PABST BLUE RIBBON
This Illinois-based beer is no stranger to reinvention. After decades as a staple of stadiums and dive bars in the upper Midwest, the brew was improbably adopted in the early 2000s by coastal hipsters eager to appropriate its working-class cachet. But PBR's latest act, in China, is even more remarkable.
Forget $1 cans: In China it is called Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844, and it costs 300 yuan, or $46, per bottle. Ads call it a "world-famous spirit" on par with Scotch whisky and French brandy. To be fair, it's not the same swill you find in Williamsburg: Sold in an elegant bottle and aged in wooden casks, the beer is meant to be savored in a champagne flute. But PBR's Chinese fans apparently haven't seen the film Gran Torino, in which a gruff Clint Eastwood downs cans of Pabst and growls epithets at his Asian neighbors.