As with longtime scenester favourites Pabst Blue Ribbon, Black Label, and Miller High Life, Western Canada stalwart Old Style Pilsner isn’t necessarily about the beer.
Sometimes you embrace a brand not for its taste, or even its price, but because of its place in pop culture. Admit it—as much as you love a good PBR while hanging in the alley at Red Gate or jamming with your Gun Club-obsessed friends at Pandora’s Box, the main reason you started drinking it was after Frank Booth’s psychotic endorsement in Blue Velvet.
All together now: “Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!”
On that tip, there are many reasons to love Old Style Pilsner, which has spent the dying days of summer rolling out merch drops that are proving that the world is kindest to those with a great internet connection.
Start with the fact that the beer’s roots are planted deep in Western Canada. In 1926, Fritz Sick—who had the world’s greatest punk rock name a full 50 years before punk rock was invented—began brewing Old Style Pilsner in Lethbridge, Alberta.
If you’re one of the many whose Canada ends at Manitoba, you can take additional pride in the fact that Ontario doesn’t seem to get Old Style any more than the rest of the country gets full-of-itself Toronto. Recall, if you will, the liquid pride of the West being introduced to Ontario in 1992, at which point it was bought by precisely no one and then promptly pulled from shelves.
And then, maybe greatest of all, there were countless Old Style Pilsner appearances in 2002’s FUBAR, the cult classic ode to mullet-loving Canadian bangers.
In these parts, meanwhile, if your wardrobe consists of vintage EXPO 86 shirts and CAT trucker hats, chances are good you’ve embraced Old Style. The same if you own everything ever released by the Brian Jonestown Massacre on 8-track, sport a moustache reminiscent of a 1980s Radio Shack manager, or live in a trailer not by choice, but because it’s cool.
You are awesome, and don’t ever forget it.
Back to Old Style Pilsner, also known as the beer embraced by fans of the Saskatchewan Roughriders—who have a standing-room-only Pil Country zone at their home stadium.
There’s so much to love, starting with the label: famous for its vintage automobile and biplane, horse-drawn carriage, locomotive train, and random frollicking rabbits.
How loved? A couple of weeks ago, Old Style did a limited-edition merch drop, with jackets and T-shirts selling out in the time it takes to shotgun a tallboy. For those that missed out, there’s another merch drop this Thursday (September 21). Old Style trucker hat? Check. T-shirt emblazoned by the Old Style bunny? Roger that.
Need one last reason to get excited, including for a third merch drop also scheduled in the weeks ahead?
Flash back to FUBAR, not only one of the greatest Canadian movies ever made, but one that’s provided countless lines you really need to be working into your daily lexicon. (Start with, “Turn up the good, turn down the suck”; “As it stands, plan B is to just keep on given’r”; and “Fuck that chair up”.)
You know what Terry Cahill and Dean Murdoch shotgun when they’re on a mission to get loaded—or, as they prefer to say, “right wrecked”? If you guessed Old Style Pilser, take a bow. You truly are a (Western) Canadian.
For upcoming Old Style Pilsner merch drops, go here.