People are always trying to make coffee hard. Brew it this way, sift the grounds to exactly this size, pour water here but NOT here for precisely this length of time and not a second longer, otherwise it’s all ruined. Turns out, it’s pretty easy to make coffee hard, but to make hard coffee, well that’s a whole nother thing entirely. That’s where Pabst Blue Ribbon comes in. The makers of every late-‘00s dive bar’s favorite beer has just announced Hard Coffee, an alcoholic coffee drink that is somehow not a coffee beer.
As reported by Food & Wine, Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee—I would have called it PeaBeRry or maybe just PBRry, but that’s just me—is a 5% ABV beverage “made using Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and rich, creamy American milk.” Per CNN, each 11-ounce can also contains 30mg of caffeine, roughly one third of that of an eight-ounce cup of coffee. The limited release malt beverage is out now, but currently only available in Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, Florida, and Georgia.
But is it any good? Can we even define “good” in this context? Like, we’re talking about PBR here, a beer that made a comeback due primarily to its low, low price point. “Good” is just too much of moving target for any of use to hit. But according to Food & Wine, the crowdsourced beer rating website Untapped has Hard Coffee at 4.21 out of 5 caps (caps are like stars but for beer) in its first 160 reviews, which F&W rightfully describes as “an uncannily high rating.” Individual raters described it as tasting like Yoo-hoo and “like a Starbucks frappuccino bullshit,” which they appear to have meant as a compliment.
Is it any good? Most people seem to say, ironically or otherwise, that yeah it sure is.
So put down that barrel-aged golden coffee stout, that hazy Yirgacheffe IPA, and that cascara berliner weisse. This summer’s best coffee beer may not be a coffee beer at all.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.
Top image via Food & Wine