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Pabst Beer owner reportedly fishing to sell cult-favorite


Cult fans of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer might not be surprised to hear that Pabst Brewing Co. could be worth $500 million to $1 billion, according to a report that says the company may be for sale.

Pabst, which is based in Los Angeles, is owned by investor C. Dean Metropoulos, who bought the beer company in 2010.

Metropoulos famously bought Twinkies, Cupcakes and Ding Dongs from the bankrupt Hostess Brands last year for $410 million with Apollo Global Management.

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The brewery, which is one of the oldest in the country with roots going back to 1844, may also try to go public, according to unnamed sources cited in the reports by Reuters.

Pabst did not respond to a request for comment to Reuters or ABCNews.com.

Pop media references to Pabst have created a cult following for the beer brand, starting from 2011 when the animated show "South Park" implied that Pabst Blue Ribbon was a "white trash beer," the company explains on its website.

"Ten million millennials beg to differ," the company states on the website.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer is referred to as a "blue collar-turned-hipster favorite" by Reuters.

Pabst hired investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to assist with a possible sale, Reuters reported. A spokeswoman for the investment firm declined to comment to ABCNews.com.

The most valuable global beer label is Bud Light, according to the BrandZ Top 100 rankings report by brand strategy consulting company Millard Brown Optimor, released last spring. The 2014 report will be released this coming May.

AB InBev and SABMiller are the two largest beer brewers, followed by Heineken and Carlsberg. Collectively, the four brands produce about half of all the beer sold globally, Millard Brown said.

Oscar Yuan, vice president of Millard Brown Optimor, said Reuter's $500 million to $1 billion figure estimating the enterprise value of Pabst "doesn't sound out of the realm of possibility."

"Pabst is capturing a market they think is growing," Yuan said of the beer company's owners. "PBR being a somewhat crafty, somewhat smaller, niche brand is actually a great thing in the market."

Yuan said it's possible some of the big beer brands might be interested in acquiring Pabst for its customers who are loyal to smaller beer brands instead of mainstream ones.

"It's a smaller brand, but has a unique appeal that Miller and Budweiser can't reach," Yuan said.

Here are Millard Brown Optimor's estimates of the brand value of the biggest beer labels:

1. $10.8 billion
Bud Light
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 30 percent

2.
$9.5 billion
Budweiser
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 26 percent

3. 
$8.2 billion
Heineken
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 36 percent

4.
$6.6 billion
Corona
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 29 percent

5.
$6.5 billion
Skol
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 39 percent

6.
$6.3 billion
Stella Artois
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 40 percent

7.
$4.5 billion
Guinness
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 11 percent

8.
$3.9 billion
Aguila
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: New

9.
$3.8 billion
Brahma
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 61 percent
$3.1 billion

10.
Miller Lite
Brand value % change 2013 vs. 2012: 34 percent