The beer aisle is starting to look damn weird. We’re not talking about ramen-infused goses and Lucky Charms-flavored IPAs, although plenty has been said about adjunct-addled brewers tossing a bodega’s worth of oddball ingredients into their beers—and not all of it bad.
Instead, the beer aisle is starting to look a lot less beer-y. Hard seltzer, which boasts less sugar and fewer calories than most beers, now competes for shelf space. Naturdays, Natty Light’s summer-ready radler aimed at drinkers “who like strawberry lemonade and drinking beer,” has become something of a hot button brew among cognoscenti who would be otherwise mortified to admit liking a mass-produced fruit beer. (Although it does have its detractors.) Just this week, we reviewed a “hard kombucha seltzer” produced by a sour beer brewery, blurring all of the already hazy lines between fermented beverages.
And just last week, Pabst entered the fray with the announcement of PBR Hard Coffee, “a great tasting vanilla infused premium iced coffee with a 5% ABV kick.” Cue the many, many jokes about hipsters’ twin loves of PBR and iced coffee.
Odd as it may sound at first blush, however, the reaction appears to have been a near-universal thumbs up, with several Untappd users favorably comparing the brew to Yoo-hoo. And on Twitter, the mere idea of Hard Coffee elicited the sound of many a slavering Millennial tongue:
PBR coffee update: This stuff is delicious, it tastes just like Yoo-Hoo. If PBR can get this on mass market at a decent price, they've got a winner on their hands. Price reference, one four pack is around $8 pic.twitter.com/uMu3zcKQET— Stone Cold Steve Possum (@DezTheOpossum) July 6, 2019
Naturday OUT— caturday (@cheapbeerqueen) July 4, 2019
PBR coffee IN
Did my gal and I drive over half an hour to get the PBR hard coffee?— lou. 🏳️🌈 (@__mar_louise) July 4, 2019
Did we spend $10/4 pk for said drink?
Was it worth every minute and penny?
Yes, yes, and hell fucking yes.
Just had my first PBR hard coffee and I have the fear that this beverage has the power to ruin my life— Evan (@HAMMSertime) July 4, 2019
I think I have a hole in my soul only the pbr coffee can fill— Water Park Band Aid 🏊 (@victoriaxxviii) July 4, 2019
Pabst confirmed that Hard Coffee is currently limited to test markets in Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Florida, and Georgia—but that has only stoked the fervor online, with Twitter users demanding to know when the caffeinated booze will be available in their local stores.
Of course, not everyone’s on board the Hard Coffee train:
Pbr coffee is so funny to me. Can't stop imagining getting together with the boys and throwing back a 30 rack of coffees and everyone is just full throttle pedal to the metal shitting their ass out— Mike F (@mikefossey) July 2, 2019
But if the reaction of the rest of the internet’s beer fans is any indication, we expect to see beer aisle shelves full of Hard Coffee and its inevitable copycats in the near future.