Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,884 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: 5,884 |  Reviews: 1,812
Photo of NJpadreFan
1.32/5  rDev -55.1%
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 AsburyParkJMH
3.6/5  rDev +22.4%
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 -25.2%
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 +10.9%
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 +10.5%
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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Photo of winomark
2/5  rDev -32%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Very pale straw color. Billowy white head that sticks around.

Aroma: Metallic, from the can. Some hops, nothing else.

Taste: Mild malt and hops, but bot much of either.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation that overpowers all (if any) other flavors.

Drinkability: A long-lost thirst-quencher from my past. Good to have around for guests who don't care what they are drinking.

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Photo of alexgash
2.32/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Time to start hitting into the leftovers from the party we threw last friday. I remember seeing crushed Pabst Blue Ribbon cans at a 17000 foot pass in Tibet. In fact, PBR was definitely the most popular American beer in China (when I was there last summer). Anyways, poured a wispy straw color with a thin, cobweb-y head. Smelled of chex cereal, kinda sweet, with metallic hops. Stronger aromas than expected (not necessarily a good thing). Taste is, not surprisingly, of sweet cereal malts (maybe I should start drinking this for breakfast), fading unspectacularly into a rusty, mildly bitter finish. Not as watery as some macros, and pretty smooth going down, especially good for celebrating the installation of a new transmission on your camaro or 79 ford truck.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Not bad. The yellow body is a tad on the cloudy side. The head came up big and fell down with that volcanic style that looks so cool.

Smell – The grain aroma isn’t bad either. There’s nothing nasty in there, that’s for sure.

Taste – Typical American macro grain but heavy on the sweets. The fruit tastes like a weak type of orange syrup.

Mouthfeel – Nicely carbonation and even a tad refreshing.

Drinkability – The absence of anything offensive, and the big sweet flavor that masks the grain, makes this OK to drink.

Comments – I never drank PBR growing up (I was a Miller Man), so I don’t have any nostalgic attachments to this beer, but this isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I find it funny though, reading the label, that when deciding to advertise that the beer has won an award they had to go all the way back to 1893.

The good old American red, white, and blue makes it fun to look at, too. The wheat stalks climbing up each side are reminiscent of the print that the US Treasury used on the back of American pennies from 1909 to 1963 or ’64. Cool.

Update – I originally rated this in 2003 so thought I’d get a “fresh” 2006. The smell is definitely the worst part of this beer but otherwise it’s really not that bad in a white trashy kind of way. I stand by my rating: just shy of average for an Adjust Lager.

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Photo of johnrobe
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

With this beer experiencing a recent resurgence in popularity (especially around college campuses) I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Although not stellar in any department, I place this brew in the same company as Stroh's (my own cheap brew of choice in college) and Miller High Life....a step above most of what the big three macros have to offer, and a good quaffer on a hot summer day. The color is a pale straw yellow with a bright white head that disappears almost as quickly as it forms. The aroma is a bit grassy with grain and a touch of tea-like hops showing. It has a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel with an above average degree of carbonation. Grain dominates the flavor but the hops are noticeable, although more would be nice. A bit of lightly sweet malt peeks through. The best thing about this brew compared to its macro brethren is a noticeably lower quotient of adjuncts.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.13/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I first met PBR in high school. Although she wasn't my #1, she was my #1 when I was running low on $. For the money, this is as good as it gets. What else is in your neighborhood for the price? Natural Light, Milkwaukee's Best, Schlitz, etc.? One can't go wrong with the Ribbon, as it is enjoyed by everyone from jocks to punks to hillibillies. I hung out with a few guys who used to live across the street from a beer distributor in Pittsburgh. They would buy a few cases of pbr in the afternoon, drink them until they were gone/ it became dark, and then return to the distributor to pick up a few kegs of pbr. People love this beer. Anyway, enough reminiscing. I got a case the other day. The beer is somewhat thin, and has a certain sweetness to it. There are actually floral notes present which is something unheard of for cheap macros. The hopfeel is there, but you really have to have a palette to find it. The beer goes down smoothly and finsihes sweetly carbonated. I dont know what else to say about it. It's Pabst Blue Ribbon, It's an American beer that's not as bad as you would expect, and its cheap and loveable. Good to have on hand for barbeques and parties. My fave cheapo by far.

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Photo of Rumrunner
2.9/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For an American mainstream lager, not bad. Not great but not bad.

Pours a transparent gold. Too transparent. It looks like not much is going on.
It has a slight smell of some hops and fruit. A bit of a tang to the scent.

There is some floral flavor and a tiny bite of hops. The malt has a flavor I cannot detect but it does round out the flavors for balance. There is also a slight lemon finish with a dry crispness to end it all.

It drinks too soft and there is not much body. It has a better feel and flavor than many other macros out there but I do not get why it became a cult classic retro brew the last couple of years. I do have to say it is a lager I could enjoy served chilled on a hot day when an ale is just too much.

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Photo of daledeee
3.02/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has turned into a cult favorite with the college students. I thought what the heck. My wife like it. Pours yellow, hard to get much head on it. A little sweet tasting with some hops. Not that bad. Easy to slam several down when you're used to drinking 8% beer all the time.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.1/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Well, it was one of those nights when I decided: what the heck. Might as well see for myself what is up with this one.

Pale Golden in color, no head, which means no lacing. Overwhelming 'sweet' smell.

I thought it was basically tasteless, perhaps there was a refined 'grainy' taste. I thought I also detected a slight malty aftertaste.

What I really didn't like was the excessive carbonation. I think this is what people mean by the 'fizzy' in the oft-overused phrase 'fizzy yellow beer.'

While I wasn't impressed with this beer, I can honestly say it wasn't the worst beer ever. If you want tasteless yellow carbonation then go for it. I think the reason I can't say it was the worst ever, is that while it had no flavor, it also didn't have any strange off-tastes.

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Photo of beerbill
2.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can't really put my finger on it, but there is something off with this beer. The taste is just odd, and I can't exactly say why. It is not as rough going down as say, natural ice, but it is a far cry from most other pilsner beers. I picked it for two reasons. One, I wanted to get another review under my belt. Two, it's cheap. 11 dollars for a 30 pack is a good deal, but I would drink strohs first.

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Photo of Indybeer
2.6/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. What can I say, this poured a straw yellow color with no head to speak of. Typical aroma for a macro. As is the taste. Just another fizzy yellow beer. I didn't like this beer when I first had it as a teenager, and I figured I would try it again. Well it hasn't gotten any better.

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Photo of Winter
2.96/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gotta love the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon logo with the diagonal red strip behind it on the can. There's something classic about it that withstands the test of time. Clear pale yellow with an airy white head that disappears after a minute or two. Plenty of carbonation visible. Unappealing aroma consists of grain and hops. Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy. Taste has a grainy sweetness upfront, followed by a mild bitterness. Alcohol flavor becomes apparent as it starts to reach the middle - to back of the tongue. Finish starts off dry and then a weird adjunt flavor kicks in. Finally, you're left with a ghostly hint of the same grainy sweetness that was initially introduced upon the first taste of the beer.

Pabst is a great cheap lager. Nothing at all fancy about it, but the flavor is smooth and satisfying. $1 cans of Pabst used to be available (and still might be) at the BBC on North Ave for their Tuesday Burger specials. It's a fitting beer to consume with bar food or just to have on a hot day. A welcomed guest at any backyard summer BBQ.

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Photo of moulefrite
2.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

One of this countries stellar cheap and good mass produced brews. The can ssssuuuuckssss-but, in the bottle, this fella can do you proud-especially if on a budget. The only problem is if you drink more than three, get ready for a headache that will take you back to high school in a hurry! Worth a retry, but I'm not going to strain to come up with more info as I think the beer would get mad at me.

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Photo of vitesse
2.58/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

not a bad super-cheap beer on tap. it tasted nice and fresh to me. color was straw straw straw. little head. smell was slightly metallic, but not awful. taste was decent. little evidence of adjunctiness. some slight slight hop bite in it, and some pale maltiness that comes through. not a lot of flavor, but what is there isn't offensive at all.
very drinkable cheapo beer. won't ruin your tastebuds or wallet. now as for the trendiness....go figure.

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Photo of chilidog
2.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was alittle short on cash, so I found a canned sixer for $3.29. I also liked the red-white-&-blue history of this brew, meaning its been around forever. It poured a pale yellow clear straw color with a white head that in some of cans disappeared to not even a film. Carbonation was not overdone, not fizzy. The taste was mild or bland. Not much in hop or malt taste to say anything overpowered this brew. It wasn't as crisp as I would like for a july lawnmower brew. Mouthfeel was not left to dry. Over-all an easy drink if you like a light body brew.

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Photo of DESTRO
3.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is cheap. dirt cheap. whenever i go skating, to the sand dunes, or i am doing yard work this is my beer. it tastes damn good, is light and crisp and is easy on the wallet. great for beating the las vegas heat and a great way to wash down bbq.

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Photo of TheDM
1.4/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This brew poured a small head of quickly disappearing fine to large sized white bubbles and a carbonated straw yellow body. It has a mild malt-hop aroma with a mild fizzy flavor of wheat and bread. It was smooth initially and had a lingering slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.03/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When poured, this beer had a small white head that consisted of small bubbles that quickly diminished. There was good lacing with this brew and the body was clear and yellow in hue. It had a light malty aroma to it and it was bitter tasting from start to finish. This beer definitely lacks character as there is nothing special that I have to say about it.

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Photo of rabidawg
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is as close to the "beer" stereotype as beer can get. Golden straw color with a foamy, white head. Generous carbonation that spritzes the tongue. Minimal lacing and head retention. Grainy, husky adjunct smell, definite corn aroma. Soft smell that neither intrudes nor impresses. Sharp mouthfeel that softens as the carbonation settles into the corners of the mouth. Hay-like, sweet taste with a slightly dry finish.

I honestly believe this is a step above most macros. I know PBR has all the retro-hype going for it these days, but we used to drink this because it was the best inexpensive beer money could buy. Good, and at this price that's all you can expect.

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Photo of Tballz420
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a macro beer. That being said, its a pretty damn good one. Its a pale gold color, a bit of a head that goes away after a bit. There isnt much to the taste of this one, which is why it is one of my favorite macros, the lack of the shit taste is definately appealing. A nice beer to catch a buzz or more with.

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Photo of beerfan82
2.87/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a really good beer when you wanting something cheap and okay. I recently went to a bar and this was better than Bud Light. It's one of the easier beers to drink. It goes down in a smooth taste, but that is about it. There is not much else to go home about with this beer.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.94 out of 5 with 5,884 ratings