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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.

4,116 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,116
Reviews: 1,488
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 24.83%
Wants: 21
Gots: 252 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,116 | Reviews: 1,488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedChrome


3.13/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear, light neon yellow colored beer, Inch high head was bright white and frothy. Only an occasional bubble or two can be seen rising slowly. Minimal lace in spots.

A stronger than style average grain presence for the style. Plastic aromas are rather pronounced. Very fleeting notes of hop leaf scents fade in and out.

A sweet flavor tasted just like a spoonful of corn flakes. A hint of barley malt, and a fleeting bitterness of hops. Imbalanced, however the flavors do have strength.

Slightly watery texture to the beer. Flavors cling a bit, but almost no carbonation effect on the tongue.

A slightly above average macro lager. Like most of it's brethren it should just be used to wash food down. A go to beer in the style. First baby step towards better beer.

Serving type: can

08-27-2008 18:59:52 | More by RedChrome
Photo of srrn

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I thought I reviewed this a long time ago, been testing it along side of other macros. I consider this the best American Macro Lager, they all can be similar and my favorites all are crisp, light and have no off tastes. This has the right carbonation, the head can actually stick around. Mouthfeel is too thin as the style always is but it does have a bit of bitterness and malt. Adjunct, shile there, is not overpowering.

Serving type: can

08-27-2008 16:46:23 | More by srrn
Photo of changeup45


1.68/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very light-bodied and pale. It has a very grainy aroma and taste. Really not much flavor but that was expected. Doesn't go down all that smooth either making it really a beer I'll probably stay away from. It is cheap enough so if you're strapped for cash and want a cheap drunk, be my guest.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2008 21:27:45 | More by changeup45
Photo of Kemmerlin


2.55/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Light golden color with a medium to light bodied head and no lacing.

S: Light citrus notes mostly like lemon peel. Light yeast and floral hop notes in the background but for the most part its smell is light.

T: Tastes almost like a poorly made vienna lager with floral hop notes and light citrus notes.

M/D: It feels harsh on the tongue and throughout the mouth. The feel hurts the drinkability and isn't the best refreshment.

Serving type: can

08-23-2008 03:03:34 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of josiahschlender


3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta love the 16 oz cans. I keep them around for beer-can chicken... brine the whole bird overnight, grill it on a can for an unbelievable chicken.

Poured about 2/3 of the can into a pint glass, leaving the rest to steam the chicken. Nice tall white cap that fades quickly, leaving a film and ring and --surprise-- moderate lacing. Color is light yellow-golden.

Aromas are clean, corny and sweet. Not too complex or strong, but they're definitely there, and not off-putting to me.

Flavors are not bad, as long as it's cold. Sweet grains, kinda like white bread and corn flakes. Just the tiniest bit of hops bittering at the end. Clean finish with just a bit of residual bitterness at the end. Begs another swig, it goes down easy with the crisp, light feel.

Definitely my macro of choice. Not incredible, but a refreshing summer lager. Can't beat the price, too. When you factor price into drinkability, the score goes up for me. Now I better go check on that chicken...

Serving type: can

08-22-2008 03:57:58 | More by josiahschlender
Photo of AustinBeerLvr


3.78/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally able to get this in bottles here in Central Texas (although they are no picnic to find). Poured a 12 ounce bottle w/a date marked "10208" on the side of the bottle.

A: Nice golden color, much darker than one would expect from a macro lager. Actually pours with a decent head, which sticks around just a bit longer than your average macro that you actually bother pouring.

S: PBR has a very distinctive, somewhat strong nose, in that the malty corn flavors are very present, but with a nice fresh one, you can especially smell the hop bite that will soon greet the palate.

T&M: Very similar to PBR out of a can, but this particular six pack of bottles I have seems to have a much drier finish than PBR normally has. Bitterness is still there, but a smooth dryness (at least of this six pack), distinguishes bottles from cans. The full mouthfeel (for a macro lager) is definitely present, with a nice carbonation that contributes to the refreshing feel of this beer.

Drinkability & Notes: So, the big question, is this worth going somewhat out of my way to buy PBR in bottles vs. just going to the close by grocer and getting a 12 pack in cans? In my opinion, no, it isn't. From my experience, the real key to PBR tasting its best is freshness, which due to distribution here in Texas, is generally out of cans. That said, the bottled version is excellent as well. I honestly believe that some people (including myself at times), are hung up on that a good beer can't beer served out of a can. Well, this has been proven wrong, and maybe PBR does taste a bit better out of a can.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 02:40:12 | More by AustinBeerLvr
Photo of drxandy


2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz twist off glass bottle to standard pint, pours a crystal clear golden, nice carbonation, bubbles rise, foamy white head dissipates to nice lacing.

smells very faint, light adjuncts, malts, hops

tastes light and crisp, slight corn, malts, hops, light appley sweetness, high carbonation makes the flavors pop

mouthfeel is crisp, light, very sessionable, a great choice for low price point, my favorite macro brew pretty much.

paired with aged cheddar, mmm tasty

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2008 18:58:44 | More by drxandy
Photo of scottyshades


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

I was surprised after drinking this beer...I have heard about it for a while, but I thought its popularity was primarily in the west and in the north...I discovered that a local convenience store carried this so I tried it...I think that this beer is much better than Coors, and all the other Macros because of its price, and thats it...

Serving type: can

08-16-2008 19:19:16 | More by scottyshades
Photo of mooseisloose


3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle smell is corny and sweet but more sweet than corny. Pours to a light yellow color with a macro bubble foamy head and lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass like a TV beer. Taste is lightly bitter throughout with a sweetness in the middle and finish. Also finishes slightly dry. Mouthfeel is great not overly carbonated but a little chewy. Not bad for a 164 year old brew. Still a classic. I think the last time I had one was almost 30 years ago. For its style flavorful and extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 22:54:52 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of jjamieson36


3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When making judgments regarding PBR, it all comes down to comparison group. As a cheap, American-style lager the most direct comparisons are to Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, and PBR is a clear choice over the numerous variations of these big 3. When drinking this beer, one can actually taste a hint of hops, something that is lacking in the more watery big 3 beers. Although not a fine beer by any means, it is a good, simple beer to enjoy at parties or on a hot summer day.

Serving type: can

08-14-2008 16:01:37 | More by jjamieson36
Photo of Stonebreaker


3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks like a pissy yellow beer, the decent head quickly disappears with no lacing. Carbonation is apparent in the tasting but not the glass

Smell: Reminiscent of canned vegetables and some sort of extract heavy non beer product.

Taste: Very similar to an MGD or miller high life lots of corn sweetness, a little bit of carb bite, almost no hops to speak of, just the kiss, as they say. Finish is artificial, spinach and faint goat cheese, but what do I know?

Mouthfeel: Average.

Drinkability: For 14 bucks a 30 pack I'll drink this like water and with my kraut heritage and the non-profit factor this is officially my party beer, along with a good intro craft brew of course. 1893, I'm with you, though I have to wonder is this the same beer probably not. So what. True story my tee-totaling ancestor, great grandfather or something, on his deathbed was asked what he could possibly want and he said give me a Pabst!!! It's true, Prost!

Serving type: can

08-13-2008 23:31:00 | More by Stonebreaker
Photo of collegemate


1.63/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1


I encounter this garbage all the time at parties and it is absolutely atrocious in every way imaginable. I will never understand the love for this beer. One day when I was six years old I drank cat urine because these older kids dared me to do so, and it just so happens that the consumption of this abomination of a beer acts as a time warp back to that day. I'm saying PBR tastes like cat urine. It truly does. The appearance of the beer is very unsettling even when I'm drunk. If I look at it, the liquid itself (not to mention the can), makes me feel uneasy and nauseous.

The smell is horrid, though admittedly it is not as bad as the aroma of cat urine (leave that to the taste). The mouthfeel is just plain bad. And, making things worse, PBR is entirely unchuggable- leaving the presence of PBR and the absence of every other beer at parties extremely devastating.You can't even chug it because the taste is so painful to the tongue. It is low content, making the suffering of drinking it practically pointless.

If you want a crappy American beer, choose Busch.

Serving type: can

08-13-2008 03:51:51 | More by collegemate
Photo of vikingloki


2.78/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ever since PBR won the Gold Medal at the 2007 GABF, I've been interested in trying it. I was looking for a CHEAP summer lawn mower beer, and I can say, PBR does the job and fits the bill.

$11.50 a case of cans.Perfectly good for those hot humid summer sit outside and sweat days. I am a homebrewer, I can't even make my own that cheap.

Pours yellow and fizzy into a pint glass, huge white head that rapidly disappears and leaves little lacing. No real smell. No apparent hop flavor, it's mildly malty. Best when very cold.I can drink a six pack easy and will have no ill effects, in fact, I'll be sober in a couple of hours.

I've had everything from St Bernardus Abt 12 to Victory Prima Pils, German, English, Belguim and even Norweigian. Thrilling to find a cheap enjoyable drinkable beer.

Serving type: can

08-08-2008 23:19:30 | More by vikingloki
Photo of Goliath


3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This will be my first Pabst Blue Ribbon ever, BA review number 248. From a gigantic 24 ounce can into my Westvleteren goblet just for the irony.

Here goes:

Pours an attractive clear golden color with a half inch of bright white head. Poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is pils typical, but better than most macro inspired beer. Familiar pale pils malt dominates leaving a bready impression. Nearly no hops available for the nose.

Taste is not too bad for what it is. That pale pils malt takes the lead showing off some bready notes. Not too much else is really going on in this brew but I've found a little more respect for it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Low alcohol makes this beer easily sessionable. Flavor is not the best, but better than plenty of macro brews. It's manageable.

Serving type: can

08-08-2008 21:25:40 | More by Goliath
Photo of BravoTwo


3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good American macro lager that beats the big three handily

A - Light clear straw yellow with a very minimal head that dissipated quickly

S - Average smell on the lighter side with no real standout, just there

T - Nice malty taste with a hint of muted hops. Tasty and refreshing beer

M - clean but average mouthfeel. Undistinguished from other American Macros

D - Good drinksbility. Easily a good beer for a ballgame or hanging out with friends. Very drinkable beer

As an alternative to a big, expressive beer PBR is a much better choice IMO than any of the other macros out there.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2008 21:58:10 | More by BravoTwo
Photo of klintok21


3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think this has to be my favorite American macro. Has a pretty good full taste. For the price, this is worth every penny. What, $16 (+ .10cent dep./per can for me) for a 'dirty thirty'? Hard to beat for this. I try and keep my fridge stocked with this as my 'week' beer to save money. This is well worth a try, and if you like, your wallet will like better!

Serving type: can

08-05-2008 02:56:06 | More by klintok21
Photo of johnd513


3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good fallback that I order frequently at the wooden nickel in Marquette MI. This beer pours a golden straw color with a two finger head that quickly disappears. Tastes a little less watered down than your average American macro. I'll take this over Bud or Miller any day.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2008 15:41:43 | More by johnd513
Photo of mrsoul12


4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not going to win any RB awards anytime soon but, dollar-for-dollar, it stacks up pretty favorably to its immediate competition (aka American macros and other pale lagers). Aroma is weak, but slightly sweet and grainy. Flavor is very smooth and dominated with sweet malt flavor. Nothing too strong or complex but is far superior to the Bud, Coors, etc. products out there. If you can't afford the good stuff, you could certainly do worse than PBR.

Serving type: can

07-30-2008 11:43:42 | More by mrsoul12
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass. I've been enjoying this stuff a lot out of the can lately, so I decided to give the bottle a try.

A - Pale and clear, decent 2 finger head with short retention. A little bit of lace however.

S - This brew still stinks in my opinion. The DMS is very prominent, along with old socks and rubber.

T - The brew starts off with a mild sweetness and then begins to dry out with cereal grain flavor. A touch of bitterness comes in late palate, with a faint lemon/earthy flavor from the hops. Finishes clean.

M - Carbonation is high, but seems less artificial than BMC products. While a little thin, it's surprisingly not at all watery.

D - It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to macros. It's not a particularly engaging beer, but it's a solid, simple brew proving that a macro lager can also be a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 07:26:09 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of jokelahoma


3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recent talk of "American" brews now that A/B is Belgian owned made me want to review this. Had it on tap at Old Chicago in Olathe.

Poured a light yellow, slightly darker than the "big 3" macros, with a huge head that stuck around for awhile.

The nose is full of grainy base malts and corn. Whether that's from DMS or the corn in the recipe, who can say? There are no detectable hops in the nose at all.

The taste is very bright and crisp with an acidic bite from the ample carbonation. No hops to be found here in terms of flavor. The beer is quite sweet, which is why I tend to add a couple shakes of salt to it. However, there's none of the tinge of sourness that one gets from the other macro lagers out there. This one is sweet, yes, but quite clean. The corn aroma doesn't seem to lend itself to a corn taste, which is a good thing.

The mouthfeel is very light, and made even lighter by the high levels of carbonation. Works well for the style.

This is a good beer for what it is. This isn't a RIS or a barleywine. it isn't supposed to overwhelm you with flavors. This is a good ol' American macro lager, great for mowing the lawn or watching a ball game. It's better than its competition by far.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2008 19:51:11 | More by jokelahoma
Photo of KI9A


3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmmm. I figured I'd sample the new US owned brewery leaders' product. Haven't had one since 1983, so, here goes!

A: poured from a 24oz-er into a pils glass. Pale yellow, decent head.

S: Hey, smells like a beer. Not flat smelling like other macro lagers!

T: sweet malts give way to bitter hops. Slight metallic taste, no after taste.

M/D: Very impressed. For a low buck macro, I prefer this to Bud or Miller.

I now this sounds borderline, well, assinine, but, it really reminds me a a New Glaurus lager I just had yesterday, called Totally Naked. I'm impressed.

Serving type: can

07-18-2008 01:35:08 | More by KI9A
Photo of HalfFull


3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz can into a pint glass, this brew pours your typical straw yellow of the the Macro Lager world. Little head and retention but more lacing than expected and able to re-up a surface film.

Offers a clean malty nose, yet a bit hollow. Hints of cereal grains are surely there, but a strong corn presence is not. Kudos to that. After some air a bit of sour yeast emanates, rather unusual for the style but nice to find.

Taste is a bit grainy and lightly sweet, slightly creamy and citric in nature. Best served well chilled yet in a glass. Most macros I prefer direct from the bottle/can. Feel benefits from a supportive carbonation level, but is by no means 'fizzy'.

Serving type: can

07-15-2008 06:04:52 | More by HalfFull
Photo of RTL44


4.08/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The last time I drank PBR, I was in high school and i puked.

Since that time, I regarded PBR as one of the worst beers ever made. Pabst, Blatz, Top Hat, Iron City, Cook's, Shaeffer, etc.

More recently, a friend of mine came over withe his "beloved" PBR and left a couple in the fridge.

Despite being offered, I refused (many times).

Over the course of the next several days, I ran out of beer, and had no choice but to drink the PBR left over in my fridge.

I was SHOCKED by its decent flavor, mouthfeel, and drinkability.

As much as I consider myself a beer connoisseur, this really threw me for a loop.

I don't understand it, but PBR is now one of my favorite beers. The fact that it is about $6/$7 for a 12 pack makes it even more remarkable.

FWIW, I did buy a 6-pack in bottles and it was not nearly as good as it was in the cans. My whole world is now completely upside-down.

UPDATE: I do still love PBR, but I found something out about it that makes it even better! As the economy has tanked and beer prices have skyrocketed, I experimented with mixing some of my favorite beers with cheaper beers to make it go further. I know that sounds pathetic, but hear me out. PBR is the PERFECT mixer. I have tried almost every cheap beer to use as a mixer and they ALL detract from the flavor - EXCEPT for PBR. I even hesitate to mention this because this information is worth a lot of money in my opinion. I am serious. As I write this, I am having a Sierra Nevada Flipside Rde IPA mixed 1:1 with a PBR and it is delicious! I do this with Dogfish Head, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada, and many other IPA's, Pale Ale's, etc. It is an AWESOME discovery!

Serving type: can

07-14-2008 06:05:20 | More by RTL44
Photo of tjkurz


3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - the tallboy can is a lovely image to behold but it poured a fairly clear yellow - very thin head that disipated quickly. I poured a schlitz next before hand and the head on the pbr was gone well before it cousin disipated.

Aroma - a pleasant sweet stray some floral.

Taste - sweeter with some hint of hops near the middle back of the throat. Lightly flavored but not at all negligible.

Feels thin and lacking in carbs - I don't know how old the can is - but that may have something to do with it.

Drinkablity - Pabst is nothing if not drinkable - I reviewed this side by side with schlitz which is slightly better in quality but if your looking for quality your not going to drink either of these - if you are looking for a nice picnic beer to slam ice cold out of a can and still know your drinking beer - I think this will do.

Serving type: can

07-07-2008 01:05:16 | More by tjkurz
Photo of Donnie2112


3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pale straw colored, light head, nothing special in the looks department

smell: typical of an American macro, light beery. Clean grainy aromas

taste: light clean flavors of faintly sweet malts, a bit of alcohol, not much for perceivable hops but clean and nice for the style

mouthfeel: light in body, fizzy real smooth

drinkability: extremely drinkable, this stuff is slam-able. It's the kind of beer that you can sit around and appreciate or more commonly forget and about and drink whilst watching football or enjoying the company of friends.

Serving type: can

07-06-2008 23:03:52 | More by Donnie2112
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,116 ratings.