1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
68
poor

4,481 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,481
Reviews: 1,523
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 30
Gots: 394 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,481 | Reviews: 1,523 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bendurgin
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I acquired this after it was left behind at a camp fire me and my buddies had recently. I couldn't leave it behind, lonely, forgotten and unreviewed. So here it comes, a 16 ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon goes into my pint glass a see through golden yellow with a bit of fizzy white head that dissipates into spotty lacing. Lots of fun tiny bubbles showing a delightful carbonation. Not much to smell here except grains and alcohol. Neat. Smells like a dirty bottle redemption center. The taste is the arguably the best thing about this beer. Grains and hop bitterness. It's pretty one dimensional but it isn't bad by any means. This really is the best of the big guys and something I never mind having at a campfire or any outdoor outing where beer isn't the main focus. Good mouth feel. I love how crisp an refreshing this is and I love all those crazy bubbles! I know it may seem silly to give this beer a five for drinkability but I know it does down easy due to the light body, good flavor and spot on carbonation.

Bendurgin, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of stalker5
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rarely pour PBR in a glass, but it was a light golden color like any other light beer, decent head that faded quickly. There's not a very strong scent that I've noticed to this beer, maybe a little...very little hoppy smell. Taste is ok. My favorite of the cheaper beers; and best tasting in my opinion. Nothing spectacular. Mouthfeel is crisp, refreshing, light and a bit of carbonation. Overall If given a case I could drink it all day, especially on a hot day. Good and cheap, can't complain!

stalker5, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of BurnBlueSky
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Simply the beer to drink in the "hipster' crowd as of late. It's simple american light clean appearance and taste amkes it a go to beer for many "hip" drinkers. With a very affordable price( between $1.50-$2.50 @ my local watering holes) it's sales continue tohold steady. Myself being a lover of craft beers one wouldn't think i would shell out even a couple dollars for a beer that essentially has little in similarity to the beers I usually rave about. However, it has done well to serve as a light mild beer on a summer day, or when the wallet is thin. I proudly raise my hand up high with a PBR tallboy.

BurnBlueSky, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of industrialswill
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright gold, nicely carbonated and smells like beer.
Tastes like it did when I first stole sips of it as a child...like beer.
Pabst has enough flavor and body to satisfy my need for a little beer buzz.
I won't go into some phoney-baloney list of all the things [bread, biscuits, Kelloggs corn flakes, etc.] I can possibly list that I think I smell and taste here.
What you have with Pabst is a lager that has what lager drinkers like who may or may not be on a beer budget.

industrialswill, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of mrkc
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh poor maligned Pabst Blue Ribbon, how times have changed. It used to be drinking you made one elitist, and a snob. Now, it makes one common, and unrefined. Time has not been kind to you, Blue Ribbon, and your red, white and blue can, while elegant in its simplicity, has become much derrided. I applaud you for not slipping into becoming mindlessly hip, as others have tried to do.

You're fine in your can, but when you're sold for 3 dollars a glass on Tap, you really shine. Fresh, clean, with a clear filtered liquid, it's easy to see where the comparisons to urine came from, but this is the derision of mob which has turned against you. You smell of sweet grain, faint and not overpowering. This is where your can fails you, as it isolate our nose from the drinking experience.

Your light body compliments most food one would eat in a bar perfectly, from the burger, to the chicken strips. A joy of my own is using you to cook noodles, an idea that came to me when I had too little water to finish a dish. You have not given in to the hops-ridden madness that is in vogue today, and instead you focus on having a pure grain taste, with a light body and a crisp mouthfeel. The yeast leaves just a slight feeling of bread. You do not overwhelm, but complement. You are the coda of a symphony. You are the perfect session drink, capable of being consumed for hours, both to your lighter alcohol content, as well as your other qualities. Raphael's masterpiece you are not, but you are worth for what you aspire to be.

mrkc, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of epicness
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A: Was actually surprised by the amount of head that accumulated on the pour. 10 seconds later though, as expected, it's all pretty much gone. Rather soapy looking head though. I'm shocked how see-through this beer really is. Pretty much looks like carbonated colored water. The color though is a very light yellow. Very light lacing left behind.

S: A lot of people say PBR reeks of an awful offensive skunky sour smell (I think those are just people trying to knock it.) I don't smell that at all. In fact I don't smell much at all... maybe some hops with a slight bread smell. That's about it.

T: Hoppy bitterness in the front. More hoppy than I thought based on the lack of a smell. The bitter hoppy front gives away to a dry almost wheat-like finish. Not a bad taste at all. Based on some horror stories I was expecting something a lot different. I'm not going to sit here and say it has this huge amazing flavor. It really doesn't. But if you take it for what it's worth and for what it is.. it's actually a pretty good flavor. So if you rate this against a Russian Imperial Stout, Hefeweizen, Tripel, etc.. you'll obviously be disappointed and say it sucks. If you put it against your average American Adjunct Lager, you definitely can't be disappointed with the taste.

M: Very light bodied. It's crisp and refreshing. Everything you could want out of this kind of beer.

D: On a nice warm day, you can get caught up drinking one after another. High drinkability mixed with low alcohol leaves you wanting more.

epicness, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of Transatlantic
3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A - Okay well...it's about as light as a beer can get. Very light straw color.

S - This is where this beer hits it's lowest. There is a very strong sour smell. It smells almost completely identical to underarm body odor.

T - If you hold your nose, it tastes practically like water. The only taste I get out of it is carbonation and a very slight bitterness.

M - As soon as it goes in the mouth, it goes right down. Just watery and not much anything left.

D - If you can hold your nose while drinking at least the first 3, then you can get these guys down no problem.

Overall, it's a bad beer when it comes to the smell but it's a great easy drinking beer when it comes to the taste.
If you're very weak to smells, then you might want to pass this one up.

Transatlantic, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of mlazzaro
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I will point out I am drinking a U.S. pint sized can which is more often purchased at my package store and I think, therefore more fresh. date : 9-13-10 on 6-17-10

This beer kind of reminds me of Carlsberg back in Europe. Which was a crisp and reliable lager dispensed at my local pub.

I believe I used to poke fun at this beer, but to be honest, it is actually alright. I feel the same way about a yuengling lager.

appearance is as clear as can be. a golden lager with good carbonation with white head.

decent malty flavor with a subtle hop character at the end. mouthfeel is flowing and consistent.

aftertaste is actually nice, which I often say is an issue with the common mega-swill lagers of America.

I don't know about any blue-ribbon status. but I don't mind drinking this beer.

mlazzaro, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.45/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very pale yellow, but what a surprise, a big fluffy head and even some ok lacing. What?!!!?

Ok, back to normal. Adjunct corn macro scent, but some herbal hop aromas and light malt.

Not too bad. Light flavors, including malt and light hop bitterness, but no sour notes and a pretty clean finish. Lighter bodied, but appropriate, and this makes this the perfect summer low-end brew. What a friggin' shock, it is actually the best of the adjuncts. I'd drink this any day over Bud. Not too damn bad for what it is.

OtherShoe2, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of JMad
3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a can poured into a pint glass at spiral diner in fort worth.

The beer was very pale yellow, very thin head, left almost no lacing.

The smell was very similar to the taste, metallic. Not much else going on here.

The beer went down very well. I could smash many of these.

OK overall, good sessionable beer. Godd for hot weather.

JMad, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Its pale yellow appearance does not bode well , but...
Its lack of a real beer smell does not bode well, but...
Its lack of a malty or hoppy taste does not bode well, but...
Its mouth feel is that of a pale ale whuich is acceptable..
But it is definitely more than the sum of its parts.
Craft beers have no fear: but it is drinkable, especially on a warm day, when it is ice cold.
It was fun renewing my relationship with PBR and it will not be a stranger to my refigerator.

lou50rp, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of optiontwo
3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ah pabst. I've drank a lot of you my friend. There's huge debate around if PBR is actually decent or if it's just hipster hype. I don't really care bout that but I know that it doesn't offend my palate and it's cheap.

A: yellowy clear with tons of bubbly carbonation and no head retention.

S: smells like...beer. For real though, it smells slightly sweet, bread like, with a touch of sour. Not wild ale sour, just some weirdness.

T: starts slightly sweet, then it actually has a bitter hop hint and flavor at the end. Kind of like some sugary grass. I find it quite crisp.

M: Light, bubbly, with an ever so slight creaminess.

D: Great for a hot summer day. Inoffensive American adjunct lager. For the price I can't complain, I'll never turn down a PBR.

optiontwo, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of honestdave
3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz can into an ale glass.

A: Pale yellow with light head that disappears rather quickly. Light lacing, but not anything special.

S: Not much aroma but maybe just a hint of hops.

T: Light hoppy bitterness with nice dry finish. I like the amount of carbonation and the dryness.

M: Light bodied and decent amount of carbonation along with the dry aftertaste.

D: This is a refreshing brew that is easy to drink. I like something light, ice cold, and refreshing after cutting the grass or working in the garden. This beer fits the bill.

Summary: I can't find any real flaws with PBR. It was the standard in my Grandpa's house and my brother drank it for years too. They both know something about beer! I like this when I can't drink the truly good (expensive) stuff!

honestdave, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of logicallypositiv
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

I've drank this on many occasions, enough that I feel I can write an honest review from memory. I've enjoyed it on tap, in a can, and in both 12oz and 40oz bottles.

A - Very light and pale, what you'd expect of a cheap beer. Very little head. Overall it's very lackluster, but there's a slight hint of golden color to it.

S - Skunky and unappealing.

T - It doesn't have much flavor, but relative to other beers in it's price and quality range, it has a lot better of a taste. There's a hint of wheat flavor to it. It's not the best, but once again, relative to cheap lager beers in it's price range, it's quite the bang for your buck.

M - Very light, crisp and refreshing. A rather thin brew if you ask me.

D - It goes down really smooth. Easy to pound, but at the same time, not bad if you want to slowly sip on something.

Overall, PBR isn't my first choice in beer, but as a college student who doesn't have a lot of money, it's definetly in my price range, and relative to other cheaper lager beers, it's not bad. Unlike budweiser, bud light, coors, etc Pabst actually has a flavor; you can definetly taste some wheat and a little bit of malt. For a beer that's so cheap to buy, it's definetly a quality deal. I would take a Pabst over a more expensive Coors, Budweiser or Miller (ESPECIALLY Miller) any day of the week. Definetly the best of the cheap macro brews.

logicallypositiv, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of niibuyaa
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the quintessential all american lager, and has all the qualities you'd expect from one.

A: Poured into a glass it has a quickly dissipating head that leaves quite a bit of lacing while the head is leaving, and after it's gone. Nice and clean pale yellow coloring.

S: A sweet melange of malt and a sharp grain aroma.

T: A sharp graininess pushed by a sweetness that ends in a slightly hoppy flavor and dryness.

M: Medium consistent carbonation throughout.

niibuyaa, May 31, 2010
Photo of EStreet20
3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

PBR. Why not?

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce pub glass.

A - Completely clear, pale yellow. White bubble foam to a one finger head that drops to a capper quick.

S - Clean smell with some grain and lageer yeast.

T - Clean tasting. Some bready/grainiess creeps up. Slight bready aftertaste disappears quickly.

M - Thin with medium carbonation.

D - Easy to drink cold for a quencher or to wash down some grub off the grill.

Notes: Drinkability is there because it's not overcarbonated like light beers and many other adjunct lagers. Rare that I drink this style but when I do it's usually PBR as I find it smoother tasting and easier drinking than most. For the price, it's a good beer to grab some cans and toss in a cooler.

EStreet20, May 27, 2010
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an old friend from long ago and when I saw it on tap at the Burger Bar (Las Vegas) I had one for old times sake.

Not sure about other beers in this style (on tap) because I don't come across any, but this looked fine, golden, bright and clear, with a good white head on top.

No real aroma to get your nose round, hints of a hop maybe, but gets my regular score of three for a non-smelling lager/pilsner.

Refreshing and thirst quenching, just like a lager should be, ideal throat cleaner before I hit the bars heavy brews.

I enjoyed it, brought back a couple of memories of drunken sports fields and tins laying around, happy days.

BlackHaddock, May 25, 2010
Photo of velkyal
1.05/5  rDev -64.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance - like fizzy bear urine
Smell - slightly malty bear urine
Taste - was there?
Mouthfeel - about 2 seconds before spitting it out
Drinkability - erm no.

Simply foul and not worthy of the term "beer". I would rather never drink again than go anywhere near this muck again.

velkyal, May 19, 2010
Photo of Fatduck
4.45/5  rDev +51.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First review I've done in a while. Have not stopped drinking good beer, just not reviewing. Also, I thought this beer deserved some good press for once.

A - who cares, not pouring it out of my can, but If I did, it would look very appropriate for an American lager.

S - Not much there, but it smells like beer.

T - Why bother tasting it, just open up, tip your head back and bottoms up!

M - Feels like beer, I like how the bubbles tickle my tongue.

D - When you can slam a beer without having to get off of your bike, then you have a '5'!

Fatduck, May 19, 2010
Photo of deebo
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer for nights of mass consumption or any other time that easy drinkability is desired. Typical American lager with crisp aftertaste allowing you to drink large quantities. Slightly better than others in this category because of clean flavor with grains blended well with hops.

deebo, May 19, 2010
Photo of udubdawg
2.1/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

oh boy...
for the style it looks OK. Straw color, quite bright, fleeting head.
Aroma is a letdown even though I thought I was ready for it. No DMS or diacetyl. No hop aroma. No real malt aroma. Decently strong corn aroma and a little bit of a sulphur note I find a bit disturbing.
Flavor continues the downward slide. I hear this described as tasting crisp and dry, which I guess is fine if I were describing the flavor of the carbonation or attenuation. In truth my can is neither particularly crisp, with quite low carbonation too, and not too dry either. The beer is corn-sweet, with zero bitterness. There is almost a tart edge to the "flavor"
The killer for me though is that as I try to rate it per style, I find it is not at all "clean"
Ugh, better go get a beer to get rid of the remnants of this.
As I barely finished 2/3 of this one, I can't call it drinkable.

udubdawg, May 19, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
2.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to bman1113vr for sharing this silver can of goodness.

The beer pours a very light yellow color with a white head. The aroma is not good with lots of corn and wheat. The flavor is full of adjuncts with tons of corn, rice and wheat. Overall the aroma and flavor are incredibly bland. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This is a beer with nothing positive going on.

Mora2000, May 19, 2010
Photo of BigMike
2.78/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

For some reason I was in the mood for a plain old macro. While at the store I realized something. I had never had a PBR. I grabbed a sixer of pounders and went on my way.

I'm not expecting alot but I'll be fair.

Pours a crystal clear straw yellow with tons of carbonation. A thin soapy head of about 2 fingers that's pure white in color.

Smell is sweet and grainy. Lots of corn and bread like aromas.

Very clean flavors. Sweet corn and grain. A touch of light hops.

Mouthfeel is like expected. Light and clean. Nice amount of carbontion and very refreshing. Finishes very sweet and drinks very easy.

Overall this is one of the better macro lagers I have had. It's actually borderline enjoyable and in no way is it offensive. I would drink PBR all day in the summer. Glad I tried this "ledgend" of an American lager.

BigMike, May 19, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.2/5  rDev +42.9%
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.

WeezyBoPeep, May 17, 2010
Photo of les1721
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence is a beautiful straw with a slight orange hew. Smell is clean, a little sweet with fresh corn. Taste is very clean. A slight straw and corn flavor. A little sweet at first but the hops give it a clean, crisp finish. The carbonation is almost perfect for this style. Drinkability is great, you can drink this beer all day especially when its hot.

A very refreshing and good American lager. And the fact you can find a tall 6pack for $4 is awesome. A good everday or session beer. A little cleaner in the bottle than in a can, and even cleaner on tap.

les1721, May 16, 2010
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,481 ratings.