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Kelsey drinks something like beer: PBR Hard Coffee
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Pabst Blue Ribbon's Hard Coffee - photo by Austin Steele

Times are changing in the alcohol industry. 

Beer drinkers are bypassing domestics and heading straight for the craft beer, and more spiked seltzer options are clawing their way into the beer aisle.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee

Brewery: Pabst Brewing Co.

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Style: Alcoholic coffee

Bottom line: Basically an alcoholic version of Starbucks Frappuccinos 

Take a look at Pabst Brewing Co., famous for its Pabst Blue Ribbon lager, also called PBR.

On July 1 the 175-year-old giant Los Angeles-based brewery decided to release a Hard Coffee PBR.

I know what you’re thinking. No, they didn’t mix PBR with coffee. 

The drink’s can includes the description, “The original Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Iced Coffee with a dash of milk. This java brew balances a rich creamy blend with a whipped vanilla flavor.”

The 5% alcohol by volume drink doesn’t contain beer. Instead, it’s a malted beverage mixed with java. 

OK, so how does it taste?

Not bad, actually. It seems as though Pabst took a bottled Starbucks Frappuccino and added a splash of alcohol. It’s not as strong as your typical Irish Whisky, but nonetheless delicious. 

I found myself surprised at the beverage’s level of sweetness and creaminess. While a couple of cans of this would would probably rot your teeth, the caffeinated hard coffee proves for an easy-drinking beverage. 

If you’re on the hunt for one of these limited release brews, just know that it’s an elusive creature. Pabst is starting out by testing the drink in five states: Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida.

Despite living in one of the blessed states, I’ve had quite the difficulty getting my hands on a pack.

I traveled around Atlanta looking for a pack of PBR Hard Coffee, using the store finder on PBR’s website. After driving to a couple that were sold out, I did the smart thing and started calling. Surprise, surprise, all of the places in my area were cleaned out. 

Luckily, one of my friends nabbed a four-pack and was generous enough to share. 

The drink may have been drained quickly from food marts and bottle shops because of its limited release allure. But, trust me, it lives up to the hype.

To “hopefully” find a PBR Hard Coffee near you, visit pabstblueribbon.com/pbr-finder.

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