Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

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1,589 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,589
Hads: 5,016
rAvg: 3.08
pDev: 20.45%
Wants: 55
Gots: 835 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,589 | Hads: 5,016
Photo of mobyfann
2.64/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Roommate paid: $15 even for a 30 pack of cans...

The appearence of this beer is pretty standard: A clear golden base with a medium semi-fluffy head with signs of lacing and average retention. The aroma is of typical American macro-quality - yeast & corn mixture... eh

The taste is alright but not even into average level. It isn't bad however so a 2.5 is what it gets... The mouthfeel is pretty decent and the beers' best quality in the 5-point scale. The drinkability is average... folks it's PBR, a decent beer, the best macro beer in America...

Final Thought: This is the second best beer for price per quality (Honey Brown), definately a session beer when taste is irrelevant to your state of drunkeness... (719 characters)

Photo of putnam
2.18/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had this ice cold, in a sub-zero mug because the bar had nothing of any quality and I hadn't reviewed it yet. I figured I might as well do some homework while I was infusing my system with empty calories. Obviously there was no smell because of the temperature, and there was very nearly no flavor either. I will give it points for NOT having the characteristic "formaldehyde" flavor of AB products, nor the "sweaty gym sock" of Miller's kind. There was a crisp, ropy, dried herb element to the flavor that was not all that pleasant.


Now from a goblet, I find there is an objectionable odor: vaguely nutty only putrid and rotten nuts. Phony cotton candy sweetness and ad hoc bittterness. I had hoped this would show-up a Baltic lager open on my desk. It did not. I can't figure out why this is the darling of slumming BAs. MHL is lots better. No change of score. (885 characters)

Photo of jayb
2.28/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a dingy but clean yellow. A big ole snow white head to begin with that settled down a thin film. Lacing wasnt much to speak of. Aroma was of cooked cabbage like smell as well. Taste was thin, watery, and not overly exciting. A grainy taste. Corn husks and steamed veggies. Carbonation was biting, but tolerable. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. Not very bitter, not very malty, but dry as a bucket of sand. Not a terrible beer, pretty standard macro lager. i wont complain, but there are better macros out there. enjoy. (527 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
2/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So far I've pretty much only been reviewing beers that I thought were exceptional, but tonight I'm paying a little homage to our old friend PBR. Looks like any cheap beer, pale yellow, not much head at all, too many bubbles. Smell doesn't really entice me at all, just reminds me of keggers. The taste actually isn't as bad as most "cheap" beers. Not much flavor at all, pretty much just watery with a touch of maltiness. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, I can actually feel the bubbles popping in my mouth. Well, I don't enjoy it a whole lot but it's pretty easy to drink. Ok, so we all know PBR isn't the best of beers, but it's not the worst at all. I'd say it's the best macro beer out there perhaps. After all, it was "selected as America's best in 1893." Anyway, plenty of more interesting beers out there, we are all aware of this I would hope, but hey, go easy on the little guy. When you're in a pinch for cash and in need of a party, a case of Pabst may come in handy. Cheers. (983 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
2.56/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden straw hues with a ring halo.

Scents barley eek out a malt scent.

Me tongue can barely detect grain and some adjunct additive of perhaps corn or rice.

Light to medium body with plenty of carbonation, although this could be due to the religiously cleaned lines at Grey Lodge.

Decent to wash down some pub grub, but, seriously, PBR is ok at best, even on a good clean draught line.

Beer is good. Happy beering. (436 characters)

Photo of bultrey
2.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, this is the hipster beer du jour in my part of the world, and I suspect that the reason for this is that people are deliberately drinking it to be ironic because it is cheap and normally associated with white trash. It's kind of like wearing the damn trucker caps.

Anyway, it's PBR. What can you say? It tastes like adjunct malts, but not offensively so, and there is the slightest hint of hops characteristic hidden in there, as well. It is a pale golden-yeallow beer, and it retains a slight head and fairly effervescent carbonation. It IS better than many American mass-produced beers, but that's not saying much. I put it on par with Budweiser. Anyone who claims it is significantly better (or significantly worse) is being fooled by either the Bud marketers or PBR hipsters.
Still, the 20 oz. chalice I received for $4.00 on a hot day to down my mexican food was A-OK, as it is refreshing, and a little more exciting than water. It's like beer-flavored soda. (973 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
3.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah, yes, my Grandfather's beer. I still remember the empty, fully sealed *from the brewery* can that he had..

Anyways... pours, well, pale yellow, clear, as it shour... the head doesn't hang out at all... but there is a thin ring of bubbles left down the side of the glass...

Aroma... holy cow.. I can almost smell some hops in this macro beer... that is impressive...

Taste.. a lesson in balance between hops and malt.. I can pick up a lil of each here.. not much, but enough....

Mouthfeel... well, slightly high on carbonation... but good.. thin.. as it should be for this type of beer..

Drinkablilty.. enough taste to keep you somewhat interested.. especially when you look at price points..

One of the best, if not the best mass produced american beer. (775 characters)

Photo of diamonddave
3.15/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

How bad could this be? I mean, it won the blue ribbon, right?

If you drink lots of water, your pee will look like this. Come to think of it, drinking Peeber is like drinking water. Very thin. The smell ain't nothing to write home to Mama about, either. You might as well skip that "breathe out while the beer is still in your mouth" step in the beer-tasting tips. There aren't any subtle flavor/aroma nuances to be found here.

This poured a half-inch head that was gone faster than you can say "half-inch head". Once the beer is gone, there's no sign that it was ever in the glass.

The taste is, well, not much. It's that usual grainy thing that you get with beers that cost $5.99 for 12 bottles. Sure goes down easy though, kinda like [insert victim's name]'s mom. Much better from a bottle than a can, with little (if any) difference in price.

As a responsible journalist, I'll admit my bias: this is the house beer at Nyabinghi in Youngstown, OH, which is one of my favorite clubs. Buck a can on Monday nights. Come on down and join the PB Army. (1,061 characters)

Photo of SaunaKing
1.84/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A friend of mine picked up a 6 pack of this while we were at his cottage and i tried one out on a boat ride. Can't say much about the appearence since it was in a can but the smell was unpleasant, something like sulphur.
The taste was pretty awful, strong presence of adjuncts, either rice or corn i guess. A very fizzy mouthfeel like tonic water and even though we were out on a boat in the sun i couldn't drink any more of these. (433 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
2.78/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So PBR has finally invaded Canada. This stuff is actually contract brewed by the Great Western Brewing Co. up here, so it's not the "authentic" original, but hell, it's like the Americans getting their Guinness Extra Stout brewed up here in Canada instead of from Ireland.

A decent looking lager from the pour out of the can, pale golden but lots of carbonation, as well as a fairly impressive foamy white head. It doesn't last long, but it's also something I don't see very often on an adjunct lager either. The aroma is light, slightly sour accompanied by a corn sweetness as well. Although I begin to wonder if there is a contingent of rice adjunct in there too. The flavour is light and pretty unoffensive, there is a slight underlying sweetness, and the mouthfeel and body makes me think that rice is the primary adjunct at work here. Not much malt, that's for sure. This would probably be the best cheap lager you can pick up in Canada at the moment given the price, damn near a buck a can which is almost unheard of (and completely unheard of for other drinkable beer in that category). (1,097 characters)

Photo of BillyBrew
2.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A favorite beer from my youth. A sixer of PBR tallboys and life was great! Hard to imagine it took 136 reviews before I came to write this one.

Pale-straw colour with a foamy, white head that dissipates quickly but leaves a ring and smallish cap.

Fairly tin-ny nose that is a characteristic of its can, not its makeup. Faint grainy nose. Think: fading memories of distant, waving fields of grain. And there you have it.

Forward dry graininess. Balanced, but not hoppy. Think: a touch of barley, a hop cone and a handfull of adjunct. And there you have it again. Nothing striking, nothing offensive.

Very dry,crisp, light body. Finishes clean, with no aftertaste. A body that leaves you thirsty for more.

A great session beer, with or without food. And hey, it aint AB or SAB. It will always have a place in my heart and belly. Fond memeories, if not taste.

Cheers! (882 characters)

Photo of EagleTalon
2.45/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

PBR (Oklahoma 3.2% ABW maximum) Pours to a quickly fading white head that forms a thin layer of foam that stays. Color is the typical pale American color. Flavor is much weaker than the full strength version (which is sold in liquor stores in OK). From the can there is a metallic harshness in the mouthfeel that ruins the experience. The "low point" version is very weak. I drank several in one night and barely got a buzz. For $4.99 / 12 pack, what do you expect? Beer is expensive in Oklahoma because of high excise taxes, btw. (530 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
2.08/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at the local pub that my golf buddy and I stop at for a post-round pint. I'd thought about trying PBR before and after 18 holes I was hoping it would make for a decent, if unspectacular, thirst quencher.
Well, PBR had the prototypical macro lager appearance: clear Post-It note yellow with a soapy white head that fizzled down to a skim, leaving no lace. Well, appearances aren't everything, right?
In this case, the vague attractiveness is about the best thing going for PBR. The nose was totally, 100%-ly non-existant. None, nada, zip, ziltch, zero. At least it didn't smell rank. The taste was about as close to water as I've had the chance to experience with a beer. Only at the far back of my palate did a slight stirring of flavor come out, an echo of what should have been. That flavor was a faint maltiness reminiscent of a fresh-cut hayfield. Not a hint of hops anywhere. The feel was light, crisp, and dry.
I didn't go into this tasting with too many high hopes and didn't come away feeling any worse for the experience. It fits the style to a "T". It's not bad; you know, skunky or foul. It's just not anything. Not a brew I'd be eager to have again. I moved along smartly to a pint of SN Celebration Ale... (1,235 characters)

Photo of bigone4
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Well this one is a beer that anyone can drink. It is cheap and can befound in any store. $5.00 for a twelve pack a buddy and some fishing poles is a perfect combination for any summer day. A cooler to keep this yellow brew cold is a necessity. This brew does not taste good when it has even changed a few degrees from ice cold. Although I have to say for the price you can not beat this massed produced brew. Smooth taste, extreem yellowish clear color, and a nice blue ribbon on the can say it all. I am not sure when it won that ribbon but in todays beer world I do not think Pabst would get to many high honors. Well I know that this beer has missed my generation by a few years but I still find it an economical choice when feeding the masses for a party. It does have more flavor than Natural light and is compairable to Bud Light. For the true beer drinker I think you have to appreciate the road that this beer has travelled down. Not the best but by far not the worst. (976 characters)

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

My first review is a trendy beer? PBR? The only reason I like this beer is it is the beer of the autoworker. When I was brainwashed into Busch and MGD land years ago, when I was a friends place that works at the Ford plant in Cleveland, he drank this exclusively. Foward about 10 years when I've had damn good micros and now, I'll say PBR is not half bad. I just kicked 5 back and I'm feeling no pain. Sure, it's average. Sure it's a lawnmower beer. But it has become a favorite for me. Better than the aforementioned Busch. When I want a good "generic" American "burp beer" I look for PBR. (590 characters)

Photo of granger10
2.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I guess this beer might be slightly better in taste than other American macros. There isn't that corny/rice adjunct taste that I usually get but there wasn't much else either. Some sweet, grainy malt is about all that I got. This reminded me of Molson. It was also thicker than other macros, but still rather smooth. Worth a drink when the wallet is light. (356 characters)

Photo of kegerator
3.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the best macro out there hands down.
its typical in color, but the taste just leaves me wanting to drink more unlike miller lite or coors etc. its got a small bite but is very smooth. very pleasant beer to drink on a hot afternoon after working in the yard or a great beer to have for a party, keg etc.
this is my staple beer. it used to be yunegling but for the price its worth it because the price does not reflect the overall taste
very drinkable (452 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
2.6/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay so Pabst isn't what I remembered, look at original can review and you will see that I didn't mind it. Pours a very light yellow with little to no head at all. Not much lacing to speak of either. Smell is grain and earth tones, slight metallic. Taste is of grain and very watered down, not bad for the price but still not good. Metallic hints as well. Feels light and flat in mouth, drinkable only on those sweaty days doing yard work. (439 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
3.4/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This just arrived in BC. and is sells for way less than most equivalent beers. The taste is not bad with a clean finish and not too much sweetness. I see value in what this beer is worth and would drink it again for lawnmowing/canoe sex etc where you just want a palatable cheap beer. Nothing to get too excited about but a pleasant surprise (341 characters)

Photo of beershrine
2.05/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pabst's flagship beer...harsh with an aftertaste (twindge) like shoe polish. My opinion say's change your receipe!
The PBR thing is kind of retro but It should at least taste smooth.
There lucky lager product is much nicer. You can find it at albertsons I think...and they still have the puzzle caps!
Overall this beer is poor.
Since Pabst has no brewery ! It's made by MIller... (383 characters)

Photo of Foxman
2.28/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours a pale straw yellow. The single finger of bright white head falls back to nothingness almost instantly.

What little real aroma there is, is dominated by a corn adjunct character. Sweet and thin, there's little if any hop presence.

The first sip brings a grain sweetness, certainly more adjunct than malt. A mild yeasty note pops up, then gives ground to a rather unpleasant metallic bite that lingers too long at the finish. Overall, it's again thin, and the sweetness will put off most palates with a bias against macro McBeer flavors.

Very light bodied, it drains away without leaving any real note of its presence.

Yes, it's basically better than most macros, but that's like saying Queen Elizabeth is hotter than Eleanor Roosevelt. I'm not touching either one of them. This beer is too sweet, too thin, and too indistinct to be any more than just another mass-produced brew. While about as drinkable as water, in theory, I wouldn't have another unless it was the only thing I could get hold of, and then I'd have to consider something non-alcoholic. I know some folks will take umbrage with this, but I just can't hop on the PBR bandwagon. However, I do use it often for beer-can chicken. It's a tradition. Don't ask. (1,238 characters)

Photo of Thrasher
2.58/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has cultivated quite a mystique in recent years, and it's a bit difficult to see why. It's ordinary yellow lawn-mower beer, and a decidedly average one at that. Still, it's become the beer of choice for the current working-class-chic trend. It's absolutely EVERYWHERE in Portland, Oregon, even at barbershops like Bishops. It usually goes for $2 a pint, often less than that, so I suppose I can understand its appeal from a cost standpoint. But from a local pride standpoint, in this city of breweries, it's confounding and disheartening that this is the number one beer. Taste-wise, it is certainly nothing special. Pouring a clean, clear platinum with a rising head that disappears quickly, it offers a slight metallic fragrance with the faintest musty wisps of yeast. The flavor is primarily of sweet malts and corn, a definite vegetable undercurrent. Hops are non-existent and the water quaility is off-puttingly metallic. As the beer warms, it seems particularly sweet, so I guess I can see why people who don't like beer tend to like this one. I'll be happy when the trend dies down, though, just because this beer has gotten way more attention than it deserves.

Afterthought #1:
The chief criteria of the fans of PBR seems to be: "Well, it doesn't SUCK." No, it doesn't suck. But it's not GOOD, either. How can not sucking be an acceptable reason to laud a brand of suds?

Afterthought #2:
Not to dis anyone, but a review below says "This is the beer of punk rockers." A common sentiment that I've come across more than once, especially around these parts. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Blindly follow the trend and choose a beer that's produced by a major brewing monolith (Miller), in order to maintain one's indie cred. WTF?!?

Afterthought #3:
I can get a 6-pack of Portland Lager (from MacTarnahan's) for $3.75. PBR is not much cheaper than that. How about some local beer, eh, Portland paupers? (1,931 characters)

Photo of maek228
3.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

gold with a decent head. poured out of a 12 oz. can. i got the six pack for only $3.25, what a deal. smells alcohol, corn, grains, hops....smells kinda like budweiser. tastes like budweiser too, but more clean. very crisp and refreshing, great with pizza. tastes of corn, grains, light maltiness, lil bit of hops that leads to some bitterness at the end the beer. im getting a metallica taste too, probably from the can, but its not taking away too much from the taste .

this is the beer of punk rockers. any good bar has this badboy on tap, to me this is the true "average american beer" and its good. don't ever dis PBR (644 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
2.48/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw color with a small white head.
Smells like grainy sweet corn syrup and surpisingly, a whiff of hops.
Grainy sweet flavor, but more in an adjunct way. There was a hop bitterness, albeit a mild one. Finishes crisp and tangy.
Light bodied with a thin, pallid mouthfeel. The carbonation level wasn't bad.
The light, crisp finish leads to decent drinkibility in the right circumstances, i.e. real hot weather and not a lot of beer choices.
This is actually the first PBR I've ever had. Can't say whether I like it better than the big three or not because I haven't had them in eons and don't really remember what they taste like. Maybe one day I'll try them all again just for kicks...but probably not! (721 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
2.48/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don't find anything here that would rate this any better than Bud or Coors. Typical macro-adjunct sweetness, thin and watery. Actually, both Coors and Bud have a more distinctive taste. I would still rank Miller high life as the best of the macros. After two of these, I could feel a headache brewing, and I felt bloated. On to something else, right now! (356 characters)

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 1,589 ratings.