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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.

4,690 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,690
Reviews: 1,545
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 38
Gots: 479 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,690 | Reviews: 1,545 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a pale straw yellow into my SA Perfect Pint with over two fingers of white, fluffy head that dissipates at a moderate pace and leaves some pretty good looking lacing to be honest. [edit] Lacing disappears later on.

Smell - Grains, bready and sweet malts. That's about it.

Taste - Similar to the nose - only flavors I really notice are some sickly sweetness and grains and just a hint of malt.

Mouthfeel - Lighter bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - No I'm not a hipster. No I wouldn't pick this beer over others to drink. However, when you are in the mood for just something that is refreshing, easily quaffable, and downright easy to drink...this is my beer. I would rather have this over pretty much any other macro, and for what it is, it isn't bad. Despite my liking good beer, I honestly do not like pairing some of my favorite styles (i.e. IPA, DIPA) with food at say a BBQ. There is normally just too much flavor for me while eating food, so PBR is a damn good beer to drink with good BBQ, and after I'm done eating I'll open up the good stuff.

Photo of FreshHawk
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, very pale yellow/gold color. With a nice sized, foamy, bubbly white head. Pretty good retention that leaves a thin foamy layer of lace.

S - Typical American Adjunct Lager smell with a grainy, husky and some corn aroma. Pale malt smell with a slight mineral aroma. Nothing new or noteworthy here.

T - Pretty typical American Adjunct Lager taste. Pretty strong grainy taste with some pale malt and very faint bready taste. Very faint mineral and just the smallest amount of an apple taste. Almost no hop presence, just a touch of grassy hops at the finish.

M - Lighter body with a good amount of carbonation. Crisp and thin feel. Typical for the style.

D - Easy to drink, like the style should be. Doesn't make me want to grab another really, but it is nice for a cheap refreshing beer.

Notes: Pretty similar to others in the style. Nothing all that special compared to others, but for a cheaper price, this an Miller High Life are probably top choices for macro beers for me. Not a bad beer for what it is.

Photo of 828beagle
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I remember an old advertisement for PBR- "Rednecks, white socks, blue ribbon beer." For me that says it all. A very simple beer. It is what it is. Good when out on a boat or for a backyard bbq. A classic all American beer without all the expensive advertising. Looks and tastes much like Coors, pale gold, fizzy head, extremely watery, refreshing on a hot summer's day, and very sessionable.

Photo of jthor018
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've drank this warm and cold from a bottle, a can, and a tap. In all cases it looks like piss mixed with seltzer water and tastes like water. There really is no smell or taste other than a generic "beer". If you only want to get drunk it does the trick. If you want to get hung over it will also do the trick. It isn't as cheap as it used to be. I can get a 12 pack of High Life or Natty Light cheaper than I can get a 6 pack of PBR. It is easy to put away a 12 pack of this beer and not feel disgusted. Most drinkable of all the "cheap" beers.

Photo of jwhancher
2.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Needed a cheap beer to drink over the ensuing week, so I picked up a case last Saturday. Have had this one what seems like a million times or more. Oh well....here's my review:

A: Very clear beer with frothy, 3-4 fingers white head. Lots of carbonation. Looks a light golden, almost a light piss yellow color. For what it's worth, it doesn't look quite bad.

S: Not one of the better qualities. Smells grainy. Maybe like rice, but most likely corn adjuncts. I get no noticeable aroma of hops. I do pick up the metallic can aromas.

T: Very bland tasting lager beer. Likely do to the adjuncts. Makes it very easy to drink, but definitely not something you want to savor and sip. For obvious reasons, this one is geared for the pounding session to get hammered. This is actually more like a seltzer water.

M: Very light tasting but with excellent carbonation (hence the seltzer reference). This one is more to wet you whistle, not one to sip and marvel at the complexities.

D: A very drinkable beer mostly because it does not offend or challenge any expectations, preferences, or real intriguing taste qualities. This one is good for tailgating or for the occasion when the wallet is light or the credit card balance is too high. I grew up with this one through college, so I do give it props in this category.

Final note: I wish all of the "hipsters" didn't try and make this beer their own. This was definitely one of my fallback beers....the one I turned to when I was poor and didn't know anything about craft brews. I actually would drink this one a tad more, but the damn hippies, posers, and alternative/emo crowd had to come along and ruin it.

Photo of uhhhaaron
3.3/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

consumed 01-31-2010, 12oz can into pint glass.

rating to style..

poured a light golden color..with a minimal head that left lots of little bubbles. head quickly left a thin film over the top.

the smell was very faint.. grain..a little metal? and also just a tad bit of cooked corn... fairly better smell than your average BMC's

taste was not bad. initial taste was somewhat sweet.. malts? very very faint hop presence in there. not a bad lawn mower beer.

mouthfeel was light bodied with average carbonation..

drinkability is good on this one.. again considering the style of beer it is. would i take this over craft beer? NO, but if i had a long days work and wanted to unwind while saving some cash i'd settle with PBR.. much rather have this than Bud or coors or miller..

Photo of Lauthaha
1.88/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a 16.9 ounce beer glass.

Appearance: Whoops! Heavy pour results in MASSIVELY foamy head (four or five iinches...yikes) which actually settles into a decent two-finger head after a moment. User error there. Beer is a pale golden color with abundant carbonation which eases off after a few moments. Looks filtered, not murky at all. The receding head leaves a light trace of foam around the inside of the glass. All things considered, it looks like an adjunct lager should.

Smell: Ouch...heavy corn alcohol invades my nostrils. Absolutely no trace of anything else in my opinion. Rotting corn.

Taste: Cold, saltless urine. That's about the best I can do. Vinegar and grain battle in futility over who will have the strongest taste. In the end, there isn't much of an aftertaste, which is the best thing I can say about the taste. Even for what it is, this is poor.

Mouthfeel: Very oily...not something I would expect from a beer. Unpleasantly slimy, leaves a film after imbibed.

Drinkability: Low. Not recommendable. If it were literally ICE cold and it was being chugged, it might be a "do-able" beer. As it stands, I don't know if I can finish the tallboy.

It's cheap; a local bar sells this beer for $1 per 32-ounce pitcher. That is the only reason I could ever see myself drinking this beer again.

Photo of austinhensley
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ah PBR. What a rich history. And by history I mean I have seen more Pabst Blue Ribbon bar signs in garages than any other brew.

From the can there is not a lot I can tell about the appearance. The smell and the taste have something in commom: nutty. The taste is so rich and flavorful I could drink this stuff all day. Drinkability: drinkable. Mouthfeel: not thin but not thick.. Just right.

For the price can't be beat.

Photo of BeerNinja007
2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

24oz can, $1.39 at the Lebanon Co-op grocery. Best by date stamped on the bottom of the can is Nov0110.

Clear yellow brew with a stable layer of fizzy white foam. Smell is metallic, some raw grain, and a bit of sweetness like white grape juice. Taste is the same plus a little lemony hop. Feel is thin and a bit fizzy, finishes dry and crisp with some lingering hop. Chuggable.

Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ML can poured into a pint glass

Appearance - pours a pale golden yellow with a fair size head that can be achieved by an aggressive pour. Seems to have a fair amount of carbonation. Minimal lacing.

Smell - breads and grains, hops and yeast.

Taste & Mouth - Lots of carbonation comes through, some hops and barley. Slight citrus/floral notes.

Drink - For the price, this beer isn't half bad. Not something I'd drink all the time, but decent in a pinch.

Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

PBR was the first beer I actually liked long, long ago. Out of the macros it is the only thing I would still purchase I think.

Piss yellow, huge white head quickly dissipates, turns to a thin ring leaving just about zero in the lacing department.

Cereal grain and pilsner malt along with very light hops in the nose.

Definitely a little more flavorful than your average adjunct lager. Light lemony/floral hops, oats and grain. Actually quite a pleasant bready aftertaste. Carbonation is not overpowering. Although it is missing some key elements to the style (garbage, creamed corn) I'll let it slide. Tiny bit of booze as it warms up.

It is what it is. I have always enjoyed this much more than Budweiser and the like. I don't buy this as often as I used to, but this is my go-to when going to a party or if the wallet is getting thin...it has a time and place, a $5 6-pack pricepoint, and gosh darnit, a piece of my heart.

Photo of cannon800
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is the go to beer for American Adjunct Lagers. Skip the hype. Compared to others in this class this is the one that has the semblance of taste for those long, inexpensive sessions.

In this class, you are not seeking anything outstanding in appearance or mouthfeel, which is right where this beer come in.

The slightly bitter taste and mild graininess makes this several steps above carbonated water.

Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden, with a pretty good head for an adjunct.
S- Smell is of grain, some corn. Pretty clean and inoffensive, but in the case of an AAL, that is a plus.
T- Corn, grain, and some floral hops. There is none of that DMS presence when on tap as the increased carbonation presence scrubs the bad flavors away it seems.
M- Full bodied, as far as AAL's go. High carbonation for style especially being on tap.
O- It is made for the long nights of indulgence. This beer is head and shoulders my favorite macro AAL. It is actually a beer I regularly purchase when I am too tired to deal with complex beers.

Photo of dogfishandi
2.9/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can poured into a pint glass. best before oct 18 2010.

pours a really clear golden/ pale yellow color. a 2 finger of pure white fizzy soapy head that faded almost completely within about 2 minutes. left just the slightest bit of patchy foam in the middle. no real lace to speak of, but lots of rushing bubbles.

hardly an aroma. i dont get much other than corn like malts. maybe a little grain and water, thats right, i smell water.

the aroma does the taste no justice. its actually a little enjoyable, better than most adjunct lagers, but not by much. i dont even think i could pick this out of a blind macro tasting. the taste is mostly corn, grains, pilsner malts. there is some hops in there, a little floral. has a touch of bitterness in the finish thats mixed with a corny taste.

mouthfeel is very light and watery.

drinks pretty well. just a touch better than most macros.

i enjoy this a lot more poured into a glass. for me, out of the can its just like any other macro. but id still pick this over most macros. dont know if its because of the hype and the name, or the taste, but thats only when im really broke and can not afford micro and i really want to drink. i still think there is too much hype on BA over this beer.

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at TJ Rockwells.
Served to me in a mason jar as their current throwback beer. Pale yellow with very little head by the time it hit the table. Smells clean and a little sweet. Taste follows the nose with a malt and adjunct sweetness. Again, very clean with no off flavors. Crisp and refreshing with a good amount of carbonation. A solid representation of the classic fizzy yellow American lager.

Photo of Milestone221
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Good 1" head. Piss yellow color. Lots of carbonation. Good lacing.

S- Ah just like BMC. Not what I expected. Lacking.

T- Refreshing. Definitely not bad. Hint of corn syrup that's about it for me.

M-Like water.

D-Very high. I could pound these back all day and plan on it. Goes down like water and has a little more taste than the rest of the field field PBR is in. If I need something cheap, this would most likely be it.

Photo of jizdepski
3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

served at about 45 degrees or so...poured into a standard pint glass. looks thin, has a white topped head that vanishes without a trace after a minute or 2. brew is golden in color. smells like malts and a good touch of corn. if hops are there they are mild at best. tastes quite sweet (in a corny, malty way), a bit of hops are present but they come to the party late and leave early. very clean finish, just a bit of lingering sweetness. feels thin but not as thin as many other adjunct lagers out there. carbonation is ok. i thought it could have used a bit more this one's just a bit flattish. not much carbonation bite. overall this beer delivers exactly what you'd hope from an adjunct. drinkability is just fine, the taste is not objectionable (or pretentious) and it doesn't get noticeably skunky as it warms up a bit like so many others in this variety. a good example of a very average, drinkable, and likeable cheap american lager.

Photo of Lolli1315
3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pale golden yellow with a finger of white head which mostly disappears except for a thin layer of bubbles. Noticeable ring around the glass as some lacing is noticeable.

S- Hint of malt in the first whiff that is subdued by the grainy nature of the beer. Might catch a hint of hops before the grain takes this back.

T- A noticeable malt flavor begins the beer giving this a nice start as the grain that was available in the nose takes over towards the middle. Grain comes across with some cereal grain and some bready notes before a slight hop flavor kicks in towards the end of the beer.

M- A thin to medium mouthfeel that is nice and crisp in the mouth as it finishes slightly dry.

D- Pretty easy beer to finish and would prefer this over other American Adjunct lagers.

Photo of Jayli
3.83/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Stockyard in Brighton, MA
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a translucent light, straw, yellow with a 1/4 inch of white head. Head disappears instantly leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is grainy, corn, and some grassy hop notes.

T: Taste is somewhat typical adjuncts but bolder bodied. Thick grain and corn notes, hints of pale malts, and the finish has a nice grassy, earthy hops to it. It's not strong, but it gives this beer more flavor than your typical macro's.

M: Light body, moderate to high carbonation, clean, crisp body.

D: Goes down very easy, not much of a give, not filling, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this beer. This one is that you can put a few back easily.

Photo of VelvetExtract
2.98/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


A-standart macro. nothing special.

S-corny malty. Ehhh.

T-Satisfactory at best. But i'm looking to get drunk and I'm too poor for anything better this guy is my go-to receiver. best taste of all the macro beers.

M-carbonation. that's about it.

D-easily able to blow these back. better than any Bud, Miller, or Coors.

Photo of philbe311
3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Is this better than the rest of the macro adjuncts? Were about to find out...

A - A surprisingly abundant slightly rocky snow white head that is equally frothy and fizzy... Again, very nice retention by adjunct standards... A pale yellow straw color... Completely translucent... Minimal carbonation sporadic carbonation rises throughout...

S - The nose is subdued at best... Grainy malts... Cereal... Slightly soapy... Just the faintest of floral hops...

T - The palette mirrors the nose identically... Pale malts materialize in the form of grainy malts and cereal... Just a faint touch of floral hoppiness... Perhaps even a touch of lemon zest...

M - Either on the fuller side of light bodied or the lighter side of medium bodied... Smooth... Minimal carbonation... Slightly creamy...

D - Real easy drinking... Goes down easy sip after sip... Nothing fancy here, but a super sessionable alternative to the average adjunct lagers on the market...

Photo of TheOtherBob
3.85/5  rDev +31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I tend to drink this straight out of the can, so I couldn't tell you what it pours like -- but the can is nice looking.

The taste is inoffensive, mild, with a nice maltiness and no hops that I can discern. It is by no means an exceptional, or interesting, beer. Unless you take a really large gulp, the taste fades before it even hits your tongue. If you do take a large gulp, it has a pleasant flavor that still fades quickly.

But it is incredibly drinkable -- smooth, clean, and refreshing on a hot summer's day. A can goes down like water -- which isn't the most ringing endorsement a beer has ever had, but it is what it is. As cheap beer goes, this really isn't bad.

Photo of TheNightwatchman
3.04/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The taste is better than most American lagers (Bud, Coors, Miller, etc.) It's very drinkable. The flavor includes a mild hop bitterness, something you don't notice in a lot of cheap lagers. There is also a bit of grainy flavor in the middle, mostly corn. It's a pale yellow color when poured, and it doesn't retain it's head at all. Carbonation isn't too strong. It's pretty crisp, and it has a pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall this is a great beer to drink with your friends. It's had a surge in popularity lately, but the prices are still reasonable. I'd take this over most mass produced American lagers any day.

Photo of JonnieC
3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I agree with most of these reviews. Perhaps I've been too affected by the recent comeback. In Milwaukee (I don't know if it's the same in other cities) it's the new trendy thing and has a good deal of advertising around, but I find it surprisingly satisfying, for a cheap macro-brew of course. It is pretty light, so it is very easy to drink and the mouth-feel is just ok. The flavor is what makes this beer worth my while. It is crisp, balanced and not too bland.

Photo of BigBen61
3.95/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one big brand that, to me anyway, holds a bit of nostalgia that I may have given me the predisposition to like it. My great granddad downed PBR's like they were water and he was in the middle of a desert. As with any adjunct lager my first tasting of PBR was met with less that superlative expectations, which there again may have lead to my following assessment.

When it comes to classic american beers I have only tried a handful because Budweiser, Miller, and Coors have driven the rest out of town. Thankfully this one is sticking around, and in my opinion is here for the long haul.

The appearance is not all to exciting. Poured into frosted mug it gives about a finger of clean white head that actually hangs around for a minute. The smell is clean for this type of beer, leaving little in the way of imaginary vegetation for the nose to discover. The taste is clean as well, completely refreshing and just about the best for a hot day working outdoors, or just standing around the grill at the family barbecue (a place where you may need to keep few extra in a private stash to deal with the family). The mouthfeel is highly carbonated but is still refreshing and the drinkability is through the roof. One American classic that I'm proud to say is one of my favorite beers, and definitely my favorite in this style.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 4,690 ratings.