Thursday, October 15, 2009

PBR success confounds hipsters

Hipsters drank PBR so as not to "conform," yet now it's the fastest growing beer in the country, dangerously close to becoming "mainstream."

From NBC Los Angeles:

Pabst managed to pull of a strangely effective word-of-mouth campaign that made the long-declining brand an "ironic downscale chic choice for bike messengers and other younger drinkers who viewed the beer as a statement of non-mainstream taste," reports Crain's.

Let's call a spade a spade: Those "non-mainstream," "younger drinkers" are hipsters.

Usually found smoking European cigarettes and/or cloves, hipsters are known for their despise of anything "mainstream" and their fondness for irony. They listen to bands that no one has ever heard of and start fashion trends that are cool because of their "uncoolness", e.g., trucker hats or vintage plaid shirts.

This is where Pabst Blue Ribbon comes in.

"It's an anti-establishment badge," said a major market wholesaler. "It seems to play to the retro, nonconformist crowd pretty well."

Hipsters enjoy drinking a beer that isn't as "established" as other better-known brands, asserting themselves are more "genuine" and "unique" than the mainstream that surrounds them.

They should be careful though. With the incredible rise in sales, Pabst Blue Ribbon could become so popular, it may enter the mainstream, and hipsters will have to abandon it in favor of another "cheap" beer.

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