Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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

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4,706 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,706
Reviews: 1,553
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 25.17%
Wants: 40
Gots: 497 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,706 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stonebreaker
3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks like a pissy yellow beer, the decent head quickly disappears with no lacing. Carbonation is apparent in the tasting but not the glass

Smell: Reminiscent of canned vegetables and some sort of extract heavy non beer product.

Taste: Very similar to an MGD or miller high life lots of corn sweetness, a little bit of carb bite, almost no hops to speak of, just the kiss, as they say. Finish is artificial, spinach and faint goat cheese, but what do I know?

Mouthfeel: Average.

Drinkability: For 14 bucks a 30 pack I'll drink this like water and with my kraut heritage and the non-profit factor this is officially my party beer, along with a good intro craft brew of course. 1893, I'm with you, though I have to wonder is this the same beer probably not. So what. True story my tee-totaling ancestor, great grandfather or something, on his deathbed was asked what he could possibly want and he said give me a Pabst!!! It's true, Prost!

Photo of collegemate
1.63/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1


I encounter this garbage all the time at parties and it is absolutely atrocious in every way imaginable. I will never understand the love for this beer. One day when I was six years old I drank cat urine because these older kids dared me to do so, and it just so happens that the consumption of this abomination of a beer acts as a time warp back to that day. I'm saying PBR tastes like cat urine. It truly does. The appearance of the beer is very unsettling even when I'm drunk. If I look at it, the liquid itself (not to mention the can), makes me feel uneasy and nauseous.

The smell is horrid, though admittedly it is not as bad as the aroma of cat urine (leave that to the taste). The mouthfeel is just plain bad. And, making things worse, PBR is entirely unchuggable- leaving the presence of PBR and the absence of every other beer at parties extremely devastating.You can't even chug it because the taste is so painful to the tongue. It is low content, making the suffering of drinking it practically pointless.

If you want a crappy American beer, choose Busch.

Photo of vikingloki
2.78/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ever since PBR won the Gold Medal at the 2007 GABF, I've been interested in trying it. I was looking for a CHEAP summer lawn mower beer, and I can say, PBR does the job and fits the bill.

$11.50 a case of cans.Perfectly good for those hot humid summer sit outside and sweat days. I am a homebrewer, I can't even make my own that cheap.

Pours yellow and fizzy into a pint glass, huge white head that rapidly disappears and leaves little lacing. No real smell. No apparent hop flavor, it's mildly malty. Best when very cold.I can drink a six pack easy and will have no ill effects, in fact, I'll be sober in a couple of hours.

I've had everything from St Bernardus Abt 12 to Victory Prima Pils, German, English, Belguim and even Norweigian. Thrilling to find a cheap enjoyable drinkable beer.

Photo of Goliath
3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This will be my first Pabst Blue Ribbon ever, BA review number 248. From a gigantic 24 ounce can into my Westvleteren goblet just for the irony.

Here goes:

Pours an attractive clear golden color with a half inch of bright white head. Poor retention and no lacing.

Aroma is pils typical, but better than most macro inspired beer. Familiar pale pils malt dominates leaving a bready impression. Nearly no hops available for the nose.

Taste is not too bad for what it is. That pale pils malt takes the lead showing off some bready notes. Not too much else is really going on in this brew but I've found a little more respect for it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Low alcohol makes this beer easily sessionable. Flavor is not the best, but better than plenty of macro brews. It's manageable.

Photo of BravoTwo
3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good American macro lager that beats the big three handily

A - Light clear straw yellow with a very minimal head that dissipated quickly

S - Average smell on the lighter side with no real standout, just there

T - Nice malty taste with a hint of muted hops. Tasty and refreshing beer

M - clean but average mouthfeel. Undistinguished from other American Macros

D - Good drinksbility. Easily a good beer for a ballgame or hanging out with friends. Very drinkable beer

As an alternative to a big, expressive beer PBR is a much better choice IMO than any of the other macros out there.

Photo of klintok21
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think this has to be my favorite American macro. Has a pretty good full taste. For the price, this is worth every penny. What, $16 (+ .10cent dep./per can for me) for a 'dirty thirty'? Hard to beat for this. I try and keep my fridge stocked with this as my 'week' beer to save money. This is well worth a try, and if you like, your wallet will like better!

Photo of johnd513
3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good fallback that I order frequently at the wooden nickel in Marquette MI. This beer pours a golden straw color with a two finger head that quickly disappears. Tastes a little less watered down than your average American macro. I'll take this over Bud or Miller any day.

Photo of mrsoul12
4/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not going to win any RB awards anytime soon but, dollar-for-dollar, it stacks up pretty favorably to its immediate competition (aka American macros and other pale lagers). Aroma is weak, but slightly sweet and grainy. Flavor is very smooth and dominated with sweet malt flavor. Nothing too strong or complex but is far superior to the Bud, Coors, etc. products out there. If you can't afford the good stuff, you could certainly do worse than PBR.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass. I've been enjoying this stuff a lot out of the can lately, so I decided to give the bottle a try.

A - Pale and clear, decent 2 finger head with short retention. A little bit of lace however.

S - This brew still stinks in my opinion. The DMS is very prominent, along with old socks and rubber.

T - The brew starts off with a mild sweetness and then begins to dry out with cereal grain flavor. A touch of bitterness comes in late palate, with a faint lemon/earthy flavor from the hops. Finishes clean.

M - Carbonation is high, but seems less artificial than BMC products. While a little thin, it's surprisingly not at all watery.

D - It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to macros. It's not a particularly engaging beer, but it's a solid, simple brew proving that a macro lager can also be a great beer.

Photo of jokelahoma
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recent talk of "American" brews now that A/B is Belgian owned made me want to review this. Had it on tap at Old Chicago in Olathe.

Poured a light yellow, slightly darker than the "big 3" macros, with a huge head that stuck around for awhile.

The nose is full of grainy base malts and corn. Whether that's from DMS or the corn in the recipe, who can say? There are no detectable hops in the nose at all.

The taste is very bright and crisp with an acidic bite from the ample carbonation. No hops to be found here in terms of flavor. The beer is quite sweet, which is why I tend to add a couple shakes of salt to it. However, there's none of the tinge of sourness that one gets from the other macro lagers out there. This one is sweet, yes, but quite clean. The corn aroma doesn't seem to lend itself to a corn taste, which is a good thing.

The mouthfeel is very light, and made even lighter by the high levels of carbonation. Works well for the style.

This is a good beer for what it is. This isn't a RIS or a barleywine. it isn't supposed to overwhelm you with flavors. This is a good ol' American macro lager, great for mowing the lawn or watching a ball game. It's better than its competition by far.

Photo of KI9A
3.48/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmmm. I figured I'd sample the new US owned brewery leaders' product. Haven't had one since 1983, so, here goes!

A: poured from a 24oz-er into a pils glass. Pale yellow, decent head.

S: Hey, smells like a beer. Not flat smelling like other macro lagers!

T: sweet malts give way to bitter hops. Slight metallic taste, no after taste.

M/D: Very impressed. For a low buck macro, I prefer this to Bud or Miller.

I now this sounds borderline, well, assinine, but, it really reminds me a a New Glaurus lager I just had yesterday, called Totally Naked. I'm impressed.

Photo of HalfFull
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz can into a pint glass, this brew pours your typical straw yellow of the the Macro Lager world. Little head and retention but more lacing than expected and able to re-up a surface film.

Offers a clean malty nose, yet a bit hollow. Hints of cereal grains are surely there, but a strong corn presence is not. Kudos to that. After some air a bit of sour yeast emanates, rather unusual for the style but nice to find.

Taste is a bit grainy and lightly sweet, slightly creamy and citric in nature. Best served well chilled yet in a glass. Most macros I prefer direct from the bottle/can. Feel benefits from a supportive carbonation level, but is by no means 'fizzy'.

Photo of RTL44
4.08/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The last time I drank PBR, I was in high school and i puked.

Since that time, I regarded PBR as one of the worst beers ever made. Pabst, Blatz, Top Hat, Iron City, Cook's, Shaeffer, etc.

More recently, a friend of mine came over withe his "beloved" PBR and left a couple in the fridge.

Despite being offered, I refused (many times).

Over the course of the next several days, I ran out of beer, and had no choice but to drink the PBR left over in my fridge.

I was SHOCKED by its decent flavor, mouthfeel, and drinkability.

As much as I consider myself a beer connoisseur, this really threw me for a loop.

I don't understand it, but PBR is now one of my favorite beers. The fact that it is about $6/$7 for a 12 pack makes it even more remarkable.

FWIW, I did buy a 6-pack in bottles and it was not nearly as good as it was in the cans. My whole world is now completely upside-down.

UPDATE: I do still love PBR, but I found something out about it that makes it even better! As the economy has tanked and beer prices have skyrocketed, I experimented with mixing some of my favorite beers with cheaper beers to make it go further. I know that sounds pathetic, but hear me out. PBR is the PERFECT mixer. I have tried almost every cheap beer to use as a mixer and they ALL detract from the flavor - EXCEPT for PBR. I even hesitate to mention this because this information is worth a lot of money in my opinion. I am serious. As I write this, I am having a Sierra Nevada Flipside Rde IPA mixed 1:1 with a PBR and it is delicious! I do this with Dogfish Head, Great Lakes, Sierra Nevada, and many other IPA's, Pale Ale's, etc. It is an AWESOME discovery!

Photo of tjkurz
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - the tallboy can is a lovely image to behold but it poured a fairly clear yellow - very thin head that disipated quickly. I poured a schlitz next before hand and the head on the pbr was gone well before it cousin disipated.

Aroma - a pleasant sweet stray some floral.

Taste - sweeter with some hint of hops near the middle back of the throat. Lightly flavored but not at all negligible.

Feels thin and lacking in carbs - I don't know how old the can is - but that may have something to do with it.

Drinkablity - Pabst is nothing if not drinkable - I reviewed this side by side with schlitz which is slightly better in quality but if your looking for quality your not going to drink either of these - if you are looking for a nice picnic beer to slam ice cold out of a can and still know your drinking beer - I think this will do.

Photo of Donnie2112
3.73/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pale straw colored, light head, nothing special in the looks department

smell: typical of an American macro, light beery. Clean grainy aromas

taste: light clean flavors of faintly sweet malts, a bit of alcohol, not much for perceivable hops but clean and nice for the style

mouthfeel: light in body, fizzy real smooth

drinkability: extremely drinkable, this stuff is slam-able. It's the kind of beer that you can sit around and appreciate or more commonly forget and about and drink whilst watching football or enjoying the company of friends.

Photo of Auroraboy
3.95/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Extremely affordable, drinkable classic American beer. I love the packaging, the old-school feel of it. It's like smoking Prince Albert in a corncob (which I do). Aside from the Bud/Miller/Coors triumverate, this is I think the best of the "cheap" section. Does have a slightly "fluffy,"creamy mouthfeel, as has been mentioned, and relatively light carbonation, which is a plus to me. Does NOT have the creeping nasty aftertaste that Bud and Coors tend to have. Taken altogether, I really like this stuff, and hope it never goes away.

Photo of ommegoose
3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy can from 7-11 for $1.89.

My pour foamed up surprisingly hard on me and left a few inches of head. It lasted maybe a minute or so, but left sticky lacing. Color is standard lager fare. Only a few carbonation streams.

Smell is nice in that it has no off notes. In fact, it's rather nice. Flowery and sweet. Not metallic.

This is a pretty sweet lager, with very soft grainy flavors. Mild leafy bitterness at the end. The finish is very balanced, but I would like a drier finish. Lack of potency keeps me from bumping this up a grade. No real obvious adjuct notes.

Mouthfeel is fine. Carbonation is maybe lighter than usual, resulting in a beer that's not fizzy, but feels thin. Body is okay. Creamier and fluffier than the typical macro.

Easy drinker. There's nothing about this beer that I can criticize to a strong degree. It does the style well. I do think it sits a bit heavier with me than others, so maybe not the easiest drinker around. I think I'd rather take Labatt Blue or Schlitz if I've got to have a macro. Still pretty decent stuff though.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden yellow with a surprisingly large pillowy-white head that settles slowly to a bubbly film.

S: Funky, yet sweet grains. Not offensive, but definitely unpleasant.

T&M: Actually pretty good for a "macro" lager. The main positive is that the funky adjunct flavors aren't offensive like in most other beers of this style. There's still a dearth of any discernible flavor beyond the grain malt, however. Body is light, with a less harsh carbonation than others in the style.

D: PBR is a highly drinkable macro lager--it's flavors aren't offensive and it's rather refreshing. The only reason I gave it a formal review is that it's relatively hard to find in Alabama.

Photo of shabbtastic
3.88/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I kinda stopped posting my reviews since I hit the 100 mark; I mostly keep them in my little notebook at home. But I figured I start putting them up because of my experience with PBR. For what it's worth and the style it is in, this is one excellent beverage!

A - Poured a straw yellow with a nice frothy head. The head fizzed pretty quick and the was no lacing to speak of.

S - Malty biscuit followed by a corn husks. Pretty average for the style.

T - Very crisp and very clean. As my palate adjusted the hops were nicely hinted in the back of a toasted grain finish.

M - Fresh and light. First couple of sips took some adjusting but after that it was very smooth and refreshing.

D - I was in my sunroom on a hot summer night (72 degrees) and boy did this 16oz pour go down nice. I was afraid to let it get warm, but for these instances, that's not a hard task. Overall I recommend this as a good cheap summer session!

Photo of haningj2
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Ah, yes. PBR. The God of all cheap beers. The only way to drink one is via can...even the bottles just don't seem to do the trick.

Pours typical clear/lager color. Feels very light and not overbearing. Easily drinkable and for what it is, has a nice clean, crisp flavor.

Perfect for tailgating, large get-togethers, or having a nice beer after a long day of yard work. Whatever the occassion, PBR doesn't fail to deliver the basic incentives of beer drinking.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light sweet-smelling malt, toasty dry, sour edge / light hop notion.

Pours a fairly pale yellow, good clarity, moderately sized bubbly/fizzy head with minimal retention.

Dry, grainy, toasty malt-like attack followed by a tart, mildly astringent bitterness. Some mildly cooked veggie flavors are slightly overpowered by a soft sweetness. Mild bitterness comes in for the finish and is somewhat hop-like.

Snappy soda pop carbonation on a fairly thin body.

The Verdict:
A magnificent diet beer with an oldschool attitude. It's way above my drinkable threshold (when adequately cooled), but earnestly tasty. I could pop back 2 or 3 in the bat of an eye and think little of it. I like it.

Photo of corey0212
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden/yellowy color, slightly darker towards the edges, with a foamy white head which doesn't last too long and leaves some thin lacing behind. It's got that grainy/generic beery smell, but there's a bit of something else going on...maybe a touch of lemon. Nice, crisp taste, a little hop bitterness detected, grainy, sweet aftertaste. It's got a good mouthfeel, not too watery at all. A real easy drinker, especially in the warmer weather. I also got this out of my grandfather's beer/cigar fridge, which makes the whole thing that much more enjoyable!

Photo of RedneckChemist
3.7/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What is there to say about PBR? According to style, it is among the best Am. macros out there.

The appearance is pale, the smell is of sweet corn and perhaps a hop or two, but the taste is classic. I didn't drink PBR for years, but since I tried it for the first time, it has become my regular. I love a good micro-brew, but PBR has a permanent spot in my fridge. Whether cooking out or just finished mowing the yard, PBR is a welcome sight.

Photo of whiplash3825
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'll preface this review by saying that I haven't had an American macro lager in years, and in 25+ years of drinking I've never tried a PBR. But I saw on this forum that it's arguably the best of the macros, so I thought I'd give it a try, and at the very least it might give me more appreciation for the quality brews I usually drink.

Pours an extremely pale clear amber with a big head and very active carbonation that quickly subsides to a tiny cap. No lacing to speak of.

Very little in the nose... light graininess with maybe a touch of sweet malt. I'm not detecting a bit of hops.

Okay... I guess when others are talking about it's "clean" taste, that means there really isn't much taste. Really if I didn't know what I was drinking I might think this is soda water. Slightly sweet, almost no bitterness, slightly metallic (can?) with a dry finish.

Medium mouthfeel that seems better than most other macros I've tried... not quite as thin and with a lot of carbonation that seems to last a while.

Easy to drink, but so is water. I guess with macro lagers, the less taste you get is best... if my memory serves me right Bud and Miller have some VERY FOUL flavors in there, which this beer doesn't. Nothing offensive to slow you down, and I can see where folks going after a cheap buzz might like it. Especially those who don't like the taste of beer. Me... I'll stick with something with a lot more flavor.

Photo of morayeel
4.58/5  rDev +55.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

what can be said best abot this beer its the "KING" of Macro Beers.

What can I say this is a nice hot day summer beer. PBR was a shocker to me when I first tasted the smoth clean taste. Mush betther then a high life or a budweiser.

A- golden yellow with a thin head

S- Not much smell just a little hint of hops

T- Taste is smooth no bitterness with a just a hint of hops at the end.

M- crisp a clean

D- This is an all day football drinking beer or a good party beer.

I have on a PABST kick no for several weeks and its hard to get off of it. I must say for having more the 50 different selection to choose from I go for a PABST first.

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 4,706 ratings.