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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

3,699 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3699
Reviews: 1467
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 24.41%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
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Ratings: 3,699 | Reviews: 1,467 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of illpass78
illpass78

Maine

3.86/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pint on tap at West-Port Bowling Lanes in Westbrook, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright, golden straw color with a thick white head that sticks around a while. Some observable lacing down the inside of the glass. Looks crisp and clean.

Smell: There isn't much in the nose, but there's also nothing bad. It definitely doesn't have that corny, junky smell a lot of domestic lagers are infamous for. Smells mostly of barley.

Taste: Tastes like what most big domestic lagers claim to taste like. Clean, crisp, and easy, with some light hop bitterness and a solid malt backbone. The adjuncts are nowhere near as pronounced as they are in most lagers in this price range. It's pretty much the perfect budget American lager.

Mouthfeel: It's watery, but shouldn't it be?

Overall: PBR takes a beating because it's the official beer of annoying people, and a lot of folks treat it like it's the beginning and end of beer. But it's perfect for what it is: cheap, all-purpose American lager. You're not drinking this because you want to agonize over its hop profile; you're drinking this because you're in a bowling alley and it's $2.25 a pint on draft and that's a square deal.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 03:12:33 | More by illpass78
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on tap at a Calgary pub. Another "big name" adjunct lager in the US, brewed by Sleeman's here in Canada. Slightly darker in color than many of its contemporaries, the color of well-cured hay with a lot of white foam. Smells of boiled grains with a corn sweetness, and tastes much the same ... Bland breakfast cereal, perhaps a hint of apple or other sour fruit. Less corny than many other adjunct lagers though, tilted towards a grain husk astringency and highly carbonated. The bubbles provide a crisp and dry finish that actually gathers steam as one proceeds through a pint. Standard macro-lager watery body; overall effect is that of a bitter and slightly sour grainy soda. Flavors are mellow but the carbonation is not. Fewer off-flavors than many of its peers (e.g., little DMS that I could taste) but some metal does emerge as the beer warms. Drink it quickly, if at all. In all honesty its not terrible and should probably be deemed a decent example of the style. I actually like more corn sweetness when I drink this style. This one gets astringent after a while, as is the case when more rice is used.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2013 03:54:53 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of JackDempsy
JackDempsy

California

4.08/5  rDev +38.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2013 16:31:05 | More by JackDempsy
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Update 10/12/13: the tap version is far better. Seems like someone DID buy me a pint earlier this evening. Creamier, more carbonated, filled with corn notes, yes, but also white grape aromas that are sweet and refreshing. Slight wet cardboard, but hey, you get what you pay for. The original score is 2.18, from a can. I'm upping pretty much everything on this one in the new score.

Original can review:

I never mean to actually review beers like this, but for the sake of sanity I'm rating to style. Poured from a 12oz can into a shaker pint glass at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe. Was offered to me for free, and it only cost a dollar otherwise, so...

Pours an extremely pale yellow golden tinged color with a lot of carbonation - creating a white sea-foam looking head about 3 fingers high that dissipates miserably in the glass. Streaks of bubbles ride against the glass itself, but after about 20 minutes the carbonation dies out substantially. No lacing, but after each sip slight grime is left behind on the glass's walls, most definitely from the corn sugary residue. Some would liken this to a glass of piss, but as far as this horrific style goes in the realm of American brewing, I've definitely seen worse.

The aroma is essentially a "bouquet" of sweet corn, crisp golden cereal (like corn flakes), some light white sweet grape peel, and some off-metallic aroma resembling iron or perhaps blood. Again, there's definitely worse out there in the realm of AALs, and while there's no super off aromas (like wet cardboard), that metallic flavor definitely does not sit well with me. It's not great, but I can't really dock it for much else. It would be the equivalent of kicking puppies.

The flavor brings forth a tidal wave of sweet corn malts, super grainy yet faded barley flavors, a minimal amount of bitterness or booze, and a little bit of those metallic aromas - although less so here. The corn lingers around like fresh slice of cornbread, and the finish is filled with cracked golden barley is ridiculously underwhelming yet does its best to stay afloat. While it's definitely easy to drink in that regard, the mouthfeel on this is horrible. Simply way too over-carbonated, which brings forth acrid and slightly raspy sensations from the grainy aftertaste, as well as leaving behind a mineral-y, slightly chalky flavor that does not belong in an AAL. While I could drink this again if offered... Better serve it ice-cold so that I don't have to resort to any further pain.

Of all of the mega AALs, at least this one is the most decent... And at least it's American-owned, but that's not really saying much. American brewing has definitely gotten better than this, and for 2-3 bucks more you can get an actual good lager around these parts (Trumer Pils, for instance) or beer that actually is balanced, flavorful, earthy, and still refreshing (SN Pale Ale, for instance!). If you're on a budget, understandable. If you don't like the taste of bitter hops or malts - again, understandable. If you want something inoffensive and refreshing - yes, understandable. However, please do not put this on a pedestal. It's Pabst, for Christ's sake!!

Post-note: I actually believe this is better on tap. Far, far better. If someone buys me another pint I'll re-review it for free!!

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2013 18:31:11 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Had this on 2013-08-02 in Ironville, PA at Bella Vista

A - Clear pale gold with a 1/2- finger white head that fades quickly leaving just a little lace.

S - Light rising white bread, grass, thimble of hop floral.

T - Sweet corn bread, light grass then some simple bitterness that dries quickly to a light lemon tartness.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Fuller than I expected. Crisp and refreshing.

O - Haven't had one of these since Portland and I enjoyed this as a thist quencher at the end of a hike. Better than most American Adjunct Lagers.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2013 19:36:17 | More by Tucquan
Photo of josh692
josh692

Massachusetts

2.74/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

For the price you could definitely do much worse. It's easy to drink, with a sweet malt flavor and a slightly bitter after taste. Not the most flavorful beer, but not as bad a many beers in the same price range. Not bad for a hot summer day or if u are planning on consuming at least several beers in one siting,

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2013 15:00:16 | More by josh692
Photo of chuckwagonrocks
chuckwagonrocks

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Today's PBR is NOT the PBR I choked down on in my college years. It is by far one of the best domestic beers on the market. I can not say if they changed the brewing method but the taste or my taste buds have changed. The appearance is medium gold. Smell is slightly sweet. Taste is now lightly bitter ending with a mild sweetness. Overall, I would say a clean mild lager but lacking robustness of a full bodied lager say like a Foster's Lager. However, in my opinion surprisingly the best mass produced American beer. Bottoms up!

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2013 22:02:59 | More by chuckwagonrocks
Photo of tigg924
tigg924

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, gold in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: grass, straw, and adjuncts

Taste: corn, straw, and adjuncts

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, light bodied, nice mix of sweet and bitter

Overall: Above average clean American adjunct lager..Probably better than Coors and Miller, but I still prefer Schaeffer or Bud in this style. A nice end of the night beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2013 14:39:41 | More by tigg924
Photo of dazdave
dazdave

Ohio

3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Had this beer as part of a special glass deal. I think maybe i'm spending a dollar for the whole package. Honestly, i'm not terribly familiar with pbr except that it is the preferred bev of hipsters in my area. I've had it maybe 2-3x in my life and i don't recall getting headaches from it, so that's a plus..
Again a nice glass special is on at this bar. It's decent looking glass. $4 for a pitcher i think i saw too. Seems like prices from eons ago.
The bartender filled my glass with a solid amount of beer in a glass that resembles a can of pbr. Cute. I couldn't smell a whole lot since its a pale lager. The first taste was very nutty. Kind of a roasted malt flavor since the beer is so thin. Not much more to the beer than that. Any interesting flavors seem to wash right away. I feel the tail end of the beer is where one is left with the remnants of an adjunct beer. This makes one want to immediately take another sip to get that lovely nutty flavor back to kill the corniness. I can see why people like this beer the same way people like to have spas with cold water blasted at them followed by hot water. It seems its the battle between the the nutty and the icky that the people love.
For me, if the finish was better it would be an absolutely lovely beer. Its very thin and just not something i want to regularly seek out. I won't avoid it unless i end up with a headache tonight of course. We'll see.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2013 04:18:42 | More by dazdave
Photo of SpencerT
SpencerT

Ohio

3.89/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer fits the style it was intended for. It is an easy drinking American Macro Lager beer. If I'm drinking this style this is one of the few I drink. Just because it's not $10 a 6er doesn't mean it's bad beer. I'm with the Bros on this one... Good Beer, not spectacular but I keep a 30 pack around.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2013 15:59:03 | More by SpencerT
Photo of atigerlife
atigerlife

Hawaii

2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Was out for chicken wings with the family and decided to have a couple PBR's. Been a while...

Pours pale golden with a small white head that dissipates rather quickly. Pretty much what you would expect from this style.

Aroma is grainy, slightly sweet. Not a lot going on here.

Taste is of grain, light hops, light malts. Rather crisp. Again, pretty much how I remember and what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and cleansing.

Overall, definitely sessionable. Decent for what it is. Worked well enough with the chicken wings.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2013 03:29:20 | More by atigerlife
Photo of IXCII
IXCII

California

3.98/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pabst is my stand-by cheap beer. It's truly the water of beers. Light, crisp, and refreshing and doesn't carry any of the "piss" aroma of the competition.

It's better than Natty, it's better than Stella, it's better than Bud Light, it's even better than Bud Light Lime!

A tall can of PBR is the true champagne of beers!

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2013 07:50:24 | More by IXCII
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Had in bottles, cans, on tap, you name it. Pours a golden, deep-straw color with lots of clarity and a thin-ass white head that is gone before you can say "PBR". Aroma is full of bustling malts and grains, maybe a hint of corn, slightly metallic and copper-like, faint touch of very dry and crisp hops in the background. The taste pretty much follows right along with the nose, handfuls of malty goodness and thick rows of sweet grains swarm the palate; hops are hard to detect, but come in a little bit stronger during the latter half, tasting very dry, crisp, and leafy, no citrus or pine or anything like that. Bitterness is low, but then again so is the sweetness, so the beer remains balanced. Carbonation provides a super crisp and clean mouthfeel, enhancing some of the end-note malt flavors that roll around. Thin body, dry finish.

PBR is a pretty average beer, but it's certainly the American adjunct lager of choice, especially for the price. This stuff is dirt cheap, and plenty of bars around will carry it. Is it extremely flavorful and masterfully crafted? No, not really. But it's something nice and easy to drink when you just want something to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2012 12:34:26 | More by tectactoe
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a plastic "pint" glass at Slim's.

A: pale, pellucid, with light head. Some lacing!

S: skunky lager. I am sad and unimpressed.

T: this ain't half bad! Sweetish, with a malty-grainy character that doesn't cloy or overstay its welcome. Hops are faint but present. A generic beer that beats out some of the schlock with which I am compelled deal.

M: Bah, round malts. Sweet and forgettable.

O: The undisputed Titan of Cheap Beer. Will drink again. You know you will too.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 06:36:03 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of TheRealBigC
TheRealBigC

Nevada

3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For what it's worth, this is the best adjunct lager (perhaps sharing the title with Olympia). Everyone's had it, everyone knows what it's for. It's a great beer to bring to a big party and to order when money is tight. It's not a beer to drink for the enjoyment of beer, but for the enjoyment of the company that comes with it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2012 17:18:50 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

2.78/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance - Served a light golden/ straw color with a medium head. The head faded very rapidly to leave almost no lacing.

Smell - Very mild in the aroma department. There is a light corn and malt aroma as well as a somewhat papery aroma as well. Overall though very light.

Taste - The taste throughout has a malty and very light rice and corn like flavor. Just as was with the nose the flavors are rather light. Mixed with this flavor is a light earthy flavor that comes in toward the end of the taste. Nothing too offensive but nothing to special either.

Mouthfeel - The body of the beer is below average and the carbonation level is above average. Both make it super easy to down, and mixed with the lighter flavors, it is more like drinking seltzer.

Overall - A watery, easy drinking, tolerable beer. Appropriate for hot days outside while session drinking; such as while tailgating or the like. Nothing to drink when looking for something with a lot of flavor and feel though.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 00:30:35 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of thydarkprevails
thydarkprevails

Illinois

1.9/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

On tap in a pint at a dive bar, oh yeah. Pours a clear blonde with a small white head that quickly disappears. Aroma is corn and bread. Taste is exactly the same. Thin mouthfeel and sour aftertaste It sucks but still better than bud and miller crap..

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2012 22:30:47 | More by thydarkprevails
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(review from notes, sampled on draft 02/06/11)

pours a pale straw yellow with a towering white/off-white head that quickly recedes (unsurprising - wasn't expecting much in the way of retention); no lacing to speak of.

nose offers light notes of barley/corn/rice. no real hops presence. flavor falls right behind the aroma. you get that vague grainy/barley character. a touch of hops hiding in there somewhere. not particularly good, but better than most mainstream macros IMO.

light-bodied mouthfeel with above average carbonation - more or less in line with my expectations. crisp and refreshing. again, not a great beer by any means but one of the better AALs i've come across.

originally reviewed: 02-10-2011

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2012 22:58:12 | More by BostonHops
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.38/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at Sal & Mookie's, Jackson, MS before checking out Young Frankenstein, the Musical. Actually the beer was better than the show.

A: Clear, light yellow, with a white, one-finger head that slowly dissipated, leaving decent lacing.

S: Lots of corn, a hint of malts.

T: After all these years, PBR is still a smooth, clean drink. Highly sessionable. Corn, wheat, malts. A corny finish. Nice. No complaints.

M: Light. low to medium carbonation.

O: For the price, you just can't beat a PBR. Perfect with food or without. Nothing overwhelming, just smooth and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2012 13:45:32 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Phade42
Phade42

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Look. We all know that PBR isn't a "GOOD" beer by any stretch of the imagination. But it's cheap, it does the job, and it's not offensively bad. It gets bonus points because it's more than likely the cheapest beer your bar offers, and if you're out for a long night of drinking, rather than actually relaxing and enjoying a few quality brews, is definitely a plus.

it tastes faintly of stale corn, it smells like the water after washing out a glass that previously held King Cobra, but it's very drinkable, especially when barely above freezing cold.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2012 02:12:52 | More by Phade42
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

2.15/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Had this on-tap, at Mellow Mushroom Avondale, poured into a pint glass. Had a pale yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a thin foamy head that quickly dissipated. No real lacing to speak of.

S: Not a whole lot of smell, but a slightly sweet quality was apparent.

T: Tasted of light malt, light hops, and some lemon (or some kind of citrus. Mainly, this is just a thin, watery, tasteless macro brew with no real character to it.

M: An average amount of carbonation with a surprisingly dry and lively finish. Light-bodied.

O: I tried this beer simply because I'd never had one before. It is simply undrinkable and inexplicably popular.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2012 14:45:15 | More by avalon07
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Bull McCabe's, Somerville, MA
Served in a tumbler

Crystal clear and golden yellow in appearance. A steady stream of bubbles ascended to the top of the liquid. The beer was topped by a thin yet remarkably resilient film of bubbly, bright white froth.

The nose was very mild. Slightly skunky initially. Dry, powdery, yeasty notes were detectible. A touch of lemony crispness came through as well.

The flavor profile was much fuller than the nose. Sweet, bubblegum-like notes appeared on the front end. A decent amount of lemony tartness was also noticeable. The finish was clean and refreshing and contained a touch of earthy, bittering hops.

The mouthfeel was respectable. Medium to full bodied for the style. A fine, zippy effervescence lent the beer a smooth, supple creaminess.

For an American adjunct lager, PBR is a pretty solid beer. With no glaring flaws and a fairly robust flavor profile for the style, this beer sure beats the crap out of Bud, Miller and Coors.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 05:27:12 | More by Damian
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Lazy Dog in Orange, California.

Listen, Raul be sick of people givin Pabst a bad rap cuz it's a "hipster beer." Whatever. I started drinking it ten years ago in high skool (before hipsters were invented) and it's legit.

It defi is not tha best, but it does give Bud, Coors, and Miller a spank in da ass. Don't expect excellence, just drank da damn thing n enjoy ur night. I always do.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 09:32:25 | More by RaulMondesi
Photo of Marti403
Marti403

Michigan

2.23/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I actually don't mind PBR. It quickly went from the beer of lower class white folks to the mainstream hipsters or fraternity folks. It's has a crisp look and mouthfeel that actually comes across as somewhat sweeter than normal american pilsners. I prefer on draft and very cold as when it warms, it becomes pretty harsh. take it for what it is and that's a tailgating/beer pong beer but "free beer" rules still apply.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 21:04:54 | More by Marti403
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

3.08/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from tap into a 32 oz cold mug. Poured golden yellow with a one finger pure white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, grain, and nutty. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, grain, nutty, and very slight fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. This has been my guilty pleasure for quite some time if I am honest. There just seems to be something about it that keeps me coming back. This was my first return to all-you-can-eat wings and 32 oz specials so I figured what better fitting brew to go with... I know this isn't a popular style, but there is something about this brew that puts it just a rung or two above all the rest from this style. However, this one still falls very short of just about any other style out there, but what can you do when you are in a style that is destined to fail among the craft beer community. Worth trying even if you aren't playing beer pong. It might just surprise you...

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2012 18:25:13 | More by thagr81us
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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 3,699 ratings.