Pabst Brewing Company has been through a long and storied history. It’s a brand that has always been able to find a new life, just as it looked like the end might be near.
The company dates back to the mid-1880’s and became the first American brewery to reach 1 million barrels of production in 1916 as the number one brand in the country. The company closed the brewery in 1996 after a hostile takeover by a holding company controlled by beer baron Paul Kalmanovitz. The holding company took on other ‘lost soul’ brands from defunct breweries such as Ballantine, Heileman, Lone Star, Olympia, Falstaff, Rainier and others which were all brewed under contract by other brewing companies.
Then, somehow, Pabst became “cool” with the emerging millennials, which has since faded. Now Pabst has unveiled a new identity under the Captain Pabst brand. The name pays homage to Frederick Pabst, who according to legend, was in the steamship trade and became a captain on Lake Michigan in his early 20s before marrying into the business. Seabird IPA which is brewed under contract by Wisconsin Brewing Co. is the first in the new line of “craft Pabst” beers and will initially be sold in the Wisconsin and Chicago markets. The style in line will be a helles lager.
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