We Tried Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee

The boozy caffeinated beverage is currently available in five states.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee
Photo: Bridget Hallinan

Earlier this month, Pabst Blue Ribbon (otherwise known as PBR) turned heads when it announced its latest productnot a new lager, but hard coffee. With 5 percent ABV, Pabst said that the drink is "among the first of its kind in the industry," combining Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, milk, and malt beverage to create a boozy version of your morning cup of joe. It's meant to taste like "vanilla infused premium iced coffee," and we've also seen comparisons to Yoo-hoo, the popular creamy chocolate milk drink. But the concept of hard coffee—in a can, nonetheless—made us curious, so this week, PBR sent over samples so we could decide for ourselves.

Armed with two cans of the new hard coffee, we gathered a few editors and gave it a try. At the first crack of a can, we were instantly reminded of Baileys—it smells like coffee, but with the distinctive chocolatey, creamy notes signature to the Irish cream liqueur. The first sip was also reminiscent of Baileys, as well as Kahlua, and we definitely noticed the vanilla coming through, too. One editor compared it to a "thicker, malt Starbucks frappuccino"—the bottled kind you'd find in stores—and said they'd mix it with milk and ice to make a spiked latte; another said they'd take it a step further and mix it with ice in a blender, plus a shot of espresso for good measure. Personally, I could see the drink being popular at tailgates, especially early morning ones. After all, sports fans tend to drink and sip on coffee in the parking lot before heading to the game, so why not do both at the same time?

If you're interested in trying the hard coffee yourself, right now, it's only available in "limited test markets"—so far that's Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Florida, and Georgia. To see if it's stocked in a store near you, check out the PBR product finder on the official website.

In other coffee news, Starbucks announced that it will expand its Uber Eats delivery program nationwide, so you can enjoy your macchiato from the comfort of your home. The service is already available in Miami, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, Houston, and Dallas, set to be fully nationwide by early 2020.

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