THE SALE OF AN ICON
Pabst Blue Ribbon, which for the last decade has enjoyed a tremendous surge in popularity, has been sold to investor C. Dean Metropoulos, a Connecticut tycoon known for reinvigorating food brands. Metropoulos closed the deal to buy Pabst Brewing Co. in late June for an undisclosed sum from Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation in California which had been running it since just after the 1994 death of the widow of Pabst owner Paul Kalmanovitz. However, the IRS told the charity that it could not own a for-profit business and set a deadline of 2O1O for selling it.
The beers in Pabst’s portfolio include: Schaefer, Carling’s Black Label, Blatz, Colt 45 Malt Liquor, Schmidt, Special Export, Schlitz, Lone Star, Jacob Best, Ballantine, Falstaff, Rainier, Ice Man Malt Liquor, Silver Thunder Malt Liquor, and Stroh’s Beer. Pabst has been on fire lately, due to both the economy and to its popularity with Millennials. Sales of the brand in food, drug and other retail outlets rose 33 percent to about $172.7 million in the 52 weeks ending April 18, according to data from market research firm SymphonyIRI Group. Hopefully Metropoulos will adhere to the mantra: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.