Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,885 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: 5,885 |  Reviews: 1,812
Photo of nicholas2121
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pabst Blue Ribbon aka (PBR). This brew is brewed by Pabst Brewing Company, with an ABV of 4.74%. This brew pours out a nice amber color with a nice white head. PBR looks like every other American style lager on the market. Not saying that is a bad thing. Pabst blue ribbon has a nice beer smell to it. It smells like most American Adjunct Lagers on the market today. You pick up on grains and malts. You also pick up on some faint hops in the smell of this brew. There is also some nice sweetness in the smell of this brew. The taste is smooth and rich. Youfirst pick up on the grains and malts then a slight bitterness of hops. There is nothing bad about this brew. Pabst Blue Ribbon has flavor and smoothness. All around Pabst Blue Ribbon is an american classic beer. The mouth feel of PBR is rich, clean , Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving this brew a 3.5 out of 5. I would get this brew again. Pabst Brewing Company, did a nice job with this one.

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Photo of Emperur
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of PaulSlazinger
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thehyperduck
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the Canadian version, which I'm fairly certain is contract brewed in Ontario by Sleeman (same as Old Milwaukee). First time having this; I've generally heard good things about it, but I don't know a lot of other craft beer drinkers so their standards are probably different than mine.

Pours a rather pale straw colour with a half-finger of head that doesn't last very long before turning into patchy islands of foam. Very non-descript smell, basically the same as any other adjunct lager; grainy malts, some rice or corn-type vegetal odours and that's about it.

Taste is mostly pale grain malts mixed with corn adjunct. A little sweet at the start but some stale hop bitterness cleans it up in the finish. Nothing really lingers on the palate; very crisp and clean. Thin-bodied and heavily carbonated, this stuff is as easy to drink as water.

I think I see why this stuff is so highly recommended, it's actually pretty good for what it is. I don't think I'm hip enough to go out and buy a Mac or wear aviators without looking like a turd, but if someone hands me a PBR in the future I'll happily drink it. Within the style, I think it would be difficult to find something of comparable quality and price.

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Photo of Billybrewer
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This is my go to value beer. For me, it’s a nice year round brewski. I definitely prefer more complex microbrews, but, on a happy hour or low cash flow day I have no issue buying volumes of PBR. This beer has a nostalgia for me. I’ve drank it since i was 12 years old. And, while that’s not appropriate or recommended...that’s what PBR is to me. It’s part of me and there is no better mass brew on the market for me. You could say, it’s in my dna.

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Photo of Croft
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Maxwell
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

The PBR pours like a kellerweizen, piss yellow with a nice fluffy eggshell white head, though that skims down to a quarter of a fingers width quite quickly. The beer’s body is water clear with a torrent of bubbles working to the top of the glass. In truth, the beer looks a little like ginger ale in the glass. The beer’s head leaves a lacing of medium sized and tightly packed bubbles on the sides of the glass in sparse scraggly lines. On the nose, the beer smells weakly of sweet grassy malts with a touch of caramel. That stale grain smell that is found in most cheap lagers is also present here. It actually smells better than some of the other cheap lagers I’ve reviewed. It’s not amazing, but it doesn’t turn my stomach either, and it doesn’t have a completely bland character. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweetly bready with a touch of acid and the faintest touch of salt. The beer’s flavors begin with water, slowly opening into stale bread and grassy hops that turn hay-like. The finish is clean and quick, giving that slightly vegetal chemical sweet taste that all cheap lagers have. On the mouth, the beer feels thin, with a medium light carbonation that does fluff the tongue. The mouth is left wet after the beer passes. This beer is supremely drinkable, which is why it still exists today. It also leaves the mouth in flavor soon after it travels down your throat. Overall, this is PBR. It is cheap beer, but it is not offensive. It’s just pretty flavorless. To PBR’s credit, I find more flavor in it than in other comparable cheap lagers that I’ve reviewed (i.e. Red Stripe…). Buy a thirty if you want to cheaply drink yourself stupid. It is not the worst thing you could drink.

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Photo of BlakeA85
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16 oz can into tall bar-like mug. Pours a clear yellow straw color with a very fizzy head that sticks around a leaves quite a bit of lacing.
Smells of corn, malt and teeny tiny bit of hops.
Taste is more so on the surprisingly great side, has a nice rich malt flavor with a nice little bit of bitter hop bite. A bit corny, kind of typical adjunct.
Mouthful is clean and smooth, crisp. Very, very drinkable.
Overall, really decent for a commercial adjunct lager. Easy drinkin'

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Photo of Pocker
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

For the price it is very hard to rate this too critically. One of the cheaper beers out there and very popular in both the hippy community as well as the college core. Easy to drink as they aren't too skunky yet they do have a little metallic taste which isn't very good. Given the price I move it from 2.25 to 3.25 rating.

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Photo of dankster
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

What can i say, i have always had a pabst in the fridge for those rainy days!

Looks like any other lager from america but has more flavor and body than anything that bud or coors puts out. smell is very much grain and corn but still pleaseing on a hot day. taste and mouth are one in the same smooth and easy. overall this is the budget beer of choice for my fridge every time needed to save a little green for the rent. ( or whatever bill needed)

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Photo of lucasj82
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dbl_delta
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I literally grew up on PBR. The first beer I ever had was one of my Dad's PBRs from the basement fridge. I drank this beer EXCLUSIVELY for 42 years (until about when it started its resurgence, at which point I figured I'd done my part to preserve an American icon, and moved on to craft beers). So much for "living on a beer budget".
I thought it was appropriate to make PBR my 1000th beer on BA. There was an appealing symmetry there, plus I feel that #1000 occupies a position of some significance. PBR deserves it.
Pabst is actually a decent beer. You can drink a lot of it without getting totally trashed, and it's pretty cheap so you'e not breaking the bank either. It was best in returnable bottles (remember them??) but it's OK in cans too. I occasionally run into PBR on tap, which is irresistible (it's not that much better, but hey - it's PBR on TAP!!)
OK, so it tastes a little grainy and maybe it's over-carbonated. But it's a damn sight better than Bud, Miller, or any other macro swill. Hint: drink this stuff COLD. Optimal temperature is when it CRYSTALLIZES when you pop the can or bottle cap. Mucho refreshing!

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straw-colored. Yellow. Bubbly. You name it, you've seen it before. The ever-famous yellow fizziness that is the American Adjunct Lager. From it's quickly disappearing white foam to it's remarkable absence of lacing, this beer has what it takes to show that it could only be from one country on one continent in the world.

Pale malts, nearly unnoticeable hop character, slightly starchy, and almost metallic in nature. Some people may mistake this for something like aluminum affecting the smell. However, it is quite the opposite. This is where aluminum gets it's smell from. Think about it. Aluminum has such a distinct metallic smell, just like this beer. Millions of beer cans are recycled every year. All modern aluminum once held beer, where it picked up that signature aroma.

No one will ever forget their first taste of PBR. The metallic aroma strikes the tongue, evaporating into surprisingly pleasant pale malt taste. There is just enough of a hint of bitterness to let you know that hops are in some way utilized in the crafting of this beverage. Despite the lightness of the flavor, there is something amazing about it. A subtle feeling of contentedness, and refreshment. It begs you to take another sip.

Bubbles pop off of your tongue as the beer sits in your mouth, and even for a moment after the rest of the brew has left. This is one carbonated beverage. There is a feeling of a medium-bodiedness, even though the taste is very light. It's as if you're drinking a soda. A manly feeling in a light way. And a bonus for the hipsters, as it is a very ironic way for your mouth to feel.

Hands down, this is my favorite beer in the AAL leagues. On top of that, it is an icon of our times. "But Mister Larkin," you ask, "Aren't you supposed to be a craft beer enthusiast? Shouldn't you scoff at this style?" First, don't call me Mr. Larkin. That was my dad, and he prefers Miller Lite. Second, I am an all-beer enthusiast, and I see no reason to scoff. It's a reasonably well made beer for it's style. And the style doesn't deserve so much criticism. Any beer from any style can be a good beer, just as any shirt can be a wife-beater. Except I mean that as being more positive than my analogy. Um.

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer at all. Much prefer this over the other macros that dominate the market. Epitome of the American-styler lager. Nice appearance, straw, pale yellow in color with a light head. The smell was effervescent, with a note of hops. Not a bad tasting beer either. Tart, yet floral hop presence, not huge, but noticeable with just a hint of malt. Light on the palate, crisp. Overall, an easy drinking beer, and definitely what I reach for if nothing else is available but the standard macros. Stands out amongst American, mass produced lagers. Friends always make fun of me for drinking this, because they think that because it costs less that it is a "cheap" beer. However, if we had say PBR clydesdales, PBR lizards or other reptiles/amphibians, PBR bikini teams and commercials every 15 minutes of each viewing day, I'm sure PBR would come at a premium price. They still concentrate on making consistently decent beer as opposed to mass marketing.

It's an easy drinking, affordable beer, best enjoyed outside on a hot day. When the budget is tight and I can't do the craft beers, I'll pick up a 12-pack of this. Worth a try.

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Photo of Badger6
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Only out of a can, 473 mL of rice goodness.

This is a pretty decent example of an American adjunct lager. If I'm feeling like slumming, this is as low as I go, which really isn't that low. This beer clocks in with a better rating than many crafts. Despite the hipster obsession with how ironic it is to drink PBR, this stuff really is just working man's pretentiousness, nothing fancy, just water, malted grain, and hops. It has a light bready flavor, slightly sweet, with a medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't like this beer that much but it was tolerable as a cheap macro lager to just hang with friends and drink. It tased average. A little less induced carbonation. Smell was faint. It was crisp and easy to drink.

I wish more places served micros and imports for cheaper. My friends wanted to go to some bar and this was the best thing they had for the price IMO.

I could imagine wanting one of these after along day of work or mowing the lawn or something.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

16oz can into a tulip, because damnit that's all I had laying around at the moment.

Look- Pale straw and crystal clear, just like any other AAL. Some carb bubbles spring to the surface and there's a little wispy head retaining. Basically, the style average.

Smell - Somewhat difficult to gauge as it's so faint: light, mildly sweet corn graininess, light sulfur sharpness, faint whiff of grassy hops.

Taste - Pretty much follows nose: light, mildly sweet, clean corny graininess up front, slight malt presence, a touch metallic, a very slight touch of drying grassy hops, a little sulfurous sharpness, finishes nice and dry with mellow grain and faint grassy hops. Refreshing and well balanced.

Feel - Boy did they nail the body! Carbonation is ample and smooth, a bit creamy, with a bit of a fizzy bite all at once. Feel is medium light and crisp.

Overall - At the moment I'm kind of re-discovering the AAL category and going back to my (not-so-impressive) roots, but I gotta say at the very least, PBR is absolutely not a bad beer, and is actually a pretty good beer for what it is. Like any other AAL, there just isn't a great deal of flavor and aroma, but more importantly there are no real "off" flavors to note - it's smooth, crisp, clean, balanced and just kinda tastes like a beer, which cannot be said for a lot of beers in this style. PBR makes a damn fine food beer, too.

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Photo of Dave_Sutula
3.41/5  rDev +16%
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%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dper
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of gardner254
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of scarterk
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of irishman06
3.41/5  rDev +16%
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%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bone53
3.41/5  rDev +16%
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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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.94 out of 5 with 5,885 ratings