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: 1,692 | Ratings: 5,441
Photo of HoustonTX
3.37/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pale yellow, streams of carbonation flow towards the top of the glass, light frothy head, and small traces of lacing.

S - Smell is ceral malts, and a bit of alchohol pokes through.

T - Taste for an American Macro lager is excellent. Clean malt flushes against the palate, then slight hop bitters pronounces itself halfway through. Ends with a crisp bitter taste. Quite refreshing.

M - Perfectly carbonated and light on the palate.

D - Very drinkable on a summer day.

Definitely one of the best American Macros. Nothing offensive about this beer at all, and much better than 90% of BMC offerings. Give this one a try.

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Photo of kdmorse
2.82/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Extremely pale straw color topped with some white head that quickly disappers. Sweet smell of white bread, sweet corn, and college. Very simple and bland tastes. Nothing stands out as good, but nothing stands out as offensive either. Mostly a sweet corny malt flavor. No hop taste, but they must be there because it finishes pretty clean. Very bubbly and light. Easy and fun to drink because of all the memories. Not great, but the price is right for a big night of drinking.

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Photo of Elecid
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Hands-down the best beer for price that I've ever tried. I'd choose PBR over any other American Macro, and I'll drink 10 pints of this before 1 pint of Heineken, the most overpriced beer in the universe.
Before you completely discount this brew, try it on tap. Sure, it's no work of art, but it's also not Natty Ice.

A: Yellow. Small, quick-leaving head. Not as bad as some, but it reminds me of an asian beer.

S: Adjunct-y smell, but just enough hops to differentiate it from (say) Mickey's.

T: Surprisingly, better than most Macros, and I have a soft spot in my heart for this beer. I swear that it tastes twice as good on tap as it does from those large cans.

M: What you'd expect. Light, not as much carbonation as its price-peers, but not too little.

D: EXTREMELY High, but that's what you want from these things: get buzzed quick for cheap.

Blue Velvet (1986):

Frank Booth: What kind of beer do you like to drink, neighbor?
Jeffrey Beaumont: Heineken.
Frank Booth: Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review is part of Macro Smackdown X, in which this can of Pabst Blue Ribbon will be going up against its brewery stablemate, Stroh's. PBR has the distinction of being the first beer I ever drank. The summer I was 13, my friend stole a can out of his dad's basement fridge. We rode our bikes up to the local Little League field and drank it in the dugout. I remember that I didn't think much of it then and I'm pretty sure that I haven't had it since. Decades later...

Perfectly clear yellow-gold, a lighter and brighter version of Stroh's. I like darker, richer looking macro lagers so I'll have to give a very slight edge to the other beer. The head is where this beer really shines though. It's bright white, lightly creamy and sticky enough to leave a respectable amount of watery, sudsy lace. Overall appearance edge to PBR.

I've smelled them both multiple times now and my conclusion is that they might as well be the same beer. In addition to the usual graininess of the malt, the hops have a mildly pleasant fruitiness to go along with their usual muskiness. I hope that I'm able to discern some difference on the palate.

There's very little difference between the flavor of the Stroh's and the flavor of this beer. I can tell that I'm drinking two different beers, but I'm not sure why they taste different. I think it comes down to the fact that the Stroh's is (very) slightly more sweet and the PBR is (very) slightly more hoppy. I like them equally however.

Again, there isn't a dime's worth of difference in terms of body/mouthfeel. There is, however, a nickel's worth of difference. The Pabst has an ever so slight edge in terms of heft and is slightly creamier as well. It's just enough to earn a better score.

Both Stroh's and PBR have come through with flying colors in the tenth iteration of the MacSmack series. It's a shame that there has to be a loser. By virtue of its superior head and slightly creamier mouthfeel, Pabst Blue Ribbon takes the much-coveted crown. Really though, either one of these venerable American beers would be a good choice for reliving the good old days of one's youth.

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Photo of tcayiajr
2.58/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah yes the good old PBR. It's been quite the staple of my College life always finding it's time honored place in our refrigerator. It's a good beer for a nice cold shower after a day in the muggy New Orleans summer heat. However, this is by no means a good beer. I do prefer a Pabst Blue Ribbon over any Bud/Miller product any day, but this is only when I'm too broke to get a quality craft brew. After having an assortment of Abita and Sierra Nevada Kegs over the last month or so we got a little pour and decided to toss in a $59 keg of PBR into the kegerator. The PBR pours a light pale yellow and has a repulsive smell. After a night of drinking I woke up to find some beer stains on my shirt which were emitting quite a repulsive odor. However, the beer does go down smooth and is very very easy to drink. PBR, not the best of beers, but maybe one of the best of the cheap domestics.

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Photo of edchicma
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellow with very little head. Smell has a faint grassy aroma. Taste likewise has a faint malt presence, a very light hop finish. Mouthfeel is just a tad creamy...not bad. Very easy to drink. This is a beer I wouldn't mind having during a round of golf or after mowing the lawn...better than bud.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After drinking gallons and gallons of this on draft and in cans and bottles, I'm finally ready to give my review.

It has a nice appearance with a crystal-clear golden body and short head of creamy bright white froth that holds well and even leaves some nice lace.

The aroma, however, is not quite a shining example of the brewer's art, displaying a little bit too much yeasty sulphur, and a distinctly adjunct-laden malt sweetness. There are some very minor hops present in the background, but they're not really discernable.

It's crisp in the mouth with a medium-light body and median carbonation.

The flavor is as might be expected - "generic". The yeasty sulphur at least helps to balance the sweetness of the malt, although there is a decent amount of bitterness there. I'd call it firm. Not unlike its aroma, the flavor is also hop-challenged, and there's more sulphur in the finish than anything floral, spicy, or grassy.

It is, however, fairly cheap; and a throwback to what I used to think beer tasted like as a kid. Recommended? Not really, but you can do far worse!

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Photo of mattgert
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I won't waste any time with how it pours, how it looks, how it smells. On those counts it is exactly like any American Macro out there. At $6 a 12-pack (bottles or cans) there is a simple way to review this beer: It is way above average for what it is. For an American Macro on the cheap it has flavor and there is nothing offending about it. It is better than most American Macros out there and even those pushing twice the price. For whatever reason I find the beer out of a can better than the bottle. A good lawnmower beer. If you can find Schlitz I would go for it instead but if not, Pabst is a good choice.

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

If you are a hands-down American Macro hater NOTE: this is a macro lager. That said, PBR is above average! If 3.0 what I expect average to be; this is a 3.35 beer. IMHO. Still out of hundreds of macro lagers few of them are even worth of a 3.0 IMO.

Appearance: This beer is what an average AMacro lager looks like. Light yellow with a fizzy white head.

Smell: Corn is at the front end of this otherwise clean aroma. Then there is a malty sweet undertone pleasant but (apropos for the style) it is quite minimal.

Taste: What a surprise! There *is* actually taste. It is smooth and sweet in the mouth with a (watery) corn and lightly sweet malt taste. I like the extra sugar. The aftertaste is clean and not unpleasant (like most AM lagers).

Mouthfeel: Crisp, well carbonated, and refreshing.

Drinkability: This simple beer is no fireworks; but it is very drinkable in a pinch. When out at the bar; this is certainly a sessionable option, far above BMC. It sits light in the stomach and is an acceptable brew all around.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of acrawf6
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out an typical macro straw color with a small white head.

Smell. I think it is quite neutral. small nuttiness to it.

Taste. Small sweet maltiness to it. i get no hop presence. good for what it's going for. aftertaste is sweeter.

Mouthfeel is ok. decent carbonation, body is average for the style, light.

Overall, it's one of those cheaper beers worth getting over miller light (milwakee and all). For cheap beers, i'd prefer Shlitz anyday, but i know a lot of people loving this. good for them.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is embarassing...I really enjoy this beer and will gladly buy it again.
Poured a slightly darker Macro yellow inthe glass with a nice one finger head that melted very quickly to a thin, thin outer ring lacing.
Aroma is lightly sweet malt and lightly hopped. (hops in a macro you can smell? Yep)
Taste is a surprise too...sweet malt...almost a MGD sweetness, but then followed with a genuine light hop bitterness or bite.
Finishes clean and crisp in the mouth with NOTHING unpleasant.
Just sort of makes you want to take another sip.
I was surprised....pleasantly
I feel guilty giving scores this high to an American Macro, but judging by style, I'm probably marking it low.

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Photo of palffyfan
2.34/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Pale yellow with a good deal of carbonation and a soapy head.

Smell - Smells like my Dove soap. Very processed, not what a beer should smell like.

Taste - Watered down, no taste in particular, but manageable (for a macro) because there's no offending taste.

Drinkability - Below average drinkability. There are better macros out there, but it's drinkable when it comes to macros.

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Photo of GuinnessHero
3.09/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pale yellow with a mild head which lasted for a short time.

Smell - Almost a cirtus smell in a whiff. Corn is prodominate.

Taste - Very smooth and refreshing. Slight bit of carbonation which dissipated quickly as soon as it hits the pallet. Full flavored and is rather non-offensive.

Mouthfeel - Clean and crisp with a taste that lingers on.

Drinkability - Easy to drink, not offensive as it is mostly concieved. Great beer for social gatherings.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.48/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Apperance isn't impressive in any respect. The head is all but dissapered and the lacing almost dissapears right away. The color is the clear yellowish color you would find in many macros.

I can barely smell anything, but I do smell a little something without malts and no hops, but a funny off flavor is in the smell.

Taste isn't horrible for a macro, it doesn't leave a crap taste in your mouth and the nose isn't crappy tasting.

Mouthfeel reminds me of ice water even though it was warmed. Not impressive, but not off-putting.

I will keep this one as my session beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 16 oz can into a glass. Straw yellow color. It had a descent head, but it didn't last long. It smelled grainy and of corn. It tasted very malty. The mouthfeel was dry. It's drinkable if you're looking to get a buzz.

It was better than I expected. Somehow I had never had PBR while I was a poor/college student beer guzzler. I had to try it and see how it tasted.

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Photo of Sosh
2.1/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I can't listen to someone tell me that this beer tastes SO much better than 'other macros'. What is the deal here? Here's what this beer has going for is not as repulsive as Natty light, but is just as cheap. It'll get you drunk and can wash down food.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the typical light yellow with the quickly disipating head. No surprises. Smell is really grainy with a hint of booze. Surprising for the low abv. Really pleasant and not too sweet in the taste. Kind of drying in the finish. Mouthfeel doesn't suffer from the typical prickliness of excess carbonation. This is really good if you want to drink at home/at the bar on the cheap and makes a good summertime refreshment.

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Photo of Crosling
1.12/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Light yellow color. The head is very large initially and retains fairly well considering it’s a macro. Unbelievably disgusting oceanic aroma (sea water, salt, seaweed) along with light grains and corn. Watery, corny flavor with hints of light grains and sauvignon blanc. Terrifying.

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Photo of rabsten
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

5 of the 6 pack were consumed right out of teh bottle, which was the better way to drink this brew. In the name of science - or beer advocacy - the first one was poured into a plsner glass. Solid yellow, decent head, some minor lacing. Looks like the beers in the ads we see every day.

Smell was malt, malt, malt. No toast or carmel or chocolate or any other characteristic to the malt. Just malt. Which is good, sometimes.

Tastes about as good as the style allows. Mild malt and some latent hops.

Mouthfeel is again, dead-on average. Some dryness due to the carbonation, with a later mellowing out. Unlike some AMLs, the carbonation dies in your mouth, so it doens't follow down into the gullet.

Drinkability is decent. Refreshing beer. I can, and have, gone through entire sixes in one session. Like my birthday, last Saturday.

Bottom line: The Ironic Hipsters who seek this out as "proletariat beer" are actuall onto something. You can do much worse than this beer. Also, Very good bang for the buck ($3.99 a six). Worth your time if no real craft beer is around, and beats anything Coors makes.

++ EDIT ++

I forgot to note the cool "poker caps." The bottle caps have card values on the inside, so you can play games like poker and blackjack. Pit your caps against everyone else's, and the loser pays.

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

Had this at the showplace theatre in Buffalo, NY for 2 bucks a pop. This is a whole nother beast on tap. The beer was an average looking american macro gold with a very small faom cap. The aroma was really sweet and grainy. Very clean and inoffensive when compared to bud or miller. Taste is actually kinda hoppy. Mouthfeel is thin to moderate. Very smooth. This is incredibly drinkable espcially when you compare the tap version to the bottle or can. This is much sweeter and smooth on tap. If this is on tap with the other standard crap I will have to go with this.

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Photo of Raymond69
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can poured cold into pint glass

Golden clear beer , with a nice fizzy head that retreats quickly.

Smell is rather bland , corny adjuncts , smells like a dive bar Sunday morning.

Taste is a little sweet , some malt tones with no perceivable hop presence. A little tinny flavor comes through. No aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin , light , good carbonation.

Drinkabitly is OK , leaving me in a search for the perfect summer quencher.

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Photo of riversider76
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden. Fluffy head quickly disappears. Not much lace,but lots of bubbles.Smell is of light malt. Body is light and carbonated.Taste is sweet with a hint of hop. This beer is by no means offensive,and it's cheep. I'm sure that's why the college kid's love it!

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very clear, golden yellow. The pour creates an abundance of bubbly white foam. It quickly fades away, leaving light wisps of head on the surface of the beer.

Smell: Cooked corn and grain, sharp on the nose. Some slight hop grassiness.

Taste: Grainy, toasted malt flavor. Some mashy corn sweetness softens the overall profile a little. A light touch of hops in the finish tightens it all up. Light and crisp.

Mouthfeel: A little soda-like with the carbonation, but it has enough body to keep it smooth.

Verdict: Solid canned lager. Nothing great, but it quenches the thirst in a reasonably satisfying manner.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Brooklyn yesterday. I've never seen this in six-packs anywhere, and seeing how trendy this is among the cheap beers, and how much I love Dennis Hopper's line in "Blue Velvet" where he refers to this, I had to give it shot and see what all of the fuss what about. It's not the craft beer I usually sample, and it's not that memorable, but it was suprisingly decent and better than the mass-market macro beers that I was ready to lump this in with!

Pour was nothing special - the frothy head went away quickly, there wasn't any lacing to be seen, and the color was the light goldenrod that I expected it to be. Almost no bitterness here, the carbonation and the malt base are all that present up front, with some straw underneath everything. It's easygoing, but certainly not watered-down or skunked. The aftertaste is light, crisp, and a bit bready, but never overly bitter. As a whole, this brew works fairly well.

Seeing the 4.7% ABV proves to me why this is so popular among the young, trendy, and close-to-broke. There's no introspection here - no depth, no notes, nothing hidden or worth finding on the 2nd or 3rd tasting. It's a blue collar brew that does it's job and nothing more. I'm glad I gave it a try!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
2.02/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a pale gold with some pleasant bubbles floating up from the bottom of my pint that sustained a frothy egg shell head.

Smelled of bland dusty dirt and a burnt dry corn. Ish.

Tasted like light and muddy corn and rice with a crisp buttery snap in the finish.

The mouth feel was so light, it was border line non-existent. The carbonation was also disappointingly boring. Most cheap beers at least feel all right going down. This was little better than water.

Oh right, nostalgia. Yawn.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,441 ratings.
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