Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 1,704 | Ratings: 5,474
Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Sampled on 6-13-07

A nicely decorated can, with the trusty blue ribbon featured prominently.

Smell is not too bad, actually. Kind of like a German pilsner, though very light.

Taste is quite good, considering. Nice malt backbone with a surprising hop balance. No super-corny macro lager at all.

Mouthfeel is good, exactly what you'd expect.

Drinkability is fantastic, this is the stuff college is made of.

Overall, one of the best, if not THE best cheap beer you can buy. Amazingly balanced, it's a very good choice. People will still give you shit, though.

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Photo of zdk9
2.42/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This was a lager which I wouldn't really enjoy drinking, but on the other hand I wouldn't detest drinking. The smell is neutral an inoffensive. The taste is sweet and malty with strong hints of corn syrup and a touch of earthy hops (probably the only macro lager with hops flavors that I can detect). The mouthfeel is overly too carbonated and sweet. I found myself unable to down larger gulps of this one as it was powerful in my throat and this is not a good thing. I might take PBR over Busch, but certainly not over a decent micro brew.

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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 pmcadamis
2.97/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A - Pale gold, nearly colorless brew with a one finger foamy head that takes it's time reducing to a wispy haze and small collar. A small amount of dish soap lace is left on the glass. Not a pretty beer, but given the style and the price, this doesn't look half bad.

S - Vegetal, malty, and spicy aroma. Odd musky smell that reminds me of old Indian food, or the way that my apartment smells after I cook a bunch of chicken breasts to last me through the week. Mushrooms and black pepper. Rather interesting and not at all bad.

T - Olive and mushroom flavors carry over from the nose, with the addition of some peppery hops and a nasty macro adjunct flavor.

M - Light body, fizzy but not overwhelming soda-like carbonation. Nice neutral finish that lets the tiny hop flavors shine through.

D - I like this! It's a weird old-school throwback that is not really tasty, but it's cheap and much more interesting than Bud Light. In fact, this was cheaper than Bud Light at my grocery store.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.68/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a light golden-yellow color. Very clear, and with an airy white head that turns into a lace. Laces the glass a bit too.

Smell: Light malt aroma with some grains (including a slight bit of corn). Slight metallic accent.

Taste: Malts and grains infused with metallic flavors. Generic and not bad, but way less than impressive.

Mouthfeel: Very light-bodied with ultra-minimal carbonation. Rather smooth, however.

Drinkability: Easy to drink; no problems here. Goes down fine, though it can get a tad boring.

One of the more decent of widely available American macro-lagers; nothing objectionable, but far from impressive. More affordable than BMC too. But not something to even consider getting for enjoyment at home.

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Photo of bort11
1.96/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. White head that stands about a fingers width and quickly recedes to a foamy cap. Color is a clear pale yellow with lots of active carbonation.
Smell is a sweet cereal base with a slight lemony note. Taste is also a weak lemony flavor. A little bit of pepper in the finish.
Mouthfeel is light yet slightly oily.
I cold never figure out why PBR is so hot with the hipster crowd. The only reason I got this was the store was out of Hamms, and I wanted to put something in the can holder in the door of my beer fridge for Memorial Day weekend

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Photo of geexploitation
2.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear with a dirty yellow color and bright white head that fades quickly. Lots of bubbles floating upwards throughout. The nose is very mild, with sweet malts-and-grits notes, a faint herbal tea quality and little else. The palate is quite bland, with a light malt sweetness and a touch of balancing bitterness that grows toward the end. There's a hard, carbonic quality to the beer. Mouthfeel is quite fizzy with carbonation and, as expected, extremely light in body... although not too light by macro standards. Overall, this is pretty bad, and nothing that I would order or drink if I had a reasonable amount of choice in the matter. But it's not terrible by macro standards, and I can see the attraction of it given its cost.

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Photo of bozebus17
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light crystal clear straw color. A large fizzy bright white head is there at the start but quickly retreats. The color and clarity remind me of a sparkling wine. No lacing.

The scent is very faint and grassy.

Tastes slightly sweet with a bit of that macro rice flavor coming in. A small hint of bitterness is there before the end. This beer seems extremely carbonated and my whole mouth tingles after each swig. It also feels ultra-light, very watery. It goes down very smooth.

For what it is this isn't a bad beer at all. Served extra cold this beer is damn refreshing. What can I say about this beer that hasn't been said? It's been a long time since I had a macro and the urge caught me on my way home today. It'll definitely be a while before I buy it again but I wouldn't turn one down if offered. I'm drinking the next one straight from the can for the true experience.

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Photo of jvdineen
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the Middle East Bar in Cambridge, MA (aka the home of PBR in Eastern Massachusetts) on 12 ounce bottle. Maybe it's 100% psychological but Pabst is one of those beers that tastes completely different depending on the serving method. Drank out of the bottle so appearance is moot. Little to no smell from the neck of the bottle. Corny sweetness with a Bill Raftery "the kiss' of weak hops from beginning to end of the bottle. There's a reason that this sells unbelievably well, and it's not just the price. I really do prefer it on bottle to even can or draft. I think the can makes it too cold and while draftwise you are at the mercy of age of keg and cleanness of line when experiencing PBR

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Photo of Clockwork420
2.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Heard about this one quite a bit, and got what I expected.

A-Inside can.
S-Corny kind of metallic.
T-Just about the same as the smell, very easy to drink as a starter. The corny smell and taste is easily adjustable.
M-Thin and easy on the palate. Not harsh or gagging.

D-Very easy, cheap, decent beer. Good chillin brew for you and the buddies.

Not too bad.
I still prefer colt to this.

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Photo of guitarmage
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pale golden yellow, seems slightly darker than others. Sudsy white head disappates quickly into a transparently thin lacing.

Smell: Faint smell, a little stinky, cabbage, musty.

Taste: Musty, cooked rice, cabbage, a quick dash of spicy hops, finishes clean and quick. No citrus, or real sweetness, kind of grainy and clean.

Mouthfeel: A tight crisp carbonation, light bodied, moderately dry, a little watery.

Drinkability: Probably one of the lightest flavored beers out of the AML group, easy to drink, not much going on.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pabst Blue Ribbon
12 oz can
Served in a pilsner glass with an occasional sip from the can

Pours a clear golden-yellow. Agressive carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass.

A fluffy bone-white head on top. Nice trails of sticky lace.

Grainy flavors with a husky quality. Clean and quite refrehing with a smooth carbonation pull. A tad watery, but not excessive. Very drinkable and even more appealing when the price is factored in.

Probably one the best economical mass-produced beers on the market. PBR is quite drinkable when it comes down to it.

Q: Drinkable in warmer weather?

A: check

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
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 plaztikjezuz
3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pabst Blue Ribbon, this is what my dad drank when i was a kid, it was the big boy back in the 70s in the upper mid-west. soon miller and AB took over and pabst all but disappeared.
well a friend drinks this and gave me a can because really i am a beer snob and don't drink macros. with that being said, i did find the beer enjoyable in its own way, it had a very clean aroma, little malt, a hint of butter or it could be the cooking as dinner is being made. pours a brilliant golden with a 1 1/2 finger head that leaves lacing down the side of the glass. the flavor is very clean, little malt, some sweetness, little hop spice, has a very balanced bitterness, hint of honey and graininess in the aftertaste.

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Photo of happygnome
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: pale gold color three quarter inch of head (aggressive pour) that dissapears fast leaving little lacing
s: corn grains, adjunct, very little hop notes
t: deffinate corn grain notes bitterness present seems nice
m: medium to light bodied beer with a lot of carbonation

overall this is a brew for a hot summer afternoon and for after youve already had a few

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Photo of cjgator3
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Pours a faint straw yellow color with a large with head and lively carbonation rising to the top. Not much going on in the nose except for some grain and some faint hops. The taste is much like the smell in that it is pretty clean and crisp. Not much going on in the smell or taste, but it is one of the better macro lagers. I would take this over the "Big 3" any day on both taste and price.

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Photo of beerphan
2.91/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz can -> pint
no date

Pours a faded yellow with a wispy white head that leaves behind some thin wet lace. Carbonation is huge.

Nose: Nasty nose, rotten scent like veggies that have been in the fridge for about 3 months.

Some light malts, corn, a little bitterness and a slightly sweetened sour flavor on the finish.

Thin, crisp and quick.

Cheap and easy.

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Photo of jpbdeutschland
2.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Bought a case from my local liquor store, drank it room-temperature from poured can.

A: Color is a clear, thin straw. Pours with moderate amounts of head, quickly dissipating with no lace. Pretty much what one imagines horse urine to look like.

S: Vaguely sour malt smell, a fine example of classic "middle-America" beer smell.

T: Very thin malt taste, with hops and alcohol blending together to produce sharpness towards the end. Some grassy tones blended with iron produce most taste from this beer, but it's very thin, so they aren't very strong.

M: Watery, thin. Pretty much indistinguishable from water, actually.

D: The taste isn't that great, and the appearance leaves much to be desired. But would I have another? At this price, why not.

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Photo of beveritt
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a little over an in ch of foamy white head. This falls quickly to a thin coating. A very small amount of lacing. Beer is dark yellow.

Smell: Sweet, with very little malt smell. I guess I am smelling the corn? No hop aroma.

Taste: Sweet, with a vegetal flavor from th corn. No bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level, body is pretty decent.

Drinkability: Well, it is what it is. Overall, more flavor than some of the more mainstream macro lagers. On this first warm day in Indiana, it was a great beer while sitting out at a patio restaurant with my family.

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Photo of goschool
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This is the only beer that you can look cool drinking out the can. That being said, it looks okay in a glass. Light gold with a large white head that soon fades.

Smell: There's not much here more than light grains and a hint of hops, but that's certainly better than some of the adjunct filled macro lagers.

Taste: The soft flavor profile has sweet malt followed by a minimal corn flavor and a touch of hop bitterness at the finish. The aftertaste is very clean.

Mouthfeel: The body is light and somewhat aqueous and the gentile carbonation makes it come together as a surprisingly creamy texture.

Drinkability: This stuff is super cheap and rather enjoyable. PBR would be a far better value at double the price than Bud, Miller, or Coors would be PBR's price.

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Photo of July2Nov
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PBR has always been tops on my list for Macros. It might have something to do with growing up in the south, or going to plenty of smaller venue concerts and associating what I was drinking with what I was doing. No matter what it might be, I always come back to the PBR out of respect. You can pair it with almost any down-home food or any gathering, especially grilling and barbecuing.

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Photo of HochFliegen
2.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ah the PBR! I havent had one of these since highschool. My buddy got a six of it. Wow I cant believe how much of this beer I drank.
Well it poured a pale yellow with a head about 2inches think and fluffy. That quickly dies though. Smell was corn and believe it or not a hint of floral hops in there as well. This was surprising. The taste was very weak. I couldnt find anything more than corn. It was an easy drink since there was really nothing to focus on.

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Photo of tempest
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

What is it about this beer. I'm not a dirty hipster and I can afford to drink better. But $1 PBR drafts come along and I can't help myself. It isn't much to look at and the smell is only sweet and grainy. But the taste is smooth with a touch of malt. As it warms the adjunct sweetness is a bit much for me, but for what it is, it aint bad. If they just put a little more hops in here we'd have a really decent beer. Alas.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I did think Budweiser was the best "macro", but after not having Pabst since HighSchool, I'll give pabst the nod. Not great looking, yellow and fizzy and smells like a macro(don't need to get into that, we all know that smell). But had some interesting tingles, almost of a fruity grain, nothing offensive, a slight aftertaste, no hops, very graining and not bad. I may reach for this again.

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Photo of krdowney
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

At the end of an evening of beer connsoisseurship that began with the magnificent Achelse Kluis and included the equally marvelous Rochefort 8, I decided that there was no better way to conclude the night’s festivities than to indulge in our local staple, renowned for its simple, clean taste, and popularity with the local hipsters, i.e., PBR.

In a long-stemmed Urthel glass, something uncharacteristic for this particularly underappreciated brew, I sampled once again the magnificence of this light, fourteen-carat gold tinted, blue-ribbon original.

Despite this beer’s performance is the undoubtedly then-esteemed contest of America’s finest beers in 1893, I was somewhat disappointed with Pabst’s current performance. At this time, it can only be considered worthy of a red ribbon—at best.

Pabst’s original color, no doubt impressive for its amazing clarity, can today only be characterized as a rather jaundiced yellow (much like the coloring of those who’ve drunk too much of this insipid brew).

The smell, well, yes, there exists the faintest hint of a once-fragrant aroma. However, beers, much like guests, acquire rather unpleasant olefactory qualities after a certain amount of time, that is, if one trusts the words of our rather esteemed diplomat and national hero Benjamin Franklin. As PBR has been lingering on the scene since at least 1893, it comes as no surprise that this particular beer has become quite rank.

On the whole, however, I believe PBR has lost none of its charm. Still appealing for impoverished undergrads (and similarly tasteless grad students), you simply can’t go wrong at $5 a pitcher.

Drink it cold, drink it fast, and in case you were wondering, this bottle had a two of clubs.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,474 ratings.
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