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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.

4,361 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,361
Reviews: 1,507
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 24.83%
Wants: 31
Gots: 351 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 4,361 | Reviews: 1,507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Whiteweasel
1.98/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a can into a seidel.

Appearance: Looks like piss. Yuck. Nothing too appetizing about this beer. Head looks like dish soap foam.

Smell: Very corn-y and perhaps a little bitter as well. Not that deep

Taste: Tastes like I just put corn into a blender added a little bit of bitterness from the hops. If you swish it around a little, you can vaguely taste some decent hops. Not very good

Mouthfeel: Nice and crisp. Refreshing. But not too special.

Drinkability: Better than some absolutely horrible offerings, but not quite as easy to drink for binge drinking purposes as some cheaper shittier stuff. Pretty easy to drink i guess, and cheap. But tastes pretty bad. Wouldn't get it again.

Whiteweasel, Dec 18, 2009
Photo of mrpoizun
4/5  rDev +36.1%
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.

mrpoizun, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of ToasterChef
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This award-winning beer has been poured form a chilled bottle into a 12oz "pint" glass. The beer is a very clear straw color, with a good sized white foam head that dissipated quickly. There are plenty of carbonation bubbles rising up in the glass. This aroma is a yeast and some grain, probably corn. The taste is typical of the style, with plenty of sweet corn grain and other malts; the hops a non-existent to the point that the brewer may have forgot to include them. Although the carbonation is above average, it doesn't affect the mouthfeel negatively. There is a bit of coating and stickiness from the high sugar content, but it isn't too bad. I find PBR to be exceptionally drinkable, if I am in the mood for it. I don't get tired of it and usually only need to cut myself off when I know it's time to prevent a hangover. This is my go-to beverage when I'm out on the town and don't feel like spending much money. There is something reassuring knowing I can get a 16oz tall boy at nearly any bar in town; thanks hipsters!

ToasterChef, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of raclark
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking PBR for years and it's a good, inexpensive beer. I love to order a bottle at my favorite local bar and try to guess the card under the cap to win a freebie.

Poured into a pint glass, the foamy head recedes fairly quickly with a small amount clinging to the sides. It has that familiar clear yellow color of an American Adjunct.

It has a mildly grainy smell but lacks any strong distinctive characteristics.

The taste is light and somewhat sweet with a mild hop finish. Pretty watery but still better than most comparable beers of this style. As far as American standard lagers it's surely above average.

It has a good mouth feel with just enough carbonation. Very drinkable and minimally filling. I could drink these all day (and have).

raclark, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of Pecorasc
2.08/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I would like to thank either Randi or Ciaran for leaving this in my refrigerator. 12 oz. can poured into tulip. Drank very cold.

A- Poured a large white foamy head. Vigorously carbonated. After settling, showed some lacing. Perfectly clear pale yellow.

S- Dust, corn, grass, cardboard (dry not wet), very little malt, very little hop aroma. Nothing horrible, more "lacking" than anything.

T- Corn, almost no recognizable malt or hop character. Leaves no aftertaste. Doesn't offer much.

M- Watery, tons of carbonation. Needs more body and less carbonation.

D- If you can get past the canned corn and lack of character, good drinkability.

Pecorasc, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 0.5L Krušovice-branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent pale golden color with a thin, fizzy head that lingers for a bit but leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Grainy, like most adjunct lagers, but also surprisingly hoppy for something this cheap.

Taste: Starts with a subdued hoppy bitterness and finishes slightly sweet. This beer definitely doesn't have the sickly sweet finish of a lot of macro lagers.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the watery and over-carbonated side but it doesn't get in the way of the beer.

Drinkability: An exceptionally drinkable beer and a great brew for the price. Much better than your typical light or adjunct lager and just as inexpensive. This'll be my "cheap beer" for a while to come.

wahhmaster, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear golden with a small white had that leaves behind heavy foam.

Smell: Sweet malt and some adjunct, with light but noticeable hops.

Taste: Begins grainy and sweet with hints of corn, then a pilsnereasque hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a better choice than the "big three" macros. A simple beer with good character.

Mosstrooper, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of SamN
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

"Not gonna lie to ya, I'm down to drink some Pabst."

Darn tootin'.

A- Clear yellow liquid in a dimpled stein. A little more robust color than most adjunct lagers. A modestly impressive head forms from a moderately aggressive pour; thick, rich and creamy looking. However, it quickly fades to nothing. Mildly lively, some visible carbonation visible.

S- Behind the corn huskiness is a sweeter aroma of cheap barely. The hop aroma is the best feature of the aroma; twangy and crisp. A brighter smelling beer.

T- Starts of with watered down barely tastes, moves to slightly harsh adjuncts and finishes on a mellow hops taste. Almost a creamy lingering adjunct finish. While not totally absent, PBR lacks that harsh metallic taste in a lot of AAL's.

M- Quite thin, of course. Lacking body but not overwhelmingly carbonated.

D- Drinkability is high, due to a better flavor profile than the others and a overall more laid back drinking sensation to me. Easily my favorite of all the "big" adjunct lagers.

SamN, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
2.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured 2 of these into a Mass (still not full) to cap off a day of homebrewing.

Pours light, dull yellow with a soapy frothy head with little visible carbonation. Head retention is good and frothy, but soapy looking.

Aroma is a little harsh and unappealing. Slightly of fusel alcohols and adjuncts.

Taste starts off nice and sweet, then moves into a strange dry pilsner phase, then comes back to sweet. Some hop presence that is actually quite tasty but the malt base just doesn't cut it for me. Sort of half pilsner, half American adjunct lager that doesn't mix well.

Carbonation is too light and highlights the flaws in the beer too much. Leaves a dry, grainy feeling on the tongue.

The drinkability woudl be decent if it wasn't for the fact that I feel sick whenever I drink PBR. I don't think this hit me until I bought a case of it. I think people tend to regard PBR as a good alternative to bud, but IMO bud is made a lot better and doesn't leave me with a hangover or make me feel a little sick.

wiseguy142, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of dude
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

As a 36 year old mom jean wearing non-hipster I cannot explain my fondness for this brew. Is it the centuries old award for which this beer is named? Is it the "its not Bud" factor? Is it the dirt cheap price? All possible. On tap is my preferred method of consuming mass quantities of this classic. Its slightly sweeter tasting this way and has no unpleasant vegetal flavor that is common to the canned version. After 1-2 $2 pints of this bad boy the drinkability is off the charts!

dude, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of jmaur345
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's PBR, an American classic, we've all had it some time or an other. I think PRB gets a bad rap, personally I love this stuff, and it's my go to beer. Is it the best beer in the world, no. Is it the best macro American beer, YES.

A- Golden, pretty standard for type, big bubbly head that goes away rather quickly.

S- Grainy, faint aroma of corn.

T- Ahh the taste...it sort of tastes like...college! that and corn malt, but in a good way, not in a nasty way like busch, a faint warming from the alcohol.

M- Fizzy, I should note that PBR is best consumed VERY COLD, and should always be done so. At first you get the fizzy feel, then the taste, followed by the warm of the alcohol. The aftertaste fades very quickly.

D- Amazing, I can drink this beer anytime, any where. I've had one PBR and have been happy, and I've had 30 and have been ever more happy. Perfect for any occasion.

jmaur345, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My can has a best by date of 1/11/10

Aroma - Adjunct lager with hints of corn. Really a very thin aroma.

Appearance - Fluffy with head quickly dissipates to the tiniest collar. The beer itself is golden yellow (typical lager) with just a trickle of carbonation.

Taste - Nothing I equate with a good beer, to be honest. Sweetness gives way to a hint of hops in the middle but sweetness returns for the finish. The aftertaste does linger on the palate, which isn't a bad thing here. A good amount of flavor is present without really getting in the way of the drinking experience.

Notes - A good mouthfeel with carbonation making an appearance only to carry the beer to the back of the throat. Simply a good beer.

jwhawkins81, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of ChrisKalejta
3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An American icon....PBR

The classic blue, white and red label is fixture of every college bar in the country. Low cost makes it a fan favorite and to most it's considered a right of passage into the world of beer.

One reason I love PBR is the taste, it really has its own unique taste separate from the rest. I know it's cheap, heck I once bought a 6pack with the change in my ash tray, but that says something about PBR. Even a cheap beer can be decent and to most that's really what matters the most.
Now when I go to parties where I'm a new comer I always take PBR. Because no one really wants to drink it and easy to spot if someone is raiding your cooler.

ChrisKalejta, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of colts9016
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug at 35 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger bubbly white head that has some retention to it. The body of the beer is a light straw color. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer.

Nose: A light malt with rice there is a light floral aroma.

Taste: A light malt flavor with a light floral aroma.

Overall: The mouth feel is light and carbonated. The body of the beer is light and light finish. It is a descent beer, and taste a bit better than a bud.

colts9016, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of stangski83
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Okay, clearly nothing special here, but at $56 for a 1/2 barrel, it's currently filling my kegarator as the go-to beer when we want to save the good stuff. Here's the run down: Best friend, co-workers, girlfriend, and even my mother will gladly hit the tap for this stuff, so it has proved its worth at least in some form. I'm tired of giving my dough to the big 3 for a "family friendly" beer!!!

Last two 1/2 barrel kegs were okay but not "family" hits like the PBR....
(Keg 1: Founder's Cerise - fruity beer wasn't for everybody) and (Keg 2: Bud Slight - extra skunky but easily emptied)

Honestly, it's kind of like we returned to the 60's or 70's and retraced our family roots. Pabst has returned in a family friendly way for our family. Being within driving distance of 3 Floyds, Goose Island, Flossmoor, Half Acre, Lakefront, Capital, Tyranena, Leinie's, Two Brothers, New Holland, and Bell's has it's advantages...but those kegs end up being for me and not a share-able experience.

So sometimes, the family needs something basic. And Pabst does the job. So, a night of cards, board games, a backyard fire, and Pabst works out. Even for the beer snob in the family.

stangski83, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of Scrapss
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

C'mon, it's PBR. Gotta love retro beer, even if it's adjunct lager. It's light beer night, and now that the Peroni has been measured and weighed...onward.

Appearance is slightly better than some adjunct lagers. There's something to this one, little more color. Pour results in a nice frothy head that dies down a little too quickly.

Smell is not the usual adjunct lager, there's definitely something going on here too. Kind of some hops, a little bit of that filler maybe? Almost a metallic smell, if that makes any sense?

Taste is actually not as blah as you'd think. It's got a little bit of hop, little bit of bitter on the finish. The funny part is that there is a hint of lemongrass thing going on about 15 seconds after I swallow it.

Mouthfeel is so-so, not heavy and not light. It's got a good dry finish.

I like the drinkability of it in light of the dry finish. It's definitely something I could have a nice night out, pacing it and drinking without getting all out of shape and spending a ton.

Scrapss, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of DNICE555
3.13/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the B - their classic. Wanted to end up with some water - Pabst.

A - Clear, yellowish, head lasts for about 10 seconds.

S - Sweet grains, yeast, not much else.

T - Sweet light pale, malts. Slightest hint of hops.

M - Very light body, medium to high carbonation.

D - Cult classic, like evil dead. Very smooth, barely heavier than water.

DNICE555, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of WolfmanK
3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$0.62 a can, in his economy, you just can't get a better beer for that price.

It's the classic American Beer. you really can't go wrong on a hot day with a cold can of PBR.

I've only ever had it in cans, but I hear it's even better on tap.

You can pay more for a macro brewed lager, but you won't get a better example than this.

WolfmanK, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of TommyW
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My beer of choice for this category. Really an easy drinking and tastes much better than some of the other adjunct lagers out there. Of course, if you can get it on tap, it's always nice and it usually tastes a little fresher, but I like it even out of the can.

TommyW, Nov 02, 2009
3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pabst Blue Ribbon Should hold the title still for best "American Style Lager". No, its never going to be the best beer in the world, but it beats out anything that Anheiser has to offer. its like most of the reviews say, its a great go-too for gathering around the fire, hunting, fishing, camping, sporting events. its refreshment level is high in my opinion. its a good beer after a hard days work. if im not drinking a nicer porter or stout, or if im just hanging out with some buddies, its pabst we reach for. its cheap and easy. Pabst also sits nice with a large crowd because its a beer that has ceased to bombard you with selfless advertising. In that sense its almost a "lifestlye" beer.

Pabst has a weak flavor, but just enough that when combined with its good amount of carbonation, gives you something that is easy to palette, easy to drink, and easy to finish. its like the student who always gets "C"s. never failing, but never really never going above and beyond. In that sense its dependable.

PABSTPUSHER, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of albern
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer at a little get together, it was the first time in probably 15 years since I've had a PBR. This is bland, tasteless, totally innocuous, easy to drink, refreshing, with a touch of malt but nothing too much else. The thing that perplexes me most about adjunct lagers is that they are largely tasteless. It is like parsing the finer qualities of water, there is just a flat palate of flavors from which to choose. There is nothing bad about a PBR, there just isn't much there.

albern, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of Dodt
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

decide to make a run to the six pack store for a macro tasting session saw the pbr for 4.75 wnet for it since it was uber cheap.
poured from the bottle to a pint glass.
appearance : a pale straw color with lacing that stays a while after being poured.
smell : very grainy .
taste , mouthfeel and drinkability :grainy with a metallic after taste .

Dodt, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of feelmefoam
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good old PBR. If I have to choose a cheap grocery-store adjunct, this is the beer I reach for. It doesn't really repulse me like many other macro adjunct lagers, rather this beer is quite refreshing. A typical grainy adjunct taste with a slightly sweet/metallic aftertaste. High amounts of carbonation and a light body. All in all, a smooth drinker that's easy to finish.

feelmefoam, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of BBri
3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I always associated PBR as an "old man" beer. My brother-in-law (he's not an old man) had some at the house and since I'm no beer snob, I gave it a shot. It was surprisingly "OK". Not a bad beer, not great. Average in all regards. For my money, this is a good beer for drinking with like-minded beer fans while watching a game, etc.

BBri, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of Hovellord
2.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

No, PBR is not good beer. It is not bad beer. It has no color, really, no smell, and the only distinctive feature of the taste is a metallic piquant. Moderate carbonation and thin. Drinkability is fairly good: after all, it was made to be consumed easily. PBR has good street cred. Generations have relied upon it, and even in this era it has its uses: on a given night when one is tired and has the blues, and faces the convenience store dilemma of what kind of alcohol to imbibe, a 24 oz. PBR and a bag of peanuts is more than enough to help one cope.

Hovellord, Oct 21, 2009
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,361 ratings.