Primo - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.

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128 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 128
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 2.86
pDev: 23.43%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: atigerlife on 07-26-2008

Commercial Description
Using the original ingredients from when it was first brewed in 1897, we took the liquid back to its roots and made a highly sessionable everyday beer.
- ABV% 4.6
- Calories 134
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by HalfFull:
Photo of HalfFull
2.97/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden straw with a light head. Actually got somewhat aggressive on the pour as I didn't see much head formation. Slightly deeper in color than most of its brethren but still quite clear and with limited apparent carbonation.

Slightly sweet on the nose, rice, some adjuncts. Not a lot going on.

Taste is similarly neutral and offers a slightly viscous finish. A touch of carbonation in the finish helps to cloak the sweetness a bit and allowing for a moderate feel and drink. Hops are notable if you give the beer some air but don't linger. Ho-hum and unexciting, and surely not as good as the Island Lagers I've enjoyed throughout the world that are actually brewed, well, on Islands. Carbonation issues may have been at work here as I see my experience seems to differ from others.

More User Reviews:
Photo of IntriqKen
2.23/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

~...hint of Hawaiian cane..
Pours a golden yellow with a half-finger of white that disappears almost immediately not even leaving a ring in it's wake.
Aroma is faint but distinctly American adjunct with mildly sweet malt and corn predominate and a very slight hint of lemon citrus.
Mouthfeel is adequate with bubbles foaming in the mouth to give the illusion of body.
Taste is....
...well....almost non-existent.
While I realize that beer is 99.9% water, this tastes closer to water than beer.
Lightly malted without any hop presence except for the light lemon in the background.
Slightly sugary sweet...very slightly....and definite corn aftertaste.
Pretty much like a Pabst watered down with a hint of sugar added.
While the bottle says, 'first brewed 1897', I doubt this is the original recipe. More like Pabst bought the name and added sugar cane to their own recipe in an attempt to 'authenticate' it.

That being said, it's a non-offensive brew and really quite refreshing as a lawn mower beer on a hot day.
I could easily drink 4 in 90+ temperatures but would have trouble finishing one in an air-conditioned bar.

Photo of biboergosum
3.13/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Lots of Hawaiian island references, but it's made in California, with that "pure island cane". Aw, crap, yet another thinly-veiled faux-craft offering, eh?

This beer pours a crystal clear pale golden yellow colour, with one skinny finger of thinly foamy off-white head, which bleeds away with little fuss, leaving a few sparse flecks of lace as appropriately innocuous detritus.

It smells of grainy corn mash, some mild plastic notes, and a dry, earthy mustiness. The taste is a somewhat acrid graininess, some bready, some corn-fed, with a soft generic fruitiness, a twinge of PVC pipe, and dead leafy, yet somehow almost spicy, hops.

The bubbles are fairly fine, cutting a thin edge to the affair, the body showing a medium-ish weight, with a subtle clingy tendency, that seems to grow imperceptibly with each sip, though overall it's plainly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the grainy sweetness tempered by a simmering zingy, metallic undertone.

Well, not too bad a rendering, especially given the style parameters - and the drinkability plays, even if the paper trail logic doesn't.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.06/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Almost a half finger of head on a clear, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is faint overall: a little grain.
The taste is mild bitterness and a little sour with a touch of sweetness at the end. Not much to it though.
The texture is meh with moderate carbonation and light body.
This beer cannot even manage to be "light and refreshing" for the hot island/beach environment.

Photo of ordybill
3.62/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap many years ago in Waikiki. This beer is your basic AAL straw yellow with a small white head. It has a weak beer aroma of malt but I found the flavor to be refreshing, Not a craft beer type flavor but a hot summer day session beer. I am not sure how the new brewery stateside makes it, but the Schlitz brewery had a nice flavor.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.46/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a clear golden color. Thin film white head. Slight lacing.

Aroma isn't much. Just Linda lagerish. Needs some malt aroma.

Taste is ok. More American lager style with a bit of malt. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is pretty refreshing. Nice carb.

Overall not a bad beer. Guess I would get it when it's the beer of the month again at Wahoo's fish tacos. It's there often. Probably wouldn't buy it otherwise.

Photo of gfsufb
3.43/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at Fifty Brews in Orlando. Overall bright yellow pour, smell is nothing special typical American Macro. The taste is clean and has a little lager complexity. This beer has outstanding marketing as most have no idea its related to PBR in its current form. Honestly those who do probably discount this beer because of its current PBR ties are selling it short as it is a very clean, easy to drink lager that has a much better flavor then your average macro.

Photo of ChrisCage
2.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoying while on a vacation in Maui....

A- Pours a slightly darker than grassy color, and is very clear. The carbonation is plentiful and aggressive, rising to the top quickly. The head is actually quite impressive, starting out about two fingers thick and eventually settling down to a thick layer over the brew itself. Lacing is average at best, as there isn't much bubbly goodness clinging to the glass. Overall a slightly above average looking brew for this category.

S- Overall weak aromas, with primary smells of grass, dry grain, sweet corn adjunct malt and just a hint of hop bitterness. Nothing much else to say here other than that this smells very much like a macro with just a slight kick.

T- Again, nothing much to report here...main flavors of adjunct....corn to be exact, with perhaps the cleanliness of rice mixed in there as well. It finishes clean, with just a slight taste of metal blended in with a faint hop bitterness. Not bad, but not great either. The aftertaste is of sweet/bitter malt....kind of synthetic.

M- Thin bodied, lots of sparkly carbonation and an adjunct laden stickiness that clings to the palate in an unforgiving manner about says it all with this one. It needs to be drunk ice cold!

O- I've definitely had worse, but I think I've had enough tropically made beers to put this right in the's not a great beer except if you are drinking it right at about 2pm in the Maui sun on the beach! I'll probably end up having more in the future but won't buy it again. It needs to be crisp and clean throughout, which this isn't....sorry!

Photo of emerge077
2.29/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It's funny, looking this beer up in a search engine turns up a bunch of recycled press releases from "Primo Brewing & Malting" which doesn't seem to exist (it's Pabst apparently). Another nostalgia label "re-introduced" to another generation of beer drinkers. I wonder if this resembles the original in any way. Apparently they consulted with "a group of the world's top surfers and watermen" for "the perfect lightness and taste for Hawaii's climate and lifestyle"...whatever that means.

Pours into a pilsner flute pale gold, with racing carbonation. A rocky head forms, much to my surprise. After 5 minutes, it falls to a bare skim, it's head retention isn't great. Offensive musty aroma, almost a mildew smell. blows off after warming up ten minutes later, but the initial shock was truly awful. As it warms it becomes more like creamed corn.

Fizzy and gaseous body, with a generic "beer" taste. Corn, metallic tinny notes, straw and husky grain. Skunky and sulfuric. No trace of "pure island cane" as claimed on the label. Not sweet, but slightly bitter and metallic. Corn aftertaste. Absolutely dull and insipid, avoid this swill.

Photo of ThaneMcC
3.63/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A rather good lager, sweet with little hop or complexity. A simple, easy drinking lager for chilling on the beech or mowing the lawn. I found it rather enjoyable- though I wouldn't seek it out

Photo of Filippuneddu
4.5/5  rDev +57.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm normally a Heineken drinker and not a huge fan of American beers, but I really like Primo. Great taste and has a nice full bodied taste to it. I'm not really sure why it got such lukewarm reviews, but each to his own taste. As for me, I'm a big Primo fan now !

Photo of RedBrewer83
3.71/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass...

First off, I don't think that Euro Pale Lagers, for the most part, are not very accurately reviewed. As described they are supposed to be light, fizzy, easy drinking, with low hop and malt profiles. Thus said, here we go.

A: Pours a beautiful crystal clear straw yellow with a huge four finger head that falls slowly leaving nice lacing and thicky foamy pockets. Constant stream of fine bubbles flowing upward.

S: Aroma of corn, faint grass, slightly metallic, a little sweet malt.

T: Very clean profile, again the faint corn and grass and the metallic aroma is felt on the palate but only slightly. The finish is crisp but leaves a lingering flavor of corn again. Can tell this is an adjunct for sure, but not bad by any means. Just not much there...

M: Very light, clean, slightly metallic and crisp.

D: The finish and slightly too heavy aspect of corn are the only thing that holds this back, otherwise its a pretty clean lager.

Photo of atigerlife
3.53/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Brewed by Pabst in Irwindale, CA but subcontracted to Keoki Brewing for local production and distribution. This allows it to have the "local" beer label.

Pours a golden color with a small white head which dissipated quickly. Clear. Decent amount of carbonation rising.

Aroma is sweet, hops, malts, lager yeasst.

Taste ws clean, crisp and slightly sweet. Some adjuncts seem to be present.

Mouthfeel was cleansing and med-light body.

Overall, this is a decent lager. Very easy to drink. Good hot weather beer. Will match nicely with food. Certainly one I will try again.

Photo of megahurts4
3.2/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Primo Bombucha

Appearance: champagne gold, huge head, and a little lacing.

Smell: grains, corn, and distant hops.

Taste: grains, corn, and faint hops.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

It goes down easy and has fairly decent flavor quality without being too watery. I would call this a hint above average.

Photo of Zorro
2.61/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Darker than normal shade of yellow you could call this one gold. Small white head.

Smell is sweet with a definite cooked vegetable scent.

The taste starts out sweet with a decent bitterness in the aftertaste. Little bit of lemon and herbal in the hop flavor. Slight toffee flavor I can believe sugar was used in the brewing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

OK drinkability for what it is, a beer brewed by Pabst.

Photo of jneiswender
1.21/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Poured out of 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-gold with an off-white head

S-white sugar, somewhat sour smell

T-watery, very sweet with little hop flavor

M-very light

d-waaay too watery. I just cannot get into this. the white sugar taste is something interesting but everything else is just lacking, even for this style.

Photo of Jemonster
3.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Small bubbles and lots of carbonation. Heavy white head because of a quick pour into a pilsner glass. Very clear gold classic look.

S: Smells like corn and some sweet malt. Sweet and clean. A little sour also.

T: Lots of brown sugar up front. Clean and slightly sweet. No hops whatsoever. My girlfriend would like this. Malt and bland bread. Finishes clean with almost zero aftertaste. No complexity or interesting flavors, just simple and clean.

M: Refreshing and cool. Carbonated almost as much as a soda.

O: It's not bad. I would pick it up again for a BBQ with non-beer geeks. It's that kind of beer.

Photo of Reidrover
3.22/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber from Capital Market, Salem. was kinda tricked really into buying, thought this was brewed on HI. but its brewed in Millers plant in Cali. Ok pretty average looking lager pale golden nice sized white head. Typical. Aroma is pretty pleasant for style only a whiff of carboard to go with the buisuity malts. Taste..pretty average semi-sweet American lager. Mouthfeel is actually Ok they managed to at least keep the carbonation down this makes the overall expierience with the beer more pleasing. This is an OK macro lager..not too many off flavours. reinds me of Henry Weinhards Private Reserve..thats a good thing.

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.52/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

By drinking this I'm helping save the islands! Or something like that as it says on the bottle. Pours light golden, clear, slightly creamy white head. Smell wasnt too bad. A little sweet, malt and the adjuncts. Taste was fine. Nothing really jumped out, a little maltier than your average adjunct I think. Mouthfeel was good for the style, a very light and crisp drink. Overall ok, an easy drinker. Think this would be a good summer beer, perhaps slightly better than a bud light.

Photo of woodychandler
3.46/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My pour got me a finger of thick, foamy, marshmallow-like bone-white head with decent retention. Color was a deep, golden yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a combination of metallic tang, sulfur, hops and a light sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a metallic taste accompanying the standard lager sweetness. Finish was crisp, slightly tangy. Better in bottle!

Photo of weller1js
3.12/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought it on vacation in HI thinking there may be something to it, nothing spectacular though.

appearance: more darker than light golden yellow with moderate carbonation; light, white head dissapates quickly.

smell: smells like an American pilsner with a very, very faint sweet essence.

taste: pilsner taste, no discernable unique hops to speak of, very, very slight sweet undertone.

drinkability: how you would expect a pilsner to taste, nothing displeasing but nothing to bring you back for more.

Photo of Wisconsinality
2.35/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to July2Nov for this beer.

A- Pours a standard gold with no haze and minimal head. No lacing left behind.

S- Pretty typical malts, a little bit of sweetness and some saltiness cracker.

T- Again pretty standard for the style. Malt forward with a touch of sweetness. Maybe a little bit of corn and that's is about it.

M- Lighter body and with less carbonation than expected for the style.

D- Pretty much what you would expect from an adjunct lager. Minimal in every category but you can still put them down with ease.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.91/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You'll notice if you take the time to look, that most of the top reviewers do not vote ANY american adjunct lagers high. The point of BA is to review within the style. That's what this review is.

Poured from a bottle into a Fenway APA pint glass.

A: Looks good for an adjunct. Nice head retention. Buttery golden colored. Darker than most.

S: Smelly; pale malt and barely any hops. Not the strong point here.

T: Slightly creamy mouthfeel is complimented well by a sweet, slighly hoppy taste which finishes ultra-clean with a sweet essence. Floral and tropical fruit hints throughout. Is this really an anjunct??? This tastes pretty damn good.

D: I could easily polish off a sixer.

Value: Don't be fooled by the bad reviews. I'd like to find an american adjunct lager to beat this one.

Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a pale yellow color with a short lived white head and no lacing.

S: Lots of corn sweetness and sugar sweetness, too. A bit of straw and apple juice (which gives even more sweetness). Just a light ester quality. A slightly stale feeling to the aroma.

T: Slightly bitter on the back of the throat, but otherwise it's just as sweet as the smell. A light grass and straw flavor as well. Corn and white sugar with some light grainy flavors.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Sort of falls in line with any of the other number of blah lagers.

Photo of dfillius
3.75/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a water glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1/4 finger of head with poor retention - just a ring. Clear, nice gold color. I'd like more head with better retention please.
S: Breadiness dominates, some crisp herbal hoppiness comes through. No off aromas. Nice and simple.
T: Mostly bready with slight sweetness, not terribly complex. I'd like more hoppiness. No off flavors.
M: A bit prickly, clean, thin. A bit too watery. Smooth.
D: Good for warm days and nights. I could drink another. I'd buy it again and order another.

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Primo from Pabst Brewing Company
68 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.