PBR, the Quintessential Cheap Hipster Beer, Goes Hollywood

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The headquarters for Schlitz, Old Style, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beers is moving from the Midwest to Los Angeles. Could this make the favorite swill of hipsters unhip—or even worse, expensive?

A Chicago Tribune story makes a good argument that, hipness aside, these cheap blue-collar beer brands don’t seem like a good fit for la-la land. Kelly O’Keefe, a brand strategy professor at Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, says the images of southern California don’t really mesh:

“I picture movie stars and sunglasses and people in not-too-much clothing. It’s sort of the opposite of blue collar,” he said.

The key, O’Keefe says, to maintaining both PBR’s trendiness and the blue-collar popularity of its other brews, is making sure no overt efforts are taken to try to be trendy.

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