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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,670 Reviews
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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.74%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001

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Reviews: 1,670 | Ratings: 5,338
Photo of mattgert
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I won't waste any time with how it pours, how it looks, how it smells. On those counts it is exactly like any American Macro out there. At $6 a 12-pack (bottles or cans) there is a simple way to review this beer: It is way above average for what it is. For an American Macro on the cheap it has flavor and there is nothing offending about it. It is better than most American Macros out there and even those pushing twice the price. For whatever reason I find the beer out of a can better than the bottle. A good lawnmower beer. If you can find Schlitz I would go for it instead but if not, Pabst is a good choice.

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Photo of Phatz
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you are a hands-down American Macro hater NOTE: this is a macro lager. That said, PBR is above average! If 3.0 what I expect average to be; this is a 3.35 beer. IMHO. Still out of hundreds of macro lagers few of them are even worth of a 3.0 IMO.

Appearance: This beer is what an average AMacro lager looks like. Light yellow with a fizzy white head.

Smell: Corn is at the front end of this otherwise clean aroma. Then there is a malty sweet undertone pleasant but (apropos for the style) it is quite minimal.

Taste: What a surprise! There *is* actually taste. It is smooth and sweet in the mouth with a (watery) corn and lightly sweet malt taste. I like the extra sugar. The aftertaste is clean and not unpleasant (like most AM lagers).

Mouthfeel: Crisp, well carbonated, and refreshing.

Drinkability: This simple beer is no fireworks; but it is very drinkable in a pinch. When out at the bar; this is certainly a sessionable option, far above BMC. It sits light in the stomach and is an acceptable brew all around.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out an typical macro straw color with a small white head.

Smell. I think it is quite neutral. small nuttiness to it.

Taste. Small sweet maltiness to it. i get no hop presence. good for what it's going for. aftertaste is sweeter.

Mouthfeel is ok. decent carbonation, body is average for the style, light.

Overall, it's one of those cheaper beers worth getting over miller light (milwakee and all). For cheap beers, i'd prefer Shlitz anyday, but i know a lot of people loving this. good for them.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is embarassing...I really enjoy this beer and will gladly buy it again.
Poured a slightly darker Macro yellow inthe glass with a nice one finger head that melted very quickly to a thin, thin outer ring lacing.
Aroma is lightly sweet malt and lightly hopped. (hops in a macro you can smell? Yep)
Taste is a surprise too...sweet malt...almost a MGD sweetness, but then followed with a genuine light hop bitterness or bite.
Finishes clean and crisp in the mouth with NOTHING unpleasant.
Just sort of makes you want to take another sip.
I was surprised....pleasantly
I feel guilty giving scores this high to an American Macro, but judging by style, I'm probably marking it low.

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Photo of palffyfan
2.34/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pale yellow with a good deal of carbonation and a soapy head.

Smell - Smells like my Dove soap. Very processed, not what a beer should smell like.

Taste - Watered down, no taste in particular, but manageable (for a macro) because there's no offending taste.

Drinkability - Below average drinkability. There are better macros out there, but it's drinkable when it comes to macros.

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Photo of GuinnessHero
3.09/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pale yellow with a mild head which lasted for a short time.

Smell - Almost a cirtus smell in a whiff. Corn is prodominate.

Taste - Very smooth and refreshing. Slight bit of carbonation which dissipated quickly as soon as it hits the pallet. Full flavored and is rather non-offensive.

Mouthfeel - Clean and crisp with a taste that lingers on.

Drinkability - Easy to drink, not offensive as it is mostly concieved. Great beer for social gatherings.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.48/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance isn't impressive in any respect. The head is all but dissapered and the lacing almost dissapears right away. The color is the clear yellowish color you would find in many macros.

I can barely smell anything, but I do smell a little something without malts and no hops, but a funny off flavor is in the smell.

Taste isn't horrible for a macro, it doesn't leave a crap taste in your mouth and the nose isn't crappy tasting.

Mouthfeel reminds me of ice water even though it was warmed. Not impressive, but not off-putting.

I will keep this one as my session beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 16 oz can into a glass. Straw yellow color. It had a descent head, but it didn't last long. It smelled grainy and of corn. It tasted very malty. The mouthfeel was dry. It's drinkable if you're looking to get a buzz.

It was better than I expected. Somehow I had never had PBR while I was a poor/college student beer guzzler. I had to try it and see how it tasted.

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Photo of Sosh
2.1/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I can't listen to someone tell me that this beer tastes SO much better than 'other macros'. What is the deal here? Here's what this beer has going for it....it is not as repulsive as Natty light, but is just as cheap. It'll get you drunk and can wash down food.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the typical light yellow with the quickly disipating head. No surprises. Smell is really grainy with a hint of booze. Surprising for the low abv. Really pleasant and not too sweet in the taste. Kind of drying in the finish. Mouthfeel doesn't suffer from the typical prickliness of excess carbonation. This is really good if you want to drink at home/at the bar on the cheap and makes a good summertime refreshment.

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Photo of Crosling
1.12/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Light yellow color. The head is very large initially and retains fairly well considering it’s a macro. Unbelievably disgusting oceanic aroma (sea water, salt, seaweed) along with light grains and corn. Watery, corny flavor with hints of light grains and sauvignon blanc. Terrifying.

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Photo of rabsten
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

5 of the 6 pack were consumed right out of teh bottle, which was the better way to drink this brew. In the name of science - or beer advocacy - the first one was poured into a plsner glass. Solid yellow, decent head, some minor lacing. Looks like the beers in the ads we see every day.

Smell was malt, malt, malt. No toast or carmel or chocolate or any other characteristic to the malt. Just malt. Which is good, sometimes.

Tastes about as good as the style allows. Mild malt and some latent hops.

Mouthfeel is again, dead-on average. Some dryness due to the carbonation, with a later mellowing out. Unlike some AMLs, the carbonation dies in your mouth, so it doens't follow down into the gullet.

Drinkability is decent. Refreshing beer. I can, and have, gone through entire sixes in one session. Like my birthday, last Saturday.

Bottom line: The Ironic Hipsters who seek this out as "proletariat beer" are actuall onto something. You can do much worse than this beer. Also, Very good bang for the buck ($3.99 a six). Worth your time if no real craft beer is around, and beats anything Coors makes.

++ EDIT ++

I forgot to note the cool "poker caps." The bottle caps have card values on the inside, so you can play games like poker and blackjack. Pit your caps against everyone else's, and the loser pays.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the showplace theatre in Buffalo, NY for 2 bucks a pop. This is a whole nother beast on tap. The beer was an average looking american macro gold with a very small faom cap. The aroma was really sweet and grainy. Very clean and inoffensive when compared to bud or miller. Taste is actually kinda hoppy. Mouthfeel is thin to moderate. Very smooth. This is incredibly drinkable espcially when you compare the tap version to the bottle or can. This is much sweeter and smooth on tap. If this is on tap with the other standard crap I will have to go with this.

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Photo of shroompod
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can poured cold into pint glass

Golden clear beer , with a nice fizzy head that retreats quickly.

Smell is rather bland , corny adjuncts , smells like a dive bar Sunday morning.

Taste is a little sweet , some malt tones with no perceivable hop presence. A little tinny flavor comes through. No aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin , light , good carbonation.

Drinkabitly is OK , leaving me in a search for the perfect summer quencher.

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Photo of riversider76
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden. Fluffy head quickly disappears. Not much lace,but lots of bubbles.Smell is of light malt. Body is light and carbonated.Taste is sweet with a hint of hop. This beer is by no means offensive,and it's cheep. I'm sure that's why the college kid's love it!

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very clear, golden yellow. The pour creates an abundance of bubbly white foam. It quickly fades away, leaving light wisps of head on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Cooked corn and grain, sharp on the nose. Some slight hop grassiness.

Taste: Grainy, toasted malt flavor. Some mashy corn sweetness softens the overall profile a little. A light touch of hops in the finish tightens it all up. Light and crisp.

Mouthfeel: A little soda-like with the carbonation, but it has enough body to keep it smooth.

Verdict: Solid canned lager. Nothing great, but it quenches the thirst in a reasonably satisfying manner.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Brooklyn yesterday. I've never seen this in six-packs anywhere, and seeing how trendy this is among the cheap beers, and how much I love Dennis Hopper's line in "Blue Velvet" where he refers to this, I had to give it shot and see what all of the fuss what about. It's not the craft beer I usually sample, and it's not that memorable, but it was suprisingly decent and better than the mass-market macro beers that I was ready to lump this in with!

Pour was nothing special - the frothy head went away quickly, there wasn't any lacing to be seen, and the color was the light goldenrod that I expected it to be. Almost no bitterness here, the carbonation and the malt base are all that present up front, with some straw underneath everything. It's easygoing, but certainly not watered-down or skunked. The aftertaste is light, crisp, and a bit bready, but never overly bitter. As a whole, this brew works fairly well.

Seeing the 4.7% ABV proves to me why this is so popular among the young, trendy, and close-to-broke. There's no introspection here - no depth, no notes, nothing hidden or worth finding on the 2nd or 3rd tasting. It's a blue collar brew that does it's job and nothing more. I'm glad I gave it a try!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.02/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a pale gold with some pleasant bubbles floating up from the bottom of my pint that sustained a frothy egg shell head.

Smelled of bland dusty dirt and a burnt dry corn. Ish.

Tasted like light and muddy corn and rice with a crisp buttery snap in the finish.

The mouth feel was so light, it was border line non-existent. The carbonation was also disappointingly boring. Most cheap beers at least feel all right going down. This was little better than water.

Oh right, nostalgia. Yawn.

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Photo of UberWasser
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my glass, from the classic PBR can, with a great bright golden color. It literally shines as light passes through it. A fizzy head builds tall but dissipates quickly, leaving a thin layer on top and a slight halo around the edges of the glass, fed by a slow upward shower of bubbles. This is a good looking macro.

The smell is very clean, with a crisp lemon/lime citrus smell backed by a slight cornmeal scent. Pleasing, if a bit shallow.

A draw from the glass first brings out a clean grain/cornmeal flavor which is followed by a slight whitebread taste on the middle of the tongue. Upon swallow, the subtle citrus bite comes out on the back of the tongue, leading to a slight drying finish. Mouthfeel is light and tingly.

This is a nice macro lager...nothing offensive about it, just a nice clean crisp flavor that is able to avoid the "just took a breath of wet air" finish that comes from some macros. Best served quite cold as a refreshing beverage after hard work on a hot day. It also doesn't seem to lose too much when drunk from the can, so it's great to take camping or fishing.

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Photo of shererjt
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an effervescent yellow clear with moderate carbonation and an average head. Aroma was strongly like cooked corn. Not awful, but not your normal hops and malt either. Possibly some astringency as well. Body was light-to-medium. Some malt there and leans to the sweet side. Mostly corn flavor; not bad but not what I'd call a great beer, either. Mouthfeel was okay; nothing to write home about.

Really not a bad beer, and pretty good by macro standards. I'd prefer High Life or Schlitz, but would do nicely in a pinch.

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Photo of BadBadger
2.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A Pabst Blue Ribbon, can be a refreshing beer, under the right circumstances. IY pours a clear lihky golden color into the glass. THe head is nice and foamy. The smell is reminiscent of an bar you have been into. It makes your think of stale beer, and sloppy floors. The taste is pretty much nonexistent. The mouthfeel is crisp. This is not necessarily an achievement, considering the absence of flavor to begin with. Not the macro lage I would reach for again: don't get got up in the fad. I would recommend a Miller High Life instead.

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Photo of badbeer
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw sort of color with a quickly dissipating head leaving no lace, bubbles flying up from the bottom. Mostly a grain smell, pretty clean, with a hint of floralness. Grainy in taste, but not in a bad way, a little bit of corn, and only a touch of hops. Taste almost dances on your tongue with the amount of carbonation. I imagine this as a great beer with many different foods. Higher carbonation, but seems to be a nice addition to this one. Light to medium body, I expected very light body, but having a little something there is nice. I usually don't save any room for macro's in my fridge, but I may be able to squeeze a little room for this. Seems like this would be good for many occasions, BBQ, lawnmowing, fishing, just being out and about and just wanting something simple.

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Photo of rodrot
2.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

PBR poured a clear golden color with a one inch head that went away rather quickly. Aroma was citrusy and fruity with a faint whiff of corn. Taste was very fruity and spritzy with a slight hop bitterness and some malt character in the finish, but not much. This beer had an incredibly thin mouthfeel. It was pretty bland and watery tasting, which is the standard for most macros I guess. I could see this as a refreshing drink after mowing the lawn in 90 degree temperatures.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

My choice for "Golf" beer. Forms a fizzy 2 finger head that falls to ring style, leaving behind sliding lace. Massive amounts of carbonation that is common to the style, nothing earthshattering here. Light Yellow color.

A bit maltier than its cousin's, and a bit more hops, not much more but enough to make a difference. Usual adjunct, corn syrup, rice lager. you just get the feeling its so highly filtered that its filtered itself out of taste. Very crisp and clean, leaves me desiring something to make it interesting.

Notes: I'm in....Pabst and Budweiser are the two macros that see time in my fridge. They know how to make a fairly tasteless beer without any "edges" or something to possibly send you to another brand. It is what it is....a cheap brew that doesn't offend.

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Photo of dubman003
1.53/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

There is no reason anyone should pay to drink PBR. Even for college students buying a keg, I would be embarrased to tell people I bought this beer. It stinks and tastes foul. Its only saving grace is when the beer comes from a bar tap, possibly because it is fresher (I hope), but coming from a can, run from this beer.

With other options on the grocery shelf--namely Miller High Life and Milwaukee Best Light--the low price is not even a saving grace. Some people get used to the taste from buying the cheap beer on the shelf, but I honestly can't support anyone even 'tasting' this beer.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,670 ratings.