Morning Wood: 2 hip 4 u: The “Pabst effect”

By Morning Wood Staff

Pabst Blue Ribbon, affectionately known as “PBR” or “the nectar of the gods” to many, is a staple of American culture for beer enthusiasts worldwide. Known for its smooth taste and viscerally erotic aroma, Pabst is not a beverage but a legacy, a legacy with life altering powers.

Upon first opening a can of the red, white and blue dream brew, the beholder will marvel at the wondrous “crack” the can has to offer. What many may not know is that the sound of the can being opened is actually always the exact same pitch, and has been found to have a mating call effect on many of today’s young people. So be careful when opening a Pabst in public, as there may soon be a swarm of overly zealous cardigan wearing hipsters surrounding you, ready to show their social and intellectual dominance in a passive aggressive fashion.

The first taste of Pabst is always the best. Smooth, crisp, with a slight hint of bald eagle blood (a key secret ingredient), the brew not only invokes a sense of American pride but also a desire to listen to indie music. Only the highest quality watered down urine (rumored to partially be directly from the plumbing systems of the most obscure indie clubs in Milwaukee) is used in the manufacture of the brew, and it is almost impossible to taste the, arguably unnecessary, hops

Alcohol content varies by the batch, usually from about .5 percent to somewhere around 9 percent. This is due to the brewer’s “cool” and “laid back nature” when it comes to the brewing process. When asked in a 2009 interview for Brewer’s Monthly, the Pabst Professionals responded, “We don’t really care too much. We didn’t even know anyone drank this anymore.”

Many drinkers have associated Pabst with their social transformation from a “normal” person into the bohemian “hipster” lifestyle so many devotees of the brew are a part of. Studies have shown there is a chemical in the beer that, when ingested in large amounts, will start to cause physical and psychological changes to the drinker. This is also known as the “Pabst Effect.” Symptoms of this can include, but are not limited to, a change in clothing choices from mainstream stores to thrift store bought items, the growing of a large bushy mustache or other facial hair, the incessant desire to go against all things “mainstream,” and acute narcissism.

When I had my first taste of Pabst, I personally found myself wanting to listen to bands that haven’t even been formed yet and soon found myself on my fixie, heading to the nearest thrift shop. I made sure to scowl at everyone I met on the way, and when someone asked me what I was playing on my iPod, I promptly scoffed and walked away. After browsing the aisles for a few hours, I ended up grabbing a sweater, some old boat shoes and an aging pair of non-prescription Ray-Ban glasses before returning home to the rest of my PBR for review.

I found that the brew was quite easy to consume, and after just half a case in just over an hour, I now feel another effect of the “Pabst Effect”; the growing of a hip mustache. Curling at the ends, and bushy in stature, I can’t help but marvel at the wondrous creation my face had made, all with the help of Pabst.

Each sip is better with the last, which may be a result of the beer itself, or the effects of alcohol on the brain leading to a lack of inhibition and sensory input from taste buds.

As the daylight hours turned to night to the soundtrack of Fleet Foxes, and the cans began to litter the ground around me, I feel my eyesight starting to deteriorate, and grab for a pair of Ray-Ban glasses I purchased earlier that day. Tugging on the ends of my newly formed mustache and mutton chops, I can’t help but agree the Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of the finest brews available right now, but have to admit I would prefer a beer you’ve probably never heard of.

Hugh Janus doesn’t use email because it’s too mainstream, but you can send a carrier pigeon to the chill indie coffee shop in Portland, and maybe it will get to me.