Technicolor PBR

By Jasmin Sun Posted June 29, 2012
Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer. Courtesy of Pabst Brewing Company.

Courtesy of Pabst Brewing Company

The Week in Food looks at noteworthy food or food-related inventions, announcements and other "firsts" throughout history.

The introduction of an interstate highway system in the 1950s made cross-country delivery easier and more economical, allowing companies like breweries, which were mostly local or regional, to expand their consumer base for the first time. With greater sales potential on the horizon, Milwaukee’s Pabst Brewing Company chose to market to a national audience on June 25, 1951 via America's first color TV beer commercial. The ad, which features an amazing jingle that repeats "What'll You Have? Pabst Blue Ribbon" like a broken record, ran as part of CBS’s inaugural color telecast, but probably seemed unremarkable to most—the majority of viewers still had black-and-white televisions.

The beer of choice for hipsters nationwide, Pabst is also a favorite of F&W Best New Chef 2010 Alex Seidel’s kitchen staff: “If you go into our walk-in, nine times out of 10 there will be PBR in there,” he says. Like other crisp lagers for summer, it’s tasty with fiery dishes like these Spicy Sriracha Chicken Wings.

Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.

Related: More Great Beer Pairings
The Best New Canned Beers for Summer
America’s Best Beer Bars

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