The Loop

PBR hard coffee is the most terrifying liquid of the week

First beer, then whiskey and now...hard coffee? The evolution of the Pabst Blue Ribbon portfolio has taken some interesting turns in the last couple months. In December of last year, it looked like PBR was going the way Ol' Yeller, but since then they've not only survived, but thrived, adding a fascinating white whiskey and now a boozy iced coffee to their formerly suds-only offerings.


Featuring a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, “rich, creamy American milk" (as opposed to what? Imported milk?) and malt liquor, the new concoction is at once mesmerizing and horrifying, packaging an array of American vices—from coffee to booze to glucose—in a single convenient fluid receptacle. Suffice to say, American drinking culture hasn't seen anything this innovative since Four Loko, which threatened to wipe undergrads entirely from the face of the earth before being banned by the FDA in 2010.

Pabst has a slightly more positive take on their new upper/downer, however.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon has always been a brand that pushes boundaries and celebrates those who experiment and try new things,” said John Newhouse, brand manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon. “Hard Coffee is an opportunity for us to pioneer a delicious and fun new drink, and give America something unique. We hope everyone loves it as much as we do.”

Whether or not America floods to PBR hard coffee like they do Dunkin' and Starbucks remains to be seen, but early testing numbers in Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and especially Maine—where four packs are already flying off shelves into Maine-iac stomachs across the state—suggest the 5.0% ABV hard coffee is here to stay. One word of advice from a fellow varsity drinker, however: Even though it says coffee on the can, you may want hold off until after work to crack one open.