Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
BA SCORE
2.94/5
Poor
5,639 Ratings
Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States
pabstbrewingco.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#44,353
Reviews:
1,744
Ratings:
5,639
pDev:
25.17%
Bros Score:
3.65
 
 
Wants:
82
Gots:
1,385
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,639 |  Reviews: 1,744
Photo of lucasj82
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of evanlarkin
3.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Straw-colored. Yellow. Bubbly. You name it, you've seen it before. The ever-famous yellow fizziness that is the American Adjunct Lager. From it's quickly disappearing white foam to it's remarkable absence of lacing, this beer has what it takes to show that it could only be from one country on one continent in the world.

Smell:
Pale malts, nearly unnoticeable hop character, slightly starchy, and almost metallic in nature. Some people may mistake this for something like aluminum affecting the smell. However, it is quite the opposite. This is where aluminum gets it's smell from. Think about it. Aluminum has such a distinct metallic smell, just like this beer. Millions of beer cans are recycled every year. All modern aluminum once held beer, where it picked up that signature aroma.

Taste:
No one will ever forget their first taste of PBR. The metallic aroma strikes the tongue, evaporating into surprisingly pleasant pale malt taste. There is just enough of a hint of bitterness to let you know that hops are in some way utilized in the crafting of this beverage. Despite the lightness of the flavor, there is something amazing about it. A subtle feeling of contentedness, and refreshment. It begs you to take another sip.

Mouthfeel:
Bubbles pop off of your tongue as the beer sits in your mouth, and even for a moment after the rest of the brew has left. This is one carbonated beverage. There is a feeling of a medium-bodiedness, even though the taste is very light. It's as if you're drinking a soda. A manly feeling in a light way. And a bonus for the hipsters, as it is a very ironic way for your mouth to feel.

Overall:
Hands down, this is my favorite beer in the AAL leagues. On top of that, it is an icon of our times. "But Mister Larkin," you ask, "Aren't you supposed to be a craft beer enthusiast? Shouldn't you scoff at this style?" First, don't call me Mr. Larkin. That was my dad, and he prefers Miller Lite. Second, I am an all-beer enthusiast, and I see no reason to scoff. It's a reasonably well made beer for it's style. And the style doesn't deserve so much criticism. Any beer from any style can be a good beer, just as any shirt can be a wife-beater. Except I mean that as being more positive than my analogy. Um.

 2,257 characters

Photo of Bamabrew22
3.41/5  rDev +16%
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.

 1,136 characters

Photo of Badger6
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Only out of a can, 473 mL of rice goodness.

This is a pretty decent example of an American adjunct lager. If I'm feeling like slumming, this is as low as I go, which really isn't that low. This beer clocks in with a better rating than many crafts. Despite the hipster obsession with how ironic it is to drink PBR, this stuff really is just working man's beer...no pretentiousness, nothing fancy, just water, malted grain, and hops. It has a light bready flavor, slightly sweet, with a medium mouthfeel.

 503 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't like this beer that much but it was tolerable as a cheap macro lager to just hang with friends and drink. It tased average. A little less induced carbonation. Smell was faint. It was crisp and easy to drink.

I wish more places served micros and imports for cheaper. My friends wanted to go to some bar and this was the best thing they had for the price IMO.

I could imagine wanting one of these after along day of work or mowing the lawn or something.

 466 characters

Photo of Dave_Sutula
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 12oz can into a pint glass. Not surprisingly, this beer pours to a crystal-clear shade of straw gold with some bubbles at first although it quickly dies down. It does generate a somewhat fluffy, bright-white, soapy head, but it dissipates down to a tiny layer of suds rather fast.

There isn’t much aroma to speak of. Adjunct macro lagers, and especially "economy" versions like this are often off-putting or straight-up foul in the nose, but PBR is rather neutral. I detect a touch of metal and corn, but these notes are light to be sure.

Up front it’s very watery, thin, and bland - which makes it surprisingly refreshing. As it finishes there is an odd flavor combination of cereal grain sweetness and a touch of tin or aluminum. I’ve had this beer on tap and in the bottle and noticed these flavors as well, so it’s clearly not the can. Don’t get me wrong, these are definitely not appealing flavors. In fact, if this beer is consumed warm they become off-putting, but drank cold it’s tolerable at best.

With its flat, bland body and noticeable wateriness, PBR is actually a highly drinkable beer. The palate here really doesn’t satisfy, but it does work well as a thirst-quencher on a hot day or when accompanying some ball park-style foods or during similar situations. I was surprised how well it paired with beer brats and could envision beer drinkers of virtually all calibers slugging it down at a BBQ or picnic.

At 4.74% ABV, this truly is a sessionable beer.

Every time I see a bottle or can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, I feel like I'm time-traveling to the days of the Grover Cleveland administration (the first one), since the recipe probably hasn’t changed since then.

 1,709 characters

Photo of Stanley23
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Dper
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of scarterk
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of irishman06
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beats all the other lagers in the mainstream market. My choice for a simple, refreshing American Macro Lager. I'd choose this over a Bud of Coors any day. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. Perfect for a large outdoor gathering or BBQ. Easy on the wallet as well. A winner.

 273 characters

Photo of porters4life
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Bone53
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served from a tall boy into a pilsner glass at around 45°F.

Appearance: Clear, pale golden color. Your typical adjunct lager look.

Smell: Corn, a slight touch of grains. Clean, but nothing special.

Taste: This is where PBR sets the bar from other adjuncts in my opinion. Very crisp and refreshing. Sweet corn, grains, and ever so slight hop bitterness. No off flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and very drinkable.

Overall: No off flavors that I find in most adjuncts. Crisp and very drinkable. My favorite American Adjunct Lager, but that's not saying much.

 563 characters

Photo of Nurglitch
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Ysgramor
3.41/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I can down one after the other of Pbr

37 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice clear golden yellow color. Nice sized two finger head that went away fairly quick and was eggshell white color. This is a average looking beer.

S- This beer has a very sweet smell to it that I find somewhat of a distraction. Corn and rice smell to it. Maybe a little straw as a faint additive in the smell. The malts come in as well. Nothing too impressive but also it's only PBR.

T- This has a very sweet malt taste to it. You can taste the corn and rest of the adjunct additives in this beer but it's not bad tasting at all with the given style it falls into. Because remember everyone we rate on style not on personal tastes.

M- This is a very light mouthfeel. Not too overly carbonated like Bud or Miller. Floats across the palate and leaves a clean finish with a typical adjunct aftertaste. One thing I can say is if you drink it from bottle and not the can you get rid of the metallic taste as is typical with PBR in the can.

D- This is a very drinkable beer to be honest. It doesn't make you have to think about it. Not impressive at all but also a good beer for the summertime and a steady stand by when the going gets tough.

 1,181 characters

Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. This beer is almost always drank out of the can and sometimes the bottle. The appearance is a slightly SLIGHTLY darker straw color. The head is there for a second and quickly turns into a collar. If you pour agressively it's usually a bit impressive looking. The smell - is just normal APA beer which is still good to me as a smell - that's what we're going for here. The taste is a bit of dull malts with a slightly crisp hop finish. ( still good) The mouthfeel is sticky. Drinkability is quite good as long as you don't get tired of it and want something high-brow.

 593 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review adapted from notes taken 7/28/11

Appearance: It's honestly strange to see this out of the can - pale, urine-like yellow - starts off with a nice head, fades into lacing that is about par for the style

Smell: Light pilsner malts, light pilsner hops, lots of corn - not a whole lot in the nose, really

Taste: Lightly sweet, but not too bad - some corn flavor, some dryness, some pilsner flavors, some grassiness - nothing remarkably good, but nothing really bad (at least when it's cold)

Mouthfeel: Light, but not too light - there is some body to this, which makes it above-average compared to other macro lagers - carbonation is appropriate

Overall: Really not that bad

I've had more cans of this than I am often willing to admit. It's certainly not a great beer, but it's not a bad beer. Considering how ridiculously cheap it is, it's worth having once in a while. It's certainly better than the "heavy" BMC beers.

 928 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When it comes to the 'general umbrella of macros,' I've had a fair share of the standard Big 3 offerings + Canadian equivelants. However, before just last night, never a good ol' fashioned PBR. Maybe the bargain price scared me into believing that the contents were going to be dreadful, but I ended up getting one to ease my palate. I was pleasantly surprised:

A: Straw yellow... not as pale as many of the others of the style at all. A thin head, leaving a little ring of lace around the edges.

S: A touch of a citrus on the nose, very light grains, and a little bit of a corn aroma.

T/M/D: Light grains, with a bit of a sweet edge. Some corn husk, a little splash of citrus on the finish. Light, refreshing, and quite a clean flavour. Body is fairly typical for the style... lighter, and easy going. A nice summer brew. Shame I've ignored this for so long... while I drop into the summertime 'lighter beer' phase, I think this will be a good, simple standby to have in the fridge.

 988 characters

Photo of Phade42
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Look. We all know that PBR isn't a "GOOD" beer by any stretch of the imagination. But it's cheap, it does the job, and it's not offensively bad. It gets bonus points because it's more than likely the cheapest beer your bar offers, and if you're out for a long night of drinking, rather than actually relaxing and enjoying a few quality brews, is definitely a plus.

it tastes faintly of stale corn, it smells like the water after washing out a glass that previously held King Cobra, but it's very drinkable, especially when barely above freezing cold.

 551 characters

Photo of gearkraft
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: I poured a can into a standard pint glass. A nice head forms that quickly disappears, leaving nearly no lace. The color tends to be a very slight golden. Nothing gorgeous...

Smell: One of the few beers that has nearly no smell. Just a very small hint of grain/malt. Not great, not bad... just rather average.

Taste: Quite possibly the only beer I enjoy out of a can... Grains and malts splash on the tongue with almost no remnants of hops. Almost sweet when a fresh batch is consumed. Great with salty foods.

Mouthfeel: Quick and clean, which is the way a lager should be. Gives you a nice lick of flavor without a poor aftertaste.

Overall: One of my favorite inexpensive beers. During the school semester when money is a little tight I usually opt for this beer for its decent flavor and high drinkability. My family has been religiously drinking it since we can remember. The best among American Lagers... hands down.

 943 characters

Photo of RichThatchr
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While Pabst Blue Ribbon may not rank highly in the archives of the Beer Advocate, I was taken by surprise last night by the .99 pint bottle I picked up on a whim as I passed by the beer aisle in the King Kullen market in
Halesite, NY. I popped the top with my dinner of cajun-style catfish filet and couscous, only to find another winner in the cheap beer area.

The Pabst was obviously fresh as it created a smooth and frothy head in my 50cl glass. I could see a multitude of little bubbles supporting the white top as I lifted the glass for a taste. It reminded me of what Coors tasted like before Light and before marketing reformulation as the sudsy pilsner style went down easily with a sort of creamy spirit to it.

I could have had several of these with out thinking about it, but I only had the pint. Another good point about the Pabst was that it was well matched with the spicy catfish as food with beer means a lot to me.

 940 characters

Photo of Rocklandbagpiper
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is a highly under rated beer who has set itself apart from Budweiser. This is getting back to the beer our fathers generation was drinking. Not as good as the micros, but as for a mass produced nationwide seller, not a bad beer for the price and something to knock back after the yard work.

 295 characters

Photo of HeeNalu
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm getting classy today, guys. PBR tall boy, in it's infinite glory, poured into the appropriate glassware.... a pint sized plastic cup.

A - Pours a clear, light, yellowy gold. A quick 1 fingerish head that dissipates almost instantly with the tiniest hint of lacing. The epitome of eye twinkling glory for the flat broke college student.

S - Pretty clean on the nose. Not a lot to detect. Some light notes of roasted corn with the coarseness of corn husk, and a touch of aluminum type metal. It's enough to make your mouth water.... if you can smell it over the Marlboro smoke.

T - Coarse grains, and corn husk - much like the smell. Same metallic sensation with a a hit of hops almost trying to break through. Not sweet, not bitter, just coarse grain and corn husk. A nectar of that gods that sets your tongue ablaze.... if you can keep your mullet hair out of your cup.

M - Fairly noticeable carbonation at first which, strangely, falls flat on the tongue pretty quickly. Fairly thin, but enough to know it's there.

D - Drinks like water. You could have at it all day, and many do. Pairs wonderfully with that Ballpark frank, fried bologna sandwich, or pimento cheese.

For what it is, it's a good, easy drinking beer for those lazy summer days. Definitely better than BMC.

 1,284 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow with a decent head. The appearance was the highlight here. Aroma was slightly sweet and mainly of corn and malt. Taste was similar with corn/adjuncts dominating with slightly sour bite just prior of a mild to mid hop bitterness finish. Palate was decent although a bit on the thin side. Overall, a typical American style lager that is mass produced and loaded up with corn/adjuncts. Perfect to sip on while you do yard work on a hot day or when hanging with buddies at a dive bar that doesn't serve craft beer!

 531 characters

Photo of I_like_beer_31
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

For what this beer is and the intended audience you might as well call this champagne for hipsters and rednecks. That being said it might be the best easily obtainable American beer. Its a bit sweet smells like hay and is a session beer for the 8.95 to 11.95 range its pure gold.

 279 characters

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.94 out of 5 with 5,639 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.