Pabst Blue Ribbon Is Selling a 99-Pack of Beer
Could I interest you in a 99-pack of PBR? Okay, but what if I told you the seven-foot-long box of cans contained a mix of ABV ranges from the light PBR Easy to Original PBR to the higher-strength PBR Extra? Actually, if you're into this sort of novelty, I probably had you at the idea of a box of beer taller than most people. The only problem is that scoring one of these oversized PBR packages probably won't be a walk in the park. To begin with, they will only be sold in 15 states.
First, some background: MGM Wine & Spirits in Mankato, Minnesota, got a bit of viral buzz this week when they put up a Facebook post on their latest item in stock: a "Limited Edition Family Pack" of PBR featuring 99 cans in a mix of Pabst Blue Ribbon varieties. According to KEYC News, the $59.99 packs sold out in under 24 hours—and sparked national interest in where else these crazy cases—that hold more than half a keg's worth of beer in 33 rows of three cans each—can be found.
For the record, 99-packs, in general, aren't new. The Texas-based craft brewer Austin Beerworks claims to have invented the 99-pack, which they said weighs 82 pounds, back in 2014. Pabst apparently debuted its own version of the 99-pack in Canada in 2017, and a PBR spokesperson said a PBR Easy edition first landed in the U.S. this summer. That move the attention of Austin Beerworks, leading to some back and forth between the two brands. At the time, back in May, Pabst Blue Ribbon tweeted that they hadn't "officially announced the 99-pack" yet.
Likewise, at this point, the spokesperson was only willing to give me very limited details about these new mixed 99-packs which first started to hit markets this fall. What I have been told is that they will be carried in Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota (as proven), Florida, New York, South Carolina, Montana, Virginia, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Alaska, and Colorado—and that availability will be limited, but will hopefully continue to grow throughout the holiday season.
And it turns out PBR fans aren't the only ones facing a paucity of information. Going back to Mankato, Minnesota, MGM Wine & Spirits said they aren't sure if they are going to get another shipment of the sold-out packs of PBR or not. And for Pabst, does it really matter? At this point, the 99-can cases have clearly already done their job as a promotional gimmick. Whether or not they sell any more is kind of moot—and on the bright side, it saves you the hassle of figuring out how you're going to get a seven-foot-long, 82-pound 99-pack home.
Update Nov. 21, 2019: This article has been updated to include Alaska in the list of states where the 99-pack will be available.