Hipsters! Is there nothing they cannot ruin? From their ironic, unsatisfying adoration of all things “vintage” to their annoying hijacking of a cynical world view it seems no traditionally geeky past time has not be been ruined as fashionably trendy in the world of hipsterism.
Thankfully the fix-geared, fedora wearing, hipster scene has not invaded the craft beer scene as pervasively as analog photography, skinny jeans, and ugly sweaters worn “ironically”. It seems Ninkasi, goddess of all things beer, has pushed this poor herd primarily toward a single blue ribbon beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon.
In an article that should surprise no one, New York hipsters have now ruined not only PBR but cheap beer for all New York city consumers. The NY Daily News is reporting that the staggering 9.4% increase in “sub-premium” beers over the last seven months is due to the hipster greedy enthusiasm for Pabst Blue Ribbon.
PBR is a long-standing favorite as a cheaper beer option. During the 1960’s that Pabst Brewing Company proudly displayed the motto, “The Premium Beer at [a] Popular Price.” This won over drinkers on a budget whose limited funds meant imported or craft beers were out of their price.
Sales however slipped as mainstream beers took more and more of the market offering their own, frugally priced beers. Pabst saw an almost thirty year decline from 1978 to 2001. Yet they turned it all around due to a clever word of mouth campaign aimed at the blossoming hipster scene. Pabst wasn’t chosen by hipsters so much as they targeted them to make it hip.
The downside to Pabst’s new-found profitability is that the price of Pabst has risen beyond that of more mainstream beers like Keystone and High Life. This is great for Pabst but the increase in price means that other “sub-premium” beers are increasing prices to match the increase for PBR.
Thus in New York City it is becoming an increasingly pricey endeavor to have a cold pint regardless of the quality of the beer you want. So next time you see a Miller High Life on “special” at $3.00 per bottle make sure your rage isn’t directed at the bar but at the hipsters wasting time playing bike polo down the street. It appears these “iconoclasts” are more harm than good.
Plus isn’t hating on hipsters the new American pastime?