Pabst Blue Ribbon Could Be All Tapped Out If It Loses Beer Battle With MillerCoors

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

If Pabst Blue Ribbon is your beer of choice, the next month or two could be a nail-biter. In a battle of the brews, Pabst and MillerCoors are locked in a lawsuit that could determine the fate of the popular alcoholic beverage.

The situation started going sour when MillerCoors, which produces Miller Lite, Coors, and Coors Light beers among other brands, notified Pabst that they would no longer be making and packaging Pabst Blue Ribbon, Old Milwaukee, or Lone Star beers. The two signed an agreement in 1999 that allowed Pabst to distribute beer brewed by MillerCoors, effectively outsourcing the beer-making process. That agreement is set to expire in 2020. While it allows for two five-year extensions, MillerCoors apparently wants out.

MillerCoors is arguing that they no longer have the manufacturing capacity to continue working with Pabst; Pabst is insisting MillerCoors is looking for a way out of the agreement so they can cripple the competition. The company is also adamant that, with its need for 4 to 4.5 million barrels annually, MillerCoors is the only option. They claim MillerCoors rejected an offer for Pabst to lease one of their brewing facilities and that they also offered to extend the deal only if Pabst paid $45 per barrel—a near-triple price increase that the company can’t afford.

As a result, Pabst sued MillerCoors for $400 million and is asking MillerCoors to act in good faith to help find a resolution that works for all parties. The company also claims to have documents proving MillerCoors deliberately closed breweries so it would no longer have the means to supply Pabst.

If the court finds MillerCoors has no further obligation to Pabst, the company will have to do some scrambling to find a way to continue making product. Pabst claims the only other manufacturer with the capacity to brew enough beer to meet their demand is Anheuser-Busch, and they don’t accept contracts to be a supplier.

The jury trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court is expected to last through November.

[h/t TIME]  

This London Pub Might Be the Most Ethical Bar in the World

Ridofranz/Getty Images
Ridofranz/Getty Images

Pub owner Randy Rampersad is doing his part for sustainability. In June, he opened the Green Vic—a play on the fictional Queen Vic pub in the soap opera EastEnders—in the East London neighborhood of Shoreditch. The Telegraph reports it’s aiming to be the world’s most ethical pub: Rampersad eschews plastic and paper straws and opts for gluten-free wheat “straws.” He sources the bar's 100 percent recycled toilet paper from green-minded company Who Gives a Crap, and the communal wooden tables are upcycled.

“I wanted to make the world a better place and run my own business, but I was waiting for that eureka moment,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. He discovered no one had done anything like this before.

There’s no meat on the menu—the food is totally vegan, healthy-ish pub grub. You can add CBD oil to the “chkn" bites appetizer, and the burgers are made from ingredients like soy, seaweed, and sweet potato. The beers are produced by ethical brewers, too: Toast Ale uses unsold loaves and crusts of bread; Good Things Brewing crafts its beer from 100 percent renewable energy; South Africa’s Afro Vegan Cider donates money to an organization that funds equal pay for female farmers; and Brewgooder donates to water projects.

In fact, everything the Green Vic does has charity in mind. “We don't care about the money, I’m planet first and profit after,” Rampersad told The Telegraph. Up to 80 percent of its profits will go to charitable causes, including local food banks. As for the staff, one in four are from marginalized groups. The Green Vic plans to operate as a three-month pop-up pub while scouting for longer term investment.

Blue Point Brewing Company's New Bubble Gum Beer Has a Garbage Pail Kids Twist

Blue Point Brewing Company
Blue Point Brewing Company

Craving the taste of 1980s nostalgia? Long Island-based Blue Point Brewing Company's new bubble gum-flavored IPA, Bubble Brain, smells like Bazooka Joe but tastes more like a less-sweet fruity brew, with a tart and bitter finish. Even those who aren’t keen on IPAs might like it, as the deep rose-hued drink looks like wine and doesn’t taste as hoppy as some IPAs and pale ales.

To give the beer an added throwback vibe, Blue Point (an Anheuser-Busch InBev company) tapped Garbage Pail Kids illustrator Brent Engstrom to design the label, which features a rendering of Blue Point’s brewmaster Mike "Stoney" Stoneburg, who came up with the beer.

"It’s a small batch, bubble gum beer, driven by fruit, spices, and yeast,” Barry McLaughlin, Blue Point Brewing’s marketing director, told Forbes. “It’s all inspired by a visit to a dusty novelty store on the west side of town and finding a bit of lost nostalgia of our ‘80s youth.”

“The juicy New England and milkshake IPA styles have become extremely popular, as well as fruited, kettle sours," McLaughin said of the beer's IPA-meets-sour flavor. "As brewers, we wanted to highlight the things we love about all of these styles but also take some risks and push the drinker’s experience further in a new, sub-style of IPA."

According to the beer review site Untapped, some drinkers have described the 6.5 percent ABV Bubble Brain as “weird,” “wild,” and “tastes just like bubble gum.”

You can find the beer—and a sip of yesterday—in pastel-colored tall boy four-packs at select retail outlets in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and at Blue Point’s brewpub in Patchogue, New York.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER