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David vs. Goliath Beer Suit Ends With a Settlement

MillerCoors comes to 'amicable' agreement with Pabst Brewing Co., PBR will continue to flow
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 29, 2018 9:55 AM CST
In this Nov. 8, 2018, file photo, cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Coors Light are stacked next to each other in a Milwaukee liquor store.   (AP Photo/Ivan Moreno, File)

(Newser) – MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Co. settled a lawsuit Wednesday in which the hipster's brand of choice claimed the bigger brewer lied about its ability to continue brewing Pabst's beers to put that company out of business. The settlement came as jurors were ending their second day of deliberations after a two-week trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Pabst's suit sought more than $400 million in damages and a court order for MillerCoors to honor its contract; details of the settlement weren't disclosed, per the AP. "We have reached an amicable settlement in the case," MillerCoors said in a statement. In a separate statement, Pabst said it "will continue to offer Pabst Blue Ribbon and the rest of our ... brews to all Americans for many, many years to come."

Since 1999, Chicago-based MillerCoors has made and shipped nearly all of Pabst's beers, including PBR, Old Milwaukee, and Schlitz. Pabst's lawyers argued in the suit that, based on internal documents, MillerCoors worried Pabst would cut into its market share and devised a plan to stop brewing for the smaller competitor, going so far as hiring a consultant to find a way to get out of the brewing agreement. MillerCoors' attorneys called Pabst's claim a conspiracy theory and said the company was simply deciding what made economic sense, with one telling jurors that Pabst presented them with "a tale of conspiracy and deceit that frankly is pretty compelling," but not true.

(Read more beer stories.)

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