Well, Pabst did it again. (There’s a happy ending this time.)
Two years ago, the makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon released a 99-pack of beer in Canada that looked suspiciously like the ones Austin Beerworks had created in an outrageous 2014 project. At the time, Pabst gave no credit to the originators of the idea, though the North Austin brewery wasn’t afraid to call out the much larger producer on social media.
When Pabst decided to roll out the 99-pack in the U.S. this year, Austin Beerworks was, once again, not shy about letting the company know what it thought of the repeat taking without credit.
In response, Pabst has done a very good thing: In conjunction with the arrival of the new 99-pack to 15 states, Pabst will donate $9,999.99 to the Central Texas Food Bank, "helping to feed the Austin community this holiday season," according to a news release.
The new 7-foot, 99-packs contain a combination of Pabst Blue Ribbon Original, Extra and Easy cans — and, yes, Texas is one of the states they’re available in.
Austin Beerworks released a statement Wednesday (titled "Using Dumb for Good") that, in the end, came out in support of Pabst’s decision to donate nearly $10,000 to one of the brewery’s favorite Austin nonprofits.
"Ultimately, we just wanted some recognition for originating the idea and for our hometown to benefit from someone else using it," the statement read in part. "We're thrilled to share that PBR has agreed to donate $9,999.99 to one of our favorite local charitable organizations, the Central Texas Food Bank. We're proud that a wild idea we had 5 years ago has proven too dumb to die and is still finding ways to give back."
But Austin Beerworks did end the statement with a warning: "If PBR can use the 99-pack to get more people excited about beer, we think that's great. But if they start making sparkly 8 oz. cans, there's going to be trouble."
That’s right: Austin Beerworks isn’t out of zany ideas just yet.
According to the brewery’s Twitter account, the squat, glittery-looking cans will be released all across town soon. (Most cans are 12 oz., not 8.)