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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.

3,712 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3712
Reviews: 1469
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)
View: Beers (57) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 3,712 | Reviews: 1,469 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pgroove

New York

4/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No matter how hard you try, you just can't hate on PBR. It is what it is: the cheapest of cheap, the pissiest of piss, the rawest of the raw.

Like most others on the site, I consider myself to be a beer snob, but I give my respects to PBRs. Where it can be found, it is dirt cheap and consistently smooth. Unlike other pisswater ales, you won't wake up with a raging headache and a case of the cho.

Don't hate the playa, hate the game. Pabst ain't no joke and it ain't no lie neither. Better recognize.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2005 02:37:19 | More by pgroove
Photo of scaliasux


3.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - About average. Good golden color, but the head is fizzy and excessively short-lived. No lacing.

Smell - Light sweet, adjuncty odor. Nothing too off, nothing too distinctive.

Taste - Quite sweet. Very crisp and watery. Just a touch of adjuncty malty beer flavor. Because the taste is noticeable and not overly poor, this beer ranks slightly better than most macros.

Mouthfeel - Light but very highly carbonated, i.e. tangy and fizzy.

Drinkability - Smooth and light. If I were only choosing beers from this particular group, PBR would come before most. Probably not a bad choice for a night of heavy drinking.

I'm pretty sure that it's time for the folks at Pabst to move on. If the label on my beer is to be believed, Pabst was selected as "America's Best" in 1893. (Was there some sort of great beer shortage that year?) Now tradition is all well and good, but food quality awards were never meant to be bandied about over 100 years after given.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 00:48:54 | More by scaliasux
Photo of bceaglejoe


3.78/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm assuming people will call me a point fairy for giving this beer such high marks, but here goes.

Appearance: Poured a bright orange color with slight hints of yellow. Head retention was impressive for an adjunct lager. The scent had lots of "adjunct" characteristics - corn, grain, cereal - but they were muted. There wasn't much of an aroma to this beer at all.

Tasting: This is probably my favorite beer of this style. It goes down smooth and easy, with almost no hop bitterness and sweet malt flavors. There was some grain flavor, giving it a bread-y taste. This beer is incredibly easy to drink. It'd be perfect for backyard grilling and parties, as well as mowing the lawn.

This definitely was a macro beer that I'll return to time and again. I'm told it causes bad hangovers, so I would suggest drinking lots of water to stay hydrated while you drink it. But for one beer, it was very good.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2005 21:58:32 | More by bceaglejoe
Photo of jasonpeckins32


1.7/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

At first I was somewhat surprised that this beer seemed drinkable. I wasnt expecting much, but the first few drinks werent that bad. It kind of reminded me of a Miller High Life Light at first. But as I went on, this beer got worse and worse. It gradually started tasting just awful. I found that strange as beer usually tastes better and better the more I drink. Anyways, it looked like piss, did not have hardly any smell, and the only noticable tastes were a bit of bread and a few grains. Nothing special at all. This is not even worth picking up if its the only thing you can afford. Better off sticking with Busch Light or even Natural Light. This beer flat out sucks!

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2005 02:44:31 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of msolar


3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

I have one question: how did PBR become a fashion trend?

I usually keep some on hand for when rowdy friends come over - it's cheap, and (in my opinion) tastes better than Bud, Miller, or the like. However, I can't imagine wearing a "PBR" shirt.

The beer is very light in color, comparable to Bud Light. It smells as you would imagine - like a watered down pilsner. And the taste? While it won't win "Beer of the Year" award, I think it's a great alternative to the other cheap domestic beers. In my opinion, it just tastes a little less "cheap".

This is definitely a beer focused on quantity, not quality - but if you're ok with that, drink up!


Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 18:05:00 | More by msolar
Photo of BigRedN


2.83/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tonight I buy into the hype, bought a 6 pack of longnecks for $3.99. This beer has got notoriety as being cool and hip for some reason. After encountering this beer in some college bars here in Lincoln and also in Omaha's Old Market district over the Holidays, I broke down to see what the fuss was all about.

Appearance: Light gold, minimal head that did not last, carbonated with bubbles dancing to the top of the liquid. Definitely macro.

Smell: Slight sweetness caused by adjuncts methinks, and a hint of floral hoppiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet (adjuncts?), yet a touch of hops on the finish. Not overwhelming, yet somewhat surprising.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, not watery like some counterparts. Carbonated and lively.

Drinkabilty: OK, a decent macro, nothing more. I don't go for trends, I just don't get them (like what was the deal with that goddamn Macarena thing?) and I don't get this one. Will I buy this again? Maybe try on tap, but that's it.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 05:31:37 | More by BigRedN
Photo of brownbottlehall


3.5/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always nice to find this "splendid blended" lager on-tap. Not much of a head to speak of, with a pale yellowish appearance. I always found this beer to have a somewhat unpleasant smell, but the once it hits your lips the taste makes up for the odor. A very sharp, crisp taste which is eventually followed by an very abstract aftertaste that I have never found the words to describe. Overall it really does have a prized flavor when in the company of macrobrews. Captain Pabst is my hero.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2005 05:22:57 | More by brownbottlehall
Photo of mynie


3.53/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Well, well. Emobeer thy name is Pabst. Still riding on that hundred and ten year old blue ribbon win, eh? Figures. Your kind always worked those horses so hard there was nothing left of them by the time you were finished.

You are incredibly drinkable, Mr. Pabst. That I cannot ignore. And your taste. Well, let's just say it's heads and tails above the other beers of your ilk. Grainy and bready with hints of weeds. It serves to wash down just about any food quite well. You have a nice head, too, all big and foamy.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2004 05:26:27 | More by mynie
Photo of moocey


3.53/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

I'm posting this one because PBR in a bottle is noticably different from PBR in a can. It's your usual fizzy yellow beer appearance, head is quickly gone, usual macro smell. However, I give this beer the distinction of the only macro I've ever tasted hops in. It's not like I'm even drinking a decent IPA, but the hops are there in the middle and the finish. Not bad. Not great, but I'll choose it over any macro (and quite a few crappy micros)

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 20:13:45 | More by moocey
Photo of santoslhalper


1.43/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a simple light copper with a thin white head and no lcaing whatsoever. Smells like a decent macro-lager, but nothing special. Tastes like water with a pinch of grain mixed in. No complexity, and no flavor. So bland I could barely finish it. I used to like this is, but no more. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 23:38:47 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of SheepNutz


3.18/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a light gold color with one finger of head that dies off quickly. Almost no lacing. The smell is light with just a hint of malty and grassy aromas. The taste is also grassy and malty, but it's very light on flavor. Nothing offensive though. The mouthfeel is very light and watery. The drinkability is good though. If I had to choose a macro to pair with pizza, this would be it.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 17:06:28 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of clemtig76

South Carolina

3.33/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried PBR again for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Much more flavor than the big three. Hoppy aroma and a clean, fresh taste. Maybe I just was lucky and got a fresh bottle, but for the money, it can't be beat. My new go to beer when money is tight.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2004 19:02:23 | More by clemtig76
Photo of lampkins


3.38/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I started drinking this beer after I became tired of the over-hyped premium brews out there. Beer pours a light yellow with little or no head. Smells like malt and nothing else. Taste of the beer is balanced, not too overpowering of hops/malt and can't detect the alcohol in the beer. I can drink this beer all day. While I like the premiums I am not afraid to slum it.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2004 19:14:32 | More by lampkins
Photo of aquatonex

New York

1.98/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm, is this beer or water? I wonder...

Pours like seltzer, with the slightest tinge of pee. Smells like seltzer, with the slightest tinge of pee as well. Taste is rather nonexistent. It is impressively smooth, no skunk from this macro. But, the smoothness is so easy to create if there is no TASTE. However, I could down probably 2x the number of these than any other beer. Overall, I'd pick this over all the other macros if I'm playing beer pong.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2004 01:27:53 | More by aquatonex
Photo of putnam


2.17/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this ice cold, in a sub-zero mug because the bar had nothing of any quality and I hadn't reviewed it yet. I figured I might as well do some homework while I was infusing my system with empty calories. Obviously there was no smell because of the temperature, and there was very nearly no flavor either. I will give it points for NOT having the characteristic "formaldehyde" flavor of AB products, nor the "sweaty gym sock" of Miller's kind. There was a crisp, ropy, dried herb element to the flavor that was not all that pleasant.


Now from a goblet, I find there is an objectionable odor: vaguely nutty only putrid and rotten nuts. Phony cotton candy sweetness and ad hoc bittterness. I had hoped this would show-up a Baltic lager open on my desk. It did not. I can't figure out why this is the darling of slumming BAs. MHL is lots better. No change of score.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2004 20:27:06 | More by putnam
Photo of twelvsies


2/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So far I've pretty much only been reviewing beers that I thought were exceptional, but tonight I'm paying a little homage to our old friend PBR. Looks like any cheap beer, pale yellow, not much head at all, too many bubbles. Smell doesn't really entice me at all, just reminds me of keggers. The taste actually isn't as bad as most "cheap" beers. Not much flavor at all, pretty much just watery with a touch of maltiness. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, I can actually feel the bubbles popping in my mouth. Well, I don't enjoy it a whole lot but it's pretty easy to drink. Ok, so we all know PBR isn't the best of beers, but it's not the worst at all. I'd say it's the best macro beer out there perhaps. After all, it was "selected as America's best in 1893." Anyway, plenty of more interesting beers out there, we are all aware of this I would hope, but hey, go easy on the little guy. When you're in a pinch for cash and in need of a party, a case of Pabst may come in handy. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2004 02:59:52 | More by twelvsies
Photo of blitheringidiot


2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden straw hues with a ring halo.

Scents barley eek out a malt scent.

Me tongue can barely detect grain and some adjunct additive of perhaps corn or rice.

Light to medium body with plenty of carbonation, although this could be due to the religiously cleaned lines at Grey Lodge.

Decent to wash down some pub grub, but, seriously, PBR is ok at best, even on a good clean draught line.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2004 05:43:19 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of bultrey

New York

2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, this is the hipster beer du jour in my part of the world, and I suspect that the reason for this is that people are deliberately drinking it to be ironic because it is cheap and normally associated with white trash. It's kind of like wearing the damn trucker caps.

Anyway, it's PBR. What can you say? It tastes like adjunct malts, but not offensively so, and there is the slightest hint of hops characteristic hidden in there, as well. It is a pale golden-yeallow beer, and it retains a slight head and fairly effervescent carbonation. It IS better than many American mass-produced beers, but that's not saying much. I put it on par with Budweiser. Anyone who claims it is significantly better (or significantly worse) is being fooled by either the Bud marketers or PBR hipsters.
Still, the 20 oz. chalice I received for $4.00 on a hot day to down my mexican food was A-OK, as it is refreshing, and a little more exciting than water. It's like beer-flavored soda.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2004 14:40:50 | More by bultrey
Photo of diamonddave


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

How bad could this be? I mean, it won the blue ribbon, right?

If you drink lots of water, your pee will look like this. Come to think of it, drinking Peeber is like drinking water. Very thin. The smell ain't nothing to write home to Mama about, either. You might as well skip that "breathe out while the beer is still in your mouth" step in the beer-tasting tips. There aren't any subtle flavor/aroma nuances to be found here.

This poured a half-inch head that was gone faster than you can say "half-inch head". Once the beer is gone, there's no sign that it was ever in the glass.

The taste is, well, not much. It's that usual grainy thing that you get with beers that cost $5.99 for 12 bottles. Sure goes down easy though, kinda like [insert victim's name]'s mom. Much better from a bottle than a can, with little (if any) difference in price.

As a responsible journalist, I'll admit my bias: this is the house beer at Nyabinghi in Youngstown, OH, which is one of my favorite clubs. Buck a can on Monday nights. Come on down and join the PB Army.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2004 02:45:45 | More by diamonddave
Photo of Boilermaker88


2.08/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at the local pub that my golf buddy and I stop at for a post-round pint. I'd thought about trying PBR before and after 18 holes I was hoping it would make for a decent, if unspectacular, thirst quencher.
Well, PBR had the prototypical macro lager appearance: clear Post-It note yellow with a soapy white head that fizzled down to a skim, leaving no lace. Well, appearances aren't everything, right?
In this case, the vague attractiveness is about the best thing going for PBR. The nose was totally, 100%-ly non-existant. None, nada, zip, ziltch, zero. At least it didn't smell rank. The taste was about as close to water as I've had the chance to experience with a beer. Only at the far back of my palate did a slight stirring of flavor come out, an echo of what should have been. That flavor was a faint maltiness reminiscent of a fresh-cut hayfield. Not a hint of hops anywhere. The feel was light, crisp, and dry.
I didn't go into this tasting with too many high hopes and didn't come away feeling any worse for the experience. It fits the style to a "T". It's not bad; you know, skunky or foul. It's just not anything. Not a brew I'd be eager to have again. I moved along smartly to a pint of SN Celebration Ale...

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2004 16:50:04 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of granger10


2.73/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I guess this beer might be slightly better in taste than other American macros. There isn't that corny/rice adjunct taste that I usually get but there wasn't much else either. Some sweet, grainy malt is about all that I got. This reminded me of Molson. It was also thicker than other macros, but still rather smooth. Worth a drink when the wallet is light.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2004 21:47:01 | More by granger10
Photo of beertaster13


2.65/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay so Pabst isn't what I remembered, look at original can review and you will see that I didn't mind it. Pours a very light yellow with little to no head at all. Not much lacing to speak of either. Smell is grain and earth tones, slight metallic. Taste is of grain and very watered down, not bad for the price but still not good. Metallic hints as well. Feels light and flat in mouth, drinkable only on those sweaty days doing yard work.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 17:32:20 | More by beertaster13
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

2.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours a pale straw yellow. The single finger of bright white head falls back to nothingness almost instantly.

What little real aroma there is, is dominated by a corn adjunct character. Sweet and thin, there's little if any hop presence.

The first sip brings a grain sweetness, certainly more adjunct than malt. A mild yeasty note pops up, then gives ground to a rather unpleasant metallic bite that lingers too long at the finish. Overall, it's again thin, and the sweetness will put off most palates with a bias against macro McBeer flavors.

Very light bodied, it drains away without leaving any real note of its presence.

Yes, it's basically better than most macros, but that's like saying Queen Elizabeth is hotter than Eleanor Roosevelt. I'm not touching either one of them. This beer is too sweet, too thin, and too indistinct to be any more than just another mass-produced brew. While about as drinkable as water, in theory, I wouldn't have another unless it was the only thing I could get hold of, and then I'd have to consider something non-alcoholic. I know some folks will take umbrage with this, but I just can't hop on the PBR bandwagon. However, I do use it often for beer-can chicken. It's a tradition. Don't ask.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2004 16:17:16 | More by Foxman
Photo of rkhaze


2.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw color with a small white head.
Smells like grainy sweet corn syrup and surpisingly, a whiff of hops.
Grainy sweet flavor, but more in an adjunct way. There was a hop bitterness, albeit a mild one. Finishes crisp and tangy.
Light bodied with a thin, pallid mouthfeel. The carbonation level wasn't bad.
The light, crisp finish leads to decent drinkibility in the right circumstances, i.e. real hot weather and not a lot of beer choices.
This is actually the first PBR I've ever had. Can't say whether I like it better than the big three or not because I haven't had them in eons and don't really remember what they taste like. Maybe one day I'll try them all again just for kicks...but probably not!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2004 00:30:56 | More by rkhaze
Photo of Dithyramb


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

Just tried last night at Mama's on the Half Shell in Baltimore. They have PBR on one of those new super cold taps and as a "Blue on Blue" They give you about 4oz. in a large shot glass with cocktail sauce and a fresh oyster. Mmmmm.

Lets face it, this is straight forward good beer. I can sit here and complain about macro's, but Pabst is pure quality and dependability. Looks a sweet, golden tan. Smells a nice thin hops with some grainy corn. The taste comes across as a bittery hoppy corn. Mouthfeel and drinkability are easy. Well worth having a few.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2004 01:27:21 | More by Dithyramb
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 3,712 ratings.