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Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pabst has been sold to Metropoulos. a private equity fund well known for buying up famous food brands (Bumble Bee Tuna, Vlasic Pickles, Duncan Hines) and later selling them.

Article says that Pabst is the no. 5 brewer in the US behind giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev and Miller Coors. Pabst has about 2% market share and sells many of the old line regional beer brands. In addition to Pabst Blue Ribbon, that includes Schlitz, Old Style, Lone Star, Colt 45, etc. It no longer brews beer. Its products are made by SAB Miller under contract. But with 2% share, how can they even advertize in competition with the big guys?

Pabst has been owned by Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation, which was named for Paul Kalmanovitz, a brewing magnate who died in 1987, two years after buying Pabst. Trust ownership seems not to be good for highly competitive businesses. Lawyers and accountants are not a subsitute for a leader with a vision of the future. Moreover, the IRS objected to a trust owning a profit making business. A five year rule was extended for another five, but now the business must be sold.

A WSJ sidebar notes that Pabst was founded in 1844 in Milwaukee by Jacob Best as Best Brewing Co. The Pabst name came from the marriage of his daughter to Frederick Pabst who eventually led the company. The Milwaukee brewery closed in 1996, and the company moved to San Antonio, TX. Stroh's of Detrot was acquired in 1999. The company moved to Woodridge, IL in 2006.
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