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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,599 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,599
Hads: 5,041
rAvg: 3.08
pDev: 20.45%
Wants: 56
Gots: 873 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.74% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

- Pabst Blue Ribbon is brewed in the finest traditions of an American Premium Lager dating back to 1844. Brewed with a combination of 2 & 6-row malted barley, select cereal grains and American and European hops, Pabst Blue Ribbon is fermented with a proprietary lager yeast. Our unique fermentation and maturation process results in a smooth, full bodied beer with a clean, crisp finish with a fine noble hop aroma.
- ABV% 4.74
- Calories 144
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,599 | Hads: 5,041
Photo of Tthekraut
4.15/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pabst has a light blond color that most beers of this type have.

It has a very nice smell. It is not to strong buy smells like your typical grain or hops beer. It is very sweet in smell and is slightly sweet in taste. It has a small head when poured and quickly dissipates.

The mouthful is a tad bit thin and not overly carbonated.

Overall it is a sweet beer that is a very good deal. A 18 pack will run you around 14 or 15 bucks. It's well worth the money and stands out as one of the best cheaper beers. P.B.R. is best on draft or bottle but is just fine out of a can but can have a different taste to some due to the can.

I took a chance when I bought this for the first time but I have made it my favorite "regular" beer. Give the beer its fair chance and you will be surprised. (786 characters)

Photo of irishevans
4.15/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one before. of all the Piss-water lagers on the planet, this one I actually enjoy, though it's only when the budget is SUPER tight or in social situations where the object is simply to get drunk and (insert appropriate activity)...
Mind you this review is, as instructed, based on the style.

A- transparent gold color with good 2 finger white foamy head, that slowly creeps down to a film.

N- light grain, bit of malt and the faintest bit of hops in the background,

T- mostly follows nose with a nice malt profile that is kind of bitter/sour, and there is a bit more hop flavor than the nose would lead you to believe, it mostly shows up on the finish.

M- thin, but not as thin as water, with a nice smooth malty charter, and a lovely carbonation bite at the end. tricks you into thinking that it's going to finish dry, but is actually rather refreshing, like the style should be.

D- Wonderful example of it's style, my "I'm Broke" fall back/after work at crossroads(anc,ak)/ partying with the fairview/valley/spenard crew brew of choice for YEARS. when it's all about being social on a tight budget this is it. (1,157 characters)

Photo of mzablocki
4.15/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not going to get into the appearance, taste, mouthfeel, etc. etc. I mean its Pabst Blue Ribbon for god sake. Light, crisp and clean; a great beer to quaff down after mowing the lawn or at a picnic. Also a nice break from the uber-hoppy beer I typically drink Beats the big three by a long shot. (294 characters)

Photo of foggymountainman
4.14/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cool, Crisp, Clean...

this is a staple in my fridge. PBR was the first beer for me and one i continue to enjoy at home and dive-bars alike. it is inexpensive, delicious and a rebel. when you go to a party it used to be that the PBR stuck out, a conversation starter, now it is a staple. the best beer in 1893 and the recipe hasn't changed. great beer, great taste, never lets me down...

great go-to-beer. (408 characters)

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.13/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Two pint cans poured into a giant frozen crystal stein. 32 ounces of greatness baby. I shall review this as Beer Advocate advises: within the STYLE.

A: Clear gold with a nice, big but thin head. Nice lace left until the bottom of this huge mug. Once the head goes away, I'm left with a sea of floating islands that have me thinking- this beer LOOKS better than I'd think.

S: I mean, how much complexity can we expect here? Who drinks this for the smell? Not pissy at all...Very mild corn and grains, light steel and clean rain. Faint diacetyl in the background somewhere and maybe a touch of caramel malt.

T: The mouthfeel at first is like soda with a slightly sweet tongue. What follows is a light bodied, semi-slick wave of those grains, (corn mostly and cooked veggies) but nothing bitter. Finishes neat and clean and tidy with nothing left behind that offends this master of all things beer. Not as sweet as Miller High Life, not as pale as Rolling Rock. A good in-between.

D: Definitely one of the most drinkable beers I've had. Right now I'm thinkin shit...I shoulda gotten a couple of these four packs...

Value: Here is the kicker for this decent brew. I paid $2.79 for four pints. I think this stuff is an absolute steal for that price. If you're on a budget, I cannot think of a better choice than a twelve pack of good ole PBR.

This stuff has definitely stood the test of time. (1,394 characters)

Photo of snakeak47
4.13/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Born and Raised in Green bay wisconsin. Where ever you go this is the beer you get. PBR is the man. I barel ever drink beer, but when i do, i drink PBR. Hard liquor is the best, but if all you got is beer, PBR better be what you got.

A - anyway, When you get the beer is a goldish color. I always drink it out of a can. only a few times have i drank it out of a bottle. i prefer the can.

S - Little skunky, not gonna lye. the smell can throw you off

T - I love the taste. Tastes like a classic beer. again, the hard liquor is what i love, but for some reason, this beer PBR, is delicous.

M - In the mouth, on the buds, its not that bad, goes down smooth, but after words, you can tell that you have taken a drink. It stays with you.

O - I can drink this all night long. I godda have some shtos inbetween. :P (812 characters)

Photo of markshhaaefer
4.1/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I know this is a cheap beer and for many years, it was not even available around my parts of the woods. Well guess what folks, it's back. I love this beer. I don't know why, I just do. And, since posting on FB pages, I've noticed that some of my friends that I grew up with in High School love it too. Doesn't matter if it comes from a can or a bottle. Still taste good. I want to try this on tap some day. (413 characters)

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.1/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance (from prior experience) is as expected for the style; drinking this one out of the bottle, also per the style.

Smell is not this beer's strong point. Smells like wind coming in off the Great Lakes on one of their less beautiful days. Again, as expected.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Here's why I decided to write a review. In rating this beer according to it's style ('Shitty' American Ultralight), it is unrivaled. When served cold, the beer fills the mouth with a crisp and expanding frothiness and tickles the sides of the tongue in a way that says two things : 1) This is Beer. 2) This is refreshing. It is, indeed, impressively lacking in flavor. Every swallow is satisfying in the aforementioned criteria, and these criteria alone.

My fridge is always full of beer. The homebrews, the favorite sixpacks, the fancy bombers rimming the back.... and last but not least the drawers and door - overflowing with beer intended drink mindlessly and without concern. Such responsibility lies with PBR.

PBR lacks the corny taste of three hops brewed miller lite, the drop in the ocean taste of the buds, and rarely tastes poorly or stale in the way that coors often does. PBR compares more to Blatz (which is more sweet), and less so to Shlitz (less consistent/often stale tasting), in the coupling of hyperconscious simplicity and standard beerishness. It's position as a sort of cult classic in certain cities/subcultures seems to maintain it's consistent, albeit low, standards. It is not produced and sourced to the degree that many similar beers are, but it is certainly widely known and accessible. In sum, it's the go to beer when I feel dehydrated. (1,657 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.1/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by Jan 2011, into a Duvel tulip. Why not?

A: Crystal clear straw-colored body with an inch of coarse white head. Average retention and some spotty lace. Pretty good for the style.

S: It's actually got quite a clean, pleasant intensity in its straightforward corny/malty graininess. The sweetness of malts and adjuncts is balanced by some grassy hops.

T: Follows the nose precisely, with a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness, followed up by a vaguely toasty, vanilla finish; I've never bothered to analyze the flavors of PBR, but now that I am, I'm impressed at how well it pulls off the cleanness and inoffensiveness of a classic fizzy yellow beer. Rating purely to style, this is almost perfect.

M: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated, with very sharp, tongue-pricking effervescence. Lively, but a little irritating with its harshness.

D: Well-balanced, but actually too flavorful to be as drinkable as some examples of the style.

Notes: I don't know how many PBRs I had during college, but this is the first time I swirled and sniffed it out of a tulip (much to my wife's bemusement). Much to my surprise, the intensification of flavor actually didn't intensify my disgust (as it had for every other AAL I've reviewed). PBR is the real deal, and just became my official favorite cheap beer. If only hipsters didn't think it were cool...

Cheers! (1,374 characters)

Photo of onklsven75
4.08/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is a great cheap beer to keep in the fridge for a hot day. It actually has some flavor compared to Miller or Bud. There is very little finish to it, but they go down easy. (176 characters)

Photo of mdwalsh
4.08/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is our everlasting go to beer. Throughout late highschool and college, a trip home meant a 6er of something nice and a 30 of PBR with the guys.

PBR has exactly what you want in a crappy American Adjunct beer. There is no aftertaste like you get in Bud and Coors, and not as gassy afterwards as Budlight, and not at filling as MGD. Plus the price is unbeatable.

PBR is a drinking to drink beer, and nothing else. But hey, we're supposed to reveiw these things for what they are, not what we want them to be. Do you complain when an IPA tastes like hops? (559 characters)

Photo of JackDempsy
4.08/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't know why this beer gets such a bad rap. It is by far the best tasting, mass produced beer in the USA. It has a fresh, clean, refreshing taste. On tap, this beer should out sell all the other mass produced lagers. I always have a twelve pack in my fridge - next to a few local IPAs and something new in a growler - and I find nothing strange about that. (360 characters)

Photo of JordanHageman
4.08/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An enjoyable adjunct lager. About as American as they come. The biggest problem I have with Pabst Blue Ribbon is it's small window of life. Personally I feel like the beer if not cared for well will get skunky and gross quickly. Keep it cold. Very cold and you can enjoy it. I actually prefer it out of a bottle or on tap than a can. But if you don't have either then a can works fine. (385 characters)

Photo of botham
4.07/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. pours a pale straw color with two fingers of tight white head that remain for a couple minutes. nothing special here, just a standard macro lager.

aroma is lightly malty, with a semi sweet quality. a light floral character is present as well, along with a distant hint of citrus.

taste is lightly malty, with pale malts showing. a soft floral base gives the brew balance, while working with the semi sweet character from the malts to produce a solid macro lager. this one has character and smoothness, along with a crisp and clean finish.

mouthfeel is light bodied, with a thin mouthfeel and soft CO2 on the palate. finishes crisp and clean, with little aftertaste.

drinkability is good. this is a solid macro, with clean flavors, and character despite its thinness. one of the better macro lagers out there. cheers! (860 characters)

Photo of Macdoyal
4.05/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Appearance: Maybe it's the bottle or maybe i'm just thirstier then usual but this looks a little better then last time. Then again I have been practicing my pour so that might of helped with the nice head.

Smell: I think it's just lacking any tin smell from last time. It smells lightly hoppy and very nice.

Taste: Again I think i prefer this bottle. Stays colder hence more refreshing longer. I sense the right about of hops with a nice impression of sweetness. It's very good.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is excellent and refreshing. It doesn't stick in your mouth and ends clean. I like it.

Drinkability: I can drink this refreshing beer any time. It's great with BBQ and grilled food. It's carbonation it great for celebrating events because it's a champagne of beer ... oh wait i think thats taken. (817 characters)

Photo of RTL44
4.05/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The last time I drank PBR, I was in high school and i puked.

Since that time, I regarded PBR as one of the worst beers ever made. Pabst, Blatz, Top Hat, Iron City, Cook's, Shaeffer, etc.

More recently, a friend of mine came over withe his "beloved" PBR and left a couple in the fridge.

Despite being offered, I refused (many times).

Over the course of the next several days, I ran out of beer, and had no choice but to drink the PBR left over in my fridge.

I was SHOCKED by its decent flavor, mouthfeel, and drinkability.

As much as I consider myself a beer connoisseur, this really threw me for a loop.

I don't understand it, but PBR is now one of my favorite beers. The fact that it is about $6/$7 for a 12 pack makes it even more remarkable.

FWIW, I did buy a 6-pack in bottles and it was not nearly as good as it was in the cans. My whole world is now completely upside-down.

UPDATE: I do still love PBR, but I found something out about it that makes it even better! As the economy has tanked and beer prices have skyrocketed, I experimented with mixing some of my favorite beers with cheaper beers to make it go further. I know that sounds pathetic, but hear me out. PBR is the PERFECT mixer. I have tried almost every cheap beer to use as a mixer and they ALL detract from the flavor - EXCEPT for PBR. I even hesitate to mention this because this information is worth a lot of money in my opinion. I am serious. As I write this, I am having a Sierra Nevada Flipside Rde IPA mixed 1:1 with a PBR and it is delicious! I do this with Dogfish Head, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada, and many other IPA's, Pale Ale's, etc. It is an AWESOME discovery! (1,658 characters)

Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.04/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The American dream. Take a sip and live. Who cares? It doesn't matter, nothing matters. Just live and drink. Crush them twice. Tip it back, glug, glug, glug. Crinkle that empty can with your dirty fingers which have nails chewed to the bone. Crush it twice. Do you get it now? This is a party. It's actually just you by yourself on your front lawn sitting in a plastic chair while reading Bukowski. But what's the difference? Party is what you make it. Suck em and live damnit. (479 characters)

Photo of Avagadro
4.03/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Straw in color with moderate lacing and little in the way of head. These are all common amongst this style, but the PBR pulls it off a touch better.

S: Nose is well presented, suggesting corn flakes and cream of wheat.

T: Dry, yet, packed with a healthy dose of American Adjunct Lager goodness. The corn, which can quickly become cloying, is used in just the right proportion, giving a delicious cereal wholesomeness.

M: Light, clean, and well carbonated. Perfect for anything from soothing a dry throat, to washing down a plate of wings, and anything in between.

D: This is my stand-by when it comes to cheap beer. As much as I like RIS's and Barleywines, this beer is perfect when I want something light, but don't want to pay for the good (German) stuff. (764 characters)

Photo of MNJR
4.03/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

PBR has consistently tasted good over the years while others in the category (cheap beer) have often succumbed to plummeting quality standards. PBR has always been there and hopefully will always be there. It suffers a bit if it's not cold enough. But, nice and cold it delivers. PBR has a rich golden color. The flavor is full, grainy and lightly sweet. It smells like beer; as in regular beer with nothing special about the smell, but nothing bad. Carbonation and mouth feel are superb. One note: it is also almost always better on tap. In fact, it can be downright delicious on tap if you get lucky and it's fresh, and not sitting in the keg for a month at a bar that doesn't pour much of it.

To sum it up, sometimes you've been drinking boutique micro beers or more expensive beers and you just have to crack open a PBR to remind yourself what it's all about: an unpretentious, solid tasting beer that doesn't hurt your wallet, over-delivers on quality and leaves you 100% happy with your investment.

Long live PBR! (1,021 characters)

Photo of steeler
4.02/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Once again the Sleeman version of the beer, i wish i could get the real McCoy tho, onto the review!

Apperance - Light yellow colour, not very appealing.

Smell - No off smells, hints of metallic, smells fresh. A hint, HINT of hops.

Taste - Very smooth, little hop prescence, carbonated. Crisp finish.

Mouthfeel - Velvety smooth, full.

Drinkability - Through the roof. Honestly this beer is very poundable. Very easy to suck 12 back. Nuff said.

Hands down, for a buck a beer in Ontario, this is the ultimate buck a beer, and my favorite discount macro. Whether it be out of a can or a bottle it simply is, the best cheap beer you can get! Give this one a try, don't listen to the fools. (691 characters)

Photo of PabstMan252
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an old favorite of the 70's. I continue to enjoy the aroma and look of the exceptional head piece with every pour. I know that everyone is probably laughing as they read this however this is one delicious summer brew. Once you open the beer quickly smell and enjoy the aroma as it reaches out to tease your taste buds. It is light in color with wonderful carbonation that rises from the depth of the glass as you enjoy each taste . There is no bitterness to this brew and it offers no aftertaste.
Look and enjoy before you take that first taste of the old favorite PBR! (577 characters)

Photo of Cavanaghty
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find of all the "American Shit Beers" this one is the best and most enjoyable. I poured from a can into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear Yellow in color with a overwhelming and over flowing white head. Spotty lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Sweet smelling, and some smell of alcohol. But I could smell some grains like rice and wheat maybe?

Mouthfeel/Taste: Very smooth and light bodied. Taste sweet with hits of rice and other cereal grains. Hint of bitterness on the after taste and leaves a sweetness, but a sugary sweetness.

Overall: It is an enjoyable beer on a summer day while doing some yard work or something. I would certainly drink this over others like Bud, Miller or Coors. (692 characters)

Photo of Dixcreek
4/5  rDev +29.9%

Ole PBR don't get much love. Overall one of the best of the old time Americans. Most people don't give it its due simply because of the stigma that has been placed upon this legend. Get it cold and its hard to beat Ain't no namby pamby beer for sure (250 characters)

Photo of Brevitz
4/5  rDev +29.9%

Pabst is often knocked for being a cheap beer only suitable for college Keg parties or cheap rounds at the bar. That said, it is, in my opinion, the best of any major domestic lagers. Definite hint of hoppiness, a little sweet with out any overpowering flavors. Smooth with a strong finish. By far my favorite domestic beer (323 characters)

Photo of mrpoizun
4/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been drinking PBR since I've been drinking beer. I've drank it from tin cans, aluminum cans, glass longneck bottles, and kegs. The only one I can't recommend is the tin cans, and they don't make those anymore anyway.

Where I grew up in the midwest, PBR was available everywhere. Every place that sold beer had six and twelve-packs of PBR cans, and every bar had it in kegs and/or bottles and/or cans. I drank many a pitcher of Pabst with friends over the years, and one of its best qualities is that it has always tasted the same. A nice strong, grainy American lager flavor. That flavor has virutally disappeared from American beers; replaced by the watered-down taste of the various versions of Budweiser, along with every light beer. Schlitz (owned by PBR) has recently come out with what is supposed to be its 60's formula at a much higher price, but you can still get the old formula Pabst for the regular price. It has never changed, and it's probably the best remaining example of a premium American beer.

I prefer bottled beer myself, and seldom bother with a glass. When you open a bottle of Pabst you are rewarded with a grainy, alcoholic aroma, not in any way overpowering, though. The taste that follows is clean and sharp, again with a grainy flavor that always occurs in a good American-style lager.
I judge this beer as an American lager. I prefer Bocks myself, but you can't really compare Bocks to lagers or to wheat beers, and so on. And as an American lager, Pabst Blue Ribbon is as good as any. (1,524 characters)

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 1,599 ratings.