers and long-discontinued, historic Pabst brands (such as Old Tankard and Andeker).[6]

Contents

HistoryEdit

FoundingEdit

The original brewery was founded in 1844 as The Empire Brewery, later Best and Company, by brewer Jacob Best. The brewery was run by Jacob Sr. and his sons Phillip, Charles, Jacob Jr., and Lorenz. Phillip took control of the company in 1860.[7] They started the brewery on Chestnut Street Hill in Milwaukee with a capacity of 18 barrels (2.9 m3). Later, in 1863, Frederick Pabst, a steamship captain and son-in-law of Phillip Best, bought 50% of Phillip Best Brewing, and assumed the role of vice president. In 1866, Best's other daughter, Lisette, married Emil Schandein, to whom Best sold the remaining half of the business. This move made Frederick Pabst president, and Lisette's husband vice-president.[8][9] Lisette Schandein took over as vice-president of the company through 1894 after her husband's death.

By 1874 Phillip Best Brewing Co. was the nation's largest brewer.[10] The brewery's best seller was a lager, Best Select, which began public sales in 1875.

20th centuryEdit

 
Pabst Brewery Saloon in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on the National Registered of Historic Places

During much of the 20th century, Pabst was run by Harris Perlstein, who was named president by Frederick Pabst in 1932 after a merger of Pabst Brewing and Premier Malt Products Co. (the latter of which Perlstein had been president).[11] Perlstein emphasized research and innovation; under his direction, Pabst worked with American Can Company to produce the first beer cans, worked to create product consistency among multiple location breweries, and invested heavily in advertising and promotion.[11] In 1954, Perlstein was named Chairman, and served until 1972; he then served as Chairman of the Executive Committee until his retirement in 1979.[12] Pabst's sales reached a peak of 15.6 million barrels (2.48 billion litres) in 1978 before they entered into a steep decline.[10]

During Prohibition, Pabst stopped making beer and switched to cheese production, selling more than 8 million pounds (3.6 million kilograms) of Pabst-ett Cheese. When Prohibition ended, the company went back to selling beer, and the cheese line was sold to Kraft.[13]

Pabst was renowned in Milwaukee for its brewery tours. Visitors to Pabst's tour were rewarded with sometimes bottomless glasses of beer at its end-of-tour Sternewirt Pub. Complete with a statue of Captain Frederick Pabst and waitresses pouring from pitchers of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pabst Bock, and Andeker, the pub was popular with tourists and locals alike, especially students from nearby Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.[14][15]

Kalmanovitz eraEdit

 
The former Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Paul Kalmanovitz, a self-made beer and real-estate baron, purchased the Pabst Brewing company in 1985 for $63 million in a hostile takeover through the auspices of his holding company S&P Co.;[16][17] S&P Co.'s first brewery was Maier Brewing Company, purchased in 1958.[16] When Kalmanovitz died in 1987, S&P became legally inseparable from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Trust.[16]

In 1996, Pabst's entire beer production was contracted out to the Stroh Brewery Company, which utilized excess capacity at the former flagship brewery of the G. Heileman Brewing Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin it had absorbed earlier that year. In turn, the historic Pabst brewery in Milwaukee was closed,[10] ending a 152-year association with the city and turning that company into a virtual brewer.[10] In 1999, Pabst purchased the Stroh label,[18] and the brewery in La Crosse was sold to City Brewing Company.[19] In 2001, production was contracted to Miller Brewing Company, and by then what remained of the Pabst company operated out of San Antonio.[17]

S&P was ordered by the IRS to sell the Pabst Brewing Company by 2005 or lose its not-for-profit, tax-free status. After a while, Pabst Brewing claimed that they were unable to find a buyer at market value and requested an extension until 2010 that the IRS granted.[citation needed]

In 2006, CEO Brian Kovalchuk resigned and the board replaced him with Kevin Kotecki. Kotecki swiftly moved the Pabst Brewing Company and its roughly 100 headquarters personnel to Woodridge, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. The offices in Woodridge were located on historic US Route 66.

Between 2005 and 2010, "PBR brand volume increased 69%, and Pabst's gross margins increased 48 percent, operating profit rose 81 percent, and net revenue per barrel increased 28 percent."[20]

On May 28, 2008 a former Pabst Brewery in Newark, New Jersey, which was in the process of being demolished, caught fire and was seriously damaged.[21]

Metropoulos eraEdit

On May 26, 2010, investor C. Dean Metropoulos reached a deal to purchase Pabst for about $250 million.[22] On May 14, 2011, it was announced that Pabst would be relocating to Los Angeles, California.[2]

Pabst retains a data center in San Antonio, Texas, the previous location of its headquarters. Pabst's shuttered brewery complex in Milwaukee was targeted to be redeveloped into restaurants, entertainment venues, stores, housing and offices. The $317 million project became the subject of public debate in Milwaukee.[23]

Kashper eraEdit

Pabst Brewing Company announced November 13, 2014 that it had completed its sale to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings, LLC. Blue Ribbon is a partnership between American beer entrepreneur Eugene Kashper and TSG Consumer Partners, a San Francisco–based private equity firm.[4] Prior reports suggested the price agreed upon was around $700 million.[5] Redevelopment of the historic Pabst campus continued, with the original brewhouse converted into a hotel, other buildings converted into condominiums and offices, and others still to be redeveloped.

In July 2015, Pabst announced plans to return to Milwaukee and refurbish a former church and training center on the site of the original Pabst Brewing complex as a micro-brewery and tap room.[24] This project was completed in Spring, 2017, with the tap room featuring both newly developed and historic beers in the Pabst portfolio.[citation needed]

Outside the United StatesEdit

Pabst Blue Ribbon America has a licensing agreement and joint venture arrangement with China Pabst Blue Ribbon. It is produced, marketed and distributed by CBR Brewing Company, which jointly owns the company along with Guangdong Blue Ribbon Group under a sub-licensing agreement with the Pabst Brewing Company. CBR is a British Virgin Islands owned company but it is based in China.[25][26][27] China Pabst recently released a new beer called Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 for consumption in the domestic market; it sells for $44 USD a bottle.[28]

In 1999, Sleeman Breweries in Guelph, Ontario, a division of Sapporo Breweries, acquired Stroh Canada which owned the Canadian rights to a folio of brands, including Pabst. Sleeman then became the Canadian manufacturer and distributor of those products.[29]

Product linesEdit

Pabst Blue RibbonEdit

Pabst Blue Ribbon, also known as "PBR", is the namesake of the Pabst Brewing Company products. Originally called Best Select, and then Pabst Select, the current name came from the blue ribbons that were tied around the bottle neck, a practice that ran from 1882 until 1916, discontinued due to a silk shortage during World War I. After Prohibition, the blue ribbons were once again tied around the neck of the bottle, a custom that endured from 1933 until 1950.

Jacob BestEdit

Jacob Best Pilsner is a pale lager named after Pabst's founder, Jacob Best.

BallantineEdit

Ballantine Brewery was acquired by Pabst in 1985 when it bought the Falstaff Brewing Corporation. Ballantine's flagship beer, Ballantine XXX Ale, has remained on the market since Prohibition ended. Ballantine IPA re-launched in August 2014 after nearly 20 years off the market.[30]

SchlitzEdit

Schlitz was first brewed by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee. Schlitz was one of the world's top-selling beers during the first half of the 20th Century.[31] Pabst Brewing Company also produces four Schlitz malt liquors—Schlitz Red Bull, Schlitz Bull Ice, Schlitz High Gravity, and Schlitz Malt Liquor.[1]

BlatzEdit

Blatz was the flagship brand of the Valentin Blatz Brewing Company of Milwaukee. The brewery was a major competitor of Pabst, Miller, Heilemen, and other Milwaukee brewers, but was bought out in 1968 by Pabst. Pabst continued to produce Blatz beer into the 1990s, when it was discontinued. The brand was revived in 2007.

Old MilwaukeeEdit

Old Milwaukee is a pale lager. The beer was first brewed in 1890 by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee, and was re-introduced in 1955 as a value priced beer.

Colt 45Edit

Colt 45 is a brand of malt liquor first produced in 1963 by the National Brewing Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

St. IdesEdit

St. Ides is a brand of malt liquor first launched by the McKenzie River Corporation in 1987. St. Ides gained prominence during the late 1980s and early 1990s through the company's use of celebrity endorsements by rap artists such as Ice Cube, 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Scarface, The Notorious B.I.G., and Method Man & Redman.

Stroh'sEdit

The Stroh Brewery Company in Detroit, Michigan first brewed Stroh's beer in 1850. Stroh's is an American-style lager.

Old StyleEdit

Old Style was first brewed in 1902 by the G. Heileman Brewing Company in La Crosse, Wisconsin under the name Old Style Lager; it was popular in Wisconsin, the Chicago metro area, Minnesota, eastern Iowa, Lincoln, Nebraska, southwestern Michigan, Upper Michigan, and Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota. It has been served at Wrigley Field for decades, and is popular with fans of the Chicago Cubs. The original Heileman's Old Style brewery in La Crosse is now owned by the City Brewing Company. It brews La Crosse Lager, which is based upon the original Old Style recipe and is kräusened for 30 days.

In the early 1990s, Chicago-born actor Dennis Farina made a series of commercials for Old Style beer, mentioning that it was "our great beer... and they can't have it."[32] In 2016, the production of Old Style returned to the La Crosse brewery under a new contract with Pabst; City Brewery became the sole producer of the Old Style brand. Along with the homecoming of the beer, the brand introduced Old Style Oktoberfest.[33]

Lone StarEdit

Lone Star was first brewed by Lone Star Brewing Company in San Antonio, Texas. It was Lone Star Brewing Company's main brand and marketed as "The National Beer of Texas".

OlympiaEdit

The Olympia Brewing Company in Tumwater, Washington first brewed Olympia beer. Olympia is an American-style pale lager.

Rainier BeerEdit

Rainier Beer was first brewed in Seattle, Washington by the Rainier Brewing Company. It is popular in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Schmidt BeerEdit

Schmidt Beer was first brewed by the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1855. It is popular throughout the Upper Midwest.

National BohemianEdit

National Bohemian was the flagship beer of the National Brewing Company in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a Bohemian-style American beer. Ninety percent of National Bohemian sales are in the Baltimore area.[34]

Former independent brandsEdit

AndekerEdit

Pabst introduced a premium brewed European style lager called Andeker in 1939.[35][36] After being discontinued in the 1960s it was brought back from 1972 to 1986. It has been described as "The most European of the Americans, with full body and well-modulated flavor. Creamy rather than violently carbonated, sharp but not bitter." Andeker has been revived by Pabst at their microbrewery on the old Pabst brewery grounds in Milwaukee, is available on tap, in growlers and crawlers.[37]

Red, White and BlueEdit

Red White & Blue was a brand of beer produced and sold by Pabst from before Prohibition until the mid-1980s. Pre-Prohibition advertisements lauded its mellow taste and drinkability. After years of average sales, the brand saw significant growth in the early 1980s due to creative marketing campaigns. However, Pabst reformulated it to reduce costs and by the mid-1980s it was known as a "cheap beer". Sales steeply declined and the brand was discontinued.

AwardsEdit

Awards at the Great American Beer Festival:

Year Award Category Beer
1990 Silver American Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
1990 Silver Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1991 Gold American Lager Pearl Lager Beer
1991 Gold American Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1992 Gold American Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1992 Silver American Lager Hamm's
1992 Silver American Dry Lager Olympia Dry
1993 Gold American Dry Lager Olympia Dry
1993 Bronze Mixed/Non-Alcoholic Pabst NA
1994 Gold American Light Lager Pabst Genuine Draft Light
1994 Gold American Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1994 Silver American Dry Lager Olympia Dry
1995 Gold American Light Lager Pabst Genuine Draft Light
1995 Gold American Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1995 Gold American Specialty Lager Olympia Dry
1996 Gold American Light Lager Pabst Genuine Draft Light
1996 Silver American Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
1997 Gold American Style Specialty Lager Olde English 800
1997 Gold Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverages Pabst NA
1998 Gold Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverages Pabst NA
1998 Silver American Style Light Lager Pabst Genuine Draft Light
2000 Silver Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverages Pabst NA
2003 Gold American Style Light Lager Old Style Light
2003 Gold American Style Lager Old Milwaukee
2003 Silver American Style Lager Rainier
2003 Bronze American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2003 Bronze American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale Old Style
2004 Gold Non-Alcoholic Malt Beverage Old Milwaukee NA
2004 Gold American Style Light Lager Rainier Light
2004 Gold American Style Lager Old Milwaukee
2004 Silver American Lager/Ale or Cream Ale Special Export
2004 Silver American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2004 Silver American Style Specialty Lager Schlitz Malt Liquor
2004 Bronze American Style Lager Schlitz
2004 Bronze American Style Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
2004 Bronze American Style Specialty Lager St. Ides Malt Liquor
2005 Gold American Style Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
2005 Gold American Style Lager Stag
2005 Gold American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2005 Silver American Style Premium Lager Olympia
2005 Silver American Style Lager Rainier
2005 Bronze American Cream Ale or Lager Special Export
2006 Gold American Style Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
2006 Gold American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2006 Silver American Cream Ale or Lager Lone Star
2006 Bronze American Style Lager Blatz
2007 Gold American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Lone Star
2007 Gold American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2007 Silver American Style Light Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon Light
2007 Silver American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2008 Gold American Style Cream Ale or Lager Lone Star
2008 Gold American Style Lager or Premium Lager Olympia
2008 Silver American Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2008 Silver American Style Lager or Premium Lager Blatz
2010 Silver American Style Lager or Light Lager Old Milwaukee
2010 Silver American Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager Rainier
2010 Bronze American Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2011 Gold American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2011 Bronze American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon Light
2011 Silver American Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager Rainier
2011 Bronze American Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2012 Gold American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
2012 Silver American Style Specialty Lager or Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2016 Gold American-Style Lager, Light Lager or Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon

Awards at the World Beer Cup:

Year Award Category Beer
1996 Gold American Style Malt Liquor Olde English 800
1996 Silver American Style Malt Liquor Schlitz Malt Liquor
1996 Bronze American Style Malt Liquor Country Club Malt Liquor
1996 Bronze American Style Ice Lager Schlitz Ice
1998 Gold American Style Malt Liquor Schlitz Malt Liquor
2006 Gold American Style Premium Lager Pabst Blue Ribbon
2006 Gold American Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2008 Gold American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Special Export
2008 Gold American-Style Light Lager Old Milwaukee Light
2008 Silver American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Lone Star
2008 Silver American-Style Light Lager Lone Star Light
2010 Gold American-Style Lager Olympia
2010 Silver American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Old Style
2010 Silver American-Style Lager National Bohemian
2010 Bronze American-Style Cream Ale or Lager Lone Star
2010 Bronze American-Style Specialty Lager Colt 45

Golden Icon Awards by Travolta Family Entertainment:

Year Award Category Beer
2006–2007 Golden Icon Best Domestic Beer Old Style Light

Pabst Brewing Company won "Large Brewing Company of the Year" at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2016.[38]

AdvertisementsEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Our Portfolio Archived 2011-11-15 at the Wayback Machine.; Official website
  2. ^ a b Li, Shan. Pabst Headquarters Moving to Los Angeles; ; May 14, 2011 article; Los Angeles Times
  3. ^ Contact; Official website
  4. ^ a b DesChenes, Denise. "Pabst Brewing Company Completes Sale To Blue Ribbon Holdings". TSG Consumer Partners. TSG Consumer Partners. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016. Retrieved June 5, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Wilmore, James. "Pabst Brewing Co Sale Finalised as Eugene Kashper, TSG take reins". Just-Drinks. Just-Drinks. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Flanigan, Kathy (April 11, 2017). "Pabst's New Milwaukee Brewery to Tap Legacy, 'Funky' Beers When it Opens Friday". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 28, 2017. 
  7. ^ "TransIP". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  8. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. J.T. White. 1893. p. 294. 
  9. ^ "Pabst Brewery". 
  10. ^ a b c d Shuttered Pabst Brewery Brims With History; by Gretchen Ehlke; The Los Angeles Times; December 19, 2004
  11. ^ a b Heise, Kenan (August 19, 1986). "Harris Perlstein, 93, Ex-pabst Chairman". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  12. ^ Time Wire Services (August 23, 1986). "Pabst Brewing Chairman Perlstein Dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Prohibition & Beyond". 
  14. ^ Fowler, Brenda; What's Doing In Milwaukee; The New York Times; June 4, 1995
  15. ^ Platt, Jeff; Milwaukee Beer History; Suds, Wine & Spirits; 2006
  16. ^ a b c The Family Jewels Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine.; September 20, 1995; article; SF Weekly; accessed August 2017
  17. ^ a b Rob Walker (June 22, 2003). "The Marketing of No Marketing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-17. 
  18. ^ Patricia Zacharias & Vivian B. Baulch (December 29, 1998). "Detroiters and their beers". Detroit News-Michigan History. DetNews.com. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. 
  19. ^ "History". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. 
  20. ^ Former Pabst Execs Bitter About Shift in Philosophy Under New Owners; Wernau, Julie; The Chicago Tribune, June 04, 2011
  21. ^ New Jersey. "Firefighters battle blaze at former Newark brewery". Nj.com. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  22. ^ Lattman, Peter; Kesmodel, David (May 26, 2010). "Pabst's New Owner Built Fortune on Old Brands". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
  23. ^ Daykin, Tom (2005–2007). "PabstCity's glass half empty?". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2006-09-14. 
  24. ^ "Pabst Returns to Milwaukee to Build Innovation Brewery". Brewbound.com. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  25. ^ Sittig, Marshall (1995). Guide to China Business Contacts: Companies, Places, and Markets. 
  26. ^ Hoover's Masterlist of Major U.S. Companies 1998-1999. 1998. 
  27. ^ Miller, Russell (2000). Doing Business in Newly Privatized Markets: Global Opportunities and Challenges. 
  28. ^ Gibson, Megan (July 21, 2010). "Pabst Blue Ribbon Is Classy and Expensive in China". Time. 
  29. ^ Hoffman, Andy (March 17, 2009). "A Few Too Many". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved January 28, 2017. Sleeman purchased the Stroh Brewing Co. portfolio of discount beers in 1999 for $39-million. With brands including Old Milwaukee, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the deal helped Sleeman double the company's volume, but in a category with lower margins than found with premium beers 
  30. ^ Nkosi, Nkosi. "The Return of Ballantine". Chicago Beer Geeks. None. Retrieved June 1, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Schlitz returns, drums up nostalgic drinkers". Gannett Co. Inc. August 1, 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  32. ^ 1991 Old Style Commercials, Youtube.com (retrieved 22 July 2013)
  33. ^ Tighe, Mike. "Old Style to add first new brew in 15 years as it returns to La Crosse". La Crosse Tribune. La Crosse Tribune. Retrieved 2016-07-22. 
  34. ^ "National Bohemian beer to be served on draft again". Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "ADSAUSAGE - vintage advertising library". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  36. ^ The Untappd Team. "Andeker Beer Supreme (1968)". Untappd. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  37. ^ The Great Gulp: A Consumer Guide's to Beer [1]
  38. ^ GABF Winners from the festival's website

Further readingEdit

  • Cochran, Thomas C. The Pabst Brewing Company: The History of An American Business. New York: New York University Press, 1948.
  • Weiss, Jana. "Frederick Pabst" in William J. Hausman (ed.). Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present. German Historical Institute, 2018.

External linksEdit