contract law

A Lawsuit Could Decide the Fate of PBR and Other Working Class Beer Brands

America's beer market is changing, and giant beer companies are the hardest hit.

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RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom

A Wisconsin courtroom was the setting this week for a lawsuit pitting some of the biggest names in watery American beer against each other. The case pits "hipster favorite" Pabst, parent of PBR, against the much larger MillerCoors, which Pabst claims wants "to put it out of business."

Earlier this year, Pabst sued MillerCoors, alleging MillerCoors has engaged in "breach of contract, breach of anti-competition laws, fraud, and misrepresentation." The companies' currently have an agreement in which MillerCoors brews Pabst's beer brands. That agreement is about to end, and MillerCoors seems ambivalent about renewing the contract. Pabst has asked the Wisconsin court to award it $400 million in damages and to force MillerCoors to renew the contract.

The case, which is being heard in state court in Milwaukee, could decide the future of Pabst's entire portfolio of beers, from PBR to Old Milwaukee, Lone Star, Old Style, Colt 45, Natty Bo, Rainier, Schlitz, Olympia, Stroh's, Schaefer, Schmidt's, Pearl, and Blatz.

MillerCoors brews Pabst's beers under a 1999 contract—a type of agreement known in the industry as contract brewing—that is set to expire in 2020. That contract contemplated two potential five-year renewals. MillerCoors argues the company should be free to determine whether to renew the contract, while Pabst alleges "that the two need to find a solution together if Pabst wants to continue the agreement." Pabst also insists MillerCoors has a good-faith obligation to negotiate a renewal.

MillerCoors hasn't foreclosed on continuing its partnership with Pabst. For example, it's considered selling its Irwindale, California, facility to Pabst, or continuing to brew Pabst's beers there at a much higher cost.

Pabst insists the only way the company can continue to exist is if MillerCoors, which is owned by Molson Coors, continues to produce its beers under contract at a cost Pabst finds fair. That may be true. Pabst doesn't brew beer, and AB InBev, which owns industry leader Budweiser and which is likely the only other brewer large enough to produce the full Pabst line, forswears the contract-brewing model.

This case presents an interesting dilemma, given that Pabst pays MillerCoors to brew its beers, which then compete against MillerCoors beers in the marketplace.

If MillerCoors indeed plans to close its Irwindale brewing facility, and the resulting decrease in capacity would make it difficult or impossible for the company to continue brewing Pabst's beers, then it makes sense at first glance for the company to sell off the facilities rather than to discard or mothball them. Pabst would seem to be the perfect buyer.

But the asking price may be too high for Pabst. Or MillerCoors may have decided it simply doesn't want Pabst beers to compete with its own low-end beers on store shelves and in bars. Indeed, Pabst alleges documents it obtained show MillerCoors is trying to kill off its client-competitor. In an April interim ruling, the judge in the case cast a wary eye at MillerCoors, suggesting its alleged interest in eliminating competition from Pabst may have guided its actions.

Continuing the current relationship between Pabst and MillerCoors may prove untenable. But, as the portmanteau MillerCoors suggests, consolidation among large brewers is the name of the game these days. Pabst itself markets many beers it's picked up in fire sales over the years. Hence, MillerCoors (or its parent) could offer to buy Pabst. The wrinkle, of course, is that should MillerCoors decide to do so, then holding the threat not to renew its contract with Pabst like an axe over Pabst's head would likely drive down the purchase price dramatically. But that approach would also be a gamble. Under that scenario, MillerCoors also risks another buyer—including its larger competitor, AB InBev—swooping in and buying Pabst, or at least starting a bidding war that would drive the Pabst purchase price back up. Alternately, Pabst could choose to sell some or all of its many brands piecemeal to the highest bidder, which might include MillerCoors, AB InBev, and others.

Even if Pabst is ultimately victorious in this suit, the writing may be on the wall for it—and maybe MillerCoors, too. Notably, America's changing beer-drinking habits have hit large beer companies hard. Both Pabst and MillerCoors have been laying off employees left and right. Furthermore, the fact that Pabst's existing contract with MillerCoors only contemplated two five-year renewals may mean if Pabst isn't toast now, it could be by 2030.

Where do I stand in all of this? I drink Miller Lite at baseball games from time to time, and PBR, Olympia, and Rainier at happy hours when they're offered for less than $3. I also believe courts shouldn't force parties to renew a contract—whether or not that contract contemplates a potential renewal(s)—even if failure to do so could imperil one party to the contract. The fact this could mean the death of Pabst and PBR doesn't change that equation for me.

The trial that began this week in Milwaukee is set to wrap up by the end of the month. Considering the lag time before a ruling in this case and the inevitable appeals, we likely won't know for a while just what the market for cheap beer will look like going forward, or whether that market will include PBR.

NEXT: American Civil Liberties Union, RIP

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  1. Hipsters are so cute.

    In other news, your unemployed 28 year old is demanding a renewal of his “lease” on your basement “apartment” (you know, the one that comes with refrigerator rights and car pool subsidy). Because “the only way the [hipster] can continue to exist” is if his residence is provided at a cost he finds fair.

    1. Agree. While Pabst may indeed be hurt, I don’t see that it’s Miller-Coors responsibility to renew a contract if they are no longer under any legal obligation to do so. That’s called contract law. Pabst can buy or build breweries or contract with another brewer if they so choose. If they can’t do so profitably, then they have a broken business model and may go out of business. This is how capitalism is supposed to work.

      1. Did you even bother to read the contract prior to your comment?

        Darwin wrote that “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
        You’re proving that here.

        The contract is much more complicated than your simpleton analysis.

        Pabst retains the FIRST RIGHT of renewal under the terms of the contract.
        The Judge formerly ruled in the case has already raised serious doubts about the motives of MillerCoors.

        “There is also evidence that MillerCoors may have also used information relating to the business effects on Pabst of terminating the Brewing Agreement, information which would be improper as it doesn’t relate to a sufficient capacity determination,” the judge wrote.”

        Plus, the Judge raised questions about the “proposed” “closing” of the MC plant.
        The judge noted that the claimed potential brewery closure is at odds with MillerCoors’ optimism about “achieving growth” in 2019.
        Prior to the lawsuit MC stated “We are not planning to close Irwindale or any other brewery at this time.”

        Thus the issue revolves around MC’s possible violations of the contract, as written.

        This very case outlines why “Libertarianism” doesn’t work.
        Parties seldom get along and/or see eye-to-eye with one another, thus third parties are utilized in attempt to provide objective analysis.

        I suggest you actually read the facts of the case prior to responding.
        Break free of your ignorance.

        1. Consider this analogy:
          ? A Landlord rents an apartment, with a contractually set rate of rent for 2 years.
          ? The contract contains a clause stating the rent may be raised if the Landlord sells that property to a third party.
          ? A QUICKLY booming market drives rents up in that area.
          ? Simply wanting more rent, the Landlord sells that property after 3 months to his son, or wife, for $1, just for the mere sake of transferring ownership…..only on paper.
          ? The same Landlord however retains actual possession.
          ? The Landlord then jacks up the rent for the same occupying tenants, whom held that 2 year contract, with 21 months left on that contract, based on that fraudulent transfer/sale….again just for the sake of jacking up rent.

          Therefore, in a moral and ethical (and likely legal) sense, the Landlord, via pure greed, is seeking a backdoor exit from the very contract he created.

          This is the reality of human greed.
          This is why Judges have to hear cases & rule on contractual issues.

          Everything is not always so clear cut.
          Humans do not always act in good faith, nor in ethical nor moral manners.

          This is why “Libertarianism” DOES NOT WORK.

          1. I challenge you, and the ignoramuses at Reason, to read a little and do some research on the concept of “Buyers Remorse”.

            Buyers often seek creative ways of violating contracts they’ve agreed to simply because of their own flakiness & inabilities to live up to their own decisions.

            This is why contracts were invented in the first place.
            Now, even signers of those contracts look for shyster methods to renege on their written affirmations/words.

            My principle of sustainable universality:
            Before making any decision or taking any action, one should consider the universal consequences of those decisions/actions if EVERYONE were to do the same.
            Would those actions create universal sustainability?

            If EVERYONE were to UNIVERSALLY renege on signed contracts (or their word), what would become of society?
            There would be absolutely no trust, thus no business dealings, as everyone would always be fearful of getting screwed in those dealings….since no one would be held accountable for their signed affirmations to uphold obligations.

            Society would absolutely fall apart.

            THIS IS WHY “LIBERTARIANISM” DOES NOT WORK.

            There are, and will ALWAYS be some people looking out only for themselves…..at the expense of everyone else.
            These vicious people are why “Libertarianism” fails.

            “Law is therefore a sign of the corruption of man; and many laws are signs of the corruption of the state”
            Cato’s Letters #42

            1. Fuck off Hihn.

            2. I am ever so grateful that you’ve brought to my attention the astounding fact that libertarians don’t believe in contracts. I shall shun these people both forthwith and henceforth and forevermore be in your debt for your gift of enlightenment on the matter. Might I be so bold as to inquire as to the existence and availability of a newsletter so that I may expand my enlightenment?

              1. Did you mean hihnlightenment?

            3. It’s cute that you pretend Pabst didn’t have legal representation when negotiating the contract. Takes a pretty ignorant person to compare a renter without representation to a corporation with effective legal representation.

              Put into shorter words… Fuck off hihn.

              1. Libertarians believe in contracts. Argument fails.

            4. jello.beyonce|11.17.18 @ 1:43PM|#
              “I challenge you, and the ignoramuses at Reason, to read a little and do some research on the concept of “Buyers Remorse”.”

              Most everybody is sorry you’re here.
              Do us all a favor: Fuck off.

            5. BAKE THE CAKE —> BREW THE BEER

            6. So Pabst isn’t just looking out for themselves?

          2. Meanwhile, word spreads about this landlord and the underhanded tactics he uses in order to violate contracts. Other landlords, competing for the same renters, keep their prices lower, luring people away from the crooked landlord’s building.

            Greedy landlord laments at a building full of empty apartments.

            1. Or other landlords follow his example, because people are often like that. Especially in a market where prices are rising rapidly like in the example.

              1. Or… prices rise to meet demand. This grants all parties an honest current valuation of rental spaces versus all other uses of money. It also signals yo those not currently in the landlord game that now may be the time to jump in, increasing supply due to this horrible greed, thereby allowing more people access to more rental properties. Eventually, the price will meet a market threshold and stabilize for the time being. If this point is too high, properties will be empty driving prices back down. If this price is good, you will have sustained market clearance.

                The horror!!!!

          3. That’s a weird contract. None of my rental agreements ever said anything like that. Though I believe there are some laws where you can refuse to renew the lease on properties if you or a family member are going to live there. Normally anyone who takes over the property, takes over the contract as written and has to follow the terms agreed to by the previous owner. But I guess if you sign such a strange contract it can be enforced – well depending if local laws allow it.

            It is ordinary, though obviously not universal, for businesses to get guaranteed options to renew their leases. If the contract says Pabst has a guaranteed renewal option at certain terms, case closed MillerCoors needs to be for them. If the contract says MillerCoors can decline to renew the contract at their discretion, too bad for Pabst I guess their going out of business. If the contract has more complicated terms that aren’t so cut and dry I guess we’ll have to see how the lawsuit goes.

            From a linked article:
            “MillerCoors argues that it has sole discretion to determine whether it can continue brewing for Pabst, whereas Pabst says the companies must work “in good faith” to find a solution if Pabst wants to extend the agreement but MillerCoors lacks the capacity.”

            1. Sounds like the terms might be a bit complicated. It’s impossible to say from any article I can find, but that quote seems to imply that Pabst has some kind of guarantee renewal, but MillerCoors can back out of it if they don’t have the capacity to handle Pabst in addition to their own brands. MillerCoors seems to be saying the contract lets them reduce capacity at their discretion and thereby get out of the renewal clause, and Pabst seems to be saying the contract says they have to make a good faith effort to provide enough capacity and live by the terms of the contract and documents show that they’re closing the plants specifically to get out of the contract so not good faith.

              I guess it depends on what the contract actually says. There’s no reason for libertarians to support one side or the other except to support abiding by contract terms and the rule of law.

          4. The very premise your analogy is faulty, MillerCoors is not trying to alter the terms of the existing contract, nor change the terms thereof. They are simply declining to renew the contract. In terms of your analogy it would be like the tenants having right of first refusal on a new lease after theirs expires, however this right does not preclude the landlord from raising the rent, or from taking the apartment off the market. Remember both parties have rights

            1. It’s an ordinary thing for commerical tenants to have a certain number of guaranteed renewals of their lease, where the landlord has to offer a renewal at pre-agreed terms and they can choose to renew or not. But of course that’s not the case for all leases, it’s just not an unusual concept.

              And of course this is no doubt a much more detailed and carefully written contract than an ordinary commerical lease, so it probably depends details not presented in the article.

        2. Where is the contract available? I didn’t notice a link to it in the article.

        3. Have you seen the actual contract, beyonce? I haven’t and can only speculate based on what is presented in the article. True, the article could be slanted in favor or Miller-Coors but I don’t know whether that is the case. Unless you have seen the actual contract, you are also only speculating, so STFU beyonce!

        4. >This very case outlines why “Libertarianism” doesn’t work.

          Not really. Linnekin’s opinions here are not “Libertarianism.” The idea that a terms of a voluntary contact should be adjudicated by an agreed on third party that has the power to force one party’s actions is in no way un-libertarian.

          The lesson to be drawn from the article is sloppy, knee jerk reporting is bad. This is just another case of hurried short form writing that misses the important facts of the matter. Something that is endemic in all online political and social issue publishing. Even very good reporters do it sometimes when deadlines are close. It is pretty clear that Linnekin either didn’t understand the basis of the contract or just ignored it all together. But his final point that PBR is doomed by changes in the industry still seems likely to come true.

        5. This very case outlines why “Libertarianism” doesn’t work. Parties seldom get along and/or see eye-to-eye with one another, thus third parties are utilized in attempt to provide objective analysis.

          Libertarians favor contracts and civil lawsuits for conflict resolution. You know, like what is happening in this case.

          The Judge formerly ruled in the case has already raised serious doubts about the motives of MillerCoors.

          In a just and fair legal system (libertarian or otherwise), MillerCoors’ motives don’t matter; what matters is what the contract says.

          Now, as to the contract itself, I have no idea what it says, but the word salad you created does not constitute a legal argument, and you provided no evidence or sources for your claims.

          Take your own advice: Break free of your ignorance.

          1. That’s what I was thinking. Isn’t the whole point of a contract making a deal explicit enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about the quality of the signatories’ (sp?) faith?

      2. They can’t sell their swill at a market price people are willing to pay, if they actually had to make it….

  2. What is the purpose of this article?

    1. It could have been a case study on the proper role of civil courts in adjudicating “good faith negotiation” clauses in a (hypothetical) libertarian society. Alas…

      1. I think the bigger Libertarian issue here is whether anti-trust law has a place in a libertarian legal regime. The only issue here beyond a garden variety contract dispute is how the consolidation of the beer industry is reducing choice and competition.

        1. I do not see how Libertarianism can be compatible with monopoly and trust. Anti-trust should be the default Libertarian position. Consolidation of anything leads to far easier control by a government or a small, unaccountable group of people. Atomization of businesses helps minimize the risk of this.

          1. But that runs exactly counter to basic freedoms such as freedom of association.

            So maybe not entirely libertarian either.

          2. Anti-trust should be the default Libertarian position.

            Stable monopolies don’t exist, unless they are created and supported by government.

            The default libertarian position should be, and is, that no government interference in the market is warranted, period.

        2. Though choice has absolutely exploded now. The craft beer market is almost excessive now. Which is one thing that has hurt these big companies. It’s less that Budweiser or something is now dominating MillerCoors and more that a proliferation of small craft breweries are individually eating into the big dogs.

          1. Most of them have long since been purchased by the big dogs.

            1. The beer industry has followed the model of the pharmaceutical and tech industries. Little guys innovate and big boys buy up the innovators.

            2. I don’t know about that. There’s tons opening every month around me. New places opening slower even in my old hometown of Tucson. The markets have been opened up a lot, and there is a lot of variety. Even major beers like Sam Adams are not a part of the big dog

              Beer has an advantage of being easy to make, you can throw just about anything into it, and now that the market is being deregulated any asshole can make it. Variety abounds. Hell, 1400 microbreweries exist in Colorado alone. This is an increasingly distributed system.

              1. My question is this: Who gives a flying “F” about Miller/Coors and Pabst? Hell, Bozeman, Montana alone has about eight or nine microbreweries. We’ve got beer coming out the wazoo. Yahooo! Who knew?

        3. Reduced competition? Have almost 30 microbrews in a 50 mile radius. Why are we using government to save a shitty hipster beer?

        4. there’s more beer choice and competition than ever though

        5. I think the bigger Libertarian issue here is whether anti-trust law has a place in a libertarian legal regime.

          I don’t think you can really avoid monopoly. Beyond the “muh property” arguments, the striving for monopoly is a market mechanism that is part and parcel of competition. Virtually no business puts forth the effort just to be good enough. Anti-monopoly is effectively anti-growth. Not to mention most of the arguments against monopoly are from the “benefits to the consumer” type, which is just arguing for another type of collectivism. If it is good enough for there, it is good enough for everywhere, and the whole of libertarianism unfolds (more than it presently does).

          You could make the argument that in an imperfect market, some meddling is required to return it to a “natural” state. But the question is then why here and not in forcing people to bake the goddamn cake.

          Either you trust markets or you don’t. Either way, libertarianism falls short in its current conception.

          1. This has less than zero intelligence attached. Did you intend to sound this stupid?

            1. It’s essentially a paraphrasing of Schumpeter, and it’s not like you have the capacity to refute it in any meaningful way, so exactly who are you trying to fool, speaking of sounding stupid?

              1. Yeah, that was a silly non-response.

                There are arguments as to why allowing monopolies to form is a problem for the libertarian model. Really good arguments. Simply asserting that bog standard libertarian ideas have zero intelligence is not argument. It is simply contradiction.

              2. It’s essentially a paraphrasing of Schumpeter,

                That may have been your intention, but unlike Schumpeter, your writing is a meaningless word salad.

                When you “paraphrase”, try to make it coherent.

                1. Apologies. Next time I’ll see if I can dumb it down even further for the more “special” among us.

                  Would a picture book work for you? Maybe hand puppets?

        6. > consolidation of the beer industry is reducing choice and competition

          The beer industry is more competitive than it has been for decades, if not forever. The consolidation among major companies is a result of competition not a cause of reduced choice or competition.

          It is really just a contract dispute.

        7. I know! I see fewer and fewer choices of beer in the liquor store all the time!

    2. The purpose is to see if the courts will allow capitalism to work as it is supposed to or will socialism and politics force Miller-Coors to renew a contract they are not legally required to. Of course, this could be a ploy by Miller-Coors to force new tax breaks from local communities where they are threatening to close breweries.

    3. To show that South Afrikans and Canadians are not running American beer brands very well.

      MillerCoors is a beer brewing company in the United States. In 2002 South African Breweries purchased Miller Brewing Company to create SABMiller. In 2005, Molson Brewery of Canada and Coors Brewing Company merged to form the Molson Coors Brewing Company. Then, in 2008, SABMiller and Molson Coors created MillerCoors as a joint venture for their operations in the U.S. The company is the second-largest brewer in the U.S., after Anheuser-Busch.
      -Wikipedia

  3. No working class person drinks PBR.

    1. You are correct. The unemployed like trust hipsters do.

    2. you’re not from the midwest, are you?

      1. I’ve been in the Midwest most of my life (including several years bartending) and he’s right. They drink Bud light, Coors light, Miller light, etc

    3. Old Style, Schlitz, and any other cheap beer.

      1. Those are Granddad beers, even more hipster than PBR

  4. All that should matter is what the current contract says about renewal. Whether Pabst or MillerCoors is butthurt and feels disrespected is of no import. If either or both dwindle or go out of business is not a matter of law.

    Since I don’t know what the current contract says, I have no other opinion.

    1. If the brand is worth anything, someone will buy it and keep making it. It is really that simple. If Miller walks away from this and there is no one else willing to distribute their beer, then the market has spoken. What do the hipster at reason expect to be done about it?

      1. “If the brand is worth anything, someone will buy it and keep making it. It is really that simple.”

        It’s not that simple. Pabst has no breweries of it’s own to sell to a buyer, and the only existing brewery company, besides MillerCoors, that could handle Pabst at current production volumes is AB InBev, and AB InBev doesn’t do contract brewing.

        The Pabst brand has no presence in mid to low volume craft beer market. This means that the only potential domestic buyers that wouldn’t face a massive, capital intensive, plant building project to do anything with the Pabst brand are MillerCoors and AB InBev, and I doubt either of them would be interested.

        1. Yes it is that simple. If there is enough interest — if the brand is distinctive enough to have a high probability of getting a return on the investment — then someone will make that investment.

          If no one can be interested, then it’s not popular enough and won’t be saved.

          Or are you one of those people who thinks the government should save “historical” buildings and mark off huge tracts of land for national monuments that get very few visitors, and you want someone — the government! — to save Pabst because of its historical aspect?

          Fuck off, slaver.

          1. “and you want someone — the government! — to save Pabst because of its historical aspect?”

            No, I don’t thing the government should save historical buildings or business.

            Pabst is doomed. They painted themselves into a corner by getting out of the business of brewing their own beer while staying in the business of selling mass-market beer. Even if they get MillerCoors to renew for now at a cost they consider acceptable, this is not sustainable long term.

            “if the brand is distinctive enough to have a high probability of getting a return on the investment — then someone will make that investment.”

            You are missing my point, The Pabst brand is low cost, high volume. Out side of that, the brand has zero value. Any buyer other than MillerCoors or AB InBev would have to massively step down volume, which takes them out of the low cost, high volume market in which Pabst brand has value, or they would have to spend and order of magnitude more money than they spent buying the brand on building production facilities to produce the new brand’s products, pushing any return on investment decades into the future.

        2. It’s precisely that simple.

          1. No, it may be simple, but it’s not that simple, it’s a different simple. Pabst is doomed, they can’t be saved. The only simple is for Pabst to shut down. There are only two potential buyers who could possibly buy the brand and operate it in it’s current market space without massive capital investment beyond the cost of buy the Pabst brand.

            1. And why should those two potential buyers do that?

        3. It’s not that simple. Pabst has no breweries of it’s own to sell to a buyer,

          Well, then Pabst has a bad business model, isn’t very valuable, and should go out of business.

          1. Exactly. It’s just stupid to rely on your competitor to manufacture your own product. It never ends well.

    2. That’s what I don’t get. Pabst made a really shitty business deal without a backup plan in case of non renewal. Let them fail. Business doesn’t have to live forever.

      1. Considering they got out of the business of brewing their own beer, I’m surprised that they didn’t fail some time ago.

  5. Regardless of the philosophical arguments, the Feds hold that competition is a Good Thing in and of itself even if the end result is not better for the consumer. (There’s always the argument that a monopoly is free to raise its prices to exorbitant and extortionate levels, as Alcoa and Standard Oil and Microsoft could have, despite all the evidence showing that no they can’t as witnessed by the fact that Alcoa and Standard Oil and Microsoft made their stuff orders of magnitude cheaper than they were previously and not more expensive.) So it will be interesting to see how far they are willing to go to preserve competition even at the cost of violating basic market principles.

    They’ve already used Ford and Chrysler and Honda and Kia and every other US auto manufacturer’s taxes, as well as the taxes of every buyer of non-GM automobiles, to keep GM in competition for auto sales when the consumers have clearly said they didn’t want to buy what GM was offering at the price GM was willing to sell. How is that beneficial to the consumer to be forced to pay for products they don’t want? Apparently, if Pabst can’t afford to stay in business because they can’t produce a profitable product, the government is willing and able to step in and force everybody to pitch in and help them out, but why not cut out the middleman of IRS shenanigans and just force Miller to brew the Pabst and consumers to buy both Pabst and Miller products to keep them both comfortably profitable?

  6. Hate to say it, but sounds like PBR signed their own death certificate (aka brewing contract) in 1999.

  7. What an absurd lawsuit! Contending that a business MUST continue working with another is fascist. Also, why in Heaven’s name would anyone still be drinking Pabst (or any similar American beer, e.g. Coors, Bud, etc.) at all, given the large amount of craft beer outlets. When I was younger, we called Pabst, etc. “Piss Water” as it was about as tasty as carbonated water, and it looked like piss.

    1. People still drink those beers because not everyone is into “Triple Hopped Hipster Douche Bag Double IPA”.

      1. IPA’s are a great example of group think. IPA’s are shit but everyone acts like it’s Christ blood.

        1. They’re like “You too can drink some repellant bullshit and pretend it is grand”.

          1. It is the equivalent of nose to tail cooking. Hey, the asshole is really good. Better than the tenderloin.

            1. Intestine is pretty damn great.

              1. Cut in pieces, deep fried until crisp, and served with vinegar, it is.

                But it’s ever so much better stuffed with ground and seasoned pork…

        2. Is it really so hard to believe that other people have different tastes than you? Maybe they are over-represented in the market for some reason, but people actually do like IPAs. It’s OK if you don’t. There is plenty of other stuff to drink out there.

          1. There’s no accounting for taste, but IPA’s are objectively shit beer. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s historical fact. The beers were brewed with higher alchohol content and hopped up in order to survive the long trip between England and India. In other words, pre-ruined. So you couldn’t tell if they had actually gone bad.

            They are popular with micro breweries today because they are easy to make and notoriously difficult to screw up. Not because they are actually good beers.

            1. Most beers are too hopped for me. There are alternatives, collectively called grud. Unhopped ale’s not bad, but its taste can be improved by the addition of any no. or combination of herbs that were in common use before hops, & these mixtures (some of which can even include some hops) are called grud. Next yr. I want to start on grud; so far it’s been only apfelwein & mead by me. Actually I’d like to make sake, but ales seem simpler.

              1. Fuck off Hihn.

              2. Personally, I stick with mead; You just have to brew it yourself, because buying it is insanely expensive. But you end up with exactly what you like.

            2. And millibeum eggs are spoiled and rotten eggs, they sell for a lot. Hopped beers beat a session ale Every time. They are hard to mess up, why most Brewers start with them. I prefer reds myself. But doesn’t mean pales are shit. Just ignorance there.

            3. None of what you say demonstrates that it is objectively bad. Lots of foods and beverages originated as ways to preserve stuff. Sometimes people like the resulting products enough that they keep making them even when it isn’t necessary to do so anymore because refrigeration is a thing.

              Don’t be an ass. There’s nothing to gain by trying to prove that your tastes are the correct ones.

            4. This is actually how the non-green teas most people drink originated. Pre-oxidized to survive shipping.

          2. “Is it really so hard to believe that other people have different tastes than you? ”

            Is it really so hard to believe you like beer that tastes awful?

            This is the problem with people like you, you seem to think the fact that you like it means it tastes good, when it is far more likely that you just have shitty taste and like beer that tastes awful.

            1. The fact that I like it does mean it tastes good. Tasting good is an entirely subjective judgement.

              It’s fucking bizarre how hostile IPA haters are. Is someone trying to force you to drink it?

              1. It’s fucking bizarre how hostile IPA haters are.

                I’m an IPA hater. Yes, I’ll go out of my way to voice my opinion on it. I’ll deride others for their “bad” taste (mostly in jest).

                BUT…taste is completely subjective. Clearly, the market has spoken and enough people like it to support the numbers in existence. So be it.

                What amazes me is why people have such a need for everyone else to be just like them. Self-validation through popularity? People really are herd animals.

                (ps, I also have a velvet Elvis hanging over my bed)

                1. So if a person is vegan, drinks IPA, and does crossfit, which do they talk about first?

            2. Show us on the doll where the hops touched you.

            3. If someone thinks it tastes good it DOES. They experience it like that. And the fact that there are literally hundreds of different beers in the smallish liquor store where I shop means that different beers appeal to different people at different times.

              Why the fuck would you want to dictate what someone else finds appealing? If it tastes awful to you, don’t buy it and don’t drink it.

        3. double IPAs rock

        4. There are a lot of good IPAs out there. The problem is when I go to a store to buy beer, it seems that’s all they have, some variation on an IPA. It’s bullshit. Look, I like IPAs, juicy, double, imperial or otherwise. But today I want a good malty bock or maybe a spicy saison. No, fuck you, here’s 30 types of pale ale and IPA. That’s why it’s nice to homebrew and know other homebrewers, so you can at least branch out into other beers and not have to pay $15 for a six pack (or four pack).

          1. I never have trouble finding something non-IPA if I want to.

      2. Is it Autumnal?

        1. Yes. It is a double hopped triple autumnal IPA.

          1. Sung to the tune of “one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater”.

            1. Fuck off Hihn.

              1. I think you have drunk too much craft beer. Doesnt sound like Hihn at all.

                Actually, “that was pretty funny, right there, I dont care who you are”

      3. You do realize there are craft soirs, ales, stouts, lagers, Scottish ales, and even sessions if you like crappy beer. Not everything id an ipa or pale ale.

        1. Sadly, thanks to people becoming used to over hopped beers, those often taste like shit too.

    2. Find me a better beer then Natty Boh to drink while eating Maryland blue crabs on a hot summer day.

      1. Natty Boh is in the right circumstances very fine beer.

      2. Flying Dog – Dead Rise. A light Old bay ale. It’s amazing w/ MD blue crabs.

    3. What an absurd lawsuit! Contending that a business MUST continue working with another is fascist.

      Depends on what is in the contract concerning renewal, doesn’t it? That aspect IS a matter for courts.

    4. PBR has two years to get a brewery up and running before the brewing contract runs out.

    5. Most beer looks like “piss”.

  8. I’m not an MBA, but what the hell kind of business model is it when you’re reliant upon your competitor to produce your widget?

    Not quite as insane as allowing our space program to rely upon the Russkies. but close.

    1. If I were making the argument, I’d talk about how distribution becomes a major barrier to entry into the market.

      Coca-Cola is a distribution network more than it’s a maker of soft drinks. Their distribution network is their competitive advantage. From Lost Holler, West Virginia to Cult Camp, Utah, every time someone buys a Coke off the shelf at the smallest hole in the wall anywhere in this country, it’s replaced by Coca-Cola with another one. No one else can distribute soft drinks as quickly, as efficiently, and as cheaply as Coca-Cola. The only one that comes close is Pepsi. That’s why if you make it in the soft drink business with a new brand, you’re probably eventually selling yourself to Pepsi or Coke. You cannot compete with their distribution system unless you build the same system they have from scratch, and that would take decades or huge infusions of cash with little hope of normal rate of return.

      Beer is distributed like that, too. The expense in making sugar water or beer for mass consumption is not in the ingredients. I’m sure it’s mostly in the distribution. If you want to replace a can of beer everwhere cans of beer are consumed and every time a can of beer is consumed, you’re talking about a giant expense. MillerCoors and Annheiser-Busch may have all but monopolized access to that market with their distribution network.

      1. Yes it is about economies of scale. Paying someone to stuck some of your beer on their trucks that are already distributing their beer is much cheaper than buying a feel of trucks and people to deliver them yourself.

        The problem is that thanks to state control of alcohol sale, you can’t send alcohol through the mail like you can any other product. This gives the big brewers an enormous advantage and creates a huge barrier to entry.

        1. What percentage of soft drinks are distributed thru the mail?

          1. If I’m springing for something specific from the far reaches of wherever, it’s not going to be carbonated corn syrup.

            How many bottles of wine are sent through the mail?

        2. I’ve bought wine online that ships through the mail. I even bought absinthe about fifteen years ago (I was disappointed). Can beer be far behind?

      2. That is a good point. For a fairly lengthy stretch in the 1970’s and 1980’s, the only reason Pepsi wasn’t the top selling drink in the country was Coke’s far superior distribution network and agreements. It wasn’t due to actual market pressures or customer preferences.

      3. So team with Costco, Walmart, or a non competitor. Grow at the pace you can. Don’t start a new business thinking you have to March the distribution of coke. We have quite a few restaurants here that buy craft sodas and will let consumers who like the product know how to get some for home.

        1. Some brands do that. Eventually, once you get past a certain scale, you can’t compete on price unless you have access to that distribution scale. Arizona Iced Tea, New York Seltzer, and Snapple all came up like that. They all sold out or disappeared once they got to a certain size, too.

          Notice, I’m not saying that the argument that PBR is right. I’m saying that’s the argument I would make.

          PBR is trying to compete with mainline beers like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, etc. They cannot compete with those guys on price without distribution. If they say that their brand can’t compete unless they have access to MillerCoors’ distribution system, I see no reason not to believe that.

          Businesses have to limit their scale or go out of business because of these kinds of reasons all the time. Maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe PBR should fail this time for the same reason it failed last time–because their beer tastes so awful and you can get better tasting beers at a lower price point.

        2. That being said, the fact is that distribution is a major barrier to entry into the market. It isn’t the only barrier. Another barrier is advertising. Does anyone advertise more than Coke, Pepsi, and assorted beer companies? You have to spend a tremendous amount of money to get consumers to know your brand even exists over and above all that advertising that Coke and Pepsi are doing. You’re gonna achieve some brand awareness against that kind of competition?

          If it weren’t for ICP, I wouldn’t even know that Faygo existed. And they pretty much only distribute in Detroit and some other nearby cities I guess. Maybe PBR should be like that. Maybe they should be like Rainier, which I think only exists around Puget Sound.

          But those are market barriers, and they’re used to squeeze out the competition. If you want to make an argument for why MillerCoors should be forced to distribute your beer, you look at the market barriers and whether they’re effective. They are, so if I were PBR, that’s what I would be arguing.

          1. I just don’t think of distribution or advertisement as a barrier since all business basically need to do it. A barrier to me is using governmental influence to create new restrictions while grandfathering in established business. Various professional licenses are barriers. Exclusive banking/supplier deals are barriers. I just can’t think of regular business costs as barriers.

            1. Some barriers to entry are rather natural, and it’s used to justify government intervention. Having the gas lines of five different companies running into your house would be absurd, so the government justifies capping rates because of that natural barrier to entry into the market–and the utilities pay ridiculous dividends rather than compete with each other for markets access.

              In other words, just because all companies have to do it to some extent (distribute and advertise), that doesn’t mean some companies don’t use their advantages to create high barriers to enter the market.

              Disrupting distribution through creative destruction has a big impact on industries. Music used to be advertised over the radio distributed through record stores. Napster and iTunes destroyed that distribution barrier to entry.

              It used to be that movies were only distributed through theaters. Before Star Wars, the studios didn’t think anyone would ever want to see a movie more than once. VHS came along and destroyed that. Then they distributed through chains like Blockbuster. Digital services like Amazon, Vudu, Netflix, etc. destroyed that distribution barrier to entry, but originally, before the studio system was broken up, how many people saw your studio’s movie was a function of how many theaters your studio owned and where. A major barrier to entry if you have to build theaters!

              In Mexico, many of the bars are owned by beer companies–that’s how they control distribution.

      4. “That’s why if you make it in the soft drink business with a new brand, you’re probably eventually selling yourself to Pepsi or Coke.”

        Vernors sold themselves to Dr. Pepper, which was just sad. Mind you, not as sad as what Vernors ended up tasting like after Dr. Pepper took over.

  9. People who say they genuinely like the taste of PBR are lying.

    All of them.

    That’s why it died its first death. Back when people didn’t care as much about how their beer tasted, even back then, they couldn’t stand the taste of PBR.

    Meanwhile, enthusiasts have completely destroyed the IPA. They kept trending further and further towards rancid.

    Markets do go haywire, especially when consumers are buying things for reasons that aren’t necessarily obvious. Tulip mania would be one example. Once people stopped buying bulbs because they wanted to grow flowers and started buying them for other reasons, you really shouldn’t expect the market to serve the interests of flower growers anymore. It’s the same thing with beer.

    Fucking millennials are buying beer for reasons that have little to do with taste, hence fucking PBR and rancid IPAs become the norm.

    1. It was also a product of the 60s and 70s where beer was regional. Smokey and the Bandit was based on the real fact that you couldn’t get some brands in large areas of the country. This reduced competition and allowed crappy beers to thrive. Once that ended in the late 70s and 80s, competition gave the world better beers and things like PBR died. Americans lamenting the death of PBR is like Russians lamenting the demise of the Lada.*

      Insert required Lada joke here

      A man takes his new Lada back to the dealer complaining “I live on a hill and this thing only gets to 45 going up it.” The salesman responds “45? That is pretty good.” To which the man replies “but I live at number 60”.

      1. As a motorcycle guy, who rides sports bikes instead of Harleys, I’ve been privy to plenty of jokes at Harley’s expense over the years. The standard response to the observation that “80% of all the Harleys ever made are still on the road” should be, “Did the other 20% finally make it home?”

        That’s another example of people buying something for reasons that aren’t necessarily obvious. I’ve heard over and over again that Harley makes more money in apparel sales than they do from their bikes. Regardless of whether that’s true, I suspect people buy their motorcycles for the same reason they buy the t-shirt. In such a market, we shouldn’t expect to see Harley’s pushing the envelope with new technology. You’d expect to see them using the same technology from 1929 (which is exactly what they do).

        PBR may be the same thing. You might be able to sell more PBR tshirts than beer. I bet hardly anyone drinks PBR in private. What’s the point of drinking something that tastes so bad in private?

        1. Time and again you hear about people buying Harleys and killing themselves on them. Guys who ride them are forever bitching and moaning about how dangerous riding is and how careful you have to be. It is dangerous to some degree. And you do have to be careful. Maybe, however, buying a bike that weights 1500 pounds, it impossible to maneuver in traffic, and sits low to the ground making it hard for people to see you isn’t such a great idea?

          My bother has a very nice Harley. But how the hell you would ride that thing in traffic or really anything but in a straight line or very sweeping curves is beyond me. People buy them to look at and talk about not actually ride.

          1. Frome personal experience.. other driver do tend to see and hear cruisers like Harley’s more than rice rocket. Only have time I was hit was on a 600cc rice rocket. Driver said they never saw me.

            1. They all say they never saw you–because they didn’t. They were looking for motorcycles, so they didn’t see you. I’m not sure that phenomenon goes away when you’re on a Harley.

              1. “They were [not] looking for motorcycles, so they didn’t see you.”

        2. I drink PBR at home, but certainly not for the taste. It’s what was on tap at the place where I used to hang out with my friends years ago and it’s an inexpensive reminder of those days. Maybe that’s silly, but it works for me.

          1. The only time I drink PBR is when I’m about to go on a long trip (I do this regularly) and I clean out and turn off the fridge, and I am not able to finish a 6-pack before I go. A nearby convenience store sells PBR in pint cans; I must admit that the hipsters are correct in that in the category of stupid American adjunct lager, PBR is quite good.

        3. Too bad Pabst didn’t stick to doing things the old-fashioned way. It’s my understanding that at one time they actually made very good beer. (This was long before I was born, so I can’t speak from personal experience.) A series of ill-advised cost-cutting measures gradually transformed PBR into the cheap, nasty stuff it is today. Several of the other Pabst brands followed a similar path. If they can’t be made and sold at a profit, then it’s probably time for them to die once and for all.

          1. That’s my understanding too. I came of age too late for it, but the generation before me seemed to like it.

            1. Honestly, they didn’t have better options back then. There were no microbrews.

              It used to be that guys who complained about how bad their beer tasted were considered pussies.

              Wine coolers were a thing, especially for when girls were around, because the beer tasted like shit.

            2. Fuck off Hihn.

    2. And Sours now are becoming the new big thing as well. Still a lot of IPAs though, so, so many.

      1. And the IPA has gone so far away from what it was, and with a new generation of drinkers who have come to associate IPA with so much hops it’ll make you pucker for a week, I’m not sure we can ever go back again.

        In the market’s mind, that’s what an IPA is now.

      2. I welcome it all. It’s not as if there isn’t anything else available. It’s a wonderful time for all sorts of beer. I just can’t understand why some people have such a need to bitch about other people liking stuff they don’t.

        1. Personally, I think IPA’s are nasty, medicinal-tasting swill. But, if other people want to buy them, it’s no skin off my nose. Just leave my Old Rasputin alone.

        2. Probably for the same reason you bitch about them not liking stuff that you do.

        3. “I just can’t understand why some people have such a need to bitch about other people liking stuff they don’t.”

          And honestly, if you like it, why do you care? Grow a pair and stop giving so much credence to what other people think.

          You like beer that tastes like shit to a LOT of other people. Will that make you stop liking it? Then what the fuck do you care what they bitch about Sally?

          1. What makes you think I care? I’m just fucking around commenting on a beer thread. It’s no big thing. Just for fun.

            The market has delivered us a whole bunch of IPA style beer which consumers are happily buying and a bunch of libertarians are acting as if it’s some conspiracy. That’s just funny and weird.

          2. When The Revolution comes we can appoint Tulpa Minister of Beer. Until then maybe pretend to be libertarian and mind your own fucking business.

      3. Sours were becoming the big thing 5 years ago. They’re a big thing now and it’s terrible. Sour beer is an abomination. (Ok, I’ve tried a couple that weren’t all that bad, but most are awful.)

        1. I remember the first and last time I tried a sour beer, at a place that only made those. Barkeep gave me a sample, I grimaced, gave me a different one, same horrible taste, end of story.

          I think some IPAs can be tasty, though I prefer stouts and other strong beers.

          PBR is only for when all the other beer at a bar is grotesquely overpriced.

    3. This is true. PBR was awful even back then. The big beers got to be the big beers not because they were anyone’s favorite but because they were widely acceptable. Around the country, none of the batches completely stink. So wherever you go, no matter how tiny or obscure, the bartender’s likely to have one of those, which you’ll take because any others s/he offers do stink to your taste.

      1. Fuck off Hihn.

  10. Milwaukee is awesome. I love the ready access to cheap old school swill. This lawsuit, however, is absurd. Miller should have no obligation to brew beer for a competitor if they no longer want to do so. They should honor the contact. as they appear to be doing,but nothing more. Bad look for Pabst.

    1. You’ve read the contract? Maybe there’s something you’re missing, if not.

  11. D sore loser can’t get the election board to count all those ‘senate popular votes’:

    “Georgia governor’s race: Brian Kemp to hold news conference Saturday morning at 10 a.m.”
    […]
    “In what she wouldn’t classify as a concession speech, Abrams acknowledged that she had no other path to pursue in this year’s governor’s race. She said that Kemp would be certified as the state’s next governor.”
    https://www.11alive.com/article/news/politics/
    elections/georgia-governors-race-brian-
    kemp-to-hold-news-conference-saturday-
    morning-at-10-am/85-8f7a1fdb-3595-4e07
    -9b0b-2db4f676ac86

  12. I gather that Miller says they have too much capacity and want to get rid of a brewery to lower overhead, which implies demand for their swill is decreasing.

    20 years ago, Pabst and Miller agreed there was enough excess brewing capacity at Miller for them to brew Pabst cheaply enough for both to make a profit, and that Miller did not think Pabst was enough competition to be trouble, and probably expected Pabst to lose ground so that by now there would be no need to renew the contract.

    Apparently Miller miscalculated, Pabst has been cheap enough to stay in business, and Miller has lost ground and has more excess capacity than before, and wants to shed some overhead and make Pabst pay a better price to even out the competition.

    Or maybe I am as full of human waste as Miller and Pabst combined.

  13. You can’t brew a discount beer in California. You have to brew it somewhere with a low cost of living/operation.

    1. All beer is discount beer in CA. Alcoholic beverages are the one thing not not taxed to death there. I don’t know if it’s still this cheap, but a sixer of really good beer will be like $5.99 or $6.99. Here it’s $9.99 on a good day. If it’s worth a shit prepare to pay $11-12 or more. I liked getting really nice bottles of wine for $10 when they would be $30 most other places.

      1. I suspect both are now taxed more, but when I lived in LA, beer was cheaper than soda.

      2. Alcoholic beverages are the one thing not not taxed to death there.

        Inebriation is the only way to deal with California politics.

  14. Good piece, BL

    If there’s one dimension i think missing here, is that not only do the Duopoly of TAP/ABI control most of the national brewing volume, they also control even more of the (strictly regulated as state-by-state, “second-tier”) network of
    ‘independent’ distribution, which, via similar long-term exclusivity contracts, isn’t independent at all.

    Anyone who makes beer in the US, and wants to sell it in more than 1 state (or even within that 1 state) has to find some way to get space on the trucks which ship MillerCoors and ABI products.

    “Hire your own fleet of trucks!” says the naive libertarian; again, regulations in each state basically make it impossible for new distributorships to come into being + compete. Distributors all have deep ties in state politics and its one of the most-crony industries in America. Prohibition era laws make it one of the most mafioso-esque business dynamics you can find outside the real-estate industry.

    The net-net here is that the tier below the “Duopoly” (Pabst, SAM, Yuengling, maybe 1-2 others etc) live in a state of ‘regulated dependence’. They basically have to partner w/ one or the other in order to exist at that scale.

    ‘Micro’ brews, in many senses, have it easier; tho there are sometimes similar problems where distributors are disincentivized from carrying ‘too much’ of these higher-margin local brands.

    1. The net-net here is that the tier below the “Duopoly” (Pabst, SAM, Yuengling, maybe 1-2 others etc) live in a state of ‘regulated dependence’.

      Adjusted for inflation, the price of beer has steadily decreased since 1952, and there are plenty of options at the supermarket and in bars. It seems likely that the current mix of brewers and distributors satisfies the needs of the market just fine.

  15. A dispute among the makers of beers that taste as good coming up as going down? Hard to work up lots of sympathy, but I suppose there are great principles involved.

  16. I love Old Style beer, having grown up in the Midwest and watched a few games at Wrigley Field too, but sadly if not enough people buy it, Miller has the right to kick them out when the contract is over. If it’s popular enough, someone else will definitely pick it up and keep brewing it.

    But there has never been a better time on the history of earth to be a beer lover. We are brewing the best dam beer anywhere in the world, and each day it gets better. I talked to a guy visiting here from Germany, he was sampling some Lagunitas, and some microbrews, and he was blown away. Their laws in Europe are so absurd that it is really hard to brew “new” beers. I could never say this growing up until recently – I put the best American beers up against just about anything else in the world. Toppling Goliath brewery from freaking Decorah Iowa kicks the shit out of just about anything in the import aisle.

  17. Further complicating the story:

    from 1987 to 2005, Pabst was run as a Charitable Trust

    basically, it was a legal vehicle designed to help pay back-taxes and debts on a bizarre, complex empire left behind by a vulture-investor

    They were fine w/ tiny-margins as long as it kept volume flowing.

    Paul Kalmanovitz [leveraged buy-out investor] 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] …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? 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]?. 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.
    …Pabst Brewing claimed that they were unable to find a buyer at market value and requested an extension until 2010 that the IRS granted.

    1. A charitable trust?

      Like in the PBS announcements: “The Frugal Gourmet is brought to you by a grant from the Pabst Charitable Trust. Goes down smooth like a real beer. The brew for good old boys everywhere!”

      1. Yeah, its hard to untangle.

        the basic point is that the “beer company” Pabst existed only to pump cash flow into a non-profit legal-entity which managed everything from real estate, to medical charities, some losing money, some owing taxes, etc. plus a dozen sponging-trustees

        it was a cash-flow machine with little in the way of strategy other than “stay alive”. So it cut all its operating costs and dumped its capital, and arranged contract-brewing and distribution deals.

        Its a company run by trust lawyers. If they sue every time their contract renewal period comes up, its because its all they know how to do.

        1. Its a company run by trust lawyers. If they sue every time their contract renewal period comes up, its because its all they know how to do.

          Then the fact that it became the beer of choice for trust fund hipsters trying to get their working class on is one of the greatest pieces of irony in an ironic age.

    2. Quite a story, thanks. Thanks also to the reporter there. I learned therein they own Oly too. Figures; Oly gives me headaches. If we could find the substance PBR & Oly have in common, we could develop a chem weapon.

  18. Look at the bright side, if alcohol prohibition were still in effect, these guys would be shooting up each others’ trucks and warehouses with tommy guns. Sort of like in that other industry serving people addictive substances that is still subject to prohibition.

  19. CA enviros agree with Trump (not like they had a choice and not like they’ll admit it)

    “Facing Deadlier Fires, California Tries Something New: More Logging”
    […]
    “Obscured amid the chaos of California’s latest wildfire outbreak is a striking sign of change that may help curtail future devastating infernos. After decades of butting heads, some environmentalists and logging supporters have largely come to agreement that forests need to be logged to be saved.”
    http://infozonic.com/2018/11/17/facing-
    deadlier-fires-california-tries-something
    -new-more-logging-2/

    That paragraph looks like one of Robbie’s ‘on the the hand..’ waffles; the head-butting was always on the tree-hugger side.

    1. Logging is “something new”?

      1. I’m sure that’s sarc, but CA pretty much outlawed it several decades back. Millennials are going to get a lesson in the smell of a chain-saw in the morning…

        1. So, “new” for their purposes. OK, I got it.

    2. Can we log the greenies first?

  20. If Pabst is so bad then how did it earn that blue ribbon?

    1. It was a long, long time ago.

    2. Why is the Pope considered holy?

    3. The blue-ribbon panel left the ribbon behind when the gave up trying to identify what Pabst is.

  21. Is PBR the hipsters’ choice because it’s crap?

    I have tasted the future, and it’s grud.

    1. Fuck off Hihn.

  22. breach of anti-competition laws

    Christ on the cross! Am I in a Rand novel?

    1. Welcome back, Crusty!

    2. I saw the reply “Welcome back, Crusty,” but I looked at your post anyway.

    3. I can’t decide if that’s more or less gross than Jenkem.

    4. “often” used??? What would the point be otherwise?

    5. The only way this makes sense is to soak the pads and tampons in PBR and distill the result.

  23. Dafuq?

    The Nov. 1 death of Daniel Best, a pharmaceutical executive from Bay Village who led U.S. Department of Health and Human Services efforts to lower prescription drug prices, has been ruled a suicide, officials in Washington, D.C., said Thursday.

    The city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Thursday said Best died from “multiple blunt force injuries” and it ruled his death a suicide. It would not release further information.

    right…

    1. Brutally cut his own head off while shaving.

    2. “…who led U.S. Department of Health and Human Services efforts to lower prescription drug prices,…”

      Uh, I don’t think they have price-fixing authority, do they?

    3. To be fair, “multiple blunt force injuries” may simply mean “jumped from a building”.

    4. Must have been a metal fan.

  24. Old Style sold a bottled beer years ago named ” Special Export” . It was a very very fine brew.

  25. Is there an outcome where both yellow beer brewers go out of business? I mean, it doesn’t hurt me if they don’t but it would free up a lot of room at the grocery so they can stock more craft beer that actually tastes good.

  26. Pabst Blue Ribbon, Lone Star and maybe even Stroh’s still have a lot of brand equity and value. Losing the contract-brew contract will just fuck-up the current owners’ business model.

  27. http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/…..itelsXvhRQ

    Mexican residents of Playas De Tijuana confronted Honduran migrants who had set up a makeshift camp at “Friendship Park” in Playas De Tijuana. The Mexican residents demanded that the the migrants leave the area and threaten the migrants if they did not leave. Federal and Municipal Mexican police kept both groups separated and some incidents of violence broke out throughout the night.

    So I guess that means the Mexicans are RACIST!! or something. Shika Dalmia and Old Mexican are probably going to have to be reprogramed now.

    1. Your logical fallacy is assuming that the correct immigration policy for one country must be the correct policy for all countries. Reminds me of the alt-right and their dumb “Open Borders for Israel” comments.

      When we Koch / Reason libertarians argue for open borders (or no borders at all), we’re specifically talking about the United States.

  28. Is this comparable to what the Hostess brands went through? Most of those came back, so I doubt that the PBR name will just be left to fade away.

    1. And here I sit, eating Twinkies and drinking Raineer beer (a local institution) which contain adequate preservatives that I can safely buy them after they go on sale approaching their expiration dates. Not much was said in all this discussion about the importance of beer being fresh, but it really helps the taste.

      Even an expensive craft beer that sits for months and months waiting for you to purchase and then consume it will suffer in comparison with a non-pasteurized Coors beer that was brewed three days ago and flies off the shelf in your local store to be restocked daily.

      1. Beer doesn’t get to sit on the shelves like that – unless you’re getting it from someone other than a distributor (which is either rare or illegal, depending on your state).

        If you’re getting it from a distributor, the vendor rep comes by at least weekly and in addition to checking quantities (to help you order) he will be checking dates and stuff that is too old will be marked for pickup (and refund) with the next delivery truck.

        Sodas work the same way – but since no state legally binds you into a soda distributor contract a lot of small stores are getting their stock outside the distributor system – and that stuff is going to sit on the shelves until it sells or Armageddon.

        1. I have seen plenty of “expired” beer among the more obscure 6 packs on the shelf.

  29. Max Boot is an American hero. If only all conservatives in the Drumpf era could be like him.

    You have taken a courageous and principled stand, @RepSwalwell. There is no reason why any civilian should own an assault weapon. And gun prohibition and buyback much more effective than ban on further sale.

    Democrats have promised to make common sense gun safety legislation part of their agenda in the next Congress. It’s about time somebody took on the NRA.

    #LibertariansForGunSense
    #BanAssaultWeapons
    #OverturnHeller
    #(ItsNotSUPER-PRECEDENT)

    1. I’d say we should take notes on their marketing and copy them, but it’s not like they’ve been wildly successful with “common sense” gun control.

      Otherwise, we might start using terms like: #CommonSenseCavanControl

    2. Anyone who wants you disarmed does not trust you or wants to do something to you, therefore you must not trust them.

    3. Wait, they want to take away our guns AND our beer. OK I have had enough of this.

    4. Well, what is a reason that an ordinary civilian should own a so-called ‘assault weapon’ *that an ordinary average American would understand*? Libertarians have the correct answer of course – there doesn’t need to be any reason for exercising a fundamental liberty like self-defense. But I doubt if a majority of people view gun ownership in the same way. Just a reminder, that the majority of Americans do NOT own any guns. So for a very large segment of the population, their only exposure to guns is in the mass media, where the ‘guns’ depicted there are not real guns, but fake objects of mass murder that need no training to use, no cleaning, and no reloading. There is no such real gun like that of course. But put yourself in their shoes. If that is what you thought an “assault weapon” was really like, would you really be as adamant in your defense of gun rights as you are today?

      So-called ‘assault weapons’ are not *needed* for self-defense (handguns are better). They are not needed for hunting. To stop a tyrannical government? Regardless of the merits of this position, it just sounds like a crackpot view. So where does that leave us? We should absolutely and unequivocally defend the right of any individual to own the gun of their choice, even the scary-looking ones. But if we don’t have good answers to the legitimate concerns, then we’ll be defending a right that the people will end up not valuing much themselves.

      1. a right that the people will end up not valuing much themselves.

        These days that describes all our rights.

      2. AR15s in a variety of calibers are awesome for hunting feral pigs.

      3. Just to keep the record straight, no semi-automatic firearm is an assault rifle.
        Stop with the “so-called” fig leaf when you deliberately use newspeak fake terms for political purposes.
        Assault rifle should never be in quotes, scare or otherwise.
        Neither should so called.

    5. If he was actually an American hero, he would be honestly working to repeal the second amendment, the only legal way to accomplish his stated goal.

  30. Mostly what this proves is that neither company wants to brew beer in California. Gee, I wonder why.

  31. I drank PBR in college. $3.12 for a 12-pack. Good times.

    PS. There’s an unnecessary apostrophe in paragraph two.

  32. We’re here
    We’re queer
    Something something beer

    1. We’re butt-chugging beer?

      1. A haiku:

        The only difference
        Between a straight boy and queer
        Is a case of beer.

  33. “After trading barbs all year, Newsom and Trump meet at California fire zone”
    (Uh, no. Trump never bothered to respond to the pomade-kid Lt. Gov.)
    […]
    “Two weeks after decisively winning an election framed as a referendum on President Donald Trump, California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom met his foil for the first time on a smoke-stifled tarmac as the state burned.”
    (Bullshit. CA is ‘ranked voting’, which makes it a surprise Newsom’s opponent was a R at all)
    “Trump said they were “all on the same path” regarding the need “to work in the floor, the forest floor.”
    (which would be a change for CA gov’t; moonbeam and Newsom want to start by taking over the economy)

  34. “Still, the social media reaction underscored the political peril, with detractors questioning Newsom’s decision and equating it to an act of betrayal.
    Numerous users said Newsom and Brown should use the opportunity to demand that Trump apologize for his tweets faulting California for the severity of the fires or to challenge the accuracy of his claims.”
    (In spite of the fact that Trump is correct; CA’s lack of forest management and tax structures have made the forests a fire trap and provided incentives for people to live there. Given ‘climate change’ even an idiot adapts and tries to mitigate the harm. Not moonbeam and Newsom)
    “When Trump a week ago responded to the natural disaster ravaging California by deriding the state’s management and threatening to halt federal help, Newsom joined Democrats heaping on criticism.”
    (He should have been criticizing the tree-huggers who are the cause of those fires and those deaths)
    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/17/
    newsom-trump-california-wildfires-1000494

  35. A pox on all their houses. I gave up beer in favor of water and wine.

    1. Call us back when you can change one into the other.

      1. He’s not gonna tell; he would get regulated, taxed, and abused on social media.

  36. And therein lies the problem with the business model of, “we don’t really make or do anything, we just have a name” that has become so popular with the more profit-is-all crowd.

    I was part of a promising start-up that was bought out and converted to basically repackaging the services of others. Once we had built up the client base the companies actually doing the work caught on and, having our client list, ate us up in short order.

    1. Yup. I’ve always thought it was idiotic all these former great manufacturing companies who have literally stopped making a single thing. It leaves you in a very weak position in many ways… Because the major portion of your business, making things, is now out of your control. And in the hands of somebody with the capacity to make the very thing you sell!

      I get the benefits of outsourcing things. It can often make sense. Trying to make EVERY component for instance would be silly. But to not control the CORE function of your business is just nuts. Some companies I happen to know about have done it in more sensible ways. Levi’s for instance still owns their own Mexican factories that crank out many of their staple products, and contracts out their shitty/low end fashion models that come and go, mostly to Asia.

      This at least seems like striking a balance of some sort that doesn’t leave you completely vulnerable.

      But if one wants to think about it on a grander scale, imagine this: If we’d not off shored everything to China, as a for instance, China would still be a 3rd world dirt hole.

      1. Now they have major tech companies that are eating American/Euro/Japanese companies alive… Just like Japan/Taiwan/Korea did when we subbed to them. This would not exist if not for us moving manufacturing there, they’d be 30 years behind us still. Would it have been more profitable LONG HAUL for Apple to have LITERALLY zero competitors coming from China than saving a few bucks on labor? Maybe, maybe not.

        But PBR and a million other case studies show it definitely CAN have major downsides to give up your core business activities to another company.

  37. And no one cares about my beloved defunct Ballantine ale! Sigh! Couldn’t hack being sold, brewed elsewhere etc. must have been a corrupt lawyer thing.

  38. I had been attracted to “Libertarianism” from an early age.
    Yet, this very “article” is strong evidence as to why “Libertarianism” is a total farce, and absolutely unsustainable, and can never work.

    This written piece is wholly propagandist.
    It is merely a highly-biased opinion piece that FAILS in its “Libertarian” responsibility to properly identify and spell out ALL the facts of the case.
    It relies solely on highly-selective bits & fragments of info.

    It engages in the LOGICAL FALLACY of CIRCULAR REASONING (circulus in probando).
    The Author has a biased opinion, and uses only the fragmented facts necessary, from that opinion, to justify that biased opinion.

    “Libertarianism” can never work because some humans cannot act in responsible, intellectual, ethical and moral manners.
    Just as this piece relies wholly on selected, thus manipulated info, so do humans seeking selfish motives in their quest for capital, privilege, power, etc.

    These are the same problems that cause governments to rise to power, and continue that rise, to eventual abuses of power.
    This Author is destroying their own argument in this idiotic piece.

    First, identify ALL the facts of the case.
    Don’t merely pick & choose those which support your prejudiced conclusion.
    “Libertarianism” requires a strong intellect and ethical and moral conscience.

    1. “Libertarianism” can never work because some humans cannot act in responsible, intellectual, ethical and moral manners.

      AND, as long as SOME humans continue to act in that irresponsible manner, OTHERS will follow suit, or get LEFT BEHIND in the process.

      Thus the problem starts compounding upon itself.

      There will ALWAYS be certain people whom look to manipulate, for their own benefit, even looking to use government as a means of their manipulations.

      Thus you either need to create a government to try to limit those whom try to manipulate, meaning laws, or have a few that eventually drag the rest down, via their manipulations.

      Problem is, when you create governments to solve those problems, those manipulators then look to manipulate that government, creating more problems.

      Thus is the current state of society today.

      I don’t know if the Author of this piece is just stupid, corrupt, or perhaps very ignorant of the larger picture.

      THE FACT IS, THE CONTRACT HEREIN FAILED BETWEEN PARTIES, AS THERE ARE DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS, THUS A 3RD PARTY IS CALLED IN TO RULE ON THE CONTENTS AND FACTS OF THAT CONTRACTUAL DISPUTE.

      THAT VERY FACT OF DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS IN THIS CASE ITSELF EXPLAINS WHY “LIBERTARIANIMS” CAN NEVER WORK.

      1. The current state of society today is not the fault of “libertarianims.”

  39. Thank god for market principles to fix this as long as government stays out of it.

  40. I can’t hear or see PBR without thinking of this:

    “Down at Revere Beach sittin’ on the wall
    checkin’ out the bitches, drinking PBR talls,
    my other had is empty, so I tug at my balls
    Go Guido Go!”
    https://youtu.be/DcGX0ZDoPDo

  41. 60s PBR was good enough to give teens an excuse to act stupid, which was a challenge with Drewry’s. But fire-brewed Stroh’s was tastier.

  42. I am anti “Trust Law” myself.

  43. As a beer drinker, it’s a wonderful time to be alive.

  44. If the excuse is that Miller needs to close the plant, then the equitable solution is for them to auction it off. Then Pabst can either pay the market price, or not.

    This isn’t hard.

    1. They offered to sell it to them… For several times what a reasonable price for it would be!

      They know they’re in the strong position, so they’re trying to fuck PBR. Plain and simple. And PBR is dumb for putting themselves in this position.

      I imagine if they were being reasonable, there would be no conflict with PBR. If they were willing to sell/lease for a reasonable price, PBR would probably just do that. If they were willing to continue contract brewing without tripling the price there would be no problem. It’s them trying to dick them that is making the whole problem.

      It’s still PBR’s fault for being stupid and giving up their ability to brew their own beer in the 90s, so I’m not saying anything should be done about it if they’re not actually violating whatever it says in the contract… But it’s dickish.

      Also, how would forcing them to auction the facility be any more libertarian than forcing them to sell it to them at a rate determined by a “fair” 3rd party appraiser, or forcing them to continue to contract brew for a “fair” price? If they’re not breaking the contract, the only libertarian response is “Tough shit PBR,” but that doesn’t make it the “right” thing.

  45. “I also believe courts shouldn’t force parties to renew a contract ”

    A contract like Obamacare? I agree, the courts shouldn’t force parties to renew Obamacare, even if they call buying it a tax.

  46. The real issue is obvious and that is with the rise of craft brews, traditional beers like Miller and Coors are fighting for a shrinking market share. What better way to secure you part of the market than shut down the production of a host of brands that are your competition? Only thing that sucks is if it happens my beer, Lone Star, will be history. Oh well Jim Beam and Wild Turkey are still going strong!!!

  47. Is there some reason why Pabst can’t just find another contract brewer?

    1. There isn’t another brewer. The beer brewing industry is now so concentrated that Miller and Anheuser Busch are the only companies left with large breweries. Anheuser Busch does not do contract brewing because they need all their capacity for their own brands.

  48. Wow, talk about an “I could not care less” topic! Every beer I drink (at least when I am in the USA) is made by microbrewery, a microbrewery “in spirit” (i.e., Sam Adams), or has been left by its new Big Brew overlords to continue its microbrew tradition (e.g., Hoegaarden, Leinenkugel’s).

  49. All you PBR haters can suck a dick! I love PBR. And I’m not a hipster.

    I’m usually a hard booze kinda guy, but I prefer shitty lager beers when I’m drinking beer. Maybe 1/3 of “fancy” beers of various types taste okay to me, but even with fancy stuff I actually prefer quality made lagers. I like lots of particular beers of the darker variety, but as a general rule darker beers are not my cup of tea. Not everybody is a douche bag beer snob!

    What REALLY would suck though is that PBR owns Rainier! I live in Washington, and as much as I love me some PBR, Rainier is even better as far as cheapo lagers go. If both stop being made, I’m gonna be PISSED.

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