Earlier this week, Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) rolled out limited-edition 99-packs in 15 U.S. states, offering beer-lovers the chance to marvel at ingenious seven-foot-long cases. But the story didn’t end there.
The first brewer to roll out 99-packs was Austin Beerworks, in 2014. When PBR started gaining widespread attention for its new release, the Austin brewer got a little “pissy” for failing to receive credit for the idea, so it released a press release addressing the subject.
“When we first saw the news that PBR was selling 99-packs just like the ones we released in 2014 for Peacemaker Anytime Ale, we were 99 percent pissed off,” Austin Beerworks wrote. “That gloriously ridiculous idea, which we created with Christian Helms and Mike Woolf, is one of our proudest achievements.”
This isn’t the first time PBR has copied the idea. In 2017, after PBR released 99-packs in Canada for the first time, Austin Beerworks vented its frustrations via Facebook. Then, in May 2019, Beerworks once again took its grievances to Twitter.
Oh, wow. We thought you were just a run-of-the-mill Twitter dummy, but we see you're the GM of Pabst (which doesn't necessarily disqualify you from the former).
Is "Good ideas should be shared" the official company stance?
PS – sharing is consensual.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 8, 2019
Apparently, this time it has worked. PBR recently announced that it plans to donate $9999.99 of the proceeds from the 99-pack sales to the Central Texas Food Bank, one of Beerworks’ favorite local charities.
“Ideas are hard and they don’t all stick,” Matt Bruhn, general manager at PBR, said in a press release. “The 99-pack was a chance for us to pay homage to a great idea, give the world more beer to enjoy responsibly over the holiday season, and help a local community.”
Beerworks summed it up best, writing: “We’re proud that a wild idea we had five years ago has proven too dumb to die and is still finding ways to give back.”