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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,799 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,799
Reviews: 1,594
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 25.26%
Wants: 44
Gots: 607 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

- 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
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Ratings: 4,799 | Reviews: 1,594 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SkunkWorks
2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

24 oz tallboy poured into a... actually, who am I fooling? Who pours out a PBR? If I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do it right.

Look: classic can appearance, proudly displaying the blue ribbon this beer won more than 100 years ago. My question is, has the recipe changed since then? I am assured that only nature's best ingredients are included in this fine beverage.

You might yell at me for not appreciating its appearance poured into a glass, but we all know the way this looks. Straw colored, pale yellow with a white head that doesn't retain for longer than a few minutes and won't leave any lacing. I think it looks better in the can.

Smell: sticking my nose to the hole of the can, I am able to detect some slight grain from the malt, some adjunct, and maybe some hops but I can't really tell their character. Of course, all of this is a stretch. Describing PBR's aroma is almost like describe the aroma of water.

Taste: pale malt, hints of corn, some grain, faint hints of hops, with a water like character as well. There's a hint of sulphur.

Feel: light, quite watery, and quite heavy on the carbonation. Nothing lingers in the aftertaste except that classic smell on your breath that gives you away to your wife when you say "No! I haven't been at the bar!" Tsk tsk. You never learn, do you?

Drink: what else can I say? This is highly drinkable. At under 5% alcohol, this is a sessionable brew and anyone who says otherwise clearly hasn't had a night in college, doing shots of PBR during Power Hour and drinking the better part of a case of this stuff playing Beer Pong.

Overall, PBR is the king of adjunct lagers as far as I am concerned. I feel I should seek out PBR on tap and, looking at the BeerAdvocate entry and seeing someone has had this on cask, the elusive PBR cask.


Photo of meeekyh
2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I thought it prudent to add this to my list of reviews. It used to be my 'go to ' beer before I decided life was too short for crappy beer, period. Economics occasionally necessitate an inexpensive beer and thus...

A 12 oz can pours into a pilsner glass with a whiff of corny nasty right at first and revealing a very pale straw beer with a white head about a half inch high. Lacing is none and dissipation is fast enough not to have to wait to witness said.

Smell is light and 'beery' with a smidgen of pear-like sweetness. The AA style is represented here with the usual off smells from the cheap ingredients.

Taste is light with a bit of sour, less bitter and a helping of sweet. This sweet is not grainy in nature but not gross either. I note nothing I can distinguish as hopy or grainy. It is just beer.

Mouthfeel is light, carbonation is medium and finish is a lingering semi-sweet.

Drinkability is not so good based on the less than stellar taste.

Slainte anyway.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

24 ounce can, best by date of April 25, 2011 printed on the bottom of the can. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear light gold color with an inch and a half frothy white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. Aroma is mostly sweet and grainy malt, and a bit of corn and grassy hops. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, except that I don't pick up any hop flavors. No offensive aromas or flavors that I notice. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's thin and a bit watery. It's also well carbonated. Drinkability is good, it goes down pretty easy. For the style, it's a decent brew. I've certainly tried much worse! Not bad for $1.49 a can.

Photo of Floyd12
3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass.

A- Pours a brownish gold color with a decent sized head. Good foam that quickly clears, but still manages to lace the glass nicely.

S- A semi-sweet, grainy, grassy, earthy smell to it.

T- Slight grainy hops with even slighter malt with a somewhat sweet undertone. But even an alcohol presence is detected at times.

M- A very balanced carbonation makes this beer very refreshing. The dryness is unexpected but makes for an enjoyable drink. Not watery, but definately lighter than most full beers.

D- Highest draw CHEAP. PBR is non offensive and can be enjoyed, particularly the more you have. An almost guilty pleasure of mine how much I enjoy this one. Its perfect after working outside on a hot day.

We just need the damn hipsters to give this one back so it will be more sociably acceptable to drink.

Photo of Jesse13713
2.58/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Two fingers of head atop a clear musty yellow lager. Very transparent and a dirty golden look to it. Decent lacing.

Smell - Light floral notes and hops here. Not much else going on.

Taste - Strong hints of banana. Quite watered down but surprisingly tasty hops.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - Medium bodied. A very crisp and refreshing taste. Not bad for an American Adjunct Lager. I would prefer Molson Canadian over this, but it is still decent.

Photo of tito42
3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from can into imperial pint.

A: Pale gold, crystal clear. Thick white head, thin lacing.

S: Faint grainy and slightly grassy aroma. Only faint traces of sweetness, if any. A little earthy.

T: Grainy and grassy, with a touch of hops at the end that is absent in other AALs. You can taste the alcohol at times on the back end.

M: Light bodied with more malt backbone than I expected. Carbonation is refreshing without going too far. A bit of a dryness at the end that lingers a bit too long, but not bad overall.

D: Much better poured into a glass than straight from the can IMO, this is a big step forward from the BMCs. I picked up a case of PBR cans on sale as a budget beer fridge stocker, and for a refreshing 'light' beer and change of pace. PBR fits that bill perfectly.

Photo of JayS2629
3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Making a revival on being hip in colleges but partly cuz its jusst cheap and its not Bud light. It is better than Bud all around. Best served cold. Slightly creamy body in a pale yellow beer with a foamy white head that fades fast but leaves rings of lace. Sweet malts shine through with a touch of citrus and some mineral and metallic notes. Some earthy grassy notes. Not bad. Pretty watery. Easy to drink.

Photo of BaronRogue
3.53/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Hmm, good ol PBR. College hipster's best friend and teddy bear, along with Miller High Life.

Anyway, it's bright clear yellow and fizzy. Most people that drink it don't know or care though, I've never ever seen someone pour it out of a can, unless it's into a beer bong.

Smells like wheat, light grains.

Tastes alright, not my usual style but good for this particular genre of beer. Sweet wheat.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and light-ish. Not BudLight watery light but doesn't taste like a full beer. You get what you pay for.

Drinkability? Are you kidding me? I've never ever seen someone drink one PBR and then call it quits. It's cheap (even here in California) and palatable. What more could you want? You bring PBR to the average party and you're allowed in.

Average alcohol content, but usually gets people hammered from simply being super easy to drink. Think I finished this can in about 15 minutes, just because i'm writing this review as i drink it!

Photo of hdf561
2.42/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

This is a cheap-o beer that I drink when I want a beer but want to save money. You can get them for 1 dollar at a bar that I go to.

Its not a great teasting, smelling, looking, or feeling beer, but once you get a to your 3rd one you can drink about 50. This is the perfect cheap get hammered, tailgaiting beer.

Photo of afksports
3.17/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

PBR. Can't hate. It's actually not bad. I think this is up there for my favorite American Adjunct Lager. I mean, if you're gonna go on the serious cheap, then you can do a lot worse than PBR.

I enjoyed this in Prospect Park when it felt about 35 degrees outside after a game of touch football. Bunch of old geezers running around pretending its still the glory days.

Beer's light in appearance, about average head that dissipates. Moderate carbonation, straw colored. Smells like... well, corn I guess. But maybe a hop or two come through. Tastes a bit sweet, a bit like a hop, and mostly like water.

In the mouth it's pretty weak, but yeah, that's what we're expecting here. And that's why it's drinkable. Because it's easy-going water. I'd rank this above a LOT of cornerstore alternatives, and it may become a beer I drink often.

Every day I get more hipster.

Photo of brunrn1
3.97/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer. alot of bars I have been to seem to have this on the cheap list of beers. which is fine with me. I could actually sit at the bar and enjoy this one the whole time. Also have had it on tap and as long as the bar cleans the tubes out right its just as good if not better in a frosty mug.

Photo of smallbatchbrewer
3.17/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light straw with a quickly dissipating soda bubble head that flattens out into a uniform lace atop the beer.

S- There are actually some hops in here. It has a grassy and spring like aroma

T- I know I know... this isn't what we all come on here for. That being said, I am not afraid to admit that this makes a fantastic summer beer just after mowing the lawn. It really has no distinct flavor profile, just a crisp, fresh awakening to it

M- Very much like a lager should feel, honestly.

D- Depends on what this category means to you, and in most cases I would get fancy too but for PBR, it is very drinkable.

I have had it on tap, in a can, and in a long neck. It is in some ways a rite of passage even if you are schooled in the more "real beers" of the world. This certainly isn't an A+ but it should at least get some honorable mention.

Quick story... I have been to many a beer tasting, all kinds, big ones, brewery specific and some in the middle. Many of the big events have a PBR booth. I have never seen it without a decent line, where as Bud's table is empty enough to hear crickets...

Photo of HockeytownBrew
2.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear straw yellow with a finger width head that dissipates quickly. A small amount of lacing left behind.

S: A malty graininess and ever so slight hops. Typical American adjunct lager here.

T: Not bad for the style. As with the scent, malt graininess and slight hops, the usual adjuncts, ect.

M: This one's highly carbonated, light to medium bodied.

D: Could drink it all day.

Basically what I expected. This typical American Adjunct lager gets a passing grade.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(review from notes, sampled on draft 02/06/11)

pours a pale straw yellow with a towering white/off-white head that quickly recedes (unsurprising - wasn't expecting much in the way of retention); no lacing to speak of.

nose offers light notes of barley/corn/rice. no real hops presence.

flavor fall right behind the aroma. you get that vague grainy/barley character. a touch of hops hiding in there somewhere. not particularly good, but better than most mainstream macros IMO.

light-bodied mouthfeel with above average carbonation - more or less in line with my expectations. crisp and refreshing. fairly high drinkability.

Photo of dafizzif
2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass.
Look: Pours with a very thin white head that dissipates quickly. Very light golden color. Surprisingly, left some lacing down the glass.
Smell: Loads of yeast and no hops.
Taste: Gains a few points back here. Not water-tasting like like many AALs though. A little hops manages to get through.
Mouth: Pretty heavily carbonated. No flavors really linger after swallowing.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Could sling them back all night.
Overall, the best AAL I have had, but certainly lacking when compared to many other non-BMC brews. That said, PBR is my go to "party beer" and one cannot beat the value. I will always have a soft spot for the peebs.

Photo of bboelens
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at lazy moon near UCF, at $0.25 a pint with a slice of pizza it's hard to beat, poured into a pint glass.

A-Liquid gold with a decent 1" stark white head that dissipated rather quickly, and... o my... is that lacing on my glass. Good for you PBR.

S-Corn, and grain, with a slight sweet smell, exactly what one would expect from an AAL.

T-Not bad at all, the corn certainly takes over along with the malt but there's a certain sweetness to it that makes this a decent beer.

M-Crisp, clean, a little watery with great carbonation.

D-This is pretty damn drinkable and went fantastic with my pizza, I'd say this is the best AAL I've ever had, and you can't beat the price, my pop would be proud.

Photo of goalie33
2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 24oz can into 15oz mug.
A) Crystal clear, pale straw in color. Large, fizzy, white head quickly dissipates. Lots of carbonation.
S) Lager yeast, adjuncts and some malt. Not a bit of hops. Very sweet smell.
T) Sweet taste, but nothing really off-putting. No skunkiness at all. What little taste there is is very light, very watery. A bit of a bubblegum flavor.
M/D) Very light mouthfeel. Slight prickle of carbonation. Smooth, easy drinking beer.

A very non-offensive adjunct lager with slight hints of good flavor. A good beer to have after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day, but so is a hefeweizen, and that has a lot more flavor.

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light straw yellow color body with a weak head. Heavily carbonated.

Smell: Pale mellow malted barley notes. Hints of rice and corn. It smells cheap and the hops are insignificant. A bit balmy and sudsy. This would definitely be very inviting on a hot day.

Taste: The malts are insubstantial. A taste a lot of weak quality low quality grain. A slight liquor taste. There is hardly any finish. This beer provides little in the way of character. It's fairly easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Very watery. Hardly any body. The beer isn't harsh but it also isn't memorable.

Drinkability. I've drank more of this beer than any other kind in my life mainly because it used to be cheaper and even though they raised the price it's still pretty affordable. It's a party beer and it always taste okay on tap. At the same time it's the perfect representative of drinkable generic american light lager which has been the mainstay of the American beer industry for decades. My verdict is that PBR is drinkable but boring.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow with a decent head. The appearance was the highlight here. Aroma was slightly sweet and mainly of corn and malt. Taste was similar with corn/adjuncts dominating with slightly sour bite just prior of a mild to mid hop bitterness finish. Palate was decent although a bit on the thin side. Overall, a typical American style lager that is mass produced and loaded up with corn/adjuncts. Perfect to sip on while you do yard work on a hot day or when hanging with buddies at a dive bar that doesn't serve craft beer!

Photo of HeeNalu
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm getting classy today, guys. PBR tall boy, in it's infinite glory, poured into the appropriate glassware.... a pint sized plastic cup.

A - Pours a clear, light, yellowy gold. A quick 1 fingerish head that dissipates almost instantly with the tiniest hint of lacing. The epitome of eye twinkling glory for the flat broke college student.

S - Pretty clean on the nose. Not a lot to detect. Some light notes of roasted corn with the coarseness of corn husk, and a touch of aluminum type metal. It's enough to make your mouth water.... if you can smell it over the Marlboro smoke.

T - Coarse grains, and corn husk - much like the smell. Same metallic sensation with a a hit of hops almost trying to break through. Not sweet, not bitter, just coarse grain and corn husk. A nectar of that gods that sets your tongue ablaze.... if you can keep your mullet hair out of your cup.

M - Fairly noticeable carbonation at first which, strangely, falls flat on the tongue pretty quickly. Fairly thin, but enough to know it's there.

D - Drinks like water. You could have at it all day, and many do. Pairs wonderfully with that Ballpark frank, fried bologna sandwich, or pimento cheese.

For what it is, it's a good, easy drinking beer for those lazy summer days. Definitely better than BMC.

Photo of obrendano
3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

ahhh, the hip classic. tastes ok, gets the job done, what else can you say?

A - unsurprising American lager look, clear straw gold, foamy head

S - grains and a hint of the can it was poured from

T - better than most of its mass produced colleagues, burst of grainy malt, a flash of hops towards the end, finishes with a warm tone in the back of your throat. thankfully devoid of the over-riced dip in quality that regular Bud has towards the middle

M - the definition of average. enough body to keep the flavor in your mouth

D - being that it's probably impossible to find this for more than a buck or two on tap or more than 3 or 4 bucks for a 6 pack, you can't go wrong if you want to do some cheap, working class drinking. bottoms up

Photo of foogerd
3.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear golden yellow body, nice foamy head webbed lacing, classic.

S- Grain and slightly offensive smell of metallics.

T- Crispy fresh hops bite at your tongue, malty straw balance.

M- Good solid mouthfeel, exactly how it should feel.

D- Tasty and drinkable this is Lager how it should be.

Photo of mattkoon
3.8/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

im just sayin- if i gotta go regular american beer i go pabst. i mean it won a blue ribbon forcryin out loud. this stuff is about the same price as pepsi. as far as i am concerned its about the best beer for the money out there. it has more flavor than bud and is 1/2 the price. even at my locaql bar bud light=$2.75 pbr=$1.50. thats a no brainer.

Photo of TheLegendaryGary
3.9/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

PBR, my favorite budget friendly beer, a beer you can get all over and not brake the bank. I also have say I'm very sick of people bad mouthing Pabst just because it's not a "premium" beer. The fact is it's a fine beer with a lot of drinkability.

I can't really say there was any thing special about the smell or the color, but the taste is quite good and easy on the mouth. My favorite quality is it's drinkability, in the middle of summer or the dead of winter, I can pound that shit down until the second coming of crist and not get really hung over.

All I'm saying is give Pabst fighting chance, who knows you might like it.

Photo of Jimmys
3.93/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: pale golden, yellow with a huge forthy white head. a select few trails of CO2 escape to the surface.

S: tin, bready pils malt. some mild hop bitterness on the tail end.

T: sweet and bready. alcohol, a little bit of hoppy herby/pepperness on the end. a decent amount of complexity for an adjunct.

M: good carbonation on a style that calls for a solid mouthfeel.

D: like most people, i have been drinking this stuff for a while without really considering what's going on inside the can. overall, it is a solid beer for the style it represents. with the pricetag that goes with it, it's hard not to have any in the fridge.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,799 ratings.