It’s a sad day for lovers of cheap beer and cheap buzzes. The domestic beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon and its subsidiary brands have been bought by a Russian beverage company.
According to the New York Times, a company called Oasis Beverages purchased Pabst Brewing over the weekend as part of a deal worth more than $700 million. That’s not bad for a company that sells a beer brand that you can usually buy in the discount bin with the change you get from filling up your car. The deal means that Oasis not only owns Pabst Blue Ribbon but a whole line of familiar beer names including Schlitz, Old Milwaukee and Colt 45.
The Russian invasion is also getting very personal. The foreign power now owns Old Style, a true Chicago favorite. They’ve also claimed Lone Star (beloved in Texas, natch), the NYC favorite of McSorley’s, the twin Seattle powers of the Rainier and Olympia brands–plus Baltimore’s baffling National Bohemian line, also known as NattyBo’s, because it’s cheap and plentiful unlike things like toiletries in Russia.
The manufacturing plants and bottling companies will remain stateside but they’ll now be under the watchful eye of a Russian company. Sadly, this is just an inevitable symptom of a beer market that’s becoming more and more consolidated as giants like Heineken and Anheiser-Busch find new companies to merge with and strike deals to become one company. Even if you’re not a drinker of Pabst Blue Ribbon, it still hurts to know that America has one less corner in the beer market. Sure it’s not the classiest beer on the market or even the best tasting but it was ours. It felt almost patriotic to get ripped on a six-pack of the stuff and not just because it only $5 to do so.