Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,837 Ratings
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

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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Ratings: 5,837 |  Reviews: 1,800
Photo of Dave_Sutula
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 12oz can into a pint glass. Not surprisingly, this beer pours to a crystal-clear shade of straw gold with some bubbles at first although it quickly dies down. It does generate a somewhat fluffy, bright-white, soapy head, but it dissipates down to a tiny layer of suds rather fast.

There isn’t much aroma to speak of. Adjunct macro lagers, and especially "economy" versions like this are often off-putting or straight-up foul in the nose, but PBR is rather neutral. I detect a touch of metal and corn, but these notes are light to be sure.

Up front it’s very watery, thin, and bland - which makes it surprisingly refreshing. As it finishes there is an odd flavor combination of cereal grain sweetness and a touch of tin or aluminum. I’ve had this beer on tap and in the bottle and noticed these flavors as well, so it’s clearly not the can. Don’t get me wrong, these are definitely not appealing flavors. In fact, if this beer is consumed warm they become off-putting, but drank cold it’s tolerable at best.

With its flat, bland body and noticeable wateriness, PBR is actually a highly drinkable beer. The palate here really doesn’t satisfy, but it does work well as a thirst-quencher on a hot day or when accompanying some ball park-style foods or during similar situations. I was surprised how well it paired with beer brats and could envision beer drinkers of virtually all calibers slugging it down at a BBQ or picnic.

At 4.74% ABV, this truly is a sessionable beer.

Every time I see a bottle or can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, I feel like I'm time-traveling to the days of the Grover Cleveland administration (the first one), since the recipe probably hasn’t changed since then.

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Photo of Stanley23
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dper
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gardner254
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of scarterk
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of irishman06
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beats all the other lagers in the mainstream market. My choice for a simple, refreshing American Macro Lager. I'd choose this over a Bud of Coors any day. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. Perfect for a large outdoor gathering or BBQ. Easy on the wallet as well. A winner.

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Photo of porters4life
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bone53
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served from a tall boy into a pilsner glass at around 45°F.

Appearance: Clear, pale golden color. Your typical adjunct lager look.

Smell: Corn, a slight touch of grains. Clean, but nothing special.

Taste: This is where PBR sets the bar from other adjuncts in my opinion. Very crisp and refreshing. Sweet corn, grains, and ever so slight hop bitterness. No off flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and very drinkable.

Overall: No off flavors that I find in most adjuncts. Crisp and very drinkable. My favorite American Adjunct Lager, but that's not saying much.

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Photo of Nurglitch
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Ysgramor
3.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I can down one after the other of Pbr

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Photo of alleykatking
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice clear golden yellow color. Nice sized two finger head that went away fairly quick and was eggshell white color. This is a average looking beer.

S- This beer has a very sweet smell to it that I find somewhat of a distraction. Corn and rice smell to it. Maybe a little straw as a faint additive in the smell. The malts come in as well. Nothing too impressive but also it's only PBR.

T- This has a very sweet malt taste to it. You can taste the corn and rest of the adjunct additives in this beer but it's not bad tasting at all with the given style it falls into. Because remember everyone we rate on style not on personal tastes.

M- This is a very light mouthfeel. Not too overly carbonated like Bud or Miller. Floats across the palate and leaves a clean finish with a typical adjunct aftertaste. One thing I can say is if you drink it from bottle and not the can you get rid of the metallic taste as is typical with PBR in the can.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to be honest. It doesn't make you have to think about it. Not impressive at all but also a good beer for the summertime and a steady stand by when the going gets tough.

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Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This beer is almost always drank out of the can and sometimes the bottle. The appearance is a slightly SLIGHTLY darker straw color. The head is there for a second and quickly turns into a collar. If you pour agressively it's usually a bit impressive looking. The smell - is just normal APA beer which is still good to me as a smell - that's what we're going for here. The taste is a bit of dull malts with a slightly crisp hop finish. ( still good) The mouthfeel is sticky. Drinkability is quite good as long as you don't get tired of it and want something high-brow.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 7/28/11

Appearance: It's honestly strange to see this out of the can - pale, urine-like yellow - starts off with a nice head, fades into lacing that is about par for the style

Smell: Light pilsner malts, light pilsner hops, lots of corn - not a whole lot in the nose, really

Taste: Lightly sweet, but not too bad - some corn flavor, some dryness, some pilsner flavors, some grassiness - nothing remarkably good, but nothing really bad (at least when it's cold)

Mouthfeel: Light, but not too light - there is some body to this, which makes it above-average compared to other macro lagers - carbonation is appropriate

Overall: Really not that bad

I've had more cans of this than I am often willing to admit. It's certainly not a great beer, but it's not a bad beer. Considering how ridiculously cheap it is, it's worth having once in a while. It's certainly better than the "heavy" BMC beers.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When it comes to the 'general umbrella of macros,' I've had a fair share of the standard Big 3 offerings + Canadian equivelants. However, before just last night, never a good ol' fashioned PBR. Maybe the bargain price scared me into believing that the contents were going to be dreadful, but I ended up getting one to ease my palate. I was pleasantly surprised:

A: Straw yellow... not as pale as many of the others of the style at all. A thin head, leaving a little ring of lace around the edges.

S: A touch of a citrus on the nose, very light grains, and a little bit of a corn aroma.

T/M/D: Light grains, with a bit of a sweet edge. Some corn husk, a little splash of citrus on the finish. Light, refreshing, and quite a clean flavour. Body is fairly typical for the style... lighter, and easy going. A nice summer brew. Shame I've ignored this for so long... while I drop into the summertime 'lighter beer' phase, I think this will be a good, simple standby to have in the fridge.

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Photo of Phade42
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Look. We all know that PBR isn't a "GOOD" beer by any stretch of the imagination. But it's cheap, it does the job, and it's not offensively bad. It gets bonus points because it's more than likely the cheapest beer your bar offers, and if you're out for a long night of drinking, rather than actually relaxing and enjoying a few quality brews, is definitely a plus.

it tastes faintly of stale corn, it smells like the water after washing out a glass that previously held King Cobra, but it's very drinkable, especially when barely above freezing cold.

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Photo of Livyatan1996
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes you make good decisions, sometimes you buy two tallboys of these at a poorly lit gas station. I guess you could make much worse choices.
Poured a crystal clear yellow color with a fluffy white head that quickly faded away. Only poured it for the sake of curiosity, just drink it from the can/bottle like you're supposed to. Smells and tastes grainy, malty and a touch of of hops in the back. Pretty nice actually, light and nearly watery but what do ya expect. Good enough for another six pack in my fridge.

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Photo of gearkraft
3.4/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of RichThatchr
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While Pabst Blue Ribbon may not rank highly in the archives of the Beer Advocate, I was taken by surprise last night by the .99 pint bottle I picked up on a whim as I passed by the beer aisle in the King Kullen market in
Halesite, NY. I popped the top with my dinner of cajun-style catfish filet and couscous, only to find another winner in the cheap beer area.

The Pabst was obviously fresh as it created a smooth and frothy head in my 50cl glass. I could see a multitude of little bubbles supporting the white top as I lifted the glass for a taste. It reminded me of what Coors tasted like before Light and before marketing reformulation as the sudsy pilsner style went down easily with a sort of creamy spirit to it.

I could have had several of these with out thinking about it, but I only had the pint. Another good point about the Pabst was that it was well matched with the spicy catfish as food with beer means a lot to me.

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Photo of Rocklandbagpiper
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is a highly under rated beer who has set itself apart from Budweiser. This is getting back to the beer our fathers generation was drinking. Not as good as the micros, but as for a mass produced nationwide seller, not a bad beer for the price and something to knock back after the yard work.

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Photo of HeeNalu
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm getting classy today, guys. PBR tall boy, in it's infinite glory, poured into the appropriate glassware.... a pint sized plastic cup.

A - Pours a clear, light, yellowy gold. A quick 1 fingerish head that dissipates almost instantly with the tiniest hint of lacing. The epitome of eye twinkling glory for the flat broke college student.

S - Pretty clean on the nose. Not a lot to detect. Some light notes of roasted corn with the coarseness of corn husk, and a touch of aluminum type metal. It's enough to make your mouth water.... if you can smell it over the Marlboro smoke.

T - Coarse grains, and corn husk - much like the smell. Same metallic sensation with a a hit of hops almost trying to break through. Not sweet, not bitter, just coarse grain and corn husk. A nectar of that gods that sets your tongue ablaze.... if you can keep your mullet hair out of your cup.

M - Fairly noticeable carbonation at first which, strangely, falls flat on the tongue pretty quickly. Fairly thin, but enough to know it's there.

D - Drinks like water. You could have at it all day, and many do. Pairs wonderfully with that Ballpark frank, fried bologna sandwich, or pimento cheese.

For what it is, it's a good, easy drinking beer for those lazy summer days. Definitely better than BMC.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow with a decent head. The appearance was the highlight here. Aroma was slightly sweet and mainly of corn and malt. Taste was similar with corn/adjuncts dominating with slightly sour bite just prior of a mild to mid hop bitterness finish. Palate was decent although a bit on the thin side. Overall, a typical American style lager that is mass produced and loaded up with corn/adjuncts. Perfect to sip on while you do yard work on a hot day or when hanging with buddies at a dive bar that doesn't serve craft beer!

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Photo of I_like_beer_31
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

For what this beer is and the intended audience you might as well call this champagne for hipsters and rednecks. That being said it might be the best easily obtainable American beer. Its a bit sweet smells like hay and is a session beer for the 8.95 to 11.95 range its pure gold.

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Photo of nasty15108
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a pilsner glass.

A - Straw colored with a head of white foam.

S - Nothing to overpowering here. Slightly malty whit hint of grain/grass.

T - Light maltiness with a clean dry finish.

MF&D - Light, crisp and easy to drink. Not a craft beer by far, but than again nobody ever said it was. A good summer pounder, just watch out for the headache it tends to provide you with. One of the better macros out there.

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Photo of angusdegraosta
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally had one of these - sure, it is better than a Bud! It has average head retention for its style, nothing distinctive in the color or smell (go figure), but it's crisp, and you can actually taste some hops. Nice malt character - almost robust even. I had one on a hot day, so that must account for my impression of the mouthfeel. This is a good clean thirst quencher and a good American brew.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.4/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color with a 1 inch white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Small random spots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of corn flakes, sugar, and slight cooked veggies. Taste is of sweetened corn flakes and other grains. This beer has a high level of carbonation and is very crisp and clean in the mouth. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and my favorite macro beer I have tried thus far in my life. A nice go to beer when you are looking for something cheap.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 5,837 ratings