Na zdorovye, Pabst! Russian brewing company buys iconic American beer label
Oasis Beverages, which did not even classify beer as an alcoholic beverage until 2011, announced on Thursday that it would acquire the 170-year old American brewer Pabst Brewing Company with American private-equity firm TSG Consumer Partners owning a minority share.
The Russian company reportedly paid $700 million for the American beer label, which makes a decent profit for C. Dean Metropoulos, the firm that bought Pabst in 2010 for $250 million.
Oasis, which also has operations in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, is a beverage heavyweight in its own right, putting out local favorites, like Golden Tankard, and the Soviet-era Zhiguli label.
An Oasis spokesperson attempted to calm fears that some radical
changes may be coming for Pabst.
"There are definitely no plans to change any of the recipes of the brands," an Oasis spokesperson told CNNMoney. "The entire team at Pabst including the Head Brewer Greg Deuhs will continue to focus on maintaining the classic recipes and consistent quality of all Pabst products. No changes whatsoever."
— Pabst Blue Ribbon (@PabstBlueRibbon) September 17, 2014
Eugene Kashper, chairman of Oasis Beverages, connected Pabst with some of America's global image.
“Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand – it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression – all the things that make this country great,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pabst seems content with the new international team of
“We are delighted at Mr Kashper’s and TSG’s strong commitment to growing the unique Pabst portfolio, and we are very supportive of the new ownership group and their exciting plans for the future,” Dean Metropoulos, a co-owner of Pabst, said in a statement.
Kashper said the American brewer will continue to be based in Los Angeles.
The popular and inexpensive Milwaukee-brewed drink, which has attracted a cult following of late, got a prominent endorsement in David Lynch’s 1986 cult classic film, “Blue Velvet,” where actor Dennis Hopper makes an unforgettable demand for a “Pabst Blue Ribbon.”
Pabst's "blue ribbon" got its name after winning a beer competition at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893.