Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,607 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,607
Hads: 5,085
Avg: 3
pDev: 44%
Wants: 55
Gots: 915 | 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
View: Beers (62) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,607 | Hads: 5,085
Photo of Dogbrick
1.73/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Well I couldn’t avoid it forever. Clear pale golden color with tiny bubbles and a thick but short-lived white head. No real lacing to speak of. Aroma of sweetcorn and light hops. Light-bodied and somewhat crisp with a barely-there sweet flavor, and some bland hops. The finish is an off flavor that really prevents this from being a harmless, flavorless beer. The aftertaste is rather unpleasant, like wood varnish or something. Needless to say I won’t be trying this again any time soon.

 490 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
1.7/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

At first I was somewhat surprised that this beer seemed drinkable. I wasnt expecting much, but the first few drinks werent that bad. It kind of reminded me of a Miller High Life Light at first. But as I went on, this beer got worse and worse. It gradually started tasting just awful. I found that strange as beer usually tastes better and better the more I drink. Anyways, it looked like piss, did not have hardly any smell, and the only noticable tastes were a bit of bread and a few grains. Nothing special at all. This is not even worth picking up if its the only thing you can afford. Better off sticking with Busch Light or even Natural Light. This beer flat out sucks!

 674 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is probably my favorite budget priced american adjunct lager to date, still it isn't something to get too excited about. Color is light golden, head is average-sized and foamy. The aroma is of sweet macro smell, very typical. The taste has more depth than other adjuncts I've had, grain and hops are more apparent. The overall strong point of the taste is a grainy sweetness. This is very drinkable and well worth the very low price for a 12 pack. Hands down this is my money saver beer choice.

 499 characters

Photo of msolar
3/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

I have one question: how did PBR become a fashion trend?

I usually keep some on hand for when rowdy friends come over - it's cheap, and (in my opinion) tastes better than Bud, Miller, or the like. However, I can't imagine wearing a "PBR" shirt.

The beer is very light in color, comparable to Bud Light. It smells as you would imagine - like a watered down pilsner. And the taste? While it won't win "Beer of the Year" award, I think it's a great alternative to the other cheap domestic beers. In my opinion, it just tastes a little less "cheap".

This is definitely a beer focused on quantity, not quality - but if you're ok with that, drink up!


 655 characters

Photo of BigRedN
2.8/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tonight I buy into the hype, bought a 6 pack of longnecks for $3.99. This beer has got notoriety as being cool and hip for some reason. After encountering this beer in some college bars here in Lincoln and also in Omaha's Old Market district over the Holidays, I broke down to see what the fuss was all about.

Appearance: Light gold, minimal head that did not last, carbonated with bubbles dancing to the top of the liquid. Definitely macro.

Smell: Slight sweetness caused by adjuncts methinks, and a hint of floral hoppiness.

Taste: Slightly sweet (adjuncts?), yet a touch of hops on the finish. Not overwhelming, yet somewhat surprising.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, not watery like some counterparts. Carbonated and lively.

Drinkabilty: OK, a decent macro, nothing more. I don't go for trends, I just don't get them (like what was the deal with that goddamn Macarena thing?) and I don't get this one. Will I buy this again? Maybe try on tap, but that's it.

 970 characters

Photo of brownbottlehall
3.48/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always nice to find this "splendid blended" lager on-tap. Not much of a head to speak of, with a pale yellowish appearance. I always found this beer to have a somewhat unpleasant smell, but the once it hits your lips the taste makes up for the odor. A very sharp, crisp taste which is eventually followed by an very abstract aftertaste that I have never found the words to describe. Overall it really does have a prized flavor when in the company of macrobrews. Captain Pabst is my hero.

 487 characters

Photo of Goldorak
2.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A rare find here in Québec...

Appearance: Straw-yellow, a light, frizzy head that was thick from out of the can, but died down quickly.

Smell: A very discreet grassy, malty with barely enough hops to register on the scale. I've smelled worse.

Taste: Pretty light, a bit too watery with a slight metalic twang, some corn, but with a little more malt than the usual macros. I don't want to start off the debate over drinkability as in "chugability" versus drinkability as in "I would go out of my way to drink this again", so I'll give it a average 3. In the world of D- macros, this one gets a C-.

 606 characters

Photo of WanderingFool
2.9/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What can I say about Pabst Blue Ribbon that hasn't already been said? Believe it or not this is the first time I've ever tried this beer. It pours a clear light yellow color with a fizzy white head that quickly dissolves to a thin ring on the surface. The aroma seemed a bit skunky to me with some corn, dry malt and hops mixed in.

I found each sip to be smooth with a hint of creamyness. The flavor is a combination of sweet malt, corn, hops and a hint of bubblegum. There is also a hint of sweet malt in the aftertaste.

I'm not much of a macro drinker, but I found this beer to be quite drinkable. It also didn't have the typical chemical flavor I find in other macro's. I'd probably get another Pabst if I was in a place that had this as the best selection.

 766 characters

Photo of mynie
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Well, well. Emobeer thy name is Pabst. Still riding on that hundred and ten year old blue ribbon win, eh? Figures. Your kind always worked those horses so hard there was nothing left of them by the time you were finished.

You are incredibly drinkable, Mr. Pabst. That I cannot ignore. And your taste. Well, let's just say it's heads and tails above the other beers of your ilk. Grainy and bready with hints of weeds. It serves to wash down just about any food quite well. You have a nice head, too, all big and foamy.

 520 characters

Photo of moocey
3.5/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

I'm posting this one because PBR in a bottle is noticably different from PBR in a can. It's your usual fizzy yellow beer appearance, head is quickly gone, usual macro smell. However, I give this beer the distinction of the only macro I've ever tasted hops in. It's not like I'm even drinking a decent IPA, but the hops are there in the middle and the finish. Not bad. Not great, but I'll choose it over any macro (and quite a few crappy micros)

 444 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
2.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mmmmm, PBR...The best beer in America as voted in 1893 when it was probably in competition against one other beer. Gold color with a slight head that even left some lacing on the glass, WOWWWW! The smell is almost non-existent. But damnit, it tastes just fine and you can drink it til the cows come home. By far my favorite of any cheap beer out there. We will make this world a better place, one Pabst at a time.

 413 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
1.51/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a simple light copper with a thin white head and no lcaing whatsoever. Smells like a decent macro-lager, but nothing special. Tastes like water with a pinch of grain mixed in. No complexity, and no flavor. So bland I could barely finish it. I used to like this is, but no more. Avoid.

 290 characters

Photo of Suds
2.08/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This was one of my Dad’s favorite beers. From a can, poured into a footed pilsner glass, this is a light, transparent yellow color with a white, pretty head. Unfortunately, the head doesn’t last very long. Seems to have a little less carbonation than other, similar macros. Not much of an aroma…grain, corn…nothing else. Slightly sweet, very light…fairly smooth, with a less-than-crisp finish. Nothing distasteful, but nothing worthwhile either.

 450 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
3.18/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a light gold color with one finger of head that dies off quickly. Almost no lacing. The smell is light with just a hint of malty and grassy aromas. The taste is also grassy and malty, but it's very light on flavor. Nothing offensive though. The mouthfeel is very light and watery. The drinkability is good though. If I had to choose a macro to pair with pizza, this would be it.

 433 characters

Photo of clemtig76
3.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried PBR again for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. Much more flavor than the big three. Hoppy aroma and a clean, fresh taste. Maybe I just was lucky and got a fresh bottle, but for the money, it can't be beat. My new go to beer when money is tight.

 262 characters

Photo of lampkins
3.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I started drinking this beer after I became tired of the over-hyped premium brews out there. Beer pours a light yellow with little or no head. Smells like malt and nothing else. Taste of the beer is balanced, not too overpowering of hops/malt and can't detect the alcohol in the beer. I can drink this beer all day. While I like the premiums I am not afraid to slum it.

 369 characters

Photo of aquatonex
2.01/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm, is this beer or water? I wonder...

Pours like seltzer, with the slightest tinge of pee. Smells like seltzer, with the slightest tinge of pee as well. Taste is rather nonexistent. It is impressively smooth, no skunk from this macro. But, the smoothness is so easy to create if there is no TASTE. However, I could down probably 2x the number of these than any other beer. Overall, I'd pick this over all the other macros if I'm playing beer pong.

 452 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24oz tallboy can obtained as part of BIF 13 from Qarre. Thanks for the opportunity, I think...

Gave it a shot at fame by pouring it into an imperial pint glass, where it formed a 1" white head over the clear light golden/yellow brew. Head is short-lived, but lasted longer than I expected, lacing is somewhat minimal, yet still better than I expected again. Aroma is minimal, and what is present is generic "beer", the lightest of malts with balancing nondescript hops. Nothing replusive, however, and that's always noteworthy.

Taste is upfront sweet adjunct presence, with the slightest of crispness at the outset. The main observation I am presented with is "watery". Mouthfeel and drinkability are both okay for the style. Fits the 3 average for me: the only negatives are lacks of positives. Good for mowing the lawn, which I will be doing momentarily.

 863 characters

Photo of mobyfann
2.64/5  rDev -12%
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 -27.3%
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 -24%
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 -33.3%
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 -14.7%
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 -10.7%
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 +25%
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

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,607 ratings.