Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,704 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: 5,704 |  Reviews: 1,762
Photo of ngandhi
2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PBR draft is based around nice honeyed malt and a dry finish. Some adjuncts come out, but are washed away by the very pure liquid quality of this beer. To me, this is what people mean when they say they want a "cold one." PBR is a lot sweeter, smoother, and complex than its macro competitors. The malt is as flavorful as any Czech pilsener and the hops, though dull, are appropriate in their bitterness and serve to dry out and close this beer on the finish. In its class, it is one of the best.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of TastyTaste
1.63/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Light yellow color with a head the quickly dissipates into nothing. Smell is bursting with grainy maltiness and skunk. You can almost see the old guys in the ice house. A very grainy, malty flavor. No hops traces at all. This is not a very good beer. Not a good value, either, at $7.99 for a 12 pack.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.07/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i heard how this one was good for the money so i thought i'd give it a try. the last time i had it i was about eighteen and i remember at the time that it tasted pretty good, of course i was drinking natty light at the time so...

the smell on this is kinda funked up with some grains goin on a little. taste is mild and i'm picking up a mild saltiness. not sure? in line with the other big three for taste, qualiy, etc. price to quality ratio is very high. is it better? well you can't polish a turd, but i'd be proud to drink it anyday over bud.

drinkability is good!

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Photo of bigjohn
2.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

By far my favorite of the American "swill" beers. I personally try to support smaller beers in favor of bud, miller, coors, if I am going to be drinking that style. Pabst is the transparent golden color that is typical of an American macro. The taste is smooth, with a little bite at the end. Nothing particularly special about this one, but it is easy to drink and a perfect alternative to most macros if the occassion should necessitate drinking them.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.77/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is, hands down, the best of the american lagers. It pours a transparent yellow colour with a thick white head that quickly disipates. The taste is malty with a little graininess. I enjoy it very much. Don't let the cheap price make up your mind for you. You can't always judge a book by its cover. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the perfect beer to just kick back with.

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Photo of soper2000
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is the macro lager i choose. When poored vigorously it produces a nice white head, but it quickly fades. First sip reminds you that this is a macro lager but some hop notes are present. There is not much to this beer but not much can be expected considering its price and list of ingredients. This beer is extremely consistent however, I have yet to have an off bottle despite this being a college staple for me.

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Photo of pheurton
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear dark golden in color. foamy white head that completely disappears. no lacing or collar to speak of. lively carbonation lends a crisp, light mouthfeel. mild toasted grain on the nose. light body, spritzy, clean slightly sweet maltiness. lacks the overbearing adjunct flavor of the more popular macros...this is a good thing. faint light hops there only for balance make this beer quite refreshing.

though i admit the cult following this beer has developed is annoying, it is the best tasting macro i have come across. great summertime beer when you're in the mood for something simple and refreshing. better on tap than out of the can.

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Photo of RootedFool
2.1/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours perfectly transparent yellow from a tall 24 ounce can with one of the most recognizable labels in America. Fizzy, bubbly head rises fast and falls even faster. No lacing.

Smell is of candy sweet grainy malts, a thread -- a barely noticeable thread -- of hop bitterness and alcohol levitates around the surface.

Mouthfeel is less watery than water, if that's possible, and brings with it a stale sugary sweetness and a weak band of hop bitterness through the center. Aftertaste is a flat alcohol buzz and dirty hay-like malts.

The can says it was "selected America's best in 1893."

111 years ago.

Take their word for it, unless you're a hipster...


I've had to reconsider Pabst, after imbibing a bunch of macro swill as a part of my beer education it's clear that Pabst isn't so bad at all. You can actually pick up on a little zing of hops in the taste, and it doesn't smell like old pool water. I'm changing my scores for Pabst to reflect it's superiority compared to other macro brews. Definitely one of the best macros out there, if not *the* best.

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Photo of yankeeheel
2.81/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear with minimal whirte head after an aggro pour.

Smells of....nothing

Tastes pretty darn good for shit beer. Little bit of sweetness and a mildly bitter hop middle and finish. If I have to slum it this is it.

Mouthfeel is pretty close to water.

I could drink a half rack and walk home. My friends made me drink this. I'm sorry.

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Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light golden brew, I expected less.

Smell is slightly sour yeast and mild malt. This has a light floral aroma and a pleasant grain smell.

Taste is mildly sweet and clean, and a touch of sourness. Mild hops present. Not great but a solid beer.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly present and not bad.

Drinkable beats Budweiser any day.

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Photo of simmons
3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pabst blue ribbon has to be one of the best mass produced cheap beer around. There are many cheap beers out there that are just plain disgusting and horriable. pabst blue ribbion has a nicce feel to it when it, not much head to brag about. As for the flavor its not strong but its not too mild in hops and malt useage. i wouldnt pick this over a good flying fish or home brew but for $13.00 for a 30 pack this is your best bet.

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Photo of Charthepirate
3.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow, no head.

Smell was utterly neutral, no defining odors whatso ever.

A standard american lager, with standard american flavors. Rice and malt poking out, with touches of hops. Best part is the mouthfeel which feels round and smooth.

It's a mass produced lager, and it's better than most, but still not amazing.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

How can you NOT try a beer that promotes itself with a Blue Ribbon on the label? Not as shameless as, say, "Milwaukees Best" but it's a start.

PBR was an old standby of my "ahem" early collegiate drinking days, though when I was in California you could only find it in cans. The bottle gets rid of some of the metallic flavor, but it still tastes pretty much like seltzer with a hint of beer. Then again, most macro lagers taste like this anyway; Pabst does not really separate itself from the pack, other than the now-trendy label. If you're on a budget though, you can always grab a 6-pack of this for half the price of your average micro brew.

That said, I'd still take it over Heineken or the uber-trendy Amstel Light. In the immortal words of Dennis Hopper:
"Heineken? F*** that s***! We only drink AMERICAN beer! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!"

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Photo of adamboeckman
4.33/5  rDev +47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have really fallen in love with this beer! I always listened to my friends bash this brew and call it the nastiest of all beers. Well when I bought a 12 pack of long neck bottles, I was impressed by the taste of this kick ass brew! It easily beats Bud, Coors, and Miller and for the price you can't go wrong at all. Give it a try, and taste a true American legend.

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Photo of ChimayMayDay
2.16/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

There is a picture of me with a can of PBR in my right hand and my giving the thumbs up with my left hand. That was before I sipped it. After drinking it, I gave the thumbs up with both hands, but I dropped the can on the floor and the dog lapped it up. At that point, I realized that PBR is made for dogs, including an unidentifiable cross-breed with a chronic ear infection that came out of some underfunded shelter in Jersey.

I think it's time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

PS. This is a good beer to drink with cheap hot wings while sitting in your favorite dive under the overpass or near the airport. Just watch for the effects on your gastro-intestinal system the next morning.

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Photo of kbub6f
2.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours out of the can to a medium-large, densish, noisy, bubbly head. The beer comes out super-clear, pure gold in color. Sweeping, thin lacing. Smell is tangy, a little fruity, a little dusty. The fairly sweet front turns fruity, foamy and a little watery through the middle. Fruity with very mild toasty grains on the finish. I hallucinate cherries in the aftertaste... just a little bitter. This is an ok, light, fresh lager. Not too artifacty.

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Photo of mschofield
2.56/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden yellow, well carbonated with a (tall for style) two finger frothy stark white head.
Clean, sligthly metallic light malt and corn flake aroma.
Slight lemon taste, a little bitterness than stands out in contrast to most beers of the style.
The flavor is noticeably malty, slight sulfur, actually comes across as a light lager, and not a macro "pilsner". Light feel overall, but compared strictly to the style I'd go so far as medium bodied.
Good drinkability, and a great lawnmower, tailgate, BBQ beer.

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Photo of Jables
2.44/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The choice beer of my roommate's surprise birthday party, not my choice

The appearance is clear with slight yellow tint. Head is substantial and white but dissipates pretty quickly

Aroma is grainy with adjuncts all over the nose.

The flavor is malty and corny with no real detectable hops. Not impressive but the adjuncts in this one are not really offensive, it was actually surprising.

The fact that its not overwhelmingly corny/ricey *which is what I expected* makes the drinkability slightly above average.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

PBR, the official swill beer of the Rose City, re-affirmed by a recent Willamette Weekly readers poll. Had a can of this, served out of an official PBR ice bucket. Poured some out to see was a hazy light yellow. Smelled a little grainy, a little hoppy. Tasted OK I suppose for a swill beer, a little grainy and crisp. Not offensive. Mouthfeel was watery. It is drinkable, since it is so non-offensive. I was indifferent drinking this, but looked forward to finding a bigger brew.

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Photo of jtw5877
3.2/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a macro yellow with a white head, tastes pretty average, nothing too bad and nothing too great. At 8.99 for a case of 24 this is a bargain beer. When times are tough it hits the spot. Why pay for marketing? An old stand by that my Grandpa used to enjoy backin the 70's, and it's also the first beer I ever tried, but that's another story.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
1.32/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Good ole PBR on tap! Hard to find but I did!!! Plum Crazy- on Garnett in PB (san diego)

I ordered pbr and several patrons around me started screaming!!! They were excited about me ordering a pbr!!!

Anyway, PBR (on tap) poured a decent murky yellow with a very thick white head. The head lasted almost half the beer!
The smell was skunked, badly! No one orders it I guess! Well, corn, grains, hops, and skunkiness.
The taste was of hops and skunkiness. bad batch!!!

I'm telling you PBR is great in a can and nothing else!!! I should of listened to the patrons screams!!!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.6/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i know it's far from being the best beer in the world (hell, most think it's far from being a good beer period) but i really do enjoy PBR. it's quite possibly the perfect simple beer. go into it not expecting much and you'll be rewarded hansomely. it's certainly better than the major macros out there. it even has some mild character to it, with hints of hoppiness and sweetness. it's clean and refreshing. what more could you want from a simple brew? make sure it's cold, cold, cold as hell (another no-no usually, but you gots to give in sometimes, right?) and enjoy.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I had been reading with interest the many newspaper and magazine articles relating the chic-ness that this lager enjoys within the cool and cultured set, and sought out to try one of these myself and find out if I can hang with the hipsters and quaff their brew. So I elbow-jabbed that mumbling, shaggy Bohemian-type, made off with his cold tall one, and absconded to a faraway booth in this desolate rock club, pen light in hand, to shine on my notebook as I search to divine the secrets of this mystical, magical beer.

Okay, I'm lying.
In truth, well, I'm a fraud. This is my beer. If I ever praised a beer before for it's flavor, taste, or character, well, that was bull. I don't think they should have anything to do with any beverage, especially beer. Yeah, if you ever catch me without a whole case of PBR in the fridge, I must be having a bad day.

I lie again. I sample this in the spirit of honoring that adage of not knocking it if you ain't tried it. Actually, I must have tried it at some point, but how could I remember? So, here we go...
Appearance: sickly pale yellow color, very clear, just the way beer is supposed to be, dammit! Head is bone-white, fluffy, and quite prodigious, slowly, softly setling.
Aroma: very spare, bone-dry, but not terrible. Typical plain lager-y smell, without skunk or trace of adjuncts. A bit of sweetness, too, just a bit.
Taste: wetness. Nothing. The nadir, nada. Zilch. If it exists at all, it comes and goes without saying hello. Actually, again, not BAD, per se, but not really anything, either.
Body, light as can be, texture, none, finish? F'geddaboudit!
Really, there's nothing to recommend and no pleasure to be found, if you a seeker of taste in any form.
I'll quote beer scribe Stephen Beaumont's #1 reason to drink PBR, from his webite:
"You just don't care anymore."
Time spent with this beer is time wasted indeed.
This does the opposite of what a beer should do, in that it makes me more thirsty! For a real beer!

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Photo of ElGordo
3.26/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

Well, for what it is, I like it. I probably drink more of this than any other single beer, to be perfectly honest. Pale yellow, with no real scent. A very slightly hoppy taste, but not much else. Tastes fairly adjuncty (I know, that's not a real adjective), but when served cold, quenches thirst like nothing else. I have to say, it's the best macro lager around.

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Photo of far333
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't believe I ordered this, but had to be trashy chic like all the supermodels who are drinking this. Very light yellow transparent color, with a matching light flavor. Mostly corn coming through for me, with a bit of malt, but not much. Also some biscuity flavor hints. A bit watery. Not offensive, but not overly tasty at all. Beats the big 3, but I wouldn't go out of my way to order it again.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 5,704 ratings