We are about to see some confused hipsters walking the streets of Williamsburg and Silver Lake. Why? Because Pabst Brewing Company, maker of PBR, is moving its headquarters from Woodbridge, Illinois to Los Angeles.
Branding experts quoted in the Chicago Tribune worry that by leaving behind its Midwest roots and landing in Los Angeles, of all places, the brand could do the unthinkable in the eyes of hipsters: become self-aware. In other words, the move to Los Angeles puts PBR at risk for becoming unhip by acknowledging that it’s hip for being unhip.
Let’s get to the bottom of what that means: PBR became hip among hipsters because it’s cheap, but also because it’s ironic, since the beer is traditionally consumed by blue-collar people in the Midwest who couldn’t give two shits about hipsters, except to harbor a kind of low-level disdain for them. Hipsters, being clever, repurposed it as their own, and it began flying off the shelves in watering holes from Brooklyn to Echo Park.
But now, with Pabst’s decision to move their headquarters to Los Angeles, the least blue-collar place in the world — because as we all know there is nothing, nothing at all, in Los Angeles besides rich white people — hipsters have a tough decision to make.
Is Pabst still what Pabst once was? Can they continue to drink it ironically? Is it still ironic, with a new home practically next door to Selena Gomez? Or does this just mean that a “Free PBR” t-shirt needs to be made, with an image of a can of beer behind bars, and all will once again be right with the world?
Either way, I’m particularly worried for the sanity of hipsters who live in Los Angeles, who are of course now going to face a highly complex hipster conundrum. On some level, reality dictates that they acknowledge they live in Los Angeles. But if other hipsters eschew PBR, LA hipsters and hipsterettes will of course be forced to do the same, and then where will that leave them but in a massively deep k-hole of self-hatred and confusion, all while wondering what the fuck beer they should be drinking?
What a dilemma, ladies. What a dilemma indeed.