Pabst Beer Owner Reportedly Fishing to Sell Cult-Favorite

PHOTO: View of the Pabst Blue Ribbon booth during the 28th annual Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in this March 21, 2013, file photo.
David Becker/Getty Images

Cult fans of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer might not be surprised to hear that Pabst Brewing Co. could be worth $500 million to $1 billion, according to a report that says the company may be for sale.

Pabst, which is based in Los Angeles, is owned by investor C. Dean Metropoulos, who bought the beer company in 2010.

Metropoulos famously bought Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ding Dongs from the bankrupt Hostess Brands last year for $410 million with Apollo Global Management.

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The brewery, which is one of the oldest in the country with roots going back to 1844, may also try to go public, according to unnamed sources cited in the reports by Reuters.

Pabst did not respond to a request for comment to Reuters or

Pop media references to Pabst have created a cult following for the beer brand, starting from 2011 when the animated show "South Park" implied that Pabst Blue Ribbon was a "white trash beer," the company explains on its website.

"Ten million millennials beg to differ," the company states on the website.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer is referred to as a "blue collar-turned-hipster favorite" by Reuters.

Pabst hired investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to assist with a possible sale, Reuters reported. A spokeswoman for the investment firm declined to comment to

The most valuable global beer label is Bud Light, according to the BrandZ Top 100 rankings report by brand strategy consulting company Millward Brown Optimor, released last spring. The 2014 report will be released this coming May.

AB InBev and SABMiller are the two largest beer brewers, followed by Heineken and Carlsberg. Collectively, the four brands produce about half of all the beer sold globally, Millward Brown said.

Oscar Yuan, vice president of Millward Brown Optimor, said Reuter's $500 million to $1 billion figure estimating the enterprise value of Pabst "doesn't sound out of the realm of possibility."

"Pabst is capturing a market they think is growing," Yuan said of the beer company's owners. "PBR being a somewhat crafty, somewhat smaller, niche brand is actually a great thing in the market."

Yuan said it's possible some of the big beer brands might be interested in acquiring Pabst for its customers who are loyal to smaller beer brands instead of mainstream ones.

"It's a smaller brand, but has a unique appeal that Miller and Budweiser can't reach," Yuan said.

Here are Millward Brown Optimor's estimates of the brand value of the biggest beer labels:

$10.8 billion

Bud Light

Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 30 percent

$9.5 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 26 percent

$8.2 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 36 percent

$6.6 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 29 percent

$6.5 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 39 percent

$6.3 billion

Stella Artois

Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 40 percent

$4.5 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 11 percent

$3.9 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: New

$3.8 billion


Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 61 percent

$3.1 billion

Miller Lite

Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 34 percent

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