There's Hope For Us Yet

The first photos and details of that PBR whiskey are here and we are suddenly very thirsty

March 21, 2019
Pabst Brewing Company And MillerCoors In Legal Fight That Could Put PBR Out Of Business
Drew Angerer

UPDATE: A few weeks ago, we shared with you the first murmurings of a new whiskey from dive-bar lynchpin, PBR. A potential game-changer for both the American spirit and beer industries, we speculated on the leaked label, which claimed a maturation period of five seconds, saying "The label also includes an age statement of 5 seconds, which, if not a joke, DQs it from being pretty much anything other than moonshine." You can read all of that below if you like, but thanks to a new Esquire interview with Pabst general manager Matt Bruhn, we now know that we were actually on the right track.

According to Bruhn, the PBR spirit is DEFINITELY a whiskey, but due to its lack of aging, it is clear like moonshine. In order to work around Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regulations that stipulate all American whiskey must at some point touch wood, PBR and distiller New Holland teamed up to create a controlled flow method that sees each drop of liquid come into contact wood for exactly five seconds after it comes off the still. The result, according to Bruhn at least, is a clear whiskey with a big kick that's perfect for shooting, classic cocktails, and having a generally raucous time. The whiskey should be on shelves by summer of 2019, but for now, whet the palate with a little sneak peak of the killer bottle design (and, of course, the whiskey inside). Move over Makers Mark, blue wax is the new red wax...

ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS BELOW...

Stop everything. The buses, the trains, the planes, and the automobiles. Cancel class, close the office, and shut down the government (again). Ask India and Pakistan to hold off nuking each other for just a little longer, because the world is finally poised for the arrival of what god built the world for in the first place and we can't mess it up now. Ladies and gentleman, judge and jury, Pabst Blue Ribbon whiskey is almost here and we need every damn hand on deck amen.

What you see above is not some frat boy fever dream, but an actual label approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for a Pabst Blue Ribbon whiskey. Submitted by New Holland Brewing Co.—who been have distributed through Pabst since 2017—this beacon of hope in the dark of our dying world was apparently approved on February 5th, paving the way for full-on production perhaps as early as this year.

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There's not much else to go on, but the label does offer some hints of what to expect from this divine dive bar distillate. First of all, we know it's going to be bottled at 80 proof, as opposed to the fancy, schmancy cask-strength stuff that's all the rage, and we know it will feature a mash bill comprised of 52% corn, 27% malted barley, 17% wheat, and 4% rye. Inching just over the mandatory 51% corn threshold for bourbon, it could potentially qualify as such, evoking something like a Costco Pappy Van Winkle with its big wheat influence, but our money is on the catch-all "American Whiskey" category. The label also includes an age statement of 5 seconds, which, if not a joke, DQs it from being pretty much anything other than moonshine.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey, in addition to being literally the best F&B team-up since PB&J, also represents a promising return to form for Pabst, which, thanks to a nasty lawsuit with Miller-Coors, were all but dead in the water last year. Thankfully, however, things seem to be looking up, because life without PBR, isn't a life worth living.

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