A European genius who saves breweries from the grave has set his sights on a $700 million 'dad beer'

Eugene Kashper is determined to turn Pabst Blue Ribbon into an industry titan.

Kashper has made a fortune in making over struggling European breweries, reports Stephanie Strom at The New York Times.

In 2014, he purchased Pabst, which includes more than a dozen beer brands, along with private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for $700 million.

The industry was perplexed by the American-eduated Russian’s decision, according to Strom.

Pabst “had a loyal following among skate punks and ski bums, and some currency in hipster enclaves,” according to Strom. “But it was still classified in the industry as a ‘sub-premium’ beer and business was not booming. The company’s share of the beer market hovered in the low single digits.”

Pabst, which was founded in 1844, is one of the oldest beer brands. It was very popular until the the 80s, when sales started sliding.

Eugene kashperPabst Blue RibbonEugene Kashper, CEO and chairman of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

While it has gained somewhat of a cult following, it’s not on the level of Corona, Bud Light, or Sam Adams.

So how will Kashper take Pabst to the next level?

The company is in the process of opening a taproom that would give Pabst the feel of a microbrewey.

He’s also looking to sell off some of the company’s smaller brands like Lone Star, Schlitz, and Colt 45.

Kashper also launched “Not Your Father’s Root Beer,” an alcoholic soda that was a smash hit in 2015.

The beverage sent Pabst’s sales soaring 20% for the year.

Read the whole New York Times story here.

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