Just a few weeks removed from the release of its surprisingly good Hard Coffee, Pabst Blue Ribbon has formally announced it is introducing yet another new product that isn't intended to be the cheapest light beer in the bar. Blue Ribbon fans have seen a whole lot of expansion of the brand this year with PBR Extra, a non-alcoholic PBR, Hard Coffee, and the forthcoming PBR Whiskey. Now, your favorite blue ribbon will adorn cans of hard seltzer.
Though, it wouldn't be a very PBR move to simply make a seltzer that people craved. The company is putting a twist on it with Stronger Seltzer. It's hard seltzer, but, well, stronger. It's pretty self-explanatory, which isn't exciting, but you should be glad it's not called an Imperial Seltzer. Stronger Seltzer comes with an 8% ABV, which is significantly higher than the typical 4.5%-5.5% you'll find on most hard seltzers. (Though, Natural Light is releasing a hard seltzer with a 6% ABV.)
The hard seltzer market is reaching the point where brands have to start differentiating themselves to find new drinkers and chisel away at White Claw's dominance. Nauti has created Extra Nauti, a stronger seltzer that's akin to this PBR release. Sercy Spiked & Sparkling is an organic alternative. Fick's is made with real fruit. With the market getting saturated in brands competing for your burgeoning seltzer loyalty, this is a trend that could pick up steam. (In addition to brands like Natural Light leaning into affordability.)
PBR isn't specifically catering to the crowd hard seltzer frequently caters to: the health-conscious drinker looking for a low-calorie, sugar-free drink. Stronger Setlzer claims to be low in calories, but it has 228 calories. That's less than many strong malt beverages, but more than double the 100-ish calories many hard seltzers tout.
"Stronger Seltzer explores new ground for the Blue Ribbon while upholding the boundary-pushing tradition that’s been associated with us since the days of our founder Jacob Best," said John Newhouse, brand manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon. "Stronger Seltzer is a fun and innovative new drink that delivers big on taste, and gives our customers something different to enjoy."
Similar to the brand's Hard Coffee rollout, Stronger Seltzer will only be available in select markets beginning August 12. The test markets include Arizona, California, Montana, and Texas. It'll be perfect for those hot afternoons when you want a drink and to also fall asleep at 5pm.