It seems like only last April when local and national media outlets were crapping themselves over a story of a group of Milwaukeeans determined to bring Pabst Brewing Company back to the Brew City. The incredibly popular “Bring Pabst Blue Ribbon Home” social media campaign aimed to purchase the once-Milwaukee-headquartered company after it was announced that its current owner, the delightfully named C. Dean Metropoulos, was looking to unload it like so many crushed empties. PBR would be back in Milwaukee, the campaign crowed, and it would be owned and operated by the people! Never mind that a) Pabst had famously fucked Milwaukee over in the ’90s, b) the company wasn’t an actual brewery anymore, and c) Pabst was already being brewed in Milwaukee. Oh, and the fact that the company was being valued at $1 billion, which seemed a bit high for a group that was little more than a Facebook page and a Twitter hashtag.

Yes, the “Bring PBR Home” thing was deeply, thoroughly, and offensively stupid, as evidenced by a disastrous “town hall meeting” at Best Place. (Former Pabst employees, lured in by all the buzz and looking for some sort of concrete plan, walked out when they realized how idiotic it all was.) Unsurprisingly, the movement died immediately afterwards, and the media outlets that had once showered it with fawning, uncritical attention whistled past the graveyard and searched for the next dopey traffic-getter. Circle of life, and all.

Yesterday, any remaining pipe dreams of reclaiming PBR for Milwaukee were officially dashed with news that Russian brewer Oasis Beverages would be partnering with TSG Consumer Partners LLC to buy the beloved brand from Metropoulos. Yes, PBR would be coming home, all right…to Russia. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal is being valued at between $700 million and $750 million—down slightly from $1 billion, but still on the pricey side for a group that spent a good portion of its first and only meeting performing a skit about how neat it was to talk to Mayor Barrett.

So yeah, the once-adored “Bring PBR Home” movement is officially dead, defeated by Russia, Apollo Creed-style. Expect zero mention of that fact from the following media outlets that reported on this junk in the first place:

Milwaukee Business Journal



CBS 58




Next City

Nonprofit Quarterly

USA Today

The Guardian

About The Author

Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.