SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 22:  the Pabst Blue Ribbon logo is displayed on the cap od a bottle at a convenience store on September 22, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  Pabst Brewing Co., the maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon announced that they are selling their company to Russian company Oasis Beverages for an undisclosed sales price.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
How Pabst Blue Ribbon Got Its Name
By Camryn Teder
Although Pabst Blue Ribbon has attained something like celebrity status by now, there's a chance you may not know about PBR or its origins. Throughout its long history, Pabst Blue Ribbon has also been through quite a few name changes, and the one it's known by now took a long time to be established.
Pabst Brewing Company was founded in 1842 when Jacob Best, Jr. and his brother came from Germany to America (via Pabst Mansion's official website). Jacob opened the brewery Best and Company with his four sons in Milwaukee in 1844, but three left to start their own brewing company, later known as Miller Brewing Company.
In 1859, Best's son Phillip became the owner, renaming it the Phillip Best Brewing Company, and his daughter later married a man named Frederick Pabst. In 1864, Pabst became the company's vice president, and although Phillip died in 1869, the name remained the same until March 12, 1889, when the title was officially changed to Pabst Brewing Company.
The blue ribbon came in around 1882 when Pabst started receiving awards all over the U.S. for its brews and decoratively added blue ribbons to its "best select" beer bottles, per Pabst. In 1899, the name finally changed one last time to Pabst Blue Ribbon, and over 100 years later, it became a legend.