We all know the brand that is Pabst. What many of us don’t know is they own other brands like Colt 45, Schlitz, Rainier, Olympia, and Old Milwaukee. What very few of us know, is the story behind the ownership of Pabst. Pabst Brewing Company was bought by George Kalmanovitz, a University of San Francisco Alumni. Two years after he purchased the company, he died, leaving it to a charitable foundation. That charity donates the majority of profits to the alma mater of 3/4 of Doin Work’s contributors, USF. I’ll admit, although for the stiff price of $4 for a six pack, I’d rather have a Steel Reserve or Old English 800, but knowing my beer money is going to the very campus where I consumed a large portion of my life’s beer accumulation, my purchases of PBR have definitely spiked in the last few years. Now, the IRS is stepping in, putting pressure on the company to sell, since it doesn’t exactly like charitable foundations running for-profit businesses. Actually, they’ve been pressuring Pabst to sell for years now, but the company maintains they’ve been unable to find a buyer. Read the full story here.
I’m still trying to wrap my brain around why the IRS would have a fundamental issue with a charity running a for-profit company. I’d like to find more than just the fact that they’d rather see those profits taxed, but it’s the best I can come up with. I guess they’re just not satisfied with funds being donated to universities such as USF and St. Mary’s College of California, or hospitals – the main beneficiary being California Pacific Medical Centers. Thus, today begins the fight to let the Kalmanovitz Foundation keep Pabst. How do we fight that fight? I’m not quite sure yet. But, I’m going to start by not paying my taxes and drinking more beer. That’ll show ’em!
Anyone ever notice that Blue Ribbon they’re referring to was awarded in the 1800s?
November 3rd, 2009 at 10:04 pm
I’m sure that if the foundation were to approach Warren Buffett he’d plop down a half a billion to buy the company. After all he’s just dropped $38 billion to buy the remaining 75% stake that he doesn’t own in the Burlington & Santa Fe Rail Co, Inc. And for a guy who’s said to be worth upwards of $20-$30 billion , that half a billion is cheap at half the price.