Last year, ordering a Stoli cranberry at a gay bar would earn you all sorts of shady side looks from your friends, from total strangers and even from the bartender. That’s because there was a huge boycott going on to say “hell no” to the booze company as a protest over Russia’s harsh antigay laws.
Except there was one little bit of arguably important information that many people didn’t seem to grasp at the time: Stoli isn’t made in Russia. It’s made in Latvia, which hasn’t been part of Russia for over twenty years.
But the boycott caught on, and it’s been an image Stoli has had to brush off since.
Well, in a recent sale, beloved hipster American-as-apple-pie Pabst Blue Ribbon has been sold to none other than Oasis Beverages, the largest independent brewer in, you guessed it, Russia.
And with a few signatures, Pabst has now become a much more Russian entity than Stolichnaya. Ain’t globalization fun?
Oasis Board Chairman Eugene Kashper said:
“Pabst Blue Ribbon is the quintessential American brand — it represents individualism, egalitarianism and freedom of expression — all the things that make this country great.”
Though it’s unclear whether he means America or Russia when he says, “…all the things that make this country great.” If he does indeed mean Russia, we have to wonder about what all the harassed and oppressed gay Russians would have to say about it.
The company’s headquarters will remain in Los Angeles. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if you want support Russian business by ordering that $3 can of Blue Ribbon.