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Move over Pabst Blue Ribbon, there’s a new hipster beer in town

No those aren't dirty dishes, you're crazy

Well over a decade into its reign as the king of ‘cooler-than-thou’ and cheaper than water beers, Pabst Blue Ribbon may have finally met its match in Old Style Pilsner.

Long the working class beer of record in Western Canada, Pilsner moved onto Ontario’s Beer Store shelves quietly in the spring of 2013, after just one other unsuccessful attempt at penetrating the market in 1992. First brewed in Lethbridge, Alberta in 1926, Old Style Pilsner is a beer so self-aware and primed for a seat in the hall of hipsterdom, that its name is often boiled down to a gruff “Pilsner!”

Though it may have seemed destined to end up strewn across Tim Horton’s parking lots between truck mud-flaps and the pavement (like such other discount aisle brands as the highly-lauded Carling or well awarded Old Milwaukee) Old Style Pilsner may have surprised Molson Coors execs with its sudden popularity amongst Ontario’s urban youths.

Maybe it’s the colourful and intricately designed can, or the litany of appearances in the Canadian trailer-park folk classic ‘FUBAR’, but over the last year and a half Pilsner has announced loud and clear that there’s a new cheap-cum-cool Sheriff in town, competing for the can of note at the next Trinity Bellwood’s Park jam or Constantines reunion show you attend.

pilsner beautiful can

Truly a beautiful can it doth possess

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to truly substantiate these claims, as detailed sales figures of the privately held Molson-Coors Corporation are just that, but the increasingly wide variety of packaging formats available at the Beer Store and the ever-growing list of bars where it’s offered suggest that Pilsner’s tenure in Ontario so far has been a successful one.

Coming in on par with the price point of Pabst Blue Ribbon (or above by $0.15), Pilsner’s taste is equitable, if not slightly better than that of PBR. Although the Beer Store’s product notes for Pilsner unfairly bastardize the true meanings of beer aficionado terms like ‘well-balanced’, ‘clean’ and ‘smooth palate’, the truth is Old Style really isn’t that bad.

Best enjoyed in 473ml can format straight from the absolutely deepest depths of your fridge, it’s probably best to skip the sniff test when giving Old Style the old tasting session. Easy drinking and with a light moutfeel, Pilsner has a kind of pleasant bitterness, which adequately does the job of offsetting its strange and unusually acidic aftertaste. But don’t get me wrong – all things considered for a beer that’s $2.00 a can, there really is no better bargain meets ‘just-enough’ quality on the market.

With the added vented can feature to boot (I assume in FUBAR’s Alberta that’s called the ‘engage shotgun’ button), and a brand presence still under the radar of that annoying neighbor on your parents street who thinks hipsters still wear trucker hats, you really can’t go wrong with Old Style Pilsner.

That vented can doe...

That vented can doe…

By Aaron R



3 comments on “Move over Pabst Blue Ribbon, there’s a new hipster beer in town

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This entry was posted on August 17, 2014 by in Culture, News and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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