1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,695 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,695
Reviews: 1,547
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 39
Gots: 486 | 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)
View: Beers (56) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,695 | Reviews: 1,547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into an Imperial Pint. No date.

A - Clear effervescent yellow with a cloud-white, and thick head. Very little retention and no lacing at all.

S - Sweet malts, corn, and a dryness. Not a whole lot going on here.

T - Sweet and lightly malty with less adjunct flavor than one might expect. Low levels of corn and a bit of huskiness.

M - Creamy and smooth actually. A little bite. Light to light-medium in body.

D - One of my favorite cheap beers, it's not half bad and it certainly is an easy drinker. Probably the first time I've ever had it outside a can.

Photo of MaxBrews
3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lets start this off saying this is my first critical review of this beer and (since its become so hip and everyone you know is drinking) a very necessary review. However lets start off by saying everyone knows why they drink this beer, its CHEAP as F#CK.

Presentation: 12oz can poured into a pilsner for hahas. Traditional method of drinking will always be in the can.

Appearance: Pours with a large but very very thin head, head retention is of course poor and turns into the whispiest of lacing, if a lacing at all. Pours the clearest of yellows you can use your glass as a magnifying glass with this one, not as bubbly as one would expect considering how carbonated it is. It looks clean, clear and crisp, almost completely sterile, which for some would be attractive knowing their beer was clean, however in a romantic sense this beer is devoid of all beauty and romance that a proper craft beer has. Lets be serious though this is 50 cents a can or so in a 30 rack. Still much better looking than some of the more expensive macros.

Smell: The reason why these beers come in cans and are rarely poured into glasses is that they were never intended to be smelled by a criticizing nose. Its an american adjunct lager and thus smells like one. Plenty of corn, rice and grain. I'm not sure what everyone else is on about when they say fruit on beer advocate, don't kid yourself guys!

Taste: This is where this beer always surprises me. For the sterile looks and adjunct smell, the taste is well... not terrible. Its very grainy, rice and corn adjuncts. However, not in the disgusting way that other beers of the style are, its almost a grain and corn taste you can get down with. It also has a certain sweetness to it. For most beers the over presence of adjuncts is a bad thing, but if adjuncts are used why not make them taste good. Perhaps pabst is a delicious tasting alcoholic corn and rice soda and not a beer at all.

Mouthful: Cheap beers area always over carbonated and therefore unpleasant to drink, this has the proper amount of carbonation and is crisp.

Drinkability: In the battle of cheap American Adjuncts this is king. We all know its nothing special but thats the point, its a non-pretentious, simple beer for when things get tedious. You can relax and have a few because you know its cheap. Don't even bother taking it out the can its better that way. So bring it anywhere. I love craft beer, tasting and drinking it are a big part of my life, but sometimes drinking expensive beers at parties or just for the hell of it well can get expensive, so to make this already long story short this is a cheap as dirt beer thats drinkable. Plus it'll get you drunk.

Photo of DoctorStrangiato
2.03/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a 473-ml can into a draught glass.

Appearance - very pale light straw yellow with large poppy head that reduced to but a few surface bubbles in just over a minute. Looks very carbonated.

Smell - definitely scented by adjunct sweetness, not much else to say. I anticipate a corn-syrup-esque flavour when I take my first sip.

Taste - ah, the dull, bland taste of corn and mild alcohol. People actually drink this stuff in quantity, like, they set out to do a dozen. I can't relate to putting myself through such a torturous goal. There isn't really any hoppiness at the end, just a stale bitter tin flavour. Really bad.

Mouthfeel - inoffensive enough, but that's not the point. So lacking in taste that it needs to be carb-ed up, just not my thing.

Drinkability - I don't know. I'm looking forward to finishing this so I can enjoy something real. What a waste.

Photo of Foxtrot
3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from can into pint glass

Pour produced a nice clear yellow body with big bubbly carbonation with a small head disappearing as quickly as it came, with no retention. Pretty average for a adjunct lager.

Smell was of grains and malts, cut with some light fruity hops. Not really detectable, took me a while to pick it out.

Taste was not too bad. Gotta be the best macro-like beer I've had outside a BMC. Smooth and crisp with big hits on grains, corn, and light on the malts. It was really smooth going down.

Mouthfeel was abundant with carbonation.

A beer like this has good drinkability. As for how many of these one can take, I do not know, but it was easy to put this one away. Cheers!

Photo of jballeng
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Poured a golden straw color with a large, short lived fizzy white head. Aroma of hops, corn, and subtle berry fruits. Slightly metallic.Taste accents of malt and corn. Slightly bland but better than many others for the price. Not very interesting but not bad at all. Overall, I must say that I am impressed by this beer, not simply because of the bargain price for which I bought it, but because I think it tastes good. I have heard a lot of harsh comments about PBR, but I have to say that it is, in my book, a highly underrated beer.

Photo of BasementBrewerSF
3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

There is not much to a PBR. Classic American Pilsner, as light as water with about as much taste, but unlike water, PBR is 5%. A great beer for a buck in a can at almost any bar around town. Personally I find myself spending money at beer stores rather than bars due to the mark up. So PBR is nothing to rave about but it is cheep, drinkable and gets the job done. As I say to my beer snob friends, "it is the best of the worst". And now Pabst is the oldest American owned brewery in the country. "America! Fuck Yeah!"

Photo of mtstatebeer
2/5  rDev -32%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a golden-yellow color with a very small, fizzy white head. Aroma is straw and grains. Flavor is corn, straw, and maybe a light touch of hops. Mouthfeel is very light, watery, and a hint of bitterness. Mainly just an altogether bland beer, not offensive, drinkable but not all that good.

Photo of beerera4
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 12 pack of cans at Majestic Liquors in Dallas...Cheap

A: I can't say much about the appearance since I pounded it right out of the can.

S: Smelled like your average macro. Maybe a little burnt corn.

T: Ok this stuff tastes great. I was very impressed. It had an american adjunct lager taste but I actually tasted a little bit of alcohol at the end. Extremely refreshing for summertime. I'm not a macro guy but when I drink them I am a miller lite guy but this blows it away. I will be buying this instead when possible.

M: Smooth

D: I can pound this stuff. Drinkability is high. One problem...It gave me some really bad gas. Anyone ever have this problem?

Overall: Great, cheap evreryday beer especially in this economy. Look forward to putting a few back tonight.

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

I haven't had one of these since before I really drank beer. I remembered at the time that it was the first beer I'd tasted that actually seemed sort of sweet. I could imagine myself drinking it to the point of intoxication.

Flash forward to last night when I ordered one PBR from the tap. I had been looking to try it again, but wasn't willing to commit to a 30 pack.

Pours as unremarkable cheap "piss beer." Not impressive whatsoever, but it pulls ahead of the others in the taste.

I think this is the only mass adjunct-type beer that actually puts corn to good use. It's not merely a filler, but a major constituent of the flavor. It's like a touch of sweet grits in the mouth, and it finishes clean with unobjectionable hops and ample carbonation.

Maybe it's not even beer--maybe it's a sort of alcoholic corn soda. But whatever you call it, I will certainly have another.

Photo of SmokeMonkey
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I grew up with my dad drinking pull tab steel cans of PBR after working his tail off all week so PBR has been ingrained in my head so I had to get some and try it out. I'm glad I did.

I went and got a 12 pack of bottles. I didnt want to commit to a 30 pack of cans though the 30 pack was cheaper per unit.

It's a good beer and for the price, it tastes better than BMC, it's more drinkable than BMC and is even cheaper than bud by 4 bucks for a 30 pack.

It is lighter than what I was expecting in taste but it still had a good taste, not over the top on anything. It's pretty fizzy but i expect that from macro brew beer and i was ok with it.

mouthfeel is...well lets just not go there on this beer. its watery but i dont care, its a cheap lawn mower/summer beer so i dont care about mouthfeel.

IMO it is something i could drink 6 of during an evening easily. I honestly cannot say that about the usual BMC stuff, one of them is all i can tolerate.

My only complaint was it isnt as widely available as the usual BMC stuff is but I found it in good supply at the usual store I go to for most of my beer so even this detail is of no consequence to me. Also finding a single like a 16 ounce can or a 22 ounce bottle just isnt happening around me. so its a minimum of a 12 pack for me.

I'll try it in a can and i hope its as good in a can as it is in a bottle.

Photo of yelterdow
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Things are tight this year, and this summer the cooler won't be overflowing with craft beer as a result. I grabbed a case of this last week for $11.99... I still can't get over that.

I'll serve this at fridge temperature in a 1970's era Stroh's glass that fellow BA and friend EPseja was kind enough to give me. Here goes.

Appearance- Pale gold, a bit richer once it's in the glass, this beer is streaming microbubble carbonation from the bottom of my glass while replenishing a supple, inch-thick head. After two minutes the crown is gone, but it doesn't look flat. There's a smattering of small lace patches along the inside of the glass.

Smell- I'm happily surprised that the nose isn't cloying at all... rather there is a husky, semisweet malt aroma and some grass that actually flatters the style character. Almost no trace of cereal, but there is a suggestion of creamed corn lingering in the background.

Taste- While the adjuncts do dominate most of the flavor here, it's actually well balanced and doesn't leave the typical unpleasant aftertaste in the swallow. Surprisingly, I am getting a very subtle hop dryness and mild bittering in the finish... Not at all bad, and flavor-wise it beats out Bud and Coors for me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The texture begins nice and prickly, with the bubbles very small and alive. It does thin out in a few seconds, but it never ends up too boring. Besides my last experience with Ballantine a few years back, this is the only macro I can recall actually enjoying from a glass. An easy choice for the big BBQs this year until things turn around economically.

Photo of Millerman
4.75/5  rDev +61.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's been over 30 years since I last drank a PBR.
Earlier this year I went to a get together for a person who was retiring and the pub had a PBR sign. I didn't know PBR was still being brewed! I asked for one and have been hooked ever since.
For the price this one of the best beers I have ever tried. I read it is brewed by Miller under contract. All I know is I have found my beer.

Appearance - Golden hue
Smell - Wonderful
Taste - Exceptional. Not too hoppy, which I like.
Drinkability - Goes down smooth

Photo of almychristopher
3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this beer pours a crystal clear golden color with a tall white head that recedes to lacing. the aroma doesn't present much but a lightly malty lager smell. the taste is once again predominantly of light malt and whatever it is those little bottom feeders do. the mouthfeel is of course light with a crisp aggressive level of carbonation. of course this is a very easy beer to drink, but I'm not sure that makes the drinkability all that great.

Photo of BeerMark
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pabst Blue Ribbon pours a mild yellow in my glass. The head is just one shade darker than a Miller High Life. Smells and tastes better than your average American Adjunct Lager. There is a little something better here than most other American Adjunct Lager's. It has a somewhat pleasant flavor that I could drink from time to time. Beats out Miller High Life by a few point and is now my favorite AAL.

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

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is average. It has a crisp, pilsner malt and adjunct scent that's light and dry. The taste is decent. It has a smooth pilsner malt flavor that low on hops and clean in the finish. It's a warm weather brew, no doubt. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a highly drinkable beer. It's one of the only macro lagers I drink.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

PBR out of the bottle yeah!

A- Overly clear light yellow color with carbonated head that falls to a barely there ring around the head. NO lacing.

S- Smells of metallic scents with hints of malt and barley. Low amounts of hops.

T- Still great flavor of corn, malts, and the little hints of hops. This combo for a classic are amazing. Great overall taste.

M-D- Smooth as water feel with a mild dry ending. Easy to drink and doesn't make you feel like crap in the morning after mass drinking sessions.

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

On-tap at Billy's Inn in Denver, CO. This was the only reasonably priced beer on-tap, so I figured I'd give it a try sans can. Served in a giant chilled mug.

A: Straw color with big carbonation bubbles. Remnants of a small white head that had vanished before my mug hit the table stuck around as a ring at the edge of the beer. Left no lace.

S: Biscuits and rice. Maybe a little apple sweetness.

T: Very little flavor, but what is there is certainly acceptable for a beer of this type. Tastes more like rice than malt, with a well balanced bitterness that doesn't add any flavor. Semi-dry finish with a faint metallic quality. As the beer warms, the flavor doesn't noticeably get worse like too many examples of this style. Overall, it's quite the unassuming beer.

M: Light body had too much fizz.

D: Definitely a beer that goes down easily. I was through my mug in a flash. PBR does its job without much fanfare. It's at least on par with the more expensive BMC mainstays. Perhaps this is my new yard work beer?

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

16oz can into large pint glass.

Crystal clear straw hue with a thin one finger white head that quickly settles to a thin cap with a thin rim along the glass.

Grainy, slightly toasty aroma. Not much hoppiness.

Biscuity grains, slightly sweet, the bitterness is almost non-existent. Light bodied and tons of fizzy carbonation. Very clean finish.

Not a bad beer for a cookout with friends and a grill. Great summer beer. Does it's job as a refreshing beverage. I would take a Narragansett over it any time though while in the New England area.

Photo of njthebestofme
2.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- The normal yellow pee like coloring

S- Nothign stands out.. maybe some malts i guese..

T- Goese down quick .. mild carb to easy to throw them back

M- Got to love that PBR taste

D- Buy a 30 its so cheap and see how many ou can throw back haha not recomended .. gave my a killer hangover

Photo of Tilley4
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I wanted to like this one more but I just couldn't...

Light yellow with a thin head...clear..

Very grainy aroma with something kinda metallic lingering around...

Very average watery taste... The sorta beer that most everyone can drink because its so weak and watery tasting...

Very average...

Photo of donmonkey1
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light yellow, virtually no head, very little carbonation, but really clear

Smell: sweet cardboard

taste: a touch sweet,way too weak. There's no hop flavor, just a sweet maltiness that's very faint. There's a little bit of an acidic taste. It tastes like weak, cheap beer.

mouthfeel: lacks carbonation, watery

Drinkability: easy because it's so weak

Photo of mothman
3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Fizzy white head goes to the top of the glass then settles quickly to a very thin layer. No lace. Color is a very clear straw yellow.

Aroma: Far better than any BMC product. Grainy and flat hops. Damn, I can actually enjoy the smell of this beer.

Taste: This has to be one of the first macos that I have actually enjoyed somewhat. It just seems to hit the spot. Grainy taste, dry hops. Nothing to huge, but not something I just want to spit out.

Mouthfeel: A little crisp, but somewhat smooth. Ends with a very sticky aftertaste.

Overall, this is one macro I could keep stocked in my fridge. I never thought I could enjoy a beer this cheep, but it exceeded my expectations by far.

Photo of PrinceDarren
3.13/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5


This is my "go to" beer when I am in Wisconsin. I make frequent family visits and often find myself sitting at the bar with my father and many uncles (all retired) who like to "slam" their miller lites. It is a "pace" game to keep up with the group since it is expected that everyone takes a turn at buying a round. There is no time to sit and reflect on the nuances of the beverage. I would never attempt to go beer-for-beer with them while consuming a proper craft beer that is north of 6% ABV.

So why do I like Pabst? It is the driest of the macros and as such is the easiest beer to drink that doesn't taste like water. Especially out of a bottle, it is quite a pleasing beverage. Goes great with a burrito.

If you have ever tried a can of Pabst and nearly choked, please do yourself a favor and try a BOTTLE of PBR. You might be surprised. Remember, it is the only beer to have won the blue ribbon at the 1893 world's fair. It deserves respect.

If you ever find yourself near Afton, Wisconsin. Make sure to stop into "Skip's Friendly Village". My uncle Skip used to distribute PBR before buying this bar. As such, he gives the beer proper recognition in his establishment where the cans are consumed in high volumes. If you ask, he might even set you up with a bottle of PBR from his personal stash.

Cheers to PBR! The best of the worst.

Photo of Wheelinb
3.25/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was pretty surprised by this beer. Back in the day my dad and uncles drank all these types of beers, PBR, Schlitz, Hamms, etc. Whatever was on sale.

It had a nice golden appearance with a decent head. I got a wheaty/cereal aroma. It was dry and crisp and pretty drinkable. This isn't the most flavorful beer and fairly typical for an adjunct lager, but it should not be totally discounted. A good beer for when you are done cutting the lawn.

Photo of lanechaffin
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

goes down good

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 4,695 ratings.