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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.

4,616 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,616
Reviews: 1,537
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 37
Gots: 448 | 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:
- Pabst Blue Ribbon is brewed in the finest traditions of an American Premium Lager dating back to 1844. Brewed with a combination of 2 & 6-row malted barley, select cereal grains and American and European hops, Pabst Blue Ribbon is fermented with a proprietary lager yeast. Our unique fermentation and maturation process results in a smooth, full bodied beer with a clean, crisp finish with a fine noble hop aroma.
- ABV% 4.74
- Calories 144

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,616 | Reviews: 1,537 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of katybee
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Wow. This could be used as a standard against which to judge the microbrews and more authentically brewed beers available these days. Crisp, refreshing pounder...almost tasteless.

Light pale yellow, thin to no head, with lots of carbonated bubbling.

Presence of crisp hops to the smell, but nothing special, no citrus, no green bitterness.

Tasted refreshing, with no excess of flavors, just crisp hops and carbonation but watered down with graininess. Something to clear your palate with. No malt at all; no sweetness, no aftertaste either.

Drinkable, like lightly flavored soda water...to be pounded, not savored. Still, I like the lack of overt flavoring and this is a thirst quencher.

katybee, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

PBR... kind of an American classic.

Well, honestly, this beer is better than I expected. Poured from a 16oz can with a virtually non-existant head and transparent golden color. Smells of faint corn and barley with a very slight spiciness of hops. Nothing overwhelming. Taste: slight dryness and later, a bit of a hop pinch. Overall, not a bad or great beer. Definately beats the big 3...no question. A surprisingly adequate beer, nothing fancy, but is fun to have once in a while.

Beerbluesbiology, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of Domingo
3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Yup, every now and then I'll buy PBR when I just want something simple and easy drinking.
Pours a really foamy pale yellow color. No real lacing, but lots of head initially. Not as bubbly as the Bud family, though.
The nose is pretty mild. Mild sweet/sour Sunbeam bread.
The flavor carries the same white bread notes along with some hints of corn and yes...even just a hint of hops. I'm pretty sure there are some Columbus hops in there, but they're very mild (obviously).
Drinking a ton of this is pretty easy to do and it'll work with pub food and snacks of all kinds. While it looks pretty foamy initially, the carbonation isn't too strong and leaves a pretty smooth texture.
Obviously this won't replace a truly good beer, but it really is pretty close to the top of its chosen style.
Not a bad beer to keep around and it can work pretty well as a palate cleanser or just something to wash down a cheeseburger.

Domingo, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Danmc200
2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It's "aight"
Best to drink at a party when drinking mostly out of compulsiveness and out of the can.
I often buy a 6 pack of pints thinking I've found a cheap way to drink. I always forget that I have trouble drinking more than one with serious attention. PBR bores me.

Danmc200, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of gopens44
2.73/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, after the thread a few days ago about "why PBR has become cool", I figured that since I had the time and lack of anything better to do, I would give one another whirl. I had to buy a warm sixer of SNPA, so I needed a lubricant of sorts that was already cold before the Ale cooled off a little. You see, I was away from home and bored as all hell in the billeting room I was in. This is the story:

A - Didn't have a glass nor the will to separate this from it's metallic delivery vessel. I have seen it in a glass before, and I can assure you that it is bold golden yellow with a thick foamy head if poured with any aggression at all

S - Syrupy malty thickness amongst the corn wallop that ensues. Sweet as well. When I was like 10, I toured the actual Pabst brewery in Milwaukee. This smelled just like the brewery. Kinda neat. Kinda sad.

T - Much like the smell of this brew, it tasted sweet and demanded far more attention than its American Adjunct contemporaries. At least with this one, they make an effort to give it a more balanced taste.

M - Highly carbonated and a little thick and fuzzy on the tongue.

You could do a hell lot worse when it comes to a BMC or adjunct at all. Even though this is review was for the can (that's right, the BIG can. Yes sir!) I have had this on tap as well, and it is far more refreshing than anything with Bud, Miller or Coors on it (yes, I know, Miller Coors make it. It's still better). It fails in comparison to most any craft beer of quality, but probably better than any other macro out there IMO.

gopens44, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of PapillonJohn
4.43/5  rDev +50.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'll admit that Pabst Blue Ribbon is one of my favorite beers of all time.

Honestly, it's hit or miss. Sometimes I get a beer can that is skunky and then the next one will be fine. I encounter this every once and a while however its not an every beer occurance.

Appearance: The beer pours a light straw pale yellow color and the lacing lasts for only tantamount of seconds.

Smell: Pabst usually smells pleasant. Like I said sometimes it's hit or miss. Smells of light corn fruitiness with a tad of hops and very light alcohol.

Taste: Once again, can some times be hit or miss. I really enjoy the flavor myself, personally. Very fruity with a nice carbonation and bit of bite.

Mouthfeel: Light on the palette, easy to swallow, and very, very refreshing.

Drinkability: I could do an entire case in one sitting without feeling too full or losing interest in the beer itself.

PBR is my go to beer. Cheap, delicious...most of the time and very easy to find.

PapillonJohn, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of callmeclemens
3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Oh, what to be said about PBR. I'm of the age where it's a rather popular drink, it seems to be the philly hipster beer of choice, in my short life on living in the city I've watched in double in price and have remained baffled.

Now though, I think I understand. PBR doesn't taste awful, atleast as long as I'm not paying 6 dollars for 22oz of it at a bar. It's also much better then you're Natural Ice and Busch.

The Main flavour I've noticed in PBR is water, thats always the first thing that hits my pallet, water, then some slight grain flavor that mixes with the alchohal.

The appeal to PBR is that it isn't the University Beer bong beer, so cheers to you PBR for being the beer of an Overpaying Counter Culture.

callmeclemens, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours very light yellow with little head retention and no aroma. Very light mouthfeel. Drinkability is good. I don't like light American Lager, but I can enjoy a PBR. It has little flavor, but the flavor it has is good. I've had people try to tell me before that it's an image thing. Bull crap. PBR tastes better than the other big American lagers.

, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of wmtxbb
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into pint glass

Appearance: Very clear yellow with head that dissipates into non-existence. Bit of carbonation that finds its way up to the top.

Smell: Candy like scent, little bit of pilsner malt. Not too much there.

Taste: Clear crisp flavor. Not very complex, but not bad. Zing like effect at the end from carbonation and alcohol.

Drinkability: Okay, so I'm not going to give this beer a very high rating on taste because there isn't much flavor there. I didn't give this beer a low score because the flavor that is there isn't too bad. I will say this though: this beer is very drinkable. It's crisp and refreshing which makes it the perfect adjunct lager. Besides it's dirt cheap which makes it a great beer for the price and among the major brewers it is easily the best pilsner.

wmtxbb, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of tewaris
2/5  rDev -32%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Being in a bar with nothing exciting on tap and "domestics" cheap, I thought I'd finally review the hipster nectar.

Looks clear and light golden in the shaker pint glass with no head retention or lacing whatsoever. There is some sweetness in the smell but that's about it; very characterless smell. Taste is of lightly sweetened, carbonated water with some malty feel in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is watery, with a medium finish. Drinkability score follows from the other categories.

tewaris, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of weizenbob
2.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce can to a mug. The can claims that PBR was selected as "America's best in 1893" which was a long time ago. Pours yellow. A frothy full finger head forms atop and disappears within a minute leaving frothy lacing on the mug.

The smell is sweet and fruity up front with some watery graininess attached to the tail end. There's a strange metallic scent hiding in there somewhere as well.

The primary flavor is water. Surprisingly it doesn't give off the adjunct grain taste that I've come to expect from BMC. It's just watery malt. There's no real hop character to speak of. It finishes with just the slightest bitterness, likely from the carbonation.

The mouthfeel isn't bad at all. It's got a great malty feel and an appropriate amount of carbonation to balance it without killing the smoothness.

This can of PBR was pretty inoffensive and if you could get over the lack of flavor, you could session this pretty easily. With a less watered down flavor, this has the potential to be a great session lager. Overall though, I'm pretty thankful that American beer has gotten better than this since 1893.

weizenbob, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of bastardface
1.38/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

There is not much to say about this beer except that it is pretty awful. I understand that has a history to it and to some people it is cool to drink. Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood will make any beer drinkable. Honestly this beer is only bearable if you are low on cash. The taste is very similar to a metallic can taste. It is pretty bitter. I would not recommend this beer to any serious beer drinker. Unfortunately I have had my share of PBRs. There really is no smell or taste which could be referable to something attractive. I do not enjoy this beer at all and if I had my way I will never have one again. I suppose this is the beer that got so many people smoking in bars. Cigarettes taste better than this brew.

bastardface, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
2.35/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow color with a white head that quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Smells of weak malts and alcohol. Taste is very easy going, balanced between a touch of hops and a touch of malt with a little bit of corn thrown in there. It is pretty refreshing and has a clean finish. Has a thin mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Overall, its a fine party beer, but not something I'll choose to drink for taste.

EDIT: Still not sure why this is the official drink of hipsters...

gkunkle, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 24 oz. "tall boy" can into a mug. Can has freshness date of Jan. 2011. I took notes on this beer while drinking just as a second measure.

Appearance - Pours that ever familiar golden straw color with a bright white head. The head was about 2 fingers thick had a pretty sudsy/soapy character and dissipated at a regular rate, eventually leaving a thick white film on top of the beer going down the glass. There's also some spotty lacing going down the glass, but it eventually fades.

Smell - Not much to speak of here. It smells like a typical American beer, but much more subdued. For what smell there is, the hints of corn are the most obvious. Later on there's some slightly sweet malt, but overall a pretty generic but mediocre smell. Also a very slightly astringent alcohol smell, but well masked by the corn and malts.

Taste - First thing I noticed was the coarseness of the combination of malts and corn. It's not a bad combo, though; it's fairly refreshing and crisp and would probably go well with pizza or burgers. There's just a hint of hop bitterness as the beer goes down, but it's very watered-down and palatable; I would go so far to say that it's "weak." This brew has all the makings of a standard American lager and displays each of them well, but overall, it's just a very "meh" type of taste. There are no particular developments in taste as the glass continues; goes down nearly the same with every gulp, but I did notice that the bitterness gets slightly more pronounced as the beer warms up and the coarseness is more pronounced, but it finishes fairly clean.

Mouthfeel: Thin, fizzy, watery. Not a bad thing though. The mouthfeel makes the flavors a little more digestible and pleasing. A friend of mine describes this as "beer-flavored water - in a good way" and I think that hits the nail on the head. It finishes dry and clean to compliment the crispness of the beer.

Drinkability: Now I see why some people have this as a last resort beer. You could drink this all night and barely feel anything because of its thinness and fairly inviting flavor. I could have continued with another one but couldn't do it because of the flavor.

Overall, not bad but not fantastic by any means. I would get this if I was in a bind for beer and had no other choice, and it's probably one of the better mass-produced lagers out there; it will always serve as a better option than any BMC brews.

Groomsy, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of shredsofautumn
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz. All-American can purchased 10/25/2010 in Easthampton, MA.

Appearance- Poured fairly hard. Revealed a light orange/straw body on this american adjunct with a one finger head.

Smell- Husk adjunct detected. Some floral aromas, and some sharp grains.

Taste- Astringent front, mellow back. Taste of corn husk, crisp and clean aftertaste. Doesn't stick around much. I can't be too vividly appealing with the taste description of this. It's an american classic, but it's also an american adjunct style.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body for an adjunct. Fizzy.

Drinkability- Pretty good. Nothing offensive in this brew. Better from a bottle, but good from the can. I'd pick this over the big three anyday. Gets to be quite filling after a few, but it's a good american macro-brew.

shredsofautumn, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of gatorguy
2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't go wrong with PBR for a cheap beer. Pours a light gold color with a fizzy head that quickly fades and leaves little lacing. Smell has some hop notes to it. Taste wise it's quite good for an adjunct lager, some hops, malts and a slight sweetness is in the mix. Doesn't leave a bad after taste and is highly drinkable. A great beer when you're on a budget or when with friends.

gatorguy, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Kromes
2.98/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear pale straw color with what eventually becomes a thin line of soapy bubbles on top.

S: Smells OK.... Some sort of sweet grain aroma and a slight skunk hop aroma.

T: Surprised by the taste...not all that bad. It is sweet and has a bite to it, but the taste isn't horrible. Some sort of sweet starchy flavor with a decent enough hop flavor to round it out.

M: pretty smooth. Good carbonation. Finish is virtually invisible....no bad aftertaste. The only part I don't like is that it leaves a gross syrupy sweet film on everything that it touches.

D: Well, the flavor is ok, it is light and not too expensive. Wouldn't seek it out, but definitely can roll with the PBR.

Kromes, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What can I say? I LOVE PBR!

A beer this cheap should not be this tasty. Pretty much better than most anything else out there for the same price.

Doesnt really keep any head, no lacing.

This beer has almost no smell to it, just the lightest touch of grains.

The taste department is where PBR delivers. Nice bit of sweet malt and a teeny tiny bit of hops/alcohol taste breaking through, far more flavorful than its competitors.

Great for a hot summer day or taking the edge off after work. This has always been and may always be my favorite cheap beer.

StoutyMcStouters, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of Evocatus
2.68/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a straw pale yellow with a foamy white head. Aroma was feint, but I could get some watered-down malts. Not much taste, just thin malts and an odd taste I can't really describe. Thin, watery, not too carbonated. I guess it's drinkable since it's mostly like water. The bad taste isn't really apparent seeing how thin it is. I can see why party-goers like it, but if the purpose is to get drunk, just get cheap liquor, it'll do the job faster and in less volume so you don't feel bloated.

Evocatus, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of ohndray
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very comparable to most BIG brewers in every way. BUT... I prefer this beer to any big brewer on taste, price, AND quality. Not every beer can be top notch. But when I'm on a budget and want to get a six pack in... this is my go to beer.

Don't get me wrong.. I enjoy a good IPA. But this is, in my opinion, the best of the worst.

Drinkability is excellent. An ice chest full of these is heaven to me with good company.

ohndray, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of beersensei305
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this lager in a can, bottle, and off of a tap. It pours a pale yellow with a big head that disaptes quickly and leaves some light lacing. The smell is a sweet malt and grain with a slight hint of hops. This lager tastes light and clean. Has a smooth mouthfeel and quick refreshing. This lager beats out any of the big three in taste and it works well for those on a budget.

beersensei305, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Derranged
1.88/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Had this a few times.

A- Straw pale yellow

S- A little like vomit, and something else I cant describe.

T- Metallic, bitter, sour, pretty much the same as Budweiser, only the flavor is stronger. It left a sour film on my gums.

M- thin and very carbonated

D- I did manage to drink 10 of these one night. I was on a budget, and I was stuck with this, until we got to the bar. Never again.

No offense to anyone who likes it, but this beer is just nauseating, worse than Budweiser. Overrated for sure, I just can't understand how so many people on this rate it as high as they do. Oh well, its not the end of the world.

Derranged, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
2.6/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Clear golden yellow with a fading think head which leaves plenty of spotty lacing around the glass.

S - Steely and grassy with fading hops

T - Somewhat bitter hops with grassy tendencies. Run-of-the-mill malt attempts to break through, leading to a steely, citrus zest finish.

M - Medium body, although most of the beer tasted like the inside of a can.

D - Smoother than most beers of the same style.

PBR is my favorite adjunct lager. End.

xnicknj, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of secondtooth
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The classic, quintessential American adjunct lager pours an unimpressive, pale golden, with a sweet and malty grain (corn) scent. The taste is sweet and simple, with little evidence of hops or complexity. It's a no-frills lager that isn't arty or crafty, but provides easy (and cheap) refreshment on a hot day. PBR scores points for remaining independent (of the big beer monopolies) and fully American-owned. Hipsters and cheapsters alike can enjoy this one. When I'm on a tight budget, and a good craft brew isn't in the cards, this is my go-to cheap beer.

secondtooth, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Its one of those beers that some people hate and some people love. I'm really in the middle on this one and I can't really choose either way. If I have to drink it I will only drink it cold. If it warms too much it tastes like piss. Some people despise it, but I think they are truly missing the point of it -- its meant to taste the way that it does because it is the 'blue collar' beer. Its not supposed to be the BA beer or the 'rich guys' beer. It is a simple brew and if you don't like it, don't drink it. If you do, then cheers!
Pours a clear yellow color with a two finger white head and a little lacing. Smells of corn, grain, and some sweet malts. Has a pretty good malt character to the taste as well as the slightest undertone of hops. Mouthfeel is fairly thin but the carbonation backs it up and adds a certain smoothness. Drinkability is average.
Bottom line: A pretty cheap average beer.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 11, 2010
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 4,616 ratings.