1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,628 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,628
Reviews: 1,539
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 37
Gots: 455 | 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:
- 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

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,628 | Reviews: 1,539 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of babaracas
3.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear straw with sudsy white head which fades to a thin layer in seconds, spotty lacing. Smell: sweet grain, slight corn and grainy/grassy hops. Taste: lightly grainy, thin malt with a touch of hops. Ever so slight touch of alcohol. Medium carbonation. Fairly clean for a macro lager, although the cereal grains (and corn syrup?) really hit in the finish if it warms. Still one of the better American macro lagers around.

babaracas, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of nbrown
3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is what I get when a place doesn't have and real good choices or if I'm running out of money.

A - Very light yellow.

S - Smells bitter. Not much else.

T - Tastes pretty much the same. A little bitter and not much else.

M/D - Very good for a cheaper beer.

nbrown, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of lionking
2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light yellow from a 12 oz can. About a half a finger head which disapears quite quickly. Gotta love the PBR can. Probably the best out there. Red, white and blue colors, big blue ribbon with the red stripe and then the nice script text. Same with the PBR neon, it beats every beer out there, hands down.

My grandparents used to drink PBR in the summer from the short stubby bottles (what ever happened to them? they should be brought back!, immediately, thank you!). When my dad turned 40, I was about 15 and drank PBR all night at his party. I remember when PBR was actually advertised on TV.

Anyway, back to the beer. PBR is just as good as BMC. Plus its inexpensive. Long live PBR! We live in a great age. You can buy a lot of beer for little money! Forget buying a case for $40, you can get a 30 pack for $12. We can make it up in volume!.

lionking, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of johnnyirishman
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm never dissapointed when I see a PBR. Very affordable,and drinkable

A-Yellowish in color with not much of a head to speak of, 1 finger maybe but dissapates quickly
S-Not much of a smell to this beer you really have to search to get something.
T-Watery taste, light and crisp.Metallic finish in the back of your throat.
D-Definately drinkable, goes down easy and stays there.

johnnyirishman, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Asher1982
2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is not the best tasting lager in the world, but PBR has some good things going for it. First, it is highly affordable, aka: cheap. Second, if you go to a crappy bar and you're going to get drunk on cheap beer, a bottle or can of this looks way cooler than a Bud, Coors, or Miller. Because after all, isn't what other people think the most important thing.

That last part was a joke for those of you who can't read sarcasim.

Asher1982, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of woodychandler
2.08/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Even an agressive pour resulted in barely a half a finger of rocky, bone-white head with lousy retention, ending in wisps. There was no nose to speak of. Well, maybe a light sweetness, but barely discernible. The color was beautiful deep-yellow/light-gold with NE-quality clarity. The mouthfeel was thin, watery and it had a light sweetness on the tongue. The finish was light, cottony, non-existent. I might as well not even have been drinking beer. This could have been air, it was so light as to float away. Aarrgh!

A couple of last thoughts, both allusions to movies. In "Blue Velvet", Dennis Hopper as Frank has a convo with Kyle MacLachlan. "Hey, kid, whadddya want to drink?" "Heineken, please." "Heineken?!? F**k that s**t! PABST. BLUE. RIBBON, mister!" How about neither?

In "Repo Man", Otto looks wistfully at The Circle Jerks, now reduced to lounge singers in gold lame outfits, shakes his head and says, "And to think, I used to like those guys." And to think, I used to drink PBR on Wednesday nights at the Sub Cafe in New London, Connecticut like it was going out of style.

woodychandler, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of baos
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

40 oz into bicentennial Mason jar.

Frank Booth: What kind of beer do you like to drink, neighbor?
Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken.
Frank Booth: Heineken? Fuck that shit! PABST BLUE RIBBON!!!

A: Golden golden with a four finger head on pour. Actually has some lacing going on and a bit of head retention in the middle of the thin sheen after dissipation.

S: Smells like Granny Smith apples mouldering under my Grandmama's apple tree.

T: Sweet grains and a bit of apple on the start. Can detect a ghost of a hop in there, and some flavorful malts.

M: On par for this type of brew.

D: Put a chair by the keg, Jeeves, it shall be a long night.


baos, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of jimboween
3.68/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

hello: ah, pbr! it's just one of those things. this is the beer you conspire with when you do bad things on a friday night. this is the beer you lose track of how many you've had because the 16oz. cans are only two bucks. this beer is as much a drinking buddy as your actual drinking buddies are. its not trying for world class, its trying for honesty. this beer is no ferrari, but it is a totally sweet jeep.

appearance: nothing special, just golden ameri-beer. but it's got great cans, so i gave it a 5.0 anyway.

smell: hay? kinda skunk? meh, im not here to sniff it, im here to drink it.

taste: the first impression is just like the smell, kind of hay-ish. the middle of the taste has the tiniest kick of hops to midtounge. and the finale dries right off the back of your mouth. not a loud talker, just inofensive beery refreshment.

mouthfeel: could drink it forever. smooth as a lake in the morning. not a trace of stickiness.

jimboween, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of Opethsprite
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Note: This was a blind review, from notes)
The beer pours golden pils-esque, and with no head at all. It smells yeasty and slightly skunked in a very astringent sort of way. There's not too much to the taste besides a sweet-ishness. The mouthfeel is good, though highly volitile. It would be a good level of carbonation if the beer posessed the strength of flavor to back it. This would be a very easy beer to pound down if you're not totally put off by the lack of flavor.

Yes, I believe Pabst to be the best of the cheapo beers. It is always welcome in my fridge when the money is tight!

Opethsprite, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Smell was sweet, malty, and of rice or corn. Taste was similar flavors, lightly sweet, with a touch of a drying finish. Not the worst cheap beer I've had by far, but sort of left me with a trademarked budweisery headache, but I'm not sure if it was from this beer or a previous one or few..

JDV, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.03/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 16 oz, tall boy can. As far as appearance, the can is a lovely design with a quip about being named America's beer of 1874 or something similar. I was unable to acquire much smell from the can. However, taste was excellent!!! for a macro lager, and I was really quite surprised. This went down wonderfully and was the best sixteen ounces of macro beer I've ever quaffed. There's no detectable hop (as per style), but a pleasant malt flavor and smooth finish. With these going for a measly two bucks at Underground Bluz, it's one I'll certainly repeat in the future.

HardcoreKeith, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of witster18
2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

let me say that if you're drinkin alot of MGD, Bud, or Budlt...you could be wasting your money. At 3.99 a six this classic AMerican MAssPro lager more than holds its' own. Pours a straw hue with a 1/4" inch head that dissapates rather quickly. Smell is sweet with a hint of alcohol. Taste is much the same. THis beer tastes like a masspro but there's not really any serious gripes here. Not too bitter. I can get a little hops in there...barely... the grains and the sweetness from them kinda remind me of a higher ranked german dort style but only more subdued. A nice earthyness between the corn-sweet and alcohol finish. Decent balance and some good qualities here... Quite crisp and drinkable, however, this beer is like HighLife in that it has to be cold and in the bottles to really be enjoyed. Less distinctive than some but still tastes fine. The alcohol here may be 4.7 but this seems to me to feel and taste like a 5.5 or so lager....if it wasn't for the watery mouthfeel I'd insist it was stronger...but I guess they have no reason to lie. Finishes a dry sweet. I think this beer tastes as good as ANY masspro lager on the shelf...save the money. Think generic Lowenbrau Light.

witster18, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of dbalsock
2.63/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

App: Large white head sits upon a pale straw body. Looks to have huge carbonation, but the head doesn't stay long.

Smell: Ligh corny smell, maybe a note of hops. There's a sharp smell too, like funky yeast, but it's all light despite not being very attractive.

Taste: Very corn based in sweetness, like it was brewed entirely with corn. A little yeast biproduct in the taste that I try not to smell as I take a sip.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and boring.. but at least it's crisp.

Drinkability: This could be drinkable if it was less funny tasting, but it's not very drinkable even for a macro lager, becuase it tastes funny.

dbalsock, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Iheartstouts
3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pabst Blue Ribbon is, and forever will be, my beer of choice for parties. As cheap and ill-reputed as it is, PBR leaves all other American Macros in the dust.

1. Serving Type- PBR is one of those rare beers that doesn't seem to differ whether it comes from a can, bottle, or tap, so the serving type is a moot point.
2. Appearance- Eh, there are much more presentable beers. The virtually nonexistent head disappears very quickly. I generally drink this beer from the can.
3. Smell- PBR doesn't really seem to have much of a smell. It lacks the pungent "piss" smell of most macros that turns away so many non-beer drinkers.
4. Taste- In my opinion, PBR is what an American macro should taste like. The corn lends an obvious sweetness that is more pronounced than many, and the hops are nearly indistinguishable.
5. Mouthfeel- PBR is has a full, yet light feel to it. It goes down clean, and doesn’t leave the aftertaste so commonly associated with your average macros.
6. Drinkability- As far I and many of my friends (who I tend to have converted from other "dirty thirty" brands) are concerned, PBR is one of the most drinkable non-light beers out there. I know that I have to be careful when drinking it; whereas it feels so light in my stomach, I tend to overdo it.

Although many people may look down on American macros in general, Pabst Blue Ribbon is a hidden gem of American brewing. Like I said earlier, PBR is my party beer; it’s cheap and drinkable. Regardless of my favorable opinion, it is not one that I would recommend for anything other than parties and budget-constraints.

Iheartstouts, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of slvrmon82
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. This is my hands down cheap beer pong beer. It's not the high quality but the consistency .

a - very crisp and clear with millions of bubbles.

s - Smells sweet with lots of malt hints.

T - Definitely this is sweeter and more enjoyable than the other big 3.

M - Light and easy to drink,

D - I love this beer. This is my party beer of them all. Almost 5 % and only 11.00 a 30 pack.

slvrmon82, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of SafeAtFirst
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an old PBR goblet. Brilliantly clear pale straw color, very transparent. White head dissipates quickly and settles into a thin collar with a wispy island in the middle caused by the plum of carbonation that shoots up the middle of the goblet.

Aroma is a faintly sweet, untoasted grain with a faint hop scent. Flavor is more of the same. Good balance for a macro. Mouth feel is effervescent and light, plenty of carbonation. Did a great job of washing down some chips and salsa. Overall, my favorite macro and probably the only one I will bother to review.

SafeAtFirst, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of bboven
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light to medium yellow, darker than most, but not the deepest color I've seen in the style. Expected barely- there head with a few clusters of accidental lacing.

Aroma is actually realy well balanced. The sweet corn note is there, but it's leveled with a surprisingly nice amount of hop.

Again, pretty good balance though the corn sweetness wins out at the end of the sip. No noticeable bitterness but you can tell it's in there because of the balance the taste has.

A little less carbonated than some, but still in the average range. Not as drying as some, but still in the average range.

Pretty tasty for what it is. I would certainly pick this over others if macros were my only option.

bboven, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of gearkraft
3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: I poured a can into a standard pint glass. A nice head forms that quickly disappears, leaving nearly no lace. The color tends to be a very slight golden. Nothing gorgeous...

Smell: One of the few beers that has nearly no smell. Just a very small hint of grain/malt. Not great, not bad... just rather average.

Taste: Quite possibly the only beer I enjoy out of a can... Grains and malts splash on the tongue with almost no remnants of hops. Almost sweet when a fresh batch is consumed. Great with salty foods.

Mouthfeel: Quick and clean, which is the way a lager should be. Gives you a nice lick of flavor without a poor aftertaste.

Overall: One of my favorite inexpensive beers. During the school semester when money is a little tight I usually opt for this beer for its decent flavor and high drinkability. My family has been religiously drinking it since we can remember. The best among American Lagers... hands down.

gearkraft, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Spikester
3.69/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a glass tumbler.
Nice 3 inch head with good retention and moderate lacing.
Light hop and cracker malts some corn grits.
Nice balance of malt and hops. More of each than typical.
Good mouthfeel, slightly bitter aftertaste.
Better than average macro-brew.
Actually has some beer flavor.
Can says brewed in Milwaulkie, WI. Is this now brewed by Miller? Very close to Miller High Life in flavor profile.

Spikester, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of YonderWanderer
1.9/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

PBR will get you drunk. And it's a better option than some of the other macros.

It's a pale straw yellow with visible fizz. Smell is the typical macro lager smell, some weak grains, corn, a tiny touch of hops, and not much else. Taste is just the same. Weak grains, lots of what I'm sure are adjuncts, and corn.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Drinkability? I'll reiterate. This will get you drunk. It's your standard American Macro Lager, and it just doesn't taste very good.

YonderWanderer, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of rrob311
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is available at most places.

A- Appearance is normal for this type of beer.

S- Not too much smell too it.

T- This beer doesnt have much flavor, a little metallic, but not offensive.

M- mouthfeel is normal.

D- I can easily clean off a six pack of this. I probably wouldnt buy it more than 2 times a year but its relatively smooth and a good beer to have when you want to put away a few.

rrob311, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of morimech
3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pilsner glass. It has a very pale straw color with a minimal head which is a bit of a surpise considering how most macros pour. No lacing noticed. On the second beer pour I was more aggresive and a small white head formed but still not impressive.

Take a whiff and what is this? Hops? Can it be? Sure enough a faint floral hop aroma is evident. I am sure there is an abundance of adjuncts in this beer but it is nicely covered up by the hops. By far the best macro I have smelled.

The taste is also quit remarkable for a macro. A slight sweet malt and hoppiness on the finish. But unfortunately this all is spoiled by a corn aftertaste. It is light bodied and carbonation isn't out of control. Goes down easily. I think this is a nicely done macro. Between PBR and Grain Belt I might have to go with PBR because of the slightly lower cost if I had to choose.

morimech, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of mltobin
2.63/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at the Beer Drinkers` Tavern in Philadelphia, PA.
At the BDT, you have 2 options when you buy a PBR, you can pay $2 and open to can yourself or you can pay $1 and the bartender will proceed to puncture a hole in the side of the can for you to shotgun the beer. As I was with a group, we all chose the latter option.
Light, clear, small head.
The smell is decent but lacks depth.
The taste is a little bitter, with some grains bouncing around the mouth.
MF is so-so, nothing really stands out.
The drinkability gets an average since this is what it is: a decent tasting, inexpensive lager. With one of the longer histories of a U.S. Lager, it is neat to drink the beer that your great grand dad probably had a few times.

mltobin, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Strix
3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells of grains with a touch of hops. Tastes of grains, then sweetness fades to a slightly hoppy and brief yet sweet finish. Mouthfeel thin, and finishes fairly crisp. IMO, this is one of the better mainstream macros out there. I am not embarrassed to drink these on occasion.

Strix, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of BDIMike
3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

PBR is what it is.
It has a fizzy, carbonated look with barely any head.
The smell is almost nothing, a little bit of hops and floral smell.
The taste is a little better than most American Macro Lagers. It has a bit of a floral taste to it, which sets it apart.
The mouthfeel is fizzy, but a bit of a thickness to it for a Macro.
And as with most macros, the drinkability is top notch. Had a good amount of these last night and could have had more.

BDIMike, Dec 09, 2007
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 4,628 ratings.