Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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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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Reviews: 1,706 | Ratings: 5,477
Photo of bigdeuce
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I did think Budweiser was the best "macro", but after not having Pabst since HighSchool, I'll give pabst the nod. Not great looking, yellow and fizzy and smells like a macro(don't need to get into that, we all know that smell). But had some interesting tingles, almost of a fruity grain, nothing offensive, a slight aftertaste, no hops, very graining and not bad. I may reach for this again.

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Photo of krdowney
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

At the end of an evening of beer connsoisseurship that began with the magnificent Achelse Kluis and included the equally marvelous Rochefort 8, I decided that there was no better way to conclude the night’s festivities than to indulge in our local staple, renowned for its simple, clean taste, and popularity with the local hipsters, i.e., PBR.

In a long-stemmed Urthel glass, something uncharacteristic for this particularly underappreciated brew, I sampled once again the magnificence of this light, fourteen-carat gold tinted, blue-ribbon original.

Despite this beer’s performance is the undoubtedly then-esteemed contest of America’s finest beers in 1893, I was somewhat disappointed with Pabst’s current performance. At this time, it can only be considered worthy of a red ribbon—at best.

Pabst’s original color, no doubt impressive for its amazing clarity, can today only be characterized as a rather jaundiced yellow (much like the coloring of those who’ve drunk too much of this insipid brew).

The smell, well, yes, there exists the faintest hint of a once-fragrant aroma. However, beers, much like guests, acquire rather unpleasant olefactory qualities after a certain amount of time, that is, if one trusts the words of our rather esteemed diplomat and national hero Benjamin Franklin. As PBR has been lingering on the scene since at least 1893, it comes as no surprise that this particular beer has become quite rank.

On the whole, however, I believe PBR has lost none of its charm. Still appealing for impoverished undergrads (and similarly tasteless grad students), you simply can’t go wrong at $5 a pitcher.

Drink it cold, drink it fast, and in case you were wondering, this bottle had a two of clubs.

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Photo of umfskibum
2.8/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Really light, nigh-clear yellow color. Pretty good size head that dissipated almost immediately, leaving a bit of foam to float around for the duration of the pint. Attractive carbonation.

S: Fairly weak, but crisp, smell. Corn, grain, and a hint of alcohol. Floral hops peeking in there too, though they are hardly there.

T: Clean, crisp, and almost unbearably weak. Wheat, corn and rice are the main tastes, but some syrupy adjuncts shine through as well. The crisp fresh taste of the beer helps the flavor feel "clean", but also leaves the mouth with a brew so weak there is little to work with.

M: Light in the body, with lots of carbonation. Feels thin in the mouth but goes down surprisingly smoothly.

D: Lets face it, drinkability is where this beer really shines. The weak taste makes it an easy beer to drink on a hot day (especially if a berliner-weiss isnt available), a fairly refreshing brew when chilled, and a great beer for cooking and eating since it doesn't hit the tastebuds hard, if at all. As a macro American brew, it is an example of the style that sits above the others.

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Photo of nlmartin
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was served cold in a pint glass. Who ever drinks Pabst drinks Best!

Appearance: This beer is the very definition of fizzy yellow beer. The beer has a thin white head that quickly resolves to foam.

Smell: The beer has a corny grainy smell with a bit of floral grassy hops at the end.

Taste: The beer has a sweet corn vegetable water flavor. The hops bring a bitter finish to the beer along with some grassy flavors.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkabilty: The beer is thin almost watery. The carbonation is in porportion to the beer and makes it easier to drink. This is a classic lawnmower beer that has just found its way back into my beer mix.

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Photo of Neehan
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pale, light, straw-colored with virtually no head. Shades of carbonation. A sweet, grassy smell and taste. Complexity is the last thing this offers, which leads to a subtle smoothness. Not the most highly pleasant sour aftertaste remains in the mouth, which is a strange blend between that and the carbonation.

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Photo of schusterbauer
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

limp puny yellow, you can see the carbonation. meager white head. smell's a little off, and gets worse as the beer warms. not a good testament to the quality of the ingredients. some slight malt smells, yeast, grassy hops, overly ripe corn. tastes like harsh grains, a bit too much sugar, and a slight hop kick (more so than in the other common place macro lagers). drink it cold, drink it fast.

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Photo of peabody
2.88/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Comparing it side by side with a budweiser.
Pours out a little darker but still clear. Foam is a little higher here than the bud but the bud has more bubbles rising up from the bottom.
Smell has to go to the PBR. It has a little more malty sweet nose.
Definatly can smell more yeast here on the PBR.
Taste is a little watery but the aftertaste is just a bit more pronounced than the bud. More sweet grain here. The bud is more watery.
Mouthfeel on both is not much, just clear water with a bit of beer bubbles.
I have been a bud drinker for a lot of years and was waiting for the right moment to try both side by side.
I wish there were sombody here to mix them up so I didn't know which was which.
I would have to give the PBR the slight edge here. Very slight though it might be.

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Photo of ghostmech007
2.25/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap on the WingShack in Farmville, Va.

Poured a lazy yellow and a weak head makes me wonder what I ordered.

Skunked smell. Weak malt and hops. Not very much to go on.

Crisp right off with some decent bubbles. Thin malts and hops in the taste again. Light bitterness. Alcohol hits the tongue when you get it warmed up. Weird dry feeling like sandpaper at the end. Something was in the glass I think, which says a LOT about Farmville, VA.

Not the best beer but passible on my scale. But hey you can't beat a pitcher on draft for four bucks on a friday night.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

served from a 12 oz can into a pint glass.

Clear,light golden color. 1'' white head dissapating quickly to a constant coating of foam.Some tiny bubbles stringing togeather rising to the top a bit of spotty lacing.

A very moderate aroma,very clean,a light sweet malt nose with a grainy,grassy smell. Not a overpowering aroma,by any means,but nothing offensive either.

Clean,sweet malt tastes,some grainy,grassy tastes,slightly tart.with a bit of bitterness. A very balanced taste,finishes clean with sweet maltiness and a slight tart bitterness. No off flavors or bad tastes a lot better than BMC.

Slightly cloying,smooth,a bit grainy,has some body to it not watery like a lot of Macro's.
The drinkability is great ,could drink this non stop on a hot summers days.
The best bang for the buck as far as Marco's go. Drank a lot of these beers in the days. Never turn one of these down. Go PBR! A classic Macro.

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Photo of bashiba
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a bright golden yellow with typical white macro head.

Smell was light and grainy with a touch of corn sweetness.

Taste had a nice crisp light grassy hop quality slightly stronger than most American Macro's with a light grainy malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is light and thin.

Overall not a bad beer when options are limited.

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Photo of Phocion
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. can, served about as cold as possible without freezing. This is probably the first PBR I've ever actually poured. Clear light gold with about a third of a finger of white head that lasts about a minute - actually better than I expected - before fading into a thin crown on the top of the beer. Very fizzy.

Aroma is slightly sweet malts, with just a hint of grainy grassiness. No adjuncts to speak of, which is the sole reason I will take this over anything from BMC.

Sweetness and very grainy. Basic BMC macro-lager, but once again without the taste of adjuncts and a bit sweeter.

Very crisp, carbonated mouthfeel, and incredibly thin. But it is smooth, refreshing, and definitely not filling. This beer doesn't pretend to be anything it's not, and it is damned good considering it's counterparts. Definitely not one of my first choices, but I have yet to find anything that goes quite as well on a 100+ summer day or with a pizza, especially considering the price. That being said, you will rarely find my fridge without at least a 6-pack of PBR.

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Photo of umustdrink
2.75/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fluffy head and actually retains longer than I thought it would have. Clear urine color with not much going on in the glass in terms of carbonation. No lace.

S - Smell is very faint but to me it smells a little bit like chlorine, minus the burn.

T - Light taste of corn and a little malt, slightly sweet.

M - Light and crisp.

D - This has always been my macro of choice.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.97/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was in the mood for some macro and went to score some BUD or Yuengling. Man-6 bucks a six pack really rubs me the wrong way. Dont get me wrong-I have tried Deus at $28 a bottle and a lot of other pricey beer but for a macro? Couldnt see it-and I love a good macro. Figured it was time for a PBR seeing as how I havnt had it since high school.

Pours a very pale straw color. One of the palest I have seen. Low aroma-sort of just says "beer". Rather bland and unimpressive flavor-lacks the crisp "snap" that I find in a BUD and others. Very 1 dimensional. Thin and watery body. As I said I love a good macro-theres a place and time for them in my book. I think I would grab a Strohs or Old Milwaukee first.

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Photo of Gmann
2.35/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear straw color, a bit yellow, had a decent whispy white head that dissipated as I poured it and left no lacing. The smell is of corn, grainy, a bit of sulfer. The taste is better, it has a some sweet malt notes to it, not too artficially sweet like other macros. The mouthfeel is watery, nicely carbonated. Another good cooler beer and this doesn't have that ick taste that other macros have which makes it quite drinkable.

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Photo of zuggy9
2.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sometimes you just need to slum a little, and when in Portland, OR this is the way to go. It's pours pretty yellow and normally that scares me, but it sort of works. Not much for a head. The smell and taste are rather standard for an American macro lager, but their not unpleasant. A bit bland and not too much of an aftertaste. It has be be cold though. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but after a couple pints of the good stuff, this can maintain a pretty good buzz for hours. I'm still note sure why a Texan beer is so popular in Portland, what with all the craft breweries there, and it just doesn't drink the same anywhere else for me!

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.02/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I was rather suprised when I had PRb for the first time with an open mind. The fundamental features of it were pretty poor, such as no retention, no head, no lace, no smell. The look was a light coppery color, not that bad looking. The taste was a bit spicy with a hint of malts and hops well blended together. A very solid draft brew. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.02/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is clearly experiencing some sort of revival these days. And truth be told, there was a time when PBR in bottles would seem pretty exciting to me too. But my taste in beer has changed, and after reading Maureen Ogle's "Ambitious Brew," I now know that PBR didn't even win a blue ribbon at the 1893 Columbian Exposition! So we can say that the bloom is off this rose, and is evidenced in my impression of the beer itself.

It pours very nicely into my beer clean glass, with abundant head a very faint yellow color. But that's where my pleasant trip down memory lane ends. Aroma is bad...smells like malted corn, and not in a good way. Flavor is more appealing, with some maltiness and corn taste which is much less potent than the odor. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and I wouldn't call this very drinkable.

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Photo of JimFalzone
2.28/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had to switch to PBR at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston when they ran out of Sam Adams. I was not very optomistic going into the first sip, and it tasted exactly as expected.

It is VERY bland. The color couldn't be paler and the taste couldn't be weaker. It goes down a bit sweet and leaves a bittersweet aftertaste.

The serving temperature wasn't ideal, it had been thrown on ice for maybe an hour or two. But I can't imagine this greatly affected the end result.

It's a punk rock beer. And it's cooler to order a PBR than a Coors Light. But don't expect to get much more flavor or satisfaction. I can appreciate why people like it, but it seems like a waste of time/money to ever drink this stuff when there is so much better out there. It serves a purpose for the financially struggling college kids and rock wannabes - but I'd rather have one or two good beers than a six-pack of swill.

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Photo of ozzyfan97
4.28/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is easy to drink and cheap to buy. I like this beer to drink when I'm playing cards with the guys. For taste it is some bitterness but not bad. It has a nice mouthfeel not grainy or anything like that. Smells like beer nothing fancy there. All in all its not that bad of a beer.

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Photo of vladimerjr
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like beer.... smells like beer.... nothing special there. tastes better than any of the big boy beers "bud, coors, miller, etc." and is usually cheaper to boot. I would not go around preaching its virtues but a great beer for playing drinking games as it is easy to pound and does not leave me felling like a $2 wh%#& after doing so.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite pale and transparant. Piss yellow. Clear. Thin ivory white head. Lacing is minimal. Nice nose on this beer for the style. Grainy and sweet. That's a given. But also some light bready malts and hay like tones in the background. Crisp and somewhat agressive carbonation. Light to light-medium in body. Sweet, grainy tones hit the palate first. Agreeable maltiness. Not a lot of depth, but a decent macro. And a good enough quencher in the summer.

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Photo of BoozySmurf
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured, for sake of review only, from its 16 ounce aluminum housing.

Ephemeral head is airy and alabaster in exhibition. The bouquet manifests hygienic with an ethereally nectareous character. Unsubstantially toothsome flavor is non-amalgamated to an acrid and musty sapidity. Mouthfeel is coarse yet gossamery. Speckless terminus initiates further suppings.

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Photo of gmfessen
2.35/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on tap... not sure why. Beer was a clear yellow golden color with a one finger bubbly head. Smell is slighlty sweet of malt and corn. Beer is initially bitter but finishes with a malty crisp finish. A light mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Drinkable like water, very light.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. can that was about 40F in temperature into a 14oz room temperature (70F) Pilsner glass.

After pouring the beer appeared deep yellow to golden with active carbination originating from the lower quarter of the glass but not quite from the very bottom. The beverage was very clear, pale to almost white near the sides of the glass while yellow to golden near center. A whisp of a head was present right after pouring and completely disappeared within moments.

The beverage has a slight bitter smell leaning towards a mix of fresh cut grass and sweet corn.

The beverage tastes like there is a bitter cusp of spruce or pine needles that gives way to a course, highly carbinated pang of alcohol. After the carbination expends itself the beverage becomes very watery and light.

I find it easy to drink and that is why it is my cheap, working around the house turning wrenches, just finished cleaning, returned from mountain biking garage and basement beer.

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Photo of Applesauce1
2.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got the PBR on-tap at Skipper's in Athens, OH.

I've had this beer many times before, this is my first review, however.

Appearance: yellow with a thin white head; not too impressive looking
Smell: skunky cereal smell; typicaly macro smell
Taste: slight malt presence; skunky presence; I'll give them a 3 though becuase this is one of the best macro lagers I've had
Mouthfeel: light bodied, could definitely have a few in a night
Drinkability: good

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,477 ratings.
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