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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.

4,401 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,401
Reviews: 1,512
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 24.83%
Wants: 30
Gots: 369 | 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: 4,401 | Reviews: 1,512 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of imprezawrxsti
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First of all, let me explain that PBR holds a special place in my heart. It may not be the best beer ever made, but it tastes like college to me. I've had many, many good memories sipping on cans/bottles/glasses of PBR.

That said, there's a reason for all this PBR consumption. It's like a benchmark; all cheap beers I drink are either better or worse than PBR. Looks a clear dark yellow, highly carbonated.

Right away, you taste this. It bubbles in your mouth, then quickly subsides to leave a grain flavor and a tiny bit of citrus. Far less adjunct taste than Bud or Coors, though still slightly noticeable.

It's an average beer all around, but maybe that's why I like it so much. Cheap, easy drinking, and a step up from the mass-market lights. I <3 my PBR.

imprezawrxsti, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of Jesstyr
2.68/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got stuck with this sucker while at the Blue & Gold in NYC. Let's just say the beer was better than the bar, which sported horrible service and little options.

A: Watery tan of coors light fame.

S: Smells something like an old beer, almost metallic.

T/D: In this case the taste is the drinkability, watery with beer-like substance and also a little metallic (can-aged?). It sure does go down easy, but I'm not sure why to bother?

M: Watery...

Jesstyr, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of wolfpack87
1.75/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Did not like much of anything about the king of college beers PBR. Other than the fact it was very cheap and a fairly smooth drink, it was not a pleasant experience drinking my first and only PBR. The appearance was your standard yellow American lager but once poured had very little foam and basically looked like urine that had been sitting around for a while. Taste left a lot to be desired, one of the worst beers I've ever had to be honest. If you plan on getting drunk and don't want to pay much for it, then go for some PBR. If you actually want to enjoy your beer, I would recommend something else.

wolfpack87, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of Mavajo
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally tried this for the first time, and I have to say...this might be my favorite American Adjunct macro to date.

Appearance is typical - straw yellow with fizzy white head. To my surprise, actually had a bit of lacing. Aroma is fairly typical - malty with a slight citrus zest. Taste is standard grain and malt, but seemed to be slightly tastier than your typical macros and again had that mild citrus zest. Mouthfeel was decent - thin, crisp and generous carbonation. Drinkability is great.

This is a surprisingly good macro. It's still a macro, to be sure, but it's not a complete watery, fizzy mess like I've come to expect. I actually enjoyed this, and you absolutely can't beat that price. Think this'll be my new go-to macro.

Mavajo, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this one on tap (16 oz.) at Carrollton Station in New Orleans. PBR has a thick head and is slightly more golden than the typical straw color of this style. It is clear and bubbly. The taste is pretty much the same as all the other common beers in this category, but it's really good. I find it has a grain taste, with faint metallic notes, and the classic bite of American style lager. Mouthfeel is watery and light. PBR is very fine and holds its own against all others in its class.


RonaldTheriot, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of chrishart74
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A. pours a light yellow. Little head that dissipates quickly much like mine.

S. Nothing much to mention here. A bit of the the normal adjunct smells such as corn and sweetness.

T. Ahh. Crazy as it may sound, I find an unmistakable taste of blueberries which works well as a foil to its other cousins.

M. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Carbonation is a bit high if anything.

D. I have to admit that this is one of the most drinkable beers of all time.

complex - no. However, a clear win in domestic adjuncts!

chrishart74, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

According to my BA profile... this is review #1000... wow. Why review PBR? I was going to do something epic and "white whale", but generally, I am holding all of those cellar collection bottles to share with my Boise homeboys. Honestly, I am reviewing PBR, because bottle for bottle, can for can, I drink more PBR than any other beer. Sierra Nevada Pale and Jubelale probably outweigh it lately, but that's just because the Chevron near my house has screaming deals better than any place in town... so anyway... enough philosophizing.. on to the brew.

24 oz huge tall-boy can picked up at Maverick for about $2.... poured into my Delirium goblet. Surprising 2 finger head... slinks back to a pretty descent cap... leaving nice drapes of white lace... the brew is polished pale gold.

Nose is grainy pale malts.. very clean.. hints of spicy hops??? probably in my imagination.

Flavor is every bit what you expect, but still somehow good/great for the style... a touch of sulfur reminds me how hard really pale clean lagers can be to make.

Body is light and carbonation is medium high... drinkablility is only a notch or two below water... Really great on 100+ days pushing the lawnmower or hanging out at the Symposion and playing Golden Tee.. but really.. for the most part, I must stop drinking this crap at home.

For what it is... it is good.. that said, I always say that "I am done drinking Pabst." If I do drink it, I drink too much and I'm not sure, but my intestines might have an allergy to the blue ribbon. :-)

With out a doubt... this is my favorite Macro... is this all grain?? any adjuncts?


JohnGalt1, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
2.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I decided to try this once and for all just so I can answer back when I say that it is beer for wannabe hipster poseurs who drank it in and attempt to lend themselves and air of ironic nostalgia, and not because it is a particularly good beer, and people reply: "Have you even tried it?" and assume they've won the argument when I say no.

Holy run-on sentence.

In the glass this is a clear, pallid light golden color with a thin head that dissipates down to nothing in short order.

The aroma is faint grains, very clean, very weak.

The taste is vapid. There's so little flavor that really all I can taste is a straw like carbonation. Sort of tastes like a liquid soda cracker. There is just a suggesting of bitterness. Finishes bright and dry.

Light bodied and well carbonated.

About the best thing I can say is that this is a good beer for people who don't like beer in that it doesn't have a whole lot of taste to it whatsoever. Really, PBR is a beer in the same way that beige is a color.

At least now I can say that I've tried it and it confirms my suspicions that people drink it because it's trendy. Not because it's especially good.

MeisterBurger, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of Durge
3.3/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a very pale copper yellow color, clear with minor carbonation. The head quickly resolves to a thin white ring. Lacing is short lived. The aroma is mild cereal with a kiss of lemon. The taste is simple bread and slightly spicey citrus. A little bit of bite from the carbonation so it's reasonably refreshing, though not over bubbly. Certainly very drinkable. Nothing horribly wrong here, better than a lot of easy drinking macro types.

Durge, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Ahh the ole blue ribbon, although it does not deserve any awards from me, besides the wow I need to get drunk cheap award.

look is of a ghost yellow, barely any head.

nose is a skunky sweet concoction, but barely anything.

mouthfeel is a little slimey, but overall crisp and flows easily.

taste is just what you think, nothing pops out, a little sweet, a little skunky malts. overall you can pound them.

which is the point afterall. kudos for the cheap and alright.

Lacesoutcody, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer poured from a can into a pint glass. Beer is yellow and completely clear. Forms a thin white head of small bubbles and there is a lot of carbonation. No lacing.

A little sweet in the nose, smells a little of cereal grain or corn.

Medium to low body, there is a strong aftertaste, mild sweetness up front. Aftertaste negatively affects drinkability. Overall not as good as I remember.

drabmuh, Dec 25, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Consumed right in the heart of Milwaukee's East Side, the Skidmark, er Landmark Lanes. Pours all yellow like it has nobody to impress. Smell, more of that typical Miller old stale couch with beer spilled on it smell that is somehow getting kitcsch value points for memories or something.

Taste is enhanced by a decent yeast strain that is marginally sweet. Minimal hop presence, probably something like East Kent Goldings or Glacier. Those seem to be always used when you can't taste much hops. Mouthfeel, meh. But, hey this stuff is very drinkable, they get better the more you have.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of fbs004
3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

If you like freedom, buy some PBR, probably tastes better than other US macros (ie bud and coors), but unlike those, PBR is actually made in the USA,also it usually is significantly cheaper than its US macro competition. If you want to get some cheap beer, PBR is a solid choice, Get Some!

fbs004, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of psycroptic
3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wow. Soooo many beer pong games. Soooo many flip cup games. Sooo many cans of PBR. They all dot the first few years of my college experience. Hey, nobody can blame us. Cheap cheap, super-duper drinkable and better than bud or miller (certainly miles ahead of natty.)

A: Yep. Just your piss-average pale-golden lager. More of a head initially than most macros, but it dies faster than a level 5 dwarf. Quite translucent, almost transparent really.

S: Yep. Basic upon basic, thought there's a tad more going on than miller lite. Minute amounts of floral hops & even more minute amounts of malts (really it's almost impossible to pick up any sort of maltiness here; i'm probably just reading into it cause i've had so much of this drink that I've got the insides permanently burned into my skull.)

T: Yep. Although, to be honest, this is an adjunct I can actually stomach for more than 2 drinks. There seems to be a bit more flavor here than, like i've said, other American macros. Like, if you try really really hard you can actually taste some miniscule malt character going on, in addition to the super-sweet hops & additives.

M: Yep. A little more carbonated than the rest, but certainly nothing meta-ordinary. Ever since discovering craft/imports, every American mass-produced beer tastes & feels like half carbonated water to me. This ain't no exception.

D: Yep yep yep. There's a reason it's placed alongside Natty Light in the beer aisle; I could drink about 14 of these before I even begin to feel full, and I'm not even that fat of a dude. ;)

It's the beer that party kids who actually enjoy beer tend to buy, and there's no shame in that at all. A little more taste, a little more depth, and a little more character than almost any of the other macros out there. Of course, make no mistake, it's $11.99 a case (!) for a very legitimate reason. Just rest easy knowing that you're not drinking Bud Light. =)

psycroptic, Dec 23, 2009
Photo of bbkd3b
2.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale straw color, looks like a macro. There's 1-finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. There's almost no carbonation to be seen, and no lacing.

S: Really light smelling. Touches of hops, and there's definitely corn in the scent. Really... really faint malts.

T: Not too bad, all in all. The hops are the foremost thing when it's cold. KEEP IT COLD! Otherwise that corn will takeover and make you frown a bit. :(

M: Surprisingly decent mouthfeel. The carbonation looks weak but feels good on the tongue. Body is on the thin side, but not bad or anything. Sorta bitter aftertaste.

D: Eh... for the price, I'll buy 'em. That aftertaste got worse on the second one though, and I just didn't want to go back.

Overall/notes: I bowled a 202 game (first over 200, pretty awesome) and this was the best the bowling alley had to offer. I'm not disappointed at all. I mean, it works for what it is, and that's fine with me! There are better out there, but not too bad.

bbkd3b, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of Natainos
3.78/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice beer.
Has a good taste, drinks well very great price.

taste is sweet, grainy.

smell is soft.

drinks well!

Pabst Blue Ribbon, also known as "PBR", not bad for a gold beer. IT is smooth and worth the $. ZI now know why it has become a cult classic, and song made referencing it.

Natainos, Dec 20, 2009
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
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,401 ratings.