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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Pabst Doob Ribbon: PBR + THC

Beer-guzzling stoners have been making “This bud’s for you” jokes for years. But it’s Pabst Brewing Company, not Budweiser’s Anheuser-Busch, who just put their name on a cannabis-infused adult beverage.

Pabst just announced their new doobie-fied drink: Pabst Blue Ribbon cannabis seltzer, available only in California. They are the first major American beer brand to put their label on a cannabis drink (although Bay Area craft brewer Lagunitas introduced a weed infused beer in 2018), so SF Evergreen had to see if the hipster beer from PBR mixes well with the hippies lettuce.

The first thing to note is that this is not beer. This THC powered PBR is an “original lemon cannabis infused seltzer”, and as such is probably more of a marketing game among the hard seltzer rage than the Pabst-drinking demographic.

Besides, it’s not created by Pabst Brewing Company. This PBR is sold by an eponymous but remote company calling itself Pabst Labs (run by a group of former Pabst employees, according to NPR).

And the formulation of the marijuana infusion is handled by an entirely separate Oakland-based company called Vertosa. We would comment on whether their products are generally good, but Vertosa doesn’t disclose any other products they make their website.

In other words, this is a licensing deal – kind of like what our outgoing president likes to do with his name, but much less conspiracy. We tried it, and it’s pretty good! Unfortunately, it is not easy to acquire in San Francisco.

Pabst Labs does not list this drink as available at all dispensaries in San Francisco, so your only option is to: buy it online. (You can also have it delivered through Flower Company, but that’s a members-only delivery service.)

Online delivery is available in San Francisco, but generally not on the same day. You must order the product directly from the Pabst Labs website, which requires you to sign up for a new delivery service.

You are also going to pay a much higher price than advertised. The website claims you pay $24 for a 4-pack of these Pabst Green Ribbons. But add in delivery charges and taxes and you’ll pay over $40 for that 4-pack. Plug in the usual driver tip and you just paid $50 for a 4-pack.

There are significantly better and cheaper drink deals available at your local pharmacy. Pabst Labs also offers a 24-pack for $120 (plus taxes) that comes with free delivery, but again, this isn’t the budget product you’d expect from good old PBR.

Some might even say it’s classier than the traditional Pabst (blasphemers… blasphemers would say that). The can and packaging are beautiful, although the lid can be a bit confusing for the first cannabis drinker. It has a resealable lid unlike a traditional pop-top can of soapy water.

There’s only 5mg of THC per can, which isn’t much, but the formulation provides a noticeable buzz within 15-20 minutes. It’s a sativa-like, light high that also relaxes your shoulders and is more of an active buzz than a couch-lock.

In terms of taste, you do not taste marijuana. It’s a real lemon seltzer, with very little carbonation and not much burp afterwards.

Pabst Blue Ribbon cannabis seltzer is not the best infused drink on the market, and it is more expensive than most. The novelty of the PBR logo on a marijuana drink is what you pay for here. It won’t win blue ribbons from the hardcore cannabis crowd, but its broad appeal to non-stoners could make it a crossover hit.

Potency: The 5mg of THC is below the industry standard of 10mg for a comparably priced drink. This product seems to be intended as a microdose, or aimed at the canna curious.

Odor: This seltzer has a very faint lemon juice scent and doesn’t smell like damp weed at all.

Taste: Surprisingly good for Pabst! The taste is more of a Perrier than the White Claw which it should probably mimic.

Appearance: The can is nice because it has a real Pabst Blue Ribbon logo, the drink itself resembles Squirt or 50/50, and can easily be presented as a fancy cocktail with garnish and appropriate glass.

Effect: Pabst cannabis seltzer is more of a branding exercise, but holds its own as a premium cannabis product with mainstream potential.


Available in San Francisco via direct delivery. Visit PabstLabs.com for details.

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