If you catch a local beer snob reaching for a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon — no, they haven’t crushed one too many fresh-hop IPAs already.
Idahoans now can buy a mass-produced brand, yet still feel like they’re supporting the community.
Boise artist Ashley Dreyfus won PBR’s ninth annual Art Can Contest in February. Her design, titled “There is No Place Like Home,” is being featured on the labels of 30 million special-edition cans. National distribution started in September. The cans trickled into Treasure Valley stores earlier this month.
“Anyone can grab a can and just immediately see my art,” Dreyfus, 23, told the Idaho Statesman, “and that just makes me really happy.”
Available in six packs of 16-ounce cans and 12 packs of 12-ounce cans, the beer should be available through the end of 2021, said Jodi Kahn, area sales manager for PBR in Idaho and Montana.
The cans are being showcased at Boise grocery stores.
“We have a great display up at Whole Foods right now,” Kahn said. “We have a big display up at Albertsons on Broadway.”
PBR has erected six billboards around the city spotlighting the Dreyfus art can. Those should remain visible until the end of the year, too, Kahn said.
Idahoans are invited to an Ashley Dreyfus PBR Art Can Release Party from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at Push & Pour, 214 E. 34th St. It will include PBR swag giveaways, Dreyfus art merchandise, a photo booth, local Slowriders sandwiches for sale, and live music from McKenna Esteb and Angel Abaya. The special-edition Dreyfus cans of PBR also will be available for purchase.
“There’s no cover. It’s open to anyone and everyone,” Kahn said. “It’s a celebration of Ashley ... an artist being known nationwide. It’s really just to celebrate her.”
Dreyfus’ art was chosen from more than 4,200 entries. For inspiration, she tapped the pandemic. Instead of thinking of quarantining as a negative, she gravitated to life’s little pleasures: her three cats, gardening, music.
Dreyfus won $10,000 for the grand prize.
“The Pabst Blue Ribbon Art Can Contest truly helped give my art exposure to a larger audience nationwide, making it possible for me to run my small business full-time,” Dreyfus said in a press release.
PBR is upping the ante for its 10th annual Art Can Contest. There will be 10 winners in 2022, each receiving $10,000 cash. Entries will be accepted through the end of the year.
Over the past decade, PBR’s contest has highlighted original art on about 400 million cans, the company says, and awarded more than $100,000 to emerging artists.
Dreyfus, who is self-taught, is a familiar name to Boise art fans. She’s a past winner of the Best Artist category in the Idaho Statesman Best of Treasure Valley readers poll. Two of her murals are featured in downtown Boise’s Freak Alley. She’s also created window art for Treefort Music Fest.
This isn’t the first time Dreyfus has crafted a beer can label, either. Local brewery Woodland Empire Alecraft has used her talents.
Check out more of her work on Instagram: @dreyfus.art.