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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) - Pabst Brewing Company

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

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3,698 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3698
Reviews: 1466
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 24.41%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-24-2001)
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Ratings: 3,698 | Reviews: 1,466 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bartrash


3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in my garage into a plastic cup. Smells Like the good ol' US of A! corn, malt, with something sweet. Looks like nothing special and tastes the same too but these puppies all but drink themselves. Make sure you mow the lawn with a push mower or a zero turn or you will be a sixer deep quick. Great American beer should be kept in the back yard next to the horseshoe pits. It is the moped of beers fun to drink just don't let your friends catch you with one. Overall not a bad offering for the style.

Serving type: can

05-21-2011 12:51:08 | More by Bartrash
Photo of axfelix


3.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't help it; I really, really like PBR. It blows every other similarly priced macro lager pretty far out of the water for taste, and its spectacularly average beeriness is really tough to beat when you want one of something reliable on a weeknight. I can't in good conscience call it "underrated," but if I only had one beer to drink in all seasons for the rest of my life, it just might be this one.

Serving type: can

06-22-2011 23:05:09 | More by axfelix
Photo of Brand

5/5  rDev +69.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a straight ahead beer. When that's what you want, this gives you top of the line quality for that. It has a 'pure' refreshing light flavor, and sometimes that's exactly what I want. And it does it superbly.

It's a basic beer, what more can anyone say.
My body's senses indicate the ingredients are good.
Some cheap beers I don't get that sense, - with how my body responds.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 02:12:42 | More by Brand
Photo of AgentK

1/5  rDev -66.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I've tried this beer in the bottle and in the can. I've tried this beer so many times I could make a Dr. Seuss style book out of it (Not suitable for children).

I cannot figure out why my friends drink this. My best guess is that it's a joke. It's kind of like "icing." If you lose the game, you have to drink a PBR as punishment. Beer should never do that. Beer should enrich your life, not punish it.

The taste was mediocre, at best. It's just not worth it. It has a weak head, boring taste, and a sad little color. It's drinkable, if you're looking for a quick fix, but if you're looking for something to enjoy after a hard day's work, to relax, or to have a nice chat with your buds, this is not the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 23:41:09 | More by AgentK
Photo of Bertman


3.7/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

nice head holds up well in glass

nice color rich amber, crystal clear

big nose, smells like a much more expensive beer

big American flavor, very easy drinking, balanced with a little bitter finish

thick and rich in the mouth.

this is my favorive saturday law mowing, game watching, chicken eating beer. nothing, made in America, is better on a hot day!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 20:58:13 | More by Bertman
Photo of daddydawg80


3.09/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

OK, everyone has had this so no need to state the obvious. This beer is what it is and has survived for over 150 years, so it is no fad.

I call this my lawnmower beer, which means it's my go to beer after yard work when I'm thirsty.

I love it for what it is and keep a few in the fridge surrounded by a variety of craft brews. This is an American classic, god bless America.

Serving type: can

03-31-2013 16:03:52 | More by daddydawg80
Photo of chuckwagonrocks

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Today's PBR is NOT the PBR I choked down on in my college years. It is by far one of the best domestic beers on the market. I can not say if they changed the brewing method but the taste or my taste buds have changed. The appearance is medium gold. Smell is slightly sweet. Taste is now lightly bitter ending with a mild sweetness. Overall, I would say a clean mild lager but lacking robustness of a full bodied lager say like a Foster's Lager. However, in my opinion surprisingly the best mass produced American beer. Bottoms up!

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2013 22:02:59 | More by chuckwagonrocks
Photo of RalphSMouse


3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light golden, almost like cider. Nice head, though it seems to die down pretty quickly, leaving faint lacing. I would have liked the head to stick around a bit more.

Smell: Reminiscent of cider again. Light notes of toast and hops. There is a mild solvent-like note, but it is not terrible.

Taste: Blend of mild hop bitterness, fresh bread, and faint fruity notes. Tasty, but too sweet. Very little taste of alcohol--you can tell it isn't a strong beer.

Mouthfeel: Thin and not bubbly enough. An American adjunct lager needs more carbonation, in my opinion. It goes down like water.

Overall, this beer is good, but not great. If you buy it fresh, in a 30 pack, for under $20, you're getting a fair deal.

It's about the same price as most of the Trader Joe's cheap lagers, but better--very little of the "bubblegum" taste that plagues most sub-premium lagers.

That is to say, the bubblegum note is there, but it's faint enough that I can ignore it.

I'd be interested in comparing PBR to "premium" lagers like Heineken (from a can) or Budweiser.

Serving type: can

09-29-2013 17:54:59 | More by RalphSMouse
Photo of aksavi


3.75/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like the Johnny Russel song says, "red necks, white socks and blue ribbon beer." You "sophisticated" city folk wouldnt understand. Down here, we like manly brew. There is only 1 reason to drink...and that is to get drunk. This beer tastes just fine to me. It does its job quite well. Why pay big money for some fancy beer? You are just gonna piss it out. It all ends up in the same place when its all said and done. If you want to enjoy what you drink, drink some sweet tea or somethin.

Serving type: can

05-26-2005 01:44:05 | More by aksavi
Photo of wolf26


4.5/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It would serve no purpose to review one style of beer against another, which in my opinion is a common occurance on sites like this. You would not compare a sports car to a pick-up truck. Although both automobiles, they are designed to serve different purposes. With this kept in mind I will review this beer in comparision to others of its kind.

A: Drank straight from a 24 oz. can, although have poured it in a glass mug before, typical straw color from what I remember.

S: Typical maco-beer smell. Tolerable, slightly pungent.

Taste: Light malt flavor, readily apparent grassy hop taste (yes it is possible to taste hops in an American macro). Dry finish, with light malt flavor, crisp carbonation.

M: Light, moderately carbonated, crisp, refreshing, slightly dry finish.

D: When cold, very easy to drink many of these. I have had some batches that have seemed slightly off and the adjuct corn flavor is more apparent, but by no means as much as Miller brand products. Overall, keep it cold, and you have an above average, "average beer," at a great price. A better product and value than the rest of the mass produced swill.

Serving type: can

09-18-2007 19:11:38 | More by wolf26
Photo of bennorthenor


3.95/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer to be quite sweet. I popped open my first can and was surprised to find that I really like this beer. It wouldn't be my first choice to drink, but if the money isn't in my pocket to buy a nice Belgium, I would purchase this. What year did they win the Blue Ribbon? 1884? This is a good BBQ beer with the boys.

Serving type: can

04-01-2008 20:52:57 | More by bennorthenor
Photo of RTL44


4.08/5  rDev +38.3%
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!

Serving type: can

07-14-2008 06:05:20 | More by RTL44
Photo of tbase


3.25/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale golden color with a head that quickly disappeared.

S: Smells remarkably similar to Budweiser or Miller. Just not a very appealing smell to me.

T: Very balanced, nothing really stands out in the beer though other than some sweetness from the adjuncts. The best tasting macro adjunct lager in my opinion however.

M: Light bodied and a little fizzy, but has enough body that you know your not drinking tainted water.

D: PBR is extremely drinkable. Good choice if you don't feel like shelling out to much money.

PBR is your best choice if your looking at a 24 pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 00:11:17 | More by tbase
Photo of Millerman

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +61%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's been over 30 years since I last drank a PBR.
Earlier this year I went to a get together for a person who was retiring and the pub had a PBR sign. I didn't know PBR was still being brewed! I asked for one and have been hooked ever since.
For the price this one of the best beers I have ever tried. I read it is brewed by Miller under contract. All I know is I have found my beer.

Appearance - Golden hue
Smell - Wonderful
Taste - Exceptional. Not too hoppy, which I like.
Drinkability - Goes down smooth

Serving type: can

05-28-2009 21:44:59 | More by Millerman
Photo of psycroptic


3.33/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Wow. Soooo many beer pong games. Soooo many flip cup games. Sooo many cans of PBR. They all dot the first few years of my college experience. Hey, nobody can blame us. Cheap cheap, super-duper drinkable and better than bud or miller (certainly miles ahead of natty.)

A: Yep. Just your piss-average pale-golden lager. More of a head initially than most macros, but it dies faster than a level 5 dwarf. Quite translucent, almost transparent really.

S: Yep. Basic upon basic, thought there's a tad more going on than miller lite. Minute amounts of floral hops & even more minute amounts of malts (really it's almost impossible to pick up any sort of maltiness here; i'm probably just reading into it cause i've had so much of this drink that I've got the insides permanently burned into my skull.)

T: Yep. Although, to be honest, this is an adjunct I can actually stomach for more than 2 drinks. There seems to be a bit more flavor here than, like i've said, other American macros. Like, if you try really really hard you can actually taste some miniscule malt character going on, in addition to the super-sweet hops & additives.

M: Yep. A little more carbonated than the rest, but certainly nothing meta-ordinary. Ever since discovering craft/imports, every American mass-produced beer tastes & feels like half carbonated water to me. This ain't no exception.

D: Yep yep yep. There's a reason it's placed alongside Natty Light in the beer aisle; I could drink about 14 of these before I even begin to feel full, and I'm not even that fat of a dude. ;)

It's the beer that party kids who actually enjoy beer tend to buy, and there's no shame in that at all. A little more taste, a little more depth, and a little more character than almost any of the other macros out there. Of course, make no mistake, it's $11.99 a case (!) for a very legitimate reason. Just rest easy knowing that you're not drinking Bud Light. =)

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 02:48:09 | More by psycroptic
Photo of chrishart74


3.7/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A. pours a light yellow. Little head that dissipates quickly much like mine.

S. Nothing much to mention here. A bit of the the normal adjunct smells such as corn and sweetness.

T. Ahh. Crazy as it may sound, I find an unmistakable taste of blueberries which works well as a foil to its other cousins.

M. Absolutely nothing to complain about. Carbonation is a bit high if anything.

D. I have to admit that this is one of the most drinkable beers of all time.

complex - no. However, a clear win in domestic adjuncts!

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2009 08:39:25 | More by chrishart74
Photo of BGP


1.95/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

American-style lagers from macro-breweries are, by and large, as weak in terms of substance as they are dreadful to the taste. PBR, the hipster's choice, is no exception to the rule. When considered under the most positive of circumstances, PBR is a cheap beer which can be forced down with greater ease than the major of its direct competitors; however, at the end of the day, there's really nothing to appreciate about this beer.

Resembles: given the color of the beer, and the beer's extremely poor head retention... urine, I'm afraid (★)

Smells like: a bag full of week-old beer cans (★★)

Tastes like: one part "last dregs of a real lager," nine parts "water" (★★)

Overall drinkability: I have to file this one under "almost bearable," aka "once I have a pitcher in my system, I'll be used to the taste" (★★)

Serving type: can

01-31-2010 23:35:17 | More by BGP
Photo of tegwek


2.35/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

In comparison to all the folks who now call it their college beer, I'm sure glad that I/We had Genesee and even Utica Club !@!@!

But then again I just had 3 cans with some salty nuts as I browsed the web !! I don't think I'd do that with Bud/Miller/Coors products

Serving type: can

02-12-2010 02:40:04 | More by tegwek
Photo of sonofabeach


4/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is good cheap beer if you like hoppy bitterness flavor. This is like a very watered down Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to me.

The people that hate PBR, also hate bitter hop flavors. They are used to a mostly malt flavor like most beers in this class have.

I think it's great stuff for the price.

This beer is usually great. I did another review when it was good.

"I have since purchsed 2 cases of PBR with freshness dates of June. They both taste like hell. The color is orange instead of yellow.

I hope they fix this. If this is what PBR has become, our love affair is over."

Serving type: can

03-28-2010 22:46:48 | More by sonofabeach
Photo of logicallypositiv


2.88/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

I've drank this on many occasions, enough that I feel I can write an honest review from memory. I've enjoyed it on tap, in a can, and in both 12oz and 40oz bottles.

A - Very light and pale, what you'd expect of a cheap beer. Very little head. Overall it's very lackluster, but there's a slight hint of golden color to it.

S - Skunky and unappealing.

T - It doesn't have much flavor, but relative to other beers in it's price and quality range, it has a lot better of a taste. There's a hint of wheat flavor to it. It's not the best, but once again, relative to cheap lager beers in it's price range, it's quite the bang for your buck.

M - Very light, crisp and refreshing. A rather thin brew if you ask me.

D - It goes down really smooth. Easy to pound, but at the same time, not bad if you want to slowly sip on something.

Overall, PBR isn't my first choice in beer, but as a college student who doesn't have a lot of money, it's definetly in my price range, and relative to other cheaper lager beers, it's not bad. Unlike budweiser, bud light, coors, etc Pabst actually has a flavor; you can definetly taste some wheat and a little bit of malt. For a beer that's so cheap to buy, it's definetly a quality deal. I would take a Pabst over a more expensive Coors, Budweiser or Miller (ESPECIALLY Miller) any day of the week. Definetly the best of the cheap macro brews.

Serving type: can

06-01-2010 01:05:24 | More by logicallypositiv
Photo of JonnieC


3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I agree with most of these reviews. Perhaps I've been too affected by the recent comeback. In Milwaukee (I don't know if it's the same in other cities) it's the new trendy thing and has a good deal of advertising around, but I find it surprisingly satisfying, for a cheap macro-brew of course. It is pretty light, so it is very easy to drink and the mouth-feel is just ok. The flavor is what makes this beer worth my while. It is crisp, balanced and not too bland.

Serving type: can

07-23-2010 17:18:00 | More by JonnieC
Photo of TheNightwatchman


3.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The taste is better than most American lagers (Bud, Coors, Miller, etc.) It's very drinkable. The flavor includes a mild hop bitterness, something you don't notice in a lot of cheap lagers. There is also a bit of grainy flavor in the middle, mostly corn. It's a pale yellow color when poured, and it doesn't retain it's head at all. Carbonation isn't too strong. It's pretty crisp, and it has a pleasant mouthfeel.

Overall this is a great beer to drink with your friends. It's had a surge in popularity lately, but the prices are still reasonable. I'd take this over most mass produced American lagers any day.

Serving type: can

07-25-2010 06:03:01 | More by TheNightwatchman
Photo of Mastodactyl

New York

4.5/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Clear light golden. Has a pretty foamy head.

S - I wouldn't exactly say there is a smell. This is your run of the mill cheap beer.

T - American. Patriotic. This is your default beer you would find in a 30 pack. However the taste isn't that bad. Is it a cheap beer? No doubt, but your getting more than you paid for really.

M - Clean, crisp. Feels good.

D - Extremely easy to drink, a beer I could easily have on a regular basis. Typical yet very drinkable.

Serving type: can

Serving type: can

09-01-2010 20:17:17 | More by Mastodactyl
Photo of DanDaMan77


2.78/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer is compairable to bud. I think I like bud better. It's just a standard lager. The lacing was ok I guess. I'm sure you have all had a beer like this in your time. I'm not going to give it a real high rateing. But try it for yourself if you like standard lager beer I'm sure you'll like it if thats what your into.

Serving type: can

09-07-2010 15:52:41 | More by DanDaMan77
Photo of BeerLuvver

New York

4.38/5  rDev +48.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Judged as an American lager, this is a classic great beer. It's better than its bigger competitors and a joy to drink when you're looking for a crisp clean beer that goes down well. Elegantly simple, refreshingly uncomplicated. I feel cool drinking it.

Serving type: can

04-22-2011 23:02:35 | More by BeerLuvver
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 3,698 ratings.