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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,657 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: 1,657 | Ratings: 5,287
Photo of dcamella
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying what should be obvious - when you review PBR, you are reviewing a mass market, mass produced beer that isn't craft brewed or served out of a cask or made by dedicated beerophiles. Just like it isn't fair for movie critics to compare a popular entertainment to an obscure, suffered-over art film, it just plain isn't fair to compare Pabst to a Trappist ale or a barleywine, or even to something more widely available, like Sam Adams.

When you think about the real competition, PBR really does shine. It is far more flavorful than Natty, with a real hoppy finish, and despite its thin mouthfeel, it doesn't taste watered down. Even more blessedly, it doesn't have any odd, offputting flavor elements - unlike other canned macros like High Life (which tastes horrifyingly of corn), or Keystone, which tastes like soybeans and misery and is probably America's worst tasting non-malt liquor alcoholic beverage.

Look, we all know that if you want to drink a beer and really have an amazing taste experience, you aren't going to even consider PBR. But if you're outside on a hot day, at a frat party, or you just got home from the steel mill, and you want a cold, chuggable brew that won't make you gag, PBR is the way to go. It's the best cheap-ass, drunk-straight-from-the-can beer in the land, and we should all be proud of it.

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Photo of MOTrout89
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crisp refreshing beer. Hops are absent, lacking bitterness. Corn and rice flavors replace the bitterness of hops and make this beer highly drinkable and refreshing. Looks are nothing to speak of: pale yellow, dissipating head. Pleasant cereal-like, smooth aftertaste. Much better than the average beer of a comparable price. My go-to cheap beer.

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Photo of epicness
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A: Was actually surprised by the amount of head that accumulated on the pour. 10 seconds later though, as expected, it's all pretty much gone. Rather soapy looking head though. I'm shocked how see-through this beer really is. Pretty much looks like carbonated colored water. The color though is a very light yellow. Very light lacing left behind.

S: A lot of people say PBR reeks of an awful offensive skunky sour smell (I think those are just people trying to knock it.) I don't smell that at all. In fact I don't smell much at all... maybe some hops with a slight bread smell. That's about it.

T: Hoppy bitterness in the front. More hoppy than I thought based on the lack of a smell. The bitter hoppy front gives away to a dry almost wheat-like finish. Not a bad taste at all. Based on some horror stories I was expecting something a lot different. I'm not going to sit here and say it has this huge amazing flavor. It really doesn't. But if you take it for what it's worth and for what it is.. it's actually a pretty good flavor. So if you rate this against a Russian Imperial Stout, Hefeweizen, Tripel, etc.. you'll obviously be disappointed and say it sucks. If you put it against your average American Adjunct Lager, you definitely can't be disappointed with the taste.

M: Very light bodied. It's crisp and refreshing. Everything you could want out of this kind of beer.

D: On a nice warm day, you can get caught up drinking one after another. High drinkability mixed with low alcohol leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of godlessape
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I know it's not usually done but I poured this one into a snifter glass.
I got a one and a half inch head that swiftly receded to a mere skim. The body is typical clear light straw colored as most in this style.

Slightly sweet malt notes come out along with the grainy, bready, yeasty aroma.
It tastes like white bread with a hint of sweetness that fits just right. It also has a real gentle hop finish that works great if your eating something spicy or just quenching your thirst on a hot day.

The mouthfeel is perfect for the style.

Overall this is a decent American Adjunct Lager. Nothing fancy and nothing to poo-poo either.

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Photo of BTFU
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - While it has the same general color as a lot of the other macros, it has a much more vibrant yellow/gold than a lot of them

S - It has some good malt/grains in it, and a small bit of hops mixed in there

T & M - Very smooth and crisp, but what separates it a lot from the other beers associated with it is the clean finish that leaves only some faint maltiness in the mouth and nothing overwhelming, off, or awkwardly bitter or sweet.

O - While it will always be associated with Clint Eastwood-like people, PBR is now my new favorite for the 30-pack class

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Photo of icefisherman
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Every time i pop the top on one of these i cant help but think of bear hunting but on to the reveiw and the guide totally avoiding this stuff till he ran out of his bud light then we could not keep him out of our beer such is like

Looks and smells like cheap beer taste on the other hand is out of the park this is some good tasting stuff and highly drinkable for the $9-10 a 24 pack

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Photo of Seru1
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance- Clear Yellow with a thick white head, and tons of bubbles and lacing.

Smell- Grans and lemons and not much else.

Taste- Easy drinking fresh lemon taste filled out by a corn like body. Still very thin allowing this to be guzzled easily.

Mouthfeel- very thin and easy to drink with a decent if not abit skunky aftertaste.

Drinkability- I don't think I've ever had a more easy drinking beer. And for the buck you'll never get a better value.

Notes: This beer is far from perfect, but if your having a drunken party and need alot of beer for cheap that you can stomach with a smile there's no better place to turn. Value wise this beer gets a 5.

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Photo of AniGamor
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't really post on Beer Advocate. I generally use it to look up what style a beer is when it's not obvious before I buy it. That said, I regard the ratings as an indicator of how strongly flavored (for better or worse) a beer is. I would say that generally on a BA review, the higher the rating, the more I'm not going to like a beer unless I've already prepped myself with some previous drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I'm generally not some macrobrew swelling bro, who marches into a bar and immediately orders a bud light. I generally stroll into my local brew garden, and look at what's new and ask the opinion of the bartender on stuff I haven't tried. I try all kinds of things and it really just depends on the mood I'm in.

I would like to think that a lot of people had evolved from similar experiences with beer early on like I did. The first time you may have tried beer, was from your dad's can, and it was vile. I believe my first beer sip might have been Coors. You also might have gotten the feelings that beer was a low class drink that drunks partook of. During your High School or even early drinking age years, you may have come to the conclusion that "you hate beer".

Eventually, you might have discovered a wine cooler, or a lambic, or cider. Flavored beers or fermented beer-like beverages from colorful bottles or pulls that tasted good and were beer related. You may have discovered Guinness, a beer that initially may feel you with thoughts of manliness or the Irish hills. A stout that moved you to better Oatmeal based concoctions and other opaque, dark brews. You may have thought that "maybe I only hate piss colored beers".

At some point you run into IPAs and other Ales in general. You look at their color with disgust, and reluctantly try one, and you hate it. However, overtime you keep trying them and you might evolve to appreciate the hoppy flavor, and you discover some fruitiness, that reminds you of those lambics, but less extreme.

I think at this point you've learned that it was the Pissy American Macrobrewed rubbish all along. Though, secretly you might realize that you're being a snob now.

I think this is how the hatred of beers like PBR comes about. Pabst Blue Ribbon, in my opinion, is the epitome of beer. Strong words, but listen. It's not that it's 'good' but it is the essence of the thing of which it is.

PBR is an American Lager. It's Grain, Hops, Yeast, and Water. It's simple, yellow, and drinkable. It has successfully accomplished all that it has set out to do. It's about 60 cents for a 12 ounce can (in a 30 pack). I've bought it for $4 a growler before. It's more expensive than Malt Liquor, which I have found for 50 cents for a 40 ounce bottle. Still, Budweiser drinkers and the like will look down upon PBR for being cheap.

It's not such a bad thing! PBR's biggest strength I feel is it's smell. It reminds me of a passable Champagne with maybe some extra flower scents. It smells good and smell is probably the most important part of consuming something.

Taste, it tastes like a decent beer flavored carbonated water. It's a bit like Perrier, but cheaper and less citrus to it. The beer component is malty, it is my opinion that any hops are converted directly to scent upon opening or pouring though, because that it really the only place I detect them.

Pour? It's a yellow beer, mediocre head, unimpressive. It's not a 6 dollar pull of nitrogenated stout. There's no showmanship. It's plain yellow beer. It looks fine in a can in a paper bag, or in a giant mug, or poured out of a growler into a glass.


Keep it cold. These Adjuct Lagers don't like heat. PBR is less bad than other when warm, but it's unpleasant.

Drink it as a session beer. I find that it's low alcohol content and high drinkability make it excellent for drinking over a long period of time. If there is something on TV that requires a beer, this is a good beer. If you're hanging out at a family event, this is a good beer. If you need a cold adult beverage on a hot summer's day? It's fine!

Buy in bulk. This beer is cheap, but it's still actually a beer. You're not going to find it for 80 ounces for a dollar like King Cobra. You will, however, find it on sale in 30-packs. I think that if you have thirsty friends, it's excellent to offer them one of these instead of Coke now and then. Coke is still cheaper in bulk, ~9$ for a 36-pack around here, but you have to add rum to it if you want an adult beverage, and that adds up.

Bottom line. At a normal bar journey I'm generally going to order two pints and some food and then leave. This will not be one of those pints. It's great for everything but drinking at a bar or cooking with (unless you're drinking it while cooking).

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Photo of mullenite
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a completely clear golden yellow with a 3 finger frothy white head. They head looked very similar to a meringue after the initial pour. Lacing on the glass is not very thick but is very present.

Smell is very sweet and grainy. Lots of whole grain bread notes. There is a very slight hop aroma, it is grassy and not the citrus or strong pine you would get from typical craft beer.

Taste is not very strong but very bready. Strong whole grain flavor at the beginning and finishing with the typical biscuit flavors you get from this style of Adjunct Lager. The sweetness from the nose is there but it is not a strong flavor and there is very little hop flavor to the taste.

Body is thin and somewhat watery with very sharp carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, I can't imagine a beer being more drinkable than this one is.

I really enjoy this beer, I drink it a lot and if the choices (or wallet) are slim this is not a bad choice at all.

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Photo of MarkSmith86
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

In my opinion this is one of the better american adjunct lagers out on the market. it is crisp, clean tasting and refreshing. I didnt bother to pour in a glass and inspect color and to release its smells because it smells like a american adjunct lager without the burnt vegetable smell like you would get with a miller high life. I believe that pabst has a one of a kind unique flavor and for what it is. Its worth trying, even though it is $5.99 a 4 pack of 16 ounces.

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Photo of Matthew_Phoenix
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Alright, I've had PBR countless times. I just want to give my 2 cents on it. It has a classic American Lager taste. It isn't offensive like some of the other beers of similar price. Is quiet easy on the pallet. mildly sweet, but not too sweet. At least it actually has taste, something not every American Lager can say. I know what I'm getting when I'm getting a PBR, and that is the shear value.

That is one of the main reasons I give it such a high review. I can get a 30-rack for $13 - $16 depending on where I shop. More bang for your buck. If it didn't come in a 30-rack I probably wouldn't buy it. But the beauty of it is that it's the best tasting of all the 30-racks out there. You can't go wrong with what you pay for honestly.

All in all, I would have to say that this is my favorite cheap beer. If I'm ever low on cash flow and can't afford to shop around on beer and try new things/experiment, then I can just go to PBR for the time being and be fine with it!

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The appearance is, as expected, a golden yellow with a thin, rapidly dissapating head. Lacing is minimal.

The smell is sweetness, some wheat and not much else. The taste is more of the same, but there is a metallic flavour on the finish (even out of the bottle).

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a high amount of carbonation, though not too high for the style. Drinkability is high; I have finished a twelve pack in two days.

PBR isn't one of the best beers in the world, but it is one of the best for its style. It is inoffensive and easy to drink.

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Photo of jmaur345
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's PBR, an American classic, we've all had it some time or an other. I think PRB gets a bad rap, personally I love this stuff, and it's my go to beer. Is it the best beer in the world, no. Is it the best macro American beer, YES.

A- Golden, pretty standard for type, big bubbly head that goes away rather quickly.

S- Grainy, faint aroma of corn.

T- Ahh the taste...it sort of tastes like...college! that and corn malt, but in a good way, not in a nasty way like busch, a faint warming from the alcohol.

M- Fizzy, I should note that PBR is best consumed VERY COLD, and should always be done so. At first you get the fizzy feel, then the taste, followed by the warm of the alcohol. The aftertaste fades very quickly.

D- Amazing, I can drink this beer anytime, any where. I've had one PBR and have been happy, and I've had 30 and have been ever more happy. Perfect for any occasion.

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Photo of badbeer
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw sort of color with a quickly dissipating head leaving no lace, bubbles flying up from the bottom. Mostly a grain smell, pretty clean, with a hint of floralness. Grainy in taste, but not in a bad way, a little bit of corn, and only a touch of hops. Taste almost dances on your tongue with the amount of carbonation. I imagine this as a great beer with many different foods. Higher carbonation, but seems to be a nice addition to this one. Light to medium body, I expected very light body, but having a little something there is nice. I usually don't save any room for macro's in my fridge, but I may be able to squeeze a little room for this. Seems like this would be good for many occasions, BBQ, lawnmowing, fishing, just being out and about and just wanting something simple.

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Photo of morimech
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of cannon800
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is the go to beer for American Adjunct Lagers. Skip the hype. Compared to others in this class this is the one that has the semblance of taste for those long, inexpensive sessions.

In this class, you are not seeking anything outstanding in appearance or mouthfeel, which is right where this beer come in.

The slightly bitter taste and mild graininess makes this several steps above carbonated water.

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Photo of DanielCrow
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you want a cheap, refreshing beer that doesn't taste like it was already drank once.. PBR is your go-to. Don't let hipsters ruin it. It's the drinkable alternative to B Light and Miller.

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Photo of foogerd
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear golden yellow body, nice foamy head webbed lacing, classic.

S- Grain and slightly offensive smell of metallics.

T- Crispy fresh hops bite at your tongue, malty straw balance.

M- Good solid mouthfeel, exactly how it should feel.

D- Tasty and drinkable this is Lager how it should be.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear golden, with a pretty good head for an adjunct.
S- Smell is of grain, some corn. Pretty clean and inoffensive, but in the case of an AAL, that is a plus.
T- Corn, grain, and some floral hops. There is none of that DMS presence when on tap as the increased carbonation presence scrubs the bad flavors away it seems.
M- Full bodied, as far as AAL's go. High carbonation for style especially being on tap.
O- It is made for the long nights of indulgence. This beer is head and shoulders my favorite macro AAL. It is actually a beer I regularly purchase when I am too tired to deal with complex beers.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear golden with a small white had that leaves behind heavy foam.

Smell: Sweet malt and some adjunct, with light but noticeable hops.

Taste: Begins grainy and sweet with hints of corn, then a pilsnereasque hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp, refreshing finish.

Drinkability: Definitely a better choice than the "big three" macros. A simple beer with good character.

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Photo of mnrider
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. Pint Glass

A: Clear golden yellow. Small white head which goes down to nothing with really no lacing. Color is it's strong point.

S: Grain hops with faint malts. A little watery but nice and sweet.

T/M: Grainy. Hint of malts. Smooth with good crispness. Not bitter but a little dry. Not too bad.

D: For what it is IMO it is the best. Smooth good taste and very refreshing. I'll continue to buy. No other mass produced brew can compete.


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Photo of erikm25
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a golden straw color. Sits clear and faint pale yellow. Unremarkable head and minimal lacing.

S: Malt and grain aromas. Very slight hops. Compared to any other macros there is something noticeable in the aroma that sets it apart.

T: Grassy with with some cereal malts. Goes down easy and has even a minor hoppy quality with some minimal bready undertones. Nothing amazing with PBR but when compared to other macro lagers it is far superior in my opinion.

M: Light to moderate body with rather high carbonation.

D: When push comes to shove and I am short on a dime I will drink PBR first, foremost, and only. Like many others, good times over the years have been had with PBR. I plan to have a lot of great beers at my wedding and an ice chest of PBR will be there as well. It is a steal for the price and there is no reason to even consider drinking any of the other macros.

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Photo of sbe1
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic cheap American beer unfortunately turned into a hipster prop.

Appearance: Very clear light gold color with a big sudsy white head that leaves some lace on the glass.

Smell: Not very strong sweet malt with some dusty graininess, faint hops, mostly clean.

Taste: Malt and corn sweetness, some light hop bitterness, a very faint touch of acridness on the tip of the tongue for a moment, a dry-ish finish.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, clean and refreshing with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: One of the best of the cheapo American beers, along with Miller High Life (though PBR is way better than MHL), but Schlitz still takes the crown.

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Photo of SargeC
3.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had not seen this in a bottle for a long time.

Appearance: Clear gold brew with an adequate, white head.

Smell: Malt presence, corn and a slight hint of hops.

Taste: Decent malt presence with a slight bitterness and a corn aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Satisfying smoothness.

Drinkablity: Solidly drinkable American brew. Drinking one of these is a comforting as entering the city limits of your hometown after being gone for years.

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Photo of beerera4
3.63/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 12 pack of cans at Majestic Liquors in Dallas...Cheap

A: I can't say much about the appearance since I pounded it right out of the can.

S: Smelled like your average macro. Maybe a little burnt corn.

T: Ok this stuff tastes great. I was very impressed. It had an american adjunct lager taste but I actually tasted a little bit of alcohol at the end. Extremely refreshing for summertime. I'm not a macro guy but when I drink them I am a miller lite guy but this blows it away. I will be buying this instead when possible.

M: Smooth

D: I can pound this stuff. Drinkability is high. One problem...It gave me some really bad gas. Anyone ever have this problem?

Overall: Great, cheap evreryday beer especially in this economy. Look forward to putting a few back tonight.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,657 ratings.