Pabst Brewing

  • Where It All Began

    Where It All Began
    Jacob Best and his four sons (Jacob, Jr., Charles, Phillip and Loren) came to Milwaukee, WI and started a brewery, which over the years created the brand that is known today as Pabst Blue Ribbon.
    With dreams of being the most successful brewery around, Jacob and his sons began to move his newly created company on the path for success.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Angelo Logan
  • Goodbye Jacob Best, Sr.

    Jacob Best, Sr. retired in 1853, and six years later (1859), his son Phillip became the sole proprietor. This change of power brought changes to the company such as Phillip changing the name from Best and Company Brewing to the Phillip Best Brewing Company.
  • All Aboard!

    All Aboard!
    Phillip's daughter (Maria) married Fredrick Pabst, a steamboat captain, in 1862.In 1864, Pabst purchased a half interest in the brewing company for $21,057.05, making him vice president.
    Two years later (1866), Emil Schandein married Phillip's second daughter (Lisette) and bought the remaining half of interest from Phillip Best.
    Pabst and Schandein had taken over the company.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Laurie Arendt
  • The First Gold Medal

    The Centennial Celebration was the first event that Pabst's Best Select had ever won a gold medal. This medal was the first of many for the successful brewing company over the next 170 years.
  • The Ribbon of Champions

    The Ribbon of Champions
    Due to all of the numerous awards at US and international competitions that Pabst had won, Pabst began hand-tying a blue silk ribbon around the neck of each Best Select bottle. The reason behind doing this was because it made it easier for customers and other competitors to identify this beer as a first-place winner.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Pabst Brewing Company
  • The Pabst Brewing Era Begins

    The Pabst Brewing Era Begins
    In 1888, Emil Schandein took a trip to Germany and sadly died. This meant that Fredrick Pabst had complete control of the very promising company. The company’s name eventually changed on March 12, 1889 to the Pabst Brewing Company.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Pabst Brewing Company
  • One Million Feet

    One million feet was the amount of blue silk ribbon that the company bought per year at this time. Keep in mind that the workers would hand-tie the ribbons on each of the bottles of beer.
  • America's Best

    America's Best
    At the Columbian Exposition, which was a well-respected beer convention in Chicago, Pabst won the Blue Ribbon, beating out other popular breweries. This Ribbon was a symbol of being the best around!
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Janus Masters
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon

    Pabst Blue Ribbon
    The public began asking bartenders for "the beer with the blue ribbon on it" which made it only right that the beer’s name was officially changed to Pabst Blue Ribbon. Not only was this year huge because of the name change but also because the brewery was producing one million barrels per year. This was a huge step from when this brewery began, only selling only 300 barrels a year.
  • Fredrick's Ship Has Sailed

    Fredrick's Ship Has Sailed
    This was the year that Frederick Pabst's sons, Frederick Jr. and Gustav, took over their fathers brewing company because Frederick Pabst tragically passed away.
  • Things Are Looking Up

    For the first tme ever, the company invites visitors to receive tours of the brewery. The company hasn't ever been better because they doubled their barrels per year, upping it to two million barrels per year.
  • No More Ribbons

    No More Ribbons
    The silk shortage of World War 1 prevented Pabst from hand-tying ribbon around their bottles of beer anymore.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Dustin Britt
  • Pabst & The Prohibition

    Pabst & The Prohibition
    When the Prohibition began, Pabst had to make a substitute to beer. This item was cheese. The company also produces soft drinks and malt extract during the time.
  • Back To Brewing

    Back To Brewing
    By 1930, over 8 million pounds of Pabst-ett (cheese spread) had been sold. Once the prohibition came to an end, Kraft eventually bought out Pabst cheese and Pabst gets back in the brewing business.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Prost Brewing
  • The Demand For Beer Grows Strong

    The Demand For Beer Grows Strong
    In response to the demand for beer after the Prohibition, Pabst purchases the Premier Malt Products Company in Peoria, IL to boost production. This expansion shows a sense that the Pabst Company wanted to make sure that the public was satisfied, while increasing their sales.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Michelle Minton
  • Switching Up Styles

    Switching Up Styles
    Pabst becomes one of the first companies to offer beer in a can. The unique thing about swithing to cans was that the cans were called Pabst Export Beer, while the name for the bottles were Pabst Blue Ribbon.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Kevin Lilek
  • A New Source Of Advertising

    A New Source Of Advertising
    The radio becomes a popular way for Pabst to advertise their product. They even used celebrities of this time era such as Danny Kaye and Eddie Cantor (who were popular actors, singers, dancers, and comedians) to promote Pabst Blue Ribbon. The radio was a source of entertainment for the public and practically became a necessity. These promotions on the radio were heard by a majority of the public.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: David Lobosco
  • A Larger Expansion

    A Larger Expansion
    Pabst at this point had no representation in the northeast. This caused the purchase of the Hoffman Beverage Company in Newark, NJ. Pabst was looking to make their product nationwide and this was one of the appropriate steps to doing so.
  • Showing The West Coast Love

    Showing The West Coast Love
    Pabst purchases the Los Angeles Brewing Company so that they can get their product on the west coast. This purchase was the last piece of the puzzle to making Pabst a national beer.
    Also in 1948, Pabst sponsored Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts, a weekly boxing match that aired on major television networks. This was also a good way to advertise their product.
  • Pabst On The TV

    Pabst On The TV
    Pabst begins creating commercials to help their company be more recognizable and popular to citizens.
  • Things Are Looking Up

    The blue ribbon isn't put around the necks of Pabst Blue Ribbon bottles anymore, but the ribbon wasn't forgotten. The ribbon became the permanent symbol on the label. This was also a huge year for Pabst because production soared to 3.4 million barrels, which was a big deal because that production made Pabst one of the nation’s top five brewing companies.
  • A New Kind Of Spotlight

    A New Kind Of Spotlight
    Pabst makes a deal with photographer Richard Avedon to photograph couples enjoying Pabst Blue Ribbon. These ads appeared in high-end magazines like Vogue and the New Yorker with the headline, “Pabst Makes it Perfect.” This brought a new spotlight on Pabst from a different audience, which was high end citizens.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Daren Metropoulos
  • Lower Prices

    "The Premium Beer at a Popular Price" was what Pabst became to the general public because of the reduction of prices for their beer.
  • 100 Millionth Barrell

    100 Millionth Barrell
    This was the year that Pabst celebrated the company's 100 millionth barrel with a golden barrel of beer. They also celbrated by taking a plane trip for 60 to not just any destination, but to Jacob Best’s hometown in Germany. This was a monumental moment for this company because they survived to say that they were successful for long enough to sell 100 million barrels of beer.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Nile Cappello
  • Southern Hospitality

    Southern Hospitality
    Pabst opens a new brewery in Perry, GA. The result of the opening of this brewery was that there were so many jobs introduced to the Perry, GA that the town was briefly renamed Pabst, GA.
  • Pabst At The Top Of Their Game

    Sales were at 3.9 million barrels in 1958, 10.5 million barrels in 1970, and then explode to an all-time high of 18 million barrels in 1977. Pabst sales have grown much larger than from when the brand was first created!
  • New Owner, Less Advertisement

    New Owner, Less Advertisement
    $63 million was the price that Paul Kalmanowitz had to pay in order to buy the Pabst corporation. During his ownership, he made some changes which included closing the brewery in Milwaukee and terminating all advertising. Kalmanowitz had a different way of going about things than previous owners.
  • Expansion Of Brands

    Expansion Of Brands
    Pabst Brewing Company purchased the Stroh Brewing Company. By doing this, Pabst takes in brands such as Schlitz, Old Milwaukee, Schaefer, Colt 45, and Old Style which expanded the number of products that Pabst could sell.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Jim Smetana
  • Keeping The Past Alive

    Keeping The Past Alive
    Schlitz’s premium Gusto was once a top-selling beer during the 1960's. Pabst deccided to resurrect this beer and gain from it's unique taste. href='' >PHOTO COURTESY OF: Norman Miller</a>
  • Blasted

    The Metropoulos family acquires Pabst from Kalmanowitz.
    Pabst also launches “Blast by Colt 45" which was the first new product in decades. Hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg became the face of this new product.
    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Andrew Newman
  • The Legacy Continues

    The Legacy Continues
    Today Pabst may be considered a "hipster beer" because of the lower prices. Because it costs less, people would think that it tastes worse than other beers. The lower price makes it more available to people with less funds. Nonetheless, the fact that this company is still going strong 170 years later, including surviving the Prohibition, is something amazing in it of itself.

    PHOTO COURTESY OF: Bruno Guerin