Earlier this month, we reported on a contentious lawsuit between Pabst Brewing and MillerCoors that, depending on its outcome, could have spelled the end of PBR. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth as fans of the endangered Pabst brands—PBR, Old Milwaukee, Natty Boh, and Lone Star—awaited an outcome of the dispute. But rejoice! For today I bring you news of great joy: Pabst and MillerCoors have reached an agreement ensuring the continued existence of PBR.
The Washington Post reports the two beer companies reached a settlement as the jury was in deliberations—Dick Wolf, can we get a Law & Order episode on this?—that guarantees drinkers will still have access to PBR. Unfortunately, there’s little satisfaction for those who want to know what, exactly, the terms of the settlement are. The two companies aren’t revealing the details of those terms, saying only that they’ve “amicably resolved all outstanding issues in the case.”
At issue in the lawsuit was whether MillerCoors could be compelled to continue brewing Pabst’s beers, as it had been since 1999. This is a common beer-industry practice called contract brewing, in which a company retains the rights to its beers but brews the actual liquid at another company’s facility. MillerCoors wanted out of the arrangement, but Pabst alleged MillerCoors was trying to “get rid” of Pabst as a competitor in the cheap-beer market.
Whatever negotiations happened behind closed doors, the fate of PBR seems safe—for now.