Pabst Lends Iconic Blue Ribbon Name to Cannabis-Infused Seltzer

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Pabst Blue Ribbon is moving from the dive bars to dispensaries.

The 176-year-old brand — which in recent years has expanded into whiskey, hard coffee and hard seltzer — now adorns cans of cannabis-infused seltzer that are sold at a handful of California pot shops.

Announced Wednesday, the new lemon-flavored product is the brainchild of former Pabst Brewing Company employees who launched a separate Los Angeles-based entity called Pabst Labs and secured the right to use the Blue Ribbon name and logo on THC-infused beverages.

One of those individuals, Mark Faicol, previously spent 4.5 years at Pabst and most recently served as a brand manager tasked with building the company’s spirits business.

In a news release, Faicol said the launch of a Pabst-branded product would help “kick-start” the cannabis-infused drinks sector.

“For over 175 years the Blue Ribbon has connected fans across generations around its products, and we think customers, new and old, are going to love the chance to experiment with something different from a brand they trust,” he said.

The non-alcoholic THC-infused seltzer contains 5 mg of THC, 4 grams of sugar and just 25 calories. According to a company website, Pabst Brewing does not play a role in manufacturing or distributing the offering.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Faicol said Pabst Brewing did not hold a financial stake in the two-year-old Pabst Labs startup. The beer maker will also not share any portion of sales, and it has granted Pabst Labs the right to use the Blue Ribbon brand for no fee.

“I think it’s really affording them is an opportunity to learn about the [cannabis beverage] space with a partner that they really trust,” Faicol told the Times.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that the Pabst Blue Ribbon seltzers are currently sold in “about a dozen” dispensaries, and that Pabst Labs expects the number of retail locations will exceed 30 before the end of October.

The product is also sold online and according to beer industry trade publication Brewbound, a 4-pack of the infused seltzer costs $24. A 24-pack sells for $120.

Additional flavors are expected to launch after the initial trial run, Pabst Labs noted in its release.

“We’ve had a really enthusiastic and positive response from dispensaries and customers and are looking forward to a wider roll out in the coming months,” Faicol said.

Pabst is the latest notable alcohol company to enter the cannabis sector in some way. Last week, Canada’s Canopy Growth Corporation — which is 38.6% owned by Constellation Brands — said it was planning a U.S. launch of its THC-infused drinks via a partnership with New York-based Acreage Holdings.

Molson Coors also recently launched several cannabis-infused beverages in Canada, via its joint venture with Hexo.

Other THC-infused products from California’s Lagunitas, which is owned by Heineken, and Two Roots Brewing, which is owned by Lighthouse Strategies, are also on the market.

Roughly 4 million cannabis beverages were sold in the U.S. last year, and market research firm BDSA pegged the category at about $60 million.

A news release with additional information is included below.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis Infused Seltzer Debuts In California

LOS ANGELES — Pabst Labs, a newly formed licensed cannabis company, today revealed the initial launch of Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis Infused Seltzer. The famed Blue Ribbon, synonymous with good times for over 175 years, will now adorn the can of a delicious non-alcoholic THC infused seltzer developed by Pabst Labs.

Pabst Labs was founded by a group of cannabis beverage experts and former Pabst Brewing Company employees who were granted the rights to create a line of cannabis infused drinks under the Pabst Blue Ribbon Name. Pabst Labs is responsible for the production, marketing, and sales of the new drink.

“Pabst Blue Ribbon has an incredibly loyal and passionate customer base who are open to change and embracing new ideas. We’ve spent a long time creating a quality product for both new and experienced users, and believe the entry of an established brand can help kick-start the cannabis drinks category,” said Mark Faicol, Pabst Labs Brand Manager.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis Infused Seltzer marks a major milestone for the burgeoning cannabis drinks industry, and an awesome way for lovers of Pabst Blue Ribbon to experiment with a new kind of buzz. The initial test launch will see Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis Infused Seltzer available for customers in a select group of California dispensaries and direct to California consumers via shop.PabstLabs.com.

Pabst Labs is thrilled and honored to develop a product that’s fit to use the famed Pabst Blue Ribbon name. Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of America’s most beloved brands, a champion of the creative community and lifestyle, and recently has been innovating beyond beer, with the launches of Hard Coffee, Hard Tea, and Harder Seltzer.

Pabst Blue Ribbon’s willingness to experiment and push boundaries led Pabst Labs to enquire about collaborating, and a shared passion for quality and innovation ultimately led to Pabst Labs being granted the rights to create a line of cannabis infused drinks worthy of the Blue Ribbon.

Each 12oz can of Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis Infused Seltzer is made from the highest-quality ingredients and serves up a delicious effervescent lemon-flavored seltzer that contains just 4 grams of sugar, 25 calories, and contains no preservatives. With 5mg of THC per can Pabst Labs has ensured it offers up a responsible dosage designed to make it a go to drink for both casual and experienced cannabis users. The lemon seltzer will be the only flavor available during initial launch, but additional flavors are already in development.

“Though this is a limited initial launch, we’ve had a really enthusiastic and positive response from dispensaries and customers, and are looking forward to a wider roll out in the coming months. For over 175 years the Blue Ribbon has connected fans across generations around its products, and we think customers, new and old, are going to love the chance to experiment with something different from a brand they trust,” concluded Faicol.

Pabst Labs is headquartered in Los Angeles and is committed to producing high quality cannabis infused beverages that push the category forward.


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