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]  

Why Choosing the Second Cheapest Wine on the Menu Isn't Such a Good Idea

iStock.com/kupicoo
iStock.com/kupicoo

For those whose knowledge of wine is limited to whatever lessons they picked up while watching Sideways, it can be tempting to order a glass of the second-cheapest vino on the menu at bars and restaurants. According to this line of reasoning, you don't want to look cheap by choosing the least expensive wine—but at the same time, it doesn't make sense to order a pricey vintage red if you're not the kind of wine enthusiast who confidently throws around terms like "mouth-feel" and "hints of oak" and would therefore understand and appreciate the difference in quality.

Although this wine hack is widely observed, the Skimm points out why it isn't such a sound method. For one, restaurants are well aware of this customer habit and might even use it to their advantage by taking a bottle they're looking to get rid of and placing it in the second-cheapest slot. That could mean that you're getting a not-so-great bottle of wine and may have been better off ordering the cheapest one on the list.

"I can confirm that restaurants will occasionally reprice a wine that they need to move to make it the second-cheapest spot on the menu," sommelier Kirsten Vicenza tells Atlas Obscura. "It sells!"

And then there are the markups. According to Wine Enthusiast, the cheapest wines tend to have the highest markups, so while your bill may be lower than if you had ordered a top-tier wine, you're also getting the lowest value. The magazine recommends ordering a wine somewhere in the middle—perhaps the third or fourth cheapest wine—to get more bang for your buck.

This isn't a "hard and fast rule," though, as VinePair notes. Sommeliers will sometimes lower the price of a lesser-known wine to encourage customers to try it. If you're unsure what to order, it never hurts to ask for a recommendation.

[h/t Skimm]

How Much a Pint of Beer Will Cost You Around the World

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

After updating your passport and packing your suitcase, there's one last thing you should check before going on vacation: How much will a pint of beer cost at your destination?

Just as food and lodging varies in price from country to country, so does beer. To make sure you're prepared for whatever you find on beer menus abroad, The Wall Street Journal has compiled the average cost of a pint of beer in major cities around the world, using data from the travel site OMIO's Beer Price Index.

According to this data, Hong Kong is home to the most expensive brews, with bar patrons shelling out an average of $10.86 per pint in the city. Beer prices don't look much better in the U.S., where the average pint of beer at a bar costs $8.97 in both Miami and New York.

To find cheap beer, you need to head to Eastern Europe or South Asia. A pint costs an average of just $2.22 at bars in Bratislava, Slovakia, the cheapest of any of the cities the WSJ looked at. In Delhi, India, you can get a pint for $2.31, and in Kiev, Ukraine, you can find one for $2.36.

If you're factoring beer prices into your future vacation plans, check out the five most expensive pints and five least expensive pints by city below. And for a different way to look at international beer prices, here's how much beer you can get for $1 around the world.

Cities With the Most Expensive Pints of Beer

1. Hong Kong: $10.86
2. Geneva, Switzerland: $10.77
3. Tel Aviv, Israel: $9.53
4. New York City: $8.97
5. Miami: $8.97

Cities With the Cheapest Pints of Beer

1. Bratislava, Slovakia: $2.22
2. Delhi, India: $2.31
3. Kiev, Ukraine: $2.36
4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: $2.58
5. Kraków, Poland: $2.70

[h/t The Wall Street Journal]

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