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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,658 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: 1,658 | Ratings: 5,294
Photo of mpk_tx
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Classic. By far my choice among cheap, light lagers. Drink it cold, it is crisp with nice, slightly bitter flavor. It's great to drink a PBR every now and then when you just want something simple. Can't beat the price, less than a dollar a beer in Texas, and one of my spots has tall drafts for less than 2 bucks! Simply put, if you don't like PBR, I don't like you!

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Photo of davesfolly
3.51/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

OK I spent 2.5 years in Germany. During that time, as now, I was an avid beer drinker. Now I'm old enough to remember when I got back from Germany, American beer was cow piss.

Years have passed and I am on the verge of brewing something myself. Probably a Pilsner.

But, we are talking about a beer that costs less per 12 pack than one bottle of a hell-o-beer assortment.

Yes, it is watery, Yes it hasn't much flavor or to put it frankly nothing to offend. It is 5% alcohol. Cheap and available anywhere. American cow piss? I think not.

The Snobbish assholes talking crap about a $7 per 12 pack beer need to get a grip.

It is cheap tastes OK for what it is which is a Miracle in itself. This beer could easily be like Milwaukee's Best. But it's not. This should be obvious to anyone.

BTW it smells, tastes and feels like beer. Especially after about 6 of them.

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Photo of JasW
3.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

To those whose taste buds have been jaded by a surfeit of hops, this may well taste like lightly carbonated water. But this is hands down the best American adjunct lager you can buy today. The King of Lawnmower Beers. The beer you buy for a party where people who know little about beer will be drinking beer. The beer you remember from high school and college. I wouldn't buy it or drink it on a regular basis. But when I need an American adjunct lager, this has go-to written all over it.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.51/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow body with little head. This is followed by a fresh corn aroma, something that I found to be rather startling in an adjunct lager. The taste, again, has that fresh corn taste, with a little bit of malt leading into a nice, smooth finish. All in all not bad, though I'm more of a pilsner person myself in terms of lager.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.1/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

how this beer has a better rating than budweiser i'll never understand. this is like budweisers ugly cousin. it's cheap and that's the only good thing about it. i remember a bar/concert venue selling pbr's in a can for 50 cents each back around 2007, so that tells you how cheap it really is.

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Photo of EricLiverpool
4.27/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another good, honest American Lager. The reputation it has as a "cheap beer" is really a shame. In my opinion there's a big difference between cheap and inexpensive.

Either way, I'm glad it's getting a big revival.

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Photo of thebeerman25
3.99/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 4.5

appearance-clear, carbonated, golden

smell-smells alot different than the budweisers or coors banquets and i really like it. doesnt smell hoppy at all but smells pretty good

taste-best tasting beer ive ever had. even when warm this beer tastes good. no noticable hops or anything like that but i think the corn gives it a good taste as well.

feel- feels like any other big corporate beer.

overall-best tasting beer ive had. definatly recomend anyone to try it.

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Photo of Sandhollow
2.24/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Never understood the fascination. This beer is not good. Better served ice cold. It is fairly crisp with little aftertaste. It's not the worst, but that doesn't make it good.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
3.44/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is one of the few light beers that I enjoy. If I feel like getting something much lighter than normal, I go for this. It's very flavorful despite not having much color or fullness.

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Photo of anon
2.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Look and nose are that of most other common adjunct lagers out there. That all-too-known piss gold with a very light grain scent. One thing Pabst has going for it, although this beer still being quite watery and lacking any real body and bite, is the fact that the grain and corn are picked up a little more here, making it a little more tolerable than the other mass-market adjunct lagers out there but at an even more reasonable price.

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Photo of ohhona94
3.46/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My favorite ski beer....load up your backpack, find a tree well, and stash those brews to keep em' ice cold and tap that "keg" throughout the day!

Standard cheap mass produced beer...little head if poured properly, but, more often than not, you're killlin this brew out of the can in less than a minute so no pouring involved.

Smells of standard corn and grain of all cheap, "lets race to see who finishes first" brew-ha.

Out of all cheap brews, PBR is BY FAR the best in terms of flavor and body....actually has a decent slight bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of InsideLiquorMan
3.89/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My go-to beer. Known affectionately by me and my own as, "The Bloobs," "The 'Ol Red, White 'n' Blue," "Blueberries," and "The Legend, The Classic."

Needless to say, I love this beer. Best of the cheap stuff. Can't find any in bottles and I can't order any in, so I'm stuck with cans, but at least they make me look a bit more rough around the edges, like a retired firefighter who beats his children. Not much for a nose, but a good taste with a balanced level of carbonation and a soft, cozy mouthfeel that makes me want to pop a hole in the bottom with one of my canines and shotgun it. Smooth as silk and tasty as pie. Can't beat the PBR.

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Photo of uccle81
4.33/5  rDev +43.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

L: Really? Ok. Standard aluminum can. Looks like it's union made in Wisconsin. Hey, it won a blue ribbon in 1893! Above average for the style. 3.5 points.

S: Sweet and a bit of malt. Nothing offensive and typical for "slummin it" beer. 3 points.

T: Oh man. This is the flavor of a thousand stupid/happy memories! So 5 points for nostalgia!

F: Feels like a cold, round beer can, hah! And pretty typical for a mass produced American mass produced pils in the mouth. 4 points.

O: After mowing the lawn, hiking up a mountain, biking for 60 miles, etc... nothing can beat it. Don't throw out your sour Belgian beers and keep your small batch stouts in the cellar. Keep a few of these in the fridge door as a modern survival kit! 5 points if you drink this in the right place and time.

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Photo of WellRested518
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drink by: Who Cares... poured into a white wine glass for "science"*

A- Yellow honeysuckle body with a two-finger head that comes to a crown rather quickly. Moderate lacing. Looks great to be honest.

S- Corn, white bread, and faint hops. Slightly Eurotrash. Reminiscent of that American hipster that swears she lived in Germany until she was 3. Pretty legit nonetheless.

T- Pretty much the same with some mild cucumber, kumquat, and earthy hops. ( Honestly, this is as serious as Herpes... & I'm not talking Simplex B. If you're upset you can go cry to your mom about that cold sore)

F- Front row of a Lynard Skynard concert piss drunk. Jesus is the frontman and you're sitting back like Keith Richards. Lively, yet slick. Cool, calm and collected.

O- Life's a Garden, Dig It. Get a PBR & make it work for ya.

*I'm lazy and didn't feel like getting another drinking vessel, but this actually made the experience all the better. Stay classy.

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Photo of Spacedog666
3.29/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is my go-to "shitty beer". Tastes decent and for the price I can't complain. Found everywhere. Good for beer pong and getting sloshed, but still having some flavor.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Second can picked up from the cheap discounted beer cans bin at Kroger; date on the bottom is April 13th, 2015, though there's no indication as to whether it's a "best by" or a canned-on date. I would hope canned-on, as otherwise that Kroger was sitting on those past-date cans for quite a while before putting them into the discount bin!

Color is a very pale yellow as expected of an adjunct lager, though it does catch the light in a pretty nice way. A good bunch of bubbles constantly rising up from the bottom. Formed a pretty decent-sized head of white foam on top initially (which was audibly fizzy), but that has now shrunk down into a thin layer on top which is breaking up into smaller "islands" right now, with a thicker ring around the edge of the glass and a few trails up the side from where it was before shrinking down (and a bit more as I drink my way through the glass.) Overall, it's a fairly nice-looking beer. Had the foam stuck around just a tad longer I'd probably have gone ahead and bumped this score up to 3.75.

Smell is a mild, sweetish, bready and slightly corny "beery" sort of smell. Nothing comes across as unpleasant in the least, but it's nothing spectacular either. A little more of the corn sweetness was noticeable on the smell when I first poured, but even then it wasn't overwhelming. As I approach the bottom of the glass, I'm noticing just a bit of an earthy sort of smell (and taste) in there, which reminds me a bit of the backyard garden back home shortly after the soil has been tilled, interestingly. This addition isn't an unpleasant one in the least, as odd as it sounds.

Taste is similar to the smell but stronger. It's actually coming across as a lot more bready than the first can I had, interestingly -- more flavorful in general, now that I think about it. A lot of pretty nice bready malt flavor right away, followed by maybe a very faint grassy hop flavor on the first sip (which I'm not really getting after that) and then the corn-like sweetness taking over toward the end. I'm honestly a bit stunned at how much more flavor this has now compared to the first can I had -- in that one the sweetness was the strongest flavor by far and the breadiness didn't stand out nearly as much in comparison, but this one's got a really nice strong breadiness (especially compared to the other AALs and light lagers I've had) that bumps it up a good bit from my first impression.

Feel is the weak point here. In addition to being about as light as expected, this is a *very* fizzy beer, almost prickly-feeling to my mouth. When I mentioned being able to hear the fizzing of the beer's head -- that also applies to when you've got some in your mouth. This is so fizzy I can literally hear it fizzing in my mouth. That said, it doesn't go so far as to be unpleasant -- I just don't like the feel of this one nearly as much as the taste or smell.

Overall, I'm a bit surprised at how much my impressions of this beer changed from the first can/glass to the second. The bready flavors just came out so much more in this one, and the sweetness that bugged me a little when I first tried it didn't seem nearly as strong this time. Based on this PBR can vs. the Corona cans I had recently, I'd definitely rank this one above Corona. I didn't expect to be able to say this based on what the first can was like, but it's probably closer to being in the same class as Red Stripe and some of the better Mexican AAL-type beers... but at around $8 and some change for a 12-pack, it's a lot cheaper than any of them. Definitely better than I expected!

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Photo of jontom
3.8/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

II just had a 16 oz can tasted great. must have had skunked beer in the past. Now I'm a believer. But I still think Hamm's premium is the best inexpensive brew. Started buying Pabst and Hamm's as go to beers. May be swaying to Pabst.

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Photo of IronLover
4.06/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pale yellow in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a short, rich, dense white foam with good retention. Medium light grainy aromas with crackery and light malty notes. No esters, green apple or hop aromas. Light bodied with high/aggressive yet creamy, refreshing carbonation. Grainy and light malt avors up front with light hop bitterness through the middle. No hop flavors. Finished semi-dry and fairly cleanly with a light crackery afertaste. Clean, crisp aroma and flavor. A very refreshing and drinkable American Lager. Definitely one of the cleaner American lagers out there and at $20.for a 30 pack....you can't miss with this on a hot summer day. When scoring to style, this one does very well.

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Photo of xPrestigious
2.8/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

I can't believe I'm reviewing PBR, here goes....

L: Poured from 12 ounce can, into 24oz frozen mug. Atypical yellow corn body, AAL stark white head.
S: Maltodextrin, Dried corn flakes.
T: Carbonated syrup with a feint amount of grain/malt on the palate. This is refreshing, believe it or not.
F: Kinda soapy after a few but nothing to sneeze at. The price per oz ratio is unbeatable. Pabst Blue Ribbon certainly hits the mark.

Very few AAL's outshine PBR. On any regular day Pabst gets overlooked by some heavier micro pales/IPA's with more character, but sometimes you just have to revisit that end of the spectrum in order to appreciate microbrews that much more.

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Photo of Beermanic
3.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Very light straw color. Pearl white head.

S: A touch of wet paper, maybe some cardboard

T: Not really much, crisp and dry with a hint of malt, no body just thin. Like drinking a glass of water that someone had a real beer in before.

M: Extra high carbonation-typical

O: Refreshing of sorts, dry finish, not a lot of flavor, good for a water substitute. Unfortunately a good style of what it represents.

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Photo of DodgeStealth93
2.59/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a fizzy yellow into a mug or glass with a head that fades away quickly! Smells of corn and very small malt character almost no hops present! Best to drink ice cold! Overall not a bad old school American lager for the price!

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Photo of onklsven75
4.08/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is a great cheap beer to keep in the fridge for a hot day. It actually has some flavor compared to Miller or Bud. There is very little finish to it, but they go down easy.

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Photo of Burnthedevice
2.84/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Better than most AALs I've tried. At least this beer has some body, and while it's not a masterpiece of flavor by any stretch, at least it doesn't taste and drink like seltzer. Worst thing about it is that corn syrupy sweetness at the end. Still.. when payday is a distant memory, you could do worse.

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Photo of Pocker
3.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

For the price it is very hard to rate this too critically. One of the cheaper beers out there and very popular in both the hippy community as well as the college core. Easy to drink as they aren't too skunky yet they do have a little metallic taste which isn't very good. Given the price I move it from 2.25 to 3.25 rating.

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Photo of Ike_Potter
2.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was actually surprised at how much I disliked this beer. I tasted it in a blind taste test and it was in the bottom three of the 6 we tasted. Decent stereotypical beer smell, but the appearance looked peculiar. The foam was splotchy and not uniform, the taste was funky. I almost think it was merely a bad bottle or just really old. May have to try it again sometime, but for now not very good.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,658 ratings.