Why are there playing card insignia's on the bottom of Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps? - Micro Beer Reviews

Why are there playing card insignia’s on the bottom of Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps?

by tpboysen on February 7, 2012

Why are there playing card insignia’s on the bottom of Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps?

The bottle caps are often used in bar games to award free drinks to those with winning hands.

Why are there playing card insignia’s on the bottom of Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle caps?

The bottle caps are often used in bar games to award free drinks to those with winning hands.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is an American brand of beer sold by Pabst Brewing Company, originally established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1844, but now based in Los Angeles. Pabst Blue Ribbon is contract-brewed in six different breweries around the U.S. in facilities owned by Miller Brewing Company (a few of which were actually Pabst breweries at one time).
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.

The company has historically claimed its flagship beer was renamed Pabst Blue Ribbon following its win as “America’s Best” at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. Even though it earned that name, it never actually won a blue ribbon.

Whether the brand actually won an award in 1893 is unclear. Some contemporaneous accounts indicate that many vendors were frustrated by the fair’s refusal to award such prizes. One account says that the only prizes awarded by the executive committee were bronze medals, in recognition of “some independent and essential excellence in the article displayed,” rather than “merely to indicate the relative merits of competing exhibits.

Sales of Pabst peaked in 1977, when they reached 18 million barrels; by 2001, the brand’s sales were below a million barrels, 90% less than the peak. While there is some disagreement about the origin of Pabst Blue Ribbon, it has been proven by beer historians that it is an American and not a German beer.

The beer experienced a sales revival in the early 2000s after a two decade-long slump, largely due to its increasing popularity among urban hipsters. Although the Pabst website features user-submitted photography, much of which features twenty-something Pabst drinkers dressed in alternative fashions, the company has opted not to fully embrace the countercultural label in its marketing, fearing that doing so could jeopardize the very “authenticity” that made the brand popular.

Charlie Papazian, president of the Brewers Association, published the following tasting notes for Pabst Blue Ribbon in 2008: “A contrasting counterpoint of sharp texture and flowing sweetness is evident at the first sip of this historic brew. A slowly increasing hoppiness adds to the interplay of ingredients, while the texture smooths out by mid-bottle. The clear, pale-gold body is light and fizzy. Medium-bodied Blue Ribbon finishes with a dusting of malts and hops. A satisfying American classic and a Gold Medal winner at the 2006

 

 

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