Ok, if you’re doing the math at home, 300 RMB is about $44 US, or looking at this from another angle, about $43 dollars more than a bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon should cost, no matter where you are.
1844 was the year that the Pabst Brewing Company was established in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the US, the beer’s lack of pretension led to a recent upswing in popularity among hipsters.
With 1844, the brand seems to be targeting a different demographic in the Chinese market.
The ad copy (on the facing page) begins with comparisons to the finest of alcohols:
It’s not just Scotch that’s put into wooden casks. There’s also Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 1844
Many world-famous spirits Are matured in precious wooden casks Scotch whisky, French brandy, Bordeaux wine… They all spend long days inside wooden casks
It goes on to describe how the premium wood and craftsmanship of the casks creates the beer’s wondrous color and flavor, and ends by calling Pabst “truly a treasure among beers.”
Does Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 truly merit such comparisons? It’ll cost you around 300 RMB to try a bottle for yourself, according to a Beijing Youth Daily article from last November, when the product was launched.
The article quoted Ni Chunlin, head of Blue Ribbon Beer, which produced Pabst in China:
“China’s beer market has an annual sales volume of 40 million tons. So why is the price of beer always around 5 or 10 yuan?” … Ni Chunlin said that the release of Blue Ribbon 1844 is aimed at changing consumers’ ideas about beer. “The high-end market is occupied by baijiu and wine. Chinese people can afford to drink baijiu that costs tens of thousands, and I believe that a 300-yuan beer won’t be a problem either.”
(click to continue reading A blue-collar beer goes upmarket.)