Neal Stewart, the marketing director for Pabst, said the Portland phenomenon had perplexed the folks at Pabst as well. In 2000-01, they noticed that Portland sales of PBR were growing, without any marketing or explanation. "It just started skyrocketing." So Stewart, who had only recently started at Pabst, hopped on a plane and flew to Portland to try to figure it out.
What he quickly found were a lot of young adults drinking PBR. And they all seemed to be in some kind of subculture, from skateboarders and artists to Vespa-scooter owners and musicians. "They were very passionate about their subculture and very passionate about Pabst."
Then Andy over at Rooftop Brew has a post responding to this:
Cheap? A $2 pint for PBR is not a good deal. Considering that among the many excellent establishments in Portland you can routinely find specials for $2.50 for an Imperial Pint of a local brew, the PBR pales in comparison – not only in price, but also in quality, karma, coolness.
Both are good reads. Personally, I like Pabst. Of the various megabrewery cheap lagers, I think it tastes the best—the cleanest. Plus, it’s the nostalgia factor that the Oregonian talks about; I remember my dad and relatives drinking it since forever. If I need to pick up some quantity beer—stretch the money just a little farther than a $7 sixpack of micros will go—then Pabst is it.