Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,855 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: 5,855 |  Reviews: 1,803
Photo of LarryKemp
2.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a very light, clear yellow. The head was fair and not long lasting. I had not had a PBR in years and thought it would be a nice walk down memory lane. The beer had little aroma and less flavor. About a third of the way through the glass, I spiced it up with several shakes from the salt shaker. After doctoring the beer, the taste improved slightly. It makes a good beer to eat pizza or maybe a burger, but not for stand alone enjoyment.

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

I've read alot about PBR here on B.A. & thought, what the here goes:

Pours out with a decent-sized white head over very pale gold liquid. Nose is stereotypically "adjuncty", mainly corn, with a light, light, light wisp o' malt & slight grass. Taste is alright for a cheap macro, decent mouthfeel with notes of light malt sweetness and a brief swirl of hop bitterness. Finishes with a quick fruity note, very slight dryness. There, I've done it! Nice "lawnmower" brew, but given the choice I'd cough up the extra sawbuck for a sixer of Ballantine XXX.

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Photo of SchmichaelJ
2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I heard that this was the beer of choice at my school, so I gave it a shot and bought a case for $8.99. From the can, the PBR poured a pale golden yellow. The originally fluffy head disappeared pretty quickly, and the beer looked painfully macro-bland. The smell was of adjunct (corn, I think), but with a tiny hint of malt. Still, not much happening. The taste really wasn't too shabby, though. Refreshing, with a pleasant malt taste and a small sample of hops. The mouthfeel was perhaps a bit gritty on the tongue, but overall pretty clean and smooth. For a cheap beer, this isn't bad. I have to give the frat guys at school more credit. Among the cheapies, PBR gets my vote.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This thinly malted light lager gets most of its elevated status as result of Hollywood created propaganda. This rest of its reputation is based on the fact that, even though it's cheap swill, it's pretty decent cheap swill. Pale gold with a thin white head and fast fading lace. The aroma is pretty bland and smells like American beer poured from a can...oh yeah it was. Medium hops with a slight metallic bite and some citrus bitterness. There’s something cool about Pabst. Truly an original! Try Pabst in a bar bottle – forget the can!

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Photo of stirgy
3.11/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a bubbly clear pale yellow color with a small white head. I wasn't expecting much from this one, but I was surprised to say that it was a well blended and smooth light pale lager. Does not have the harshness of a Bud or a Miller. Slightly hoppy and grainy. Drinkable and not that bad at all.

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

This is what an American Lager should be.

This is what cheap beer should be.

Classic smooth lager taste. You can actually tell there are some, though not much, hops in the this beer. Exceptionally crisp and smooth. A thirst quencher and a beer that gets the job done when you wanna hit up a case.

Now avalible in 30 racks.


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Photo of Marty
2.95/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the best cheap beer for the money.

With its recent surge in popularity, it seems they've started selling PBR in big ol' 30 racks, instead of the standard case. Maybe this is old news, but today was the first time I saw a 30 pack... and for $12!

Poured into a glass, this beer isn't exactly easy on the eyes. It really doesn't even smell that much better than your average crap beer (if anything, it smells more like BEER than most macro crap, which usually tends to smell like water). It's the taste that is so surprising... a macro brew with HOPS in it! What a concept! Very crisp and refreshing. The corn flavor isn't exactly my thing, but it's not overwhelming. This is a very smooth drinkable beer.

As a college student, I'll admit that I've done my fair share of heavy boozin / session drinking. But I'm proud to say that when the wallet's feeling light, I make mine a Pabst.

I'll say it again: Pabst is the best cheap beer money can buy.

NOTE: PBR is the official beer of geologists.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Yeah, at 12.50 for a 30 pack of cans it's hard to beat this for a lawnmower macroswill selection. I prefer the bottles in overall taste, but poured out of the can this one has a very smooth creamy mouthfeel. Fizzy yellow with a frothy white going on, this beer is designed for people like me. In college and broke, so as far as aroma goes it's has a cereal grain adjunct based aroma but it's actually not that bad kind of pleasant in fact. I can definitely get down with this beer, for it's taste, price, and flavor can't go wrong. Taste is sweet with some balancing hop bitterness to create one of the best shittiest beers in the world. An American classic that is designed to be drank in high capacity.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I think the following quote sums it up:

"Heineken!? F*ck that sh*t! PABST BLUE RIBBON!"
--Frank Booth, from "Blue Velvet"

This is simply a good, refreshing, clean American lager. Nice and balanced flavor/bitterness. A bit of the traditional DMS (corn smell and taste).

Not usually the beer I drink, but I would choose it over Bud, Coors, Miller, etc. in a heart-beat. Hadn't tasted it until now. Picked up a six-pack because the recent resurgence of it's popularity peaked my interest. Hard to find out here in the Phoenix area, though.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
2.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

What can I say about the PBR. It always fits the mood. Pours golden yellow in color with a small white head that does not last at all. There is no smell that I can pick up. The tast is small, short and crisp. Smooth with a touch of creamyness that you can't find any where else. I like it and I keep going back to it.

Red, white and blue. You can't go wrong.

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Photo of jlervine
3.59/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PBR, the king of mass-produced swill. Appearance is nothing out of the ordinary for a pale lager - golden color, white head that disappears quickly leaving the faintest of lace on the surface of the beer. But the smell... hmm that's different. An American macrobrew with hops? Say it isn't so! The taste is very crisp, very clear; sharp and biting on the tongue, mellowing afterwards. A little grainy, but nowhere near Miller's grainy taste. It's not much, but it's cheap, and it beats anything A-B can put out for generic swill.

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

This is definitely btb. The old Pabst quality is still here and still wining friends for the formula. While it is still in the class of mainstream lagers, it is a cut above many others. Inviting appearance but with a quickly departing white head. The taste is full-bodied and has a bit of corn added, but the hops cut into the sweetness. This is a thirst style lager that is still a "go to" in many markets.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
2.56/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation, the classic 12 ounce can with the recognizable Pabst Blue Ribbon logo. Pours a faint yellow, thin head which quickly disappears. Slight husky and corn aroma, but was very difficult to detect. A little malt and somewhat of a grassy or hay taste. Very light body. Pleasant to drink based on the undetectable adjuncts, I won't let the six pack go to waste, but still only slightly above average. PBR is difficult to find in eastern S.D., no joke!

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Photo of usualpulp
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

well, after hearing how people liked this beer compared to the other big macro's I thought I would give it a try. At first it looked like any other macro beer, little smell, very bubbly. When i first tasted it I thought, this tastes like every average light beer, however my mind changed after it got a little air and warmed slightly. Suddenly i could taste some light malt, and a slight wheat flavor, it is more complex than most macro's. While this is still not a terrific beer, it is amazing for the price. $6.50 for a 12pk, pretty cheap. Even if it was the same price as bud, or bud light, i would probably still buy it over those. It has better character. Overall, its not really anything special, but quite good for a cheap macro beer.

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

24 oz. 2x4 can, pours a bright clear golden-yellow color, has a decent foamy white head that doesn't last long, light grainy aromas. Starts with a light dry grainy flavor, finishes clean with a little sweetness, not much aftertaste. I have to admit PBR maybe the best american macro I have ever had, a well spent .99 cents.

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Photo of francisweizen
2/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not Good! I was excited to find this beer in a six pack of tall boys for only about $5 as it has been highly touted as one of the better macros here on BA. Well, I don't know if I got some old cans, but this stuff almost made me 'lose my cookies'. This poured out a transluscent yellow-like colour with a fluffy head that dissipated very quickly. It smelled very sugary, like sweet malts. I could not find hops in the aroma. The taste was more of the same, overly sweet and with not enough of a hop prescence and too sweet of a malt precence. The drinkability suffers as well because this has a very thin mouthfeel.
Not my favorite beer, but than again maybe I just can't drink macros anymore...

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

this I bought in the long neck 12 oz bottles
In appearance this is not bad at all average on the whole, but looks much better than most macros in a glass, the head is quite impressive and lingers to a fine lace down the whole glass.
Smell is slightly odd..hard to place a alittle sour some wheat ? maybe..but not totally unpleasant.
Taste is pretty average for its style but at the price thats good there actually is a slight after taste with this beer..unlike many American macros
Feels grat and is very drinkable as a result..all in all a good American frills but beware in my opinion its far better this way ( in the bottle) than in the can.

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Photo of 44ouncer
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pabst gets such a bad rap -- but then when you ask people who bag on it if they've ever tried it...

This was a stray 24oz can found in a grocery store. Haven't seen a 24oz PBR before or since. Nice, light gold color. Good head which lasted. The taste was very good, except for a slightly soapy tinge that remained constant throughout the session.

Gotta love bars that have Pabst on tap. It was the house beer of Kleine's, the best damn bar that Fremont, California will ever know -- and is still available at Golden Boy pizza in San Francisco's North Beach.

If you haven't had a Pabst, please withhold judgement until you tried it.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A very good budget beer. Smooth state, and highly drinkable. It pours out a short head that disappears in very short time. Overall i would much rather have this than a Bud or Coors. Something about this beer simply has more to offer than many others that are higher priced.

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Photo of Wildman
3.2/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5


Okay I couldn't resist. Betty's, which had nothing but craft beers on tap, decided to add this beer as their one macro. It was a straw color and had a very small white head. A medium amount of carbonation was present. Had a slight hop aroma, but the major aroma was of grain. The flavor was also of grain. Had a slight bit of bite to the finish. Much better beer on tap than Budweiser or Miller. Probably why Betty's picked it.

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Photo of texascarl
3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can afford 'better' beer, but why spend more? This beer is good. Not 'sort of good', it's GOOD. Recently merged with a much bigger megabrewer, advertising costs are down, better costs available and those savings are passed along to me. On the downside, I remember it tasting better when I was young and GOOD looking. Oh well, everything did.
While PBR arguably tastes better in long neck bottles or on tap, I'm reviewing the 12 oz cans here because that's what I keep around la casa most of the time. If you stop by here looking thirsty, a cold PBR is what I'm likely to hand you.

Appearance = light golden color with a medium to large foamy head that dissipates quickly. Medium carbonation.

Aroma = light. Not much to it, what there is = fruity and sweet, I don't get much hops nose here.

Taste = sweet, malt balanced pretty well with the hops. Big flavor for an inexpensive American lager, filling, a 'chewy' mouthfeel, semi-creamy. Sweet = my main impression, with some hoppy bitterness on the short finish.

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Photo of jward
2.91/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew looks quite appealing in a tall pilsener glass. A fluffy white head sits atop a golden, effervescent body. A sweet, grainy aroma loses its charm rather quickly. The best thing going for PBR is its crisp, clean mouthfeel and nice carbonation. As for the flavor, there is a noticeable sweetness throughout, with some faint suggestions of grassiness and cornmeal. But, if you decide to drink this brew ice cold, you really won't be missing out on a memorable beer tasting experience.

I am in agreement with other BAs that this beer, while not especially good, is certainly no worse than many common, heavily advertised mainstream lagers, American or otherwise. Why pay more, if this is what you want to drink? (Didn't a character from David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" emphasize this point about PBR in rather strong terms?) Pairs well with cheap Mexican food.

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Photo of zacharius
2.06/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

First off I am an ale man myself and usually avoid lagers like the plague but I drank quite a few last night at the bar because they were on special for 25 cents a glass. I don't know how they do it, that is cheaper than the store!

PBR pours a white head over a crystal clear pale yellow beer but unfortuntly it all goes downhill from here. This beer has a mild skunky smell but hardly any aroma at all. It's taste is nonexistent and it's body thin. It's only saving grace is that you can drink it like water. If I paid more than the 25 cents a beer I would have felt ripped off. But at that price I guess I can't complain.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.49/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What else can I say, but this is probably the best cheap beer around. My first memories of it came not from drinking it, but seeing the giant Pabst beer bottle on top of a factory off the Garden State Parkway in Irvington, NJ (it's still there, but no longer has the label on it). And did I mention Adam Sandler's "Cajunman" character drinks this stuff?

Anyway, on to the actual beer itself. PBR pours a clear yellow straw color. It forms a nice foamy white head that lasts for about a minute and leaves a little bit of lace. The smell is a little sweet, with mostly grain presence in the nose. A little bit of hops present, and for some reason, I could swear there is a tiny amount of chocolate smell too. The mouthfeel is much smoother than the main macrobrews, although it has a degree of wateriness and fizziness. For the flavor, this is a little sweeter than the macros. The malt probably gives it the sweetness, along with the adjuncts that are used (probably corn). There is a slight hoppy taste to the beer, which slightly reminds me of grapefruit. As it warms up, a bit of grassiness becomes noticeable. Only a hint of dryness. Quite mellow and pleasing to the palette, and very thirst quenching. Slight cracker flavor in the aftertaste, along with grains and hops. Although almost undetectable, there is a tiny amount of green apple/veggie taste from DMS. The beer finishes with no alcoholic warmth.

This was quite enjoyable for such a cheap beer. I call this a "working on the car/truck" type of beer. I think it would pair well with BBQ food or corn chips. Along with Stroh's, Pabst makes two cheap beers that are quite consumable.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.58/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pabst on tap!!!!! What more can I say, well actually a lot. This beer is really cheap and fairly good, especially for the price. Can you beat $1 a glass? I think not! Anyways, back to the good stuff! Has real light color and real light taste. You can definately tast the malt in it, but it doesn't ruin the flavor. Also nice on the tastebuds. It's definately not some beer made by monks in France, but it's worth buying, especially if your poor or in college. Like most beers, it's better on tap.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 5,855 ratings