After years of slow decline, Pabst Blue Ribbon had a major growth spurt in the early 2000s–so unusual in the category that it made the cover of The New York Times Magazine. This was the result of an organic grassroots movement as ad budgets were virtually non-existent. Essentially, bike messengers and fringe groups in cities like Portland and Brooklyn hijacked the brand, drawn to its iconic status, lack of marketing, great taste and low price. These die-hard fans felt that "PBR" was the antithesis of over-marketed brands like Budweiser. Sawtooth's task was to accelerate this growth without alienating the Pabst core base by appearing to "sell out."