Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

5,571 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,571 |  Reviews: 1,726
Photo of Falcynn
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of DinoBlueShoes
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%

Photo of sajaffe1
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the 12oz can into a pint glass

A- Brassy color, clear, bubbly with a good but short-lived head

S- Grains, namely corn and some barley, touch of grassy hops

T- A bit bland yet refreshing. Hints of hops and corn

M- Thin, but well carbonated

O- It is a decent budget beer and beats out many of the other major adjunct lagers.

 340 characters

Photo of TomG2751
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Arsenal0328
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of fx20736
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bought a single 24 oz can from Wegmans Calkins Rd on 4/9/13 for $ 1.29.

Poured into a mug, served at fridge temp.

appearance: pale brass with a 2 finger white head. Some lacing.

aroma: hops and some baker's yeast?

mouthfeel: a little thin but not flat, decent carbonation.

taste: pale malt with a touch of hops.

notes: for an adjunct lager this is pretty good beer. Hell, it's just good beer. No wonder hipsters like it.

 426 characters

Photo of Schlafly33
1/5  rDev -66.8%

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Jacurdy60
5/5  rDev +66.1%

Photo of SFNC
2.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of johnbosma
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Clear light golden straw color. A white head recedes to a film. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: Metallic, yeasty, bready.

Taste: Slightly sweet, metallic, faint malted barley, yeast.

Mouthfeel: Light and carbonated.

Overall: Hipsters like it, but to me it's not any better than any other adjunct lager. I guess I'm not cool enough :(

 369 characters

Photo of TheRevMatt
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Asics
3/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of mtreis86
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of TKepiro
2.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of MichaelNickerson
2.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: Extremely light yellow with small head.

Smell: Bread malt aromas with light hops and light yeast.

Taste: Light, thin body with a bitter ending.

Mouthfeel: Short retention that allows for a rather quick second drink.

Overall: Although it's a below average beer, it's the best "cheap" beers out there. Definitely better than bud light, natty light, keystone, and other comparable beers. Easy to drink for volume purposes, but other than that, useless.

 466 characters

Photo of bigbeers84
2.75/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of AndrewBV
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of bbluemzbeer
4.5/5  rDev +49.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I rate this beer alittle better then Bud, Miller and Coors and price is better then them too.

Apperance: yellow. It looks like beer

Smell : smell like grain, like beer should smell like.

Taste: I was surprised how good this beer tasted. It tasted like malt and corn and some mild at the end. It has character !

Mouthfeel: Strongly carbonated with a thin body. It just like americcan lager beer

This beer was real nasty as kid but it taste pretty good now. Maybe I drank it warm or they changed the formula. I would drank some more in the future and price is better then the BMC. Good beer!

 597 characters

Photo of daddydawg80
3.09/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 377 characters

Photo of atigerlife
2.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Was out for chicken wings with the family and decided to have a couple PBR's. Been a while...

Pours pale golden with a small white head that dissipates rather quickly. Pretty much what you would expect from this style.

Aroma is grainy, slightly sweet. Not a lot going on here.

Taste is of grain, light hops, light malts. Rather crisp. Again, pretty much how I remember and what I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and cleansing.

Overall, definitely sessionable. Decent for what it is. Worked well enough with the chicken wings.

 539 characters

Photo of Stevotex
1.75/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of mpbrady320
4.25/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of AniGamor
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't really post on Beer Advocate. I generally use it to look up what style a beer is when it's not obvious before I buy it. That said, I regard the ratings as an indicator of how strongly flavored (for better or worse) a beer is. I would say that generally on a BA review, the higher the rating, the more I'm not going to like a beer unless I've already prepped myself with some previous drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I'm generally not some macrobrew swelling bro, who marches into a bar and immediately orders a bud light. I generally stroll into my local brew garden, and look at what's new and ask the opinion of the bartender on stuff I haven't tried. I try all kinds of things and it really just depends on the mood I'm in.

I would like to think that a lot of people had evolved from similar experiences with beer early on like I did. The first time you may have tried beer, was from your dad's can, and it was vile. I believe my first beer sip might have been Coors. You also might have gotten the feelings that beer was a low class drink that drunks partook of. During your High School or even early drinking age years, you may have come to the conclusion that "you hate beer".

Eventually, you might have discovered a wine cooler, or a lambic, or cider. Flavored beers or fermented beer-like beverages from colorful bottles or pulls that tasted good and were beer related. You may have discovered Guinness, a beer that initially may feel you with thoughts of manliness or the Irish hills. A stout that moved you to better Oatmeal based concoctions and other opaque, dark brews. You may have thought that "maybe I only hate piss colored beers".

At some point you run into IPAs and other Ales in general. You look at their color with disgust, and reluctantly try one, and you hate it. However, overtime you keep trying them and you might evolve to appreciate the hoppy flavor, and you discover some fruitiness, that reminds you of those lambics, but less extreme.

I think at this point you've learned that it was the Pissy American Macrobrewed rubbish all along. Though, secretly you might realize that you're being a snob now.

I think this is how the hatred of beers like PBR comes about. Pabst Blue Ribbon, in my opinion, is the epitome of beer. Strong words, but listen. It's not that it's 'good' but it is the essence of the thing of which it is.

PBR is an American Lager. It's Grain, Hops, Yeast, and Water. It's simple, yellow, and drinkable. It has successfully accomplished all that it has set out to do. It's about 60 cents for a 12 ounce can (in a 30 pack). I've bought it for $4 a growler before. It's more expensive than Malt Liquor, which I have found for 50 cents for a 40 ounce bottle. Still, Budweiser drinkers and the like will look down upon PBR for being cheap.

It's not such a bad thing! PBR's biggest strength I feel is it's smell. It reminds me of a passable Champagne with maybe some extra flower scents. It smells good and smell is probably the most important part of consuming something.

Taste, it tastes like a decent beer flavored carbonated water. It's a bit like Perrier, but cheaper and less citrus to it. The beer component is malty, it is my opinion that any hops are converted directly to scent upon opening or pouring though, because that it really the only place I detect them.

Pour? It's a yellow beer, mediocre head, unimpressive. It's not a 6 dollar pull of nitrogenated stout. There's no showmanship. It's plain yellow beer. It looks fine in a can in a paper bag, or in a giant mug, or poured out of a growler into a glass.


Keep it cold. These Adjuct Lagers don't like heat. PBR is less bad than other when warm, but it's unpleasant.

Drink it as a session beer. I find that it's low alcohol content and high drinkability make it excellent for drinking over a long period of time. If there is something on TV that requires a beer, this is a good beer. If you're hanging out at a family event, this is a good beer. If you need a cold adult beverage on a hot summer's day? It's fine!

Buy in bulk. This beer is cheap, but it's still actually a beer. You're not going to find it for 80 ounces for a dollar like King Cobra. You will, however, find it on sale in 30-packs. I think that if you have thirsty friends, it's excellent to offer them one of these instead of Coke now and then. Coke is still cheaper in bulk, ~9$ for a 36-pack around here, but you have to add rum to it if you want an adult beverage, and that adds up.

Bottom line. At a normal bar journey I'm generally going to order two pints and some food and then leave. This will not be one of those pints. It's great for everything but drinking at a bar or cooking with (unless you're drinking it while cooking).

 4,748 characters

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,571 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.