Pabst Blue Ribbon Has Released a New ‘Hard Coffee’

It’s not beer – but it is a coffee, milk and vanilla blend with a 5% ABV malt liquor kick.

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Imagine this scenario: You want to go out for a fun night with your pals, but you’re a little bit tired, in need of a pick-me-up and at the same time looking to get into a party mood. Do you reach for a cup of coffee or a cocktail? Pabst Blue Ribbon has just launched a product it’s hoping will provide an answer: neither … or kind of both.

This month, Pabst Blue Ribbon, the makers of beer embraced by the humble and the hip, has introduced PBR Hard Coffee. To be clear, the new beverage is not beer, but rather a cold coffee and malt beverage mash-up made with a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, milk and vanilla flavoring – all of which delivers not only a kick from caffeine, but also from 5 percent alcohol by volume.

"Pabst Blue Ribbon has always been a brand that pushes boundaries and celebrates those who experiment and try new things," John Newhouse, brand manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon, said in an announcement to the press. "Hard Coffee is an opportunity for us to pioneer a delicious and fun new drink, and give America something unique. We hope everyone loves it as much as we do."

Alas, not everyone can try it and love it – should it prove worthy of everyone’s love – right away. PBR Hard Coffee is currently only available in select test markets in Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia, the companynoted on Twitter, pointing the Hard Coffee curious to the PBR Product Finder.

The early reviews on social media are pretty positive – it has prompted comparison to Java Monster and Yoo-hoo and, according to, "a frappuccino that gets you drunk."

That ought to make the millennial trendsetters to whom PBR Hard Coffee is presumably targeted sit up and notice.

Photo courtesy of Pabst Blue Ribbon

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