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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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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: 1,669 | Ratings: 5,335
Photo of bignick
4.22/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing to review it relative to style:

I think that this is one of the vest best American Macro Lagers. Thus, my high score represents this fact. In other words, because I give it a 4+, that doesn't mean it is comparable to other beers that I have rated 4+. It ain't St. Bernardus, but it ain't Corona Light either.

Regardless, I do like this beer a good deal. The taste has hints of corn, malt, and hops. I like the nutty taste that I get in the finish. It definitely refreshing. This is a very decent beer, and a very good value. A 30 pack costs around 15 and a pint rarely more than $2 at the bars I frequent.

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Photo of MSchae1017
2.94/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a Pilsner Glass from a can.

The beer pours a golden color with a thick white head that dissapated quickly and does not lace. The smell is dominated by corn but there is some bitterness. The taste is just a little bland. Kind of your average beer taste. The is good carbonation and thickness. Its a decent beer to just sit around and drink.

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Photo of bonbright7
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While Pabst Blue Ribbon may not rank highly in the archives of the Beer Advocate, I was taken by surprise last night by the .99 pint bottle I picked up on a whim as I passed by the beer aisle in the King Kullen market in
Halesite, NY. I popped the top with my dinner of cajun-style catfish filet and couscous, only to find another winner in the cheap beer area.

The Pabst was obviously fresh as it created a smooth and frothy head in my 50cl glass. I could see a multitude of little bubbles supporting the white top as I lifted the glass for a taste. It reminded me of what Coors tasted like before Light and before marketing reformulation as the sudsy pilsner style went down easily with a sort of creamy spirit to it.

I could have had several of these with out thinking about it, but I only had the pint. Another good point about the Pabst was that it was well matched with the spicy catfish as food with beer means a lot to me.

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Photo of DrZarkov
2.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK here's my real question about PBR....Is it beer-flavored water or water-flavored beer? It looks about like water too! I guess the one up side to PBR is that it is very light and I could see it being pretty refreshing compared to most other brews. I wouldn't bother to spend my money on it though—if you're going to drink beer drink something that you can taste.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.33/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear yellow snow in color. A couple of rapid bubbles streaking up from select points around the glass. Bubbly head that vanished. Zero lace.

Nose is hardly present. But not bad. Just not there.

Flavor is fairly nice for most examples of the style. The adjuncts almost have me thinking there are ample malts. Slight hops come through at the back. Kind of sweet but with a pretty nice (but slight) bitterness to it.

Crisp but with a medium body. I actually kind of prefer this beer as it warms up. It's a pretty good beer to drink while cooking too because it will not destroy or affect your tastebuds and, consequently, I can properly sample what I am concontcing on my stove.

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Photo of Rootdog316
2.23/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On any given Friday or Saturday night, you can catch me with an ice cold can of PBR in hand. It's kind of cheesy, to be sure, but I've got several reasons to justify my drink of choice:

1. Price. My PBR habit was born out of pure desperation. It only costs $1.50 at most bars. Drop 50 cents into the tip jar and you're all set for a cheap evening out at two bucks a drink! Woo-hoo! Meanwhile, my friends are buying expensive lagers, mixed drinks and such for upwards of three or four dollars a drink. Who comes out ahead in the end here, hmmm?

2. Taste. I've always been a cheap beer drinker. I love all the "lite," watery-tasting beers (not to mention that they are half the calories of regular beers, which is an added bonus). Note: PBR is not a low-calorie beer, but that's okay because it's a low-cost beer and life is full of difficult decisions. Sometimes cheap is just more important.

PBR is somewhat watery tasting-- not quite as full-bodied, if you will, as expensive beers-- but that's what I love about it. Actually, now that I'm a certified (or certifiable?) PBR addict, I'm finding it somewhat difficult to drink more expensive beers because they taste extremely different... strange, even. My friends try to tell me that most beers taste different because they're better than PBR, but I tend to disagree. Those so-called better beers mostly just taste bitter to me. Why drink bitter when you can drink bland, hmmm?

PBR is not, however, a dinner beer. For some reason I have a hard time drinking my PBRs with food. It's just not a good combination at all! Maybe that's why most restaurants don't serve it?

3. Respect. That's right. For some reason, drinking a PBR seems to garner a certain amount of respect from other bar patrons. People assume that you must be a really tough person to actually be drinking a PBR. It seems to say, 'Check me out. I'm wild, I'm crazy. I'm not afraid of anything. Watch out!' I think this is especially true sometimes for me because I'm female. As an added bonus, I've discovered men seem to totally dig the idea of women drinking PBR. Maybe it's that whole wild and crazy thing...

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Photo of tweeder263
2.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured out a crystal clear yellow gold brew with a 1 finger head.Moderate carbonation.Has a corn\grainy smell.Taste is hmm a little rough.Very sweet up front,with that corny lingering taste ,,nothing in the way of hops. Crappy feel. In the battle between this or high life,,high life definitely wins.

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Photo of Viggo
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow, very clear, small white head forms and goes real fast, no lacing. Smell is sweet and honeylike, with some grass and citrus. Taste is sweet malt up front, with citrus and grass hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is high. Perfect swill beer for watching hockey.

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Photo of falcn5
2.47/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beats the Big Three hands-down. To the casual eye, it appears to be just another BMC - light, fizzy, a pale yellow with barely any white head. Taste is where this beer can shine (in comparison to its brethren, of course). Served from a keg, into a pitcher, then into shot glasses for a good old-fashioned power hour, this beer has a refreshing zing in the mouth. The only part that tripped me up was a barely-noticed chalky sensation. On every 10th shot or so the beer had a hint of blackboard eraser.
An admirable beer for the purpose, I believe this is the best of the American "drink while enjoying other activities" beers.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

finally got around to trying PBR - I bought a twelve pack in order to have a beer to drink with my co-workers after work - they only like American Macros.

This beer pours a pale yellow with abundant carbonation and a fizzy head that didn't stick around long.

Aroma is faint malt and corn, i cannot detect hops.

taste is bland but with a hint of sweet malt and maybe just a touch of hops, maybe. very clean, nothing offensive like other cheap beers.

mouthfeel is a little light but pretty decent.

drinkability is as high as you can get since there is little flavor and low alcohol.

overall this beer really isn't that bad, i like it better than Bud and about the same as High Life. It does the trick when you don't really care.

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Photo of becktone
2.06/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Usually I drink Pabst right out of the bottle there is no point to put it into a glass. However, for this review's sake I have poured it into a glass. It looks like water with yellow food coloring in it, there is no head at all and there is very little in the way of carbonation.

I was taken by surprise when I smelled this beer. Holy shit, could anything besides shit smell this bad! Let alone something that is meant to be consumed. I can't get over how bad this stuff smells. And I really never noticed how bad it smelled because the acrid aroma can not be smelt when the beer is in the bottle.

Contrary to the way it looks, one actually feels the carbonation when this beer is consumed. In other words it is high in carbonation contrary to the lack of visible carbonation in the glass. It goes down as smooth as any macro will and is light on the palate. It really doesn't taste that great either, granted its better than natty, but that's not saying that much.

As for the drinkability, I wouldn't buy a case of this. The only time I drink this is when my friends and I all get together and drink. I usually throw in a few bucks for beer so that I am not only drinking the six pack that I have brought with me. I really don't recommend this beer.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin, yellow, small white head falls off fast.

Smell is malty and kind of sweet.

Taste is much better than I remembered from my younger days. Malty, sweet, maybe a hint of hops. Some yeast and bread flavors too.

Mouthfeel is thin American Macro Brew.

Drinkability is pretty good. Lawnmower beer, hot days beer, BBQ on the beach beer, call it what you want. It's not really bad to drink at all for cheap stuff. I will buy some again when in the appropriate mood.

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Photo of mentor
3.88/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yup, I'm broke but wanted to review beers tonight. Obtained from the discount bin of Liquor Mart (Boulder). Pours a finger and a half fizzy white head that quickly settled. The liquid is light straw-orange with a couple streamed of bubbles feeding the half-layer of head left on the beer. Smells dark hops, wet cardboard and fresh dark mushrooms. Malt sweet is way beneath, as is a little bit of sting, which I think is from carbonation release. Tastes sweet to start with a noticable hop oil on the tongue. The aftertastes sees a burst of hop floral in the back of the mouth. Yes, I do not exaggerate, 'burst'. Some grain in the malt character early, but this vanishes upon the swallow to leave and empty space in the flavor. Despite this, this beer is actually tasty. A bit more carbonated than I'd like, so I will swirl to release some of the CO2. The smell is now more of a wet hay than cardboard & mushroom. With the carbonation decreased, the beer is quite a bit more flavorful. I just don't understand why macro lagers are so overcarbonated that they make carb sting a main component of the flavor profile. The hops are still quite noticable, perhaps a touch stronger than the weak malt dictates. Md thin body. Drinkable, yeah, very nice. Judged to style, not to my flavor preferences.

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Photo of Atvar
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Definately better than PBR from a can, it tastes crisper and doesn't have that metallic taste. I don't have to force down the last few sips when drinking this from the bottle, even after letting it warm up a bit. I find PBR to have a slightly better taste which is more enjoyable than say, coors light. Slightly bitter taste, maybe from a touch of hops? For the price, drinkability is great. It's not hard at all to put down a few of these.

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Photo of Enola
2.08/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I bought a twelve of PBR to take camping last night and I must say thank God that's over with. This beer looks undistiguishable from any other Macro. I can't even begin to describe the taste if not kept at a cool temp. Say around -12 degrees. The taste was right in line with what you would expect from a $4 twelve pack. I think cheap beer has an important place in society, but it damn sure ain't in my beer cooler.

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Photo of wcudwight
1.78/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Corn yellow. Small head that left quickly. Smells like canned corn and straw. Taste like any other macro to me. Very grainy and maybe some malt. Mouthfeel was thin with some carbonation. Drinkability would be good except a horrible metalic aftertaste and the beer becomes absolutely putrid when warm.
When the situation calls for a low abv macro beer and some situations do. I think it's best to just get the cheapest b/c it's hard to distiguish the taste between them. The cheapest is usually PBR. It's a cheap beer plain and simple.

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Photo of NClifestyle
2.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ah, the PBR. this is my 'going to a hot and sweaty rock and roll show' beer. it's just perfect for drinking quite a few at a concert in the heat. really, i think there's no better beer for the job.
pours golden color, white head, not large and leaves quickly.
smell of grain and grass, smells like high school field parties.
tastes much the same, but has a little more grain kick than the big 3 imposters. leaves some aftertaste, maybe a hint of hop.
mouthfeel is lots of carbonation, a nice little burn, but super clean and refreshing. damn, that tastes good after working in the yard or at the beach.
if i'm not in need of much taste, could drink this all night, and have on a few occasions. most recently, had way too many at a drive-by truckers concert at ziggy's in winston-salem. what a blast!


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Photo of akajimmyd
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz can, poured into a tumbler.

Appearance: Pale golden color. Very minimal head.

Smell: Slightly sour smell, besides that not much.

Taste: Yummy. The most flavorful of the “cheap beers.” Served very cold. A bit sweet but a very clean taste.

Notes: This is the best of the college beers. Perfect drinkability for watching a movie in the winter or sitting on the porch in the summer. Always a treat to find one in the beer bath at a party. Even better in the long neck.

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Photo of CJfromPhilly
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap @ Barnaby's in Aston, PA. Pours the standard macro pale yellow with a one finger head that quickly goes away. I was surprised by how little carbonation there was, I could actually count the few bubbles rising in the glass on one hand. I tried like hell to find an aroma, but didn't have any luck. Taste is the usual cheap macro maltiness, with no hops present. Thin mouthfeel. Overall, nothing REALLY offensive, but nothing to seek out either. Great for washing down bar food while watching the Eagles smack the 49ers around, and quite a bargain at $2 a pint (it's most redeeming quality). It is what it is...swill for the masses.

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Photo of boatyard
2.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i get made fun of alot after telling people that i enjoy an ice cold can of PBR from time to time, however it's always from the people thast think that miller lite is some sort of golden nectar so i pay no mind to the laughter. the truth is that PBR is one of the best beer values on the market today. it looks like a traditional american lager, you know like a corn yellow. has a nice white head that doesn't stay very long, and no lacing to speak off. smells like corn to me. and i find it to have a nice sweet taste. goes well with bratwurst, and hot dogs with sour kraut. you can knock these puppies back if you want to and still feel ok the next day. but for 12.99 a 30 you can't go wrong. it is also a very good beer to cook with.

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Photo of kgotcher
2.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my go to beer when I just need cheep beer - which is not often thank goodness. Besides sometimes you just want a beer to drink and cans for under .50 a pop are easy on the wallet. Can mentions that only the finest hops and grains are used, hmmm. I have a hard time with that one.

Pours crisp clear and fizzy like you would expect. Quickly settles down to what could be mistaken for a light colored apple juice.

Smell is light with a hint of corny sweetness. Mouthfeel is watery but not too bad concidering. Taste is also sweet and corny with some slight hop flovor. Dry aftertaste. Overall not horrible but not much substance.

As a beer in general PBR has nothing to brag about. BUT side by side with similar macros that cost almost double this beer is not only good but is a steal.

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Photo of semihobo
1.65/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I got really thirsty at a volleyball tournament before coming home to a PBR ... probably a good idea.

Pours with a big ugly head that drops quickly but, to its credit, leaves an good layer on top and some lace around the edges. Very pale yellow, few bubble columns .. eh.

Smells like corn and adjuncts. At least it doesn't smell very strongly... no hops or "malts" in the traditional sense.

Taste is gross. Bad corn and that overpowering taste that is in the worst of beers, the one that makes you flinch and make a face. Is that just "adjuncts?" Bitter finish that encourages puking.

Hard to separate the mouthfeel from the taste, but I don't think it's that bad. Starts off too bubbly, gets flatter as it warms, so according to the intermediate value theorem, there has to be a good balance in there somewhere. Still nothing pleasant.

I feel I should give some sympathy points on drinkability. It is cheap, although not especially for the style "American Macro Lager." About average for the field of extremely cheap beer. For a beer that's meant to get you trashed, I wish the finish weren't so gross ... it encourages vomiting when you want to keep it down.

I'll drink it at college parties, and it's maybe a step above Milwaukee's Best or Natty.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.9/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer.

I drink it in bottles, which I buy by the case for $9. Pabst in bottles tastes the best and is by far the most drinkable.

I drink it in tallboys at baseball games and when I'm bumming around with hillbilly chicks out in the bluffs. Drinking Pabst in tallboys is by far the most fun.

I drink Pabst on tap when I wanna show all the communist chicks at the bars that I'm sensitive to the working man's plight (I live in Madison, WI. There are tons of communist chicks running around).

I also like this beer because of its fantastik marketing scheme, which is:

1. Showcase local bands at hipster watering holes and get them to endorse Pabst.

2. Hire people to go around and buy Pabst for everyone they see. Seriously, random guys in Madison are always at the bars buying me Pabst. Hmm... that sounds a bit peculiar now that I've typed it...

3. Follow me to Tibet to make sure that I don't forget about them when I go there.

Seriously, Tibet is pretty much run by Pabst Blue Ribbon. The Red Army only thinks they have control and his Holiness the Dali Lama is plum out.

Everything in Tibet is Pabst. The umbrellas, the billboards, the clothes that taxi drivers wear, ash trays, even the tea pot in my room at the Shigaze Hotel was a big stinking ad for Pabst.

On that note, Pabst is the best beer that I've had above 13,000 feet.

I’ll highly recommend its light malts and grains over the other big macros.

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Photo of LPorter33
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A perfect camping/BBQ beer. Light and easy to pound down to wash away hot dogs or burgers. This is certainly far from gourmet but you need to examine the context in which it is to be drunk and rank it with its competitors. I would never drink this beer indoors but have decided it is a must on any camping trip to NH, ME, or VT. The taste itself is slightly less watery and more flavorful than Bud/Miller/Coors. For that it gets my recommendation when used in a situation I've detailed above.

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Photo of packetknife
2.53/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Up until recently I didn't know PBR truly came outside of cans (its natural habitat). Pours golden with bubbles throughout and a big broken foam head that faded slowly and smeared (glass not quite clean?). Feable attempt at malts, some hops, a slight artificial sweetness. Some citris hit my nose each time I pulled the glass up. It reminds me more of old Grain Belt than anything else. Much more tolerable off tap, not too bad actually if the heat is on.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,669 ratings.