drink: Pabst Blue Ribbon
where: New Brookland Tavern
Pabst Blue Ribbon, one of the country’s oldest beer brands, is facing extinction if its parent company and MillerCoors, the brewing giant contracted to make PBR, can’t resolve a heated legal battle before their production agreement expires in 2020. That being the case, it’s time to crack open an ice cold can of the red, white and blue legend and savor the flavor that (maybe) won the title of “America’s Best” beer in 1893.
PBR is as ubiquitous as a beer can be these days, available virtually anywhere that offers macro brews in either cans, bottles or on draft. While any of these formats will suffice, the quintessential Peeber is the 16-ounce can, affectionately referred to as “the Pounder” by hardcore fans. Drunk straight from the can, the pale golden liquid is crisp and refreshing, offering a bit more body than similar cheap beer contemporaries, with a lingering touch of sweetness provided by the corn used alongside the malted barley in the brewing recipe.
Many music fans in Columbia have developed a PBR reflex order through years of going to concerts at New Brookland Tavern. The venue has almost an entire refrigerator dedicated to Pabst and includes the beer in one of its most popular drink deals, the Survival Kit — a Pounder and a half shot of Fireball whiskey. At a crushable 4.7 percent ABV, a sweaty can of Blue Ribbon goes down extra smooth in the muggy summer months hanging out on the back patio in between bands.
If PBR truly is fated to go the way of the dinosaurs and laser discs in just over a year’s time, let’s spend these last months together enjoying the routine that has made it a staple at NBT. Go see some great live music. Slake your thirst with a Pounder. Repeat.