Food & Drink

Pabst Blue Ribbon Is Releasing a 180-Pack of Beer

The brewery that became Pabst Brewing Company, the longtime manufacturer of Pabst Blue Ribbon, was founded in Milwaukee in 1844 by German-born beermaker Jacob Best, Sr. He and his sons ran the brewery for over a decade and it was managed by different members of the Best family for another few years. In the mid-1860s, steamship captain Frederick Pabst bought into the business and, after the last few Bests sold off their shares, it was renamed Pabst Brewing Company in 1889. 

That’s a long way of saying that Pabst is celebrating its 180th birthday this year, and to celebrate, it’s releasing a truly bonkers 180-pack of beer. The company has produced 2,500 of these triple-digit packages, and they went on sale earlier this week. Each 180-pack contains 2,160 ounces of beer, or slightly less than 17 gallons’ worth. 

“This limited 180 pack is a way for us to celebrate a significant milestone in Pabst history — our 180th anniversary,” Rachel Keeton, Pabst Brewing’s marketing director, told Forbes. “Our fans get really excited about these large promo packs, so we always try to bring something exciting or new to market.”

The packaging on each 180-pack has illustrations of some of the brand’s highlights and icons, including its superhero-ish mascot Cool Blue, Frederick Pabst himself, and references to the cheese it made during Prohibition. (Oh yes, in the 1920s, Pabst produced Pabst-ett cheddar cheese product, which was advertised as “perfect a food […] to serve regularly to young and old and even to persons in delicate health.” Its ads also noted that it was “served in many hospitals,” which is the kind of ringing endorsement we’re always looking for.) 

This isn’t the first time Pabst has released a comically oversized package of beer. In 2019, it launched a 99-pack of PBR which was sold in 15 states — and some stores sold out of their entire inventory of 99-ers in less than 24 hours. 

Two years later, it produced a promotional 1,776-can pack to commemorate America. The massive cartons — which held the equivalent of 24 cases of beer — were distributed to four of its partners, including Igloo Coolers, a Michigan band, a comedian, and the cast of a skateboarding podcast. And because Pabst truly can’t be stopped, in the summer of 2022, it went even bigger, releasing a 1,844-pack in honor of its own anniversary. The company produced 250 of these colossal cases, and each one had a suggested retail price of $849.99. 

Now that we think about it, that 180-pack seems downright reasonable by comparison.

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