Is Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ Friendly | Genuine Review

The ownership of the beer brand Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) has changed hands more than a couple of times in the recent decades, which makes an evaluation of its values and stance on socially-relevant issues difficult. 

“Is Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ friendly” is one such issue that remains shrouded behind the ownership transfers.

With very little communication from Pabst Blue Ribbon or its owners about its views on the LGBTQ cause, the present assessment relies on isolated incidents.

The 180-year-old heritage of PBR beer doesn’t help much, for it seems that most of this valuable heritage has not been put out in the public domain for curious fans and consumers. 

Yet, its 180-year-old history is what it is most proud about and is used as its unique selling point (USP). They make you notice it as clearly as the “blue ribbon” by writing “Established in Milwaukee 1844” on top of every can of its beer.

Let us probe if there exists a Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ connection, in its present avatar and in the hands of its new owners. 


Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of the few popular beer brands that does not brew its own beer and takes the contract manufacturing route instead. PBR beer is brewed by MillerCoors in Milwaukee (WI). It is a critical factor in the analysis of the question – Is Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ friendly? – because that makes Pabst Blue Ribbon, or its owners, a purely marketing and distribution agency. 

A brand that relies solely on marketing uses advertising trends to appeal to its constituencies and drive demand in the market, which is what Pabst Blue Ribbon has been doing over the past three decades or so. 

In the process of marketing, the desperate attempts by a brand to appeal to one constituency may hurt the sentiments of another. Pabst Blue Ribbon is no different and has displayed similar tendencies that we will discuss in the article.

Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ -Friendly Values?

The interest of the so-called “hipster” generation in Pabst Blue Ribbon beer is widely considered to be responsible for the reestablishment of the waning brand from the early 2000s.

In the year 2018, Pabst Blue Ribbon launched its “America Dreaming” campaign to celebrate the idea of the American Dream as perceived by the new generation, which, according to the brand, is the most diverse that America has ever seen.

It seems to be an acknowledgement of the role of this generation in the revival of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Introducing the campaign, the beer brand’s website presents an ode to America’s most diverse generation, which is redefining the dream with freedom of choice as its cornerstone. The three freedoms laid down are those to – 

  • the ability to be who you want
  • love who you want
  • write your own story

The campaign created a country-wide hotline giving an opportunity to people from diverse backgrounds to share their dreams. PBR made short documentaries emphasizing diversity of the nation and the ever-evolving American Dream. 

To put across its point, Pabst Blue Ribbon created portraits featuring several individuals representing different historically marginalized communities.

One of them was a gay Syrian refugee who apparently left his homeland during the war in the quest of discovering his identity and a sense of belonging in the United States. Another one was that of a drag queen from Texas.

Celebrating the story of a gay refugee from the middle east and a drag queen, both of whom belong to the LGBTQ+ community, clearly establishes the intent of Past Blue Ribbon to identify itself as champion of equality irrespective of the sexual orientation of a person. It can be seen as Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ support. In fact, if you google the phrase “Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ”, the first result that appears is that of the America Dreaming campaign.

Recounting relatable stories evokes positive emotions amongst readers, positioning Pabst Blue Ribbon as a LGBTQ-friendly beer.

Read also: The Modelo-Pride Conundrum Solved. Yes, Modelo Supports LGBTQ+ Pride.

Participation in LGBTQ Pride Events

According to a story carried by the Charleston City Paper website, dated September 9, 2019, Pabst Blue Ribbon was to host some events happening on the sidelines of Charleston Pride Week. The Charleston Pride Festival is a week-long annual event celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

The news release further informed that Pabst Blue Ribbon would also be participating in the Pride Parade to be held during the festival. Sounds like Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ is quite a thing!!! Doesn’t it?

Is PBR Just a Pride-Weather Ally of LGBTQ?
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Participating in and sponsoring Pride marches and hosting events on the sidelines of Pride festivals may or may not be an attempt to woo the LGBTQ+ community. However, the participation of a brand in LGBTQ-community-focused events does lend some weight to the Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ association argument.

The Insensitive-Tweet Controversy

In January 2022, Pabst Blue Ribbon shocked twitter users by tweeting – 

Not drinking this January?

Try eating ass!

If you analyze the Twitter account of Pabst Blue Ribbon, you will find that the tweets are very short and seldom use graphic images.

Instead, PBR utilizes text in a manner that mimics people making short, amusing comments or observations as a provocation to let people react to the same and spread the word.

However, this tweet was in the NSFW zone, with a sly innuendo seemingly directed towards a particular community and was really in bad taste. It also belittled the effort of people to abstain from alcohol during dry January.

It did not stop there, though. A user reacted to the tweet asking – “PBR or ass? What’s the difference?”, to which the official account of Pabst Blue Ribbon retorted, “Ask your mom”.

It was outrageous for even a youth-centric brand. PBR apologized for the language and content of the tweets and blamed one employee for them. It was emphasized that the tweets did not reflect the values of the brand or its associates and were eventually deleted.

Nick Reely, the company’s Vice President of Marketing, stated that the company was dealing with the matter internally, as if offering some consolation. However, nothing concrete emerged in the form of a corrective response from the brand, and this will continue to be a bolt to the image of the brand for some time.

Even if one disgruntled employee was responsible for the incident, it exposed the weakness of the brand’s organizational value system, especially since the damage control seemed routine and lacked a genuine, sincere expression of apology.

Walk the Talk Image
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This incident should go down in the brand’s timeline, arguably, as the most shameful and disgraceful one that had the potential to alienate an entire community. 

In my opinion, the beer brand has to do a lot more to convince people to categorically say that Pabst Blue Ribbon supports the LGBTQ community.

Read also: Does Shiner Bock Support LGBTQ | Much-Awaited Review


Pabst Blue Ribbon does not have a glorious history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, though it values equality for all, including their gender and sexual orientation. However, the infamous 2022 tweets mentioned above indicate that the brand does not practice what it preaches. 

At best, one can say that Pabst Blue Ribbon uses the LGBTQ+ cause and the Pride events as a marketing tool to appeal to a key market segment. Beyond running the LGBTQ-inclusive – “America Dreaming” – Brand Values Campaign, there is hardly any evidence in the public domain that lends credence to believing that the Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ connection is for real. 

Therefore, apart from the occasional pinkwashing, there are no signs of Pabst Blue Ribbon LGBTQ friendship.

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