For decades, Pabst Blue Ribbon has been the beer du jour of broke college students, adults who don't know any better, and alcoholics who need to make that $10 they slipped from their wife's purse last all day. We'd make a joke here about hipsters, but they haven't been a thing since 2011. (Another thing that Millennials killed, probably.)
It seems, however, that PBR might soon be going to the big urinal in the sky -- unless its mom and dad can stop fussin' and a-feudin'. You see, despite what the name might suggest, Pabst Blue Ribbon is actually brewed and packaged by MillerCoors. It's a working partnership which, despite being the equivalent of the large intestine outsourcing turd production to the butthole, seems to have been a fruitful and productive one. It's due to expire in 2020, however, and MillerCoors wants out.
And Pabst doesn't like that. Although the main partnership is due to end in 2020, the original agreement that the two companies signed allows for two possible five-year extensions. MillerCoors argues that not only do they have the right to turn down the extension just because, but also the cost of manufacturing PBR means that it isn't worth their while to extend the deal. That is, unless Pabst pays them $45 per barrel ... for an annual output of over four million barrels.
Yikes. In response, Pabst has filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors asking for $400 million in damages, alleging that MillerCoors' "fabricated concerns" are nothing more than a "thinly veiled, bad faith attempt to unlawfully hurt a competitor." If MillerCoors stops producing PBR, they argue, Pabst dies, and there's then nothing to stop MC from cornering the market in beers that people only buy because the 7/11 ran out of other brands. And this is to say nothing of Pabst's other allegations against MillerCoors, including that MC closed down two factories just to spite Pabst, and that MC hired a consultant to "figure out ways to get rid of [Pabst]."
The trial starts on Monday, and is set to last until the end of November. It promises to be exactly the sort of shitshow that you'd expect from the people that brought us every bar fight in existence -- the only difference this time being that the combatants are armed with lawyers, not broken pool cues. Play us out, Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet:
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