Pabst Brewing Company has come out with a spiked coffee drink in a can — and the test market in Maine is reportedly loving it.
Pabst Hard Coffee began selling in five states this month — Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida — as the company aims to test whether or not to roll out the product more widely. And, according to Pabst representatives, Maine currently sells more of the spiked coffee drink than the other four states per capita.
“Our Maine distributors were very excited to carry and sell Hard Coffee, so we added them. Distributors are key partners, so we take their input seriously,” said John Newhouse, brand manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon, in an e-mail to the Globe.
According to the Portland Press Herald, one local liquor store manager said the spiked coffee “has been the hottest item of the summer.”
“It is kind of like a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, with alcohol,” Tony Olmstead, a general manager for the Roopers Beverage and Redemption chain, told the newspaper. “It has done extremely well for us.”
Mike Obar, a sales manager at Central Distributors in Lewiston, also told the Portland Press Herald that the store’s first order of Hard Coffee sold out in less than two weeks.
“It was something we weren’t sure how it was going to sell originally,” Obar told the newspaper. “Now we are playing catch-up.”
Pabst representatives said they were happy with the positive reception.
“We knew we had a great tasting product, but you honestly never know with new innovations,” Newhouse said.
The spiked coffee, which clocks in at 5 percent ABV, is a malt beverage made from coffee beans, milk, vanilla flavoring, and sugar.
As for why those five states in particular were chosen for a test run? Pabst officials noted that people in the Northeast generally drink more coffee per capita than any other region, citing the National Coffee Association.
Pabst representatives said they will continue to monitor the Hard Coffee’s sales this summer, and make a decision in the fall on whether to expand nationally.