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: 1,714 | Ratings: 5,494
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.66/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. longneck into pint glass.

A: Pale straw/ golden with a 1-inch white head that's somewhat sticky.

S: Average macro smell: grain, a bit grassy, little in the way of hops.

T/M: mild grain, less adjunct-y than others. Bit of hops in the finish, and less watery than other macros. Refreshing.

D: Designed to be consumed in mass quantities, and very appropriate for doing so.

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Photo of thefenst
3.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good old PBR.
Pours a very pale straw with a small white head that has some retention, impressive for a macro.
Smells like a macro, grassy and cereal adjuncts.
Tastes slightly better than most macros, grassy and crisp, almost like a watered-down draft wheat beer.
This beer is very drinkable, until you realize the next morning that you drank 10 of them the previous night.
Not bad for how cheap it is, not bad at all.

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

I know what the fuss is about (current hipness of retro-blue collar posturing) but I just don't know what the fuss is about. I've had this one in the 12 oz. can, the 12 oz. bottle, on draught, in a 24 oz. can, and in the 40 oz. I watch people pay three dollars a can for this in an affluent neighborhood bar that has fifteen good taps. I presume they are making their ironic social statement (though the true irony eludes them). Ok, so it's thin bodied , with a weird off-putting fruity cheap cereal flavor. The finish makes me want to drink a glass of water, and eat a handful of pretzel nuggets before switching to something better. Is there a time and place for this? Yes, but not here, not now.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.91/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

OH YEAH! 5-Star PBR! If PBR was a person I would give him/her a high-five every time I saw them.

Pale yellow with a surprisingly decent frothy white head. The beer is absolutely crystal clear.

I'm not going to lie, the beer smells like my bathroom after a Friday night, stale and wheaty with just a touch of sour. Lets just look past this aspect and think of how cheap PBR is...

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's crisp and slightly effervescent. It tastes like wet hay. There really isn't a whole lot of substance. I really want to say it tastes like yellow, hay, and water period but again think of the price... A mear sample of PBR won't leave you with a "bad" aftertaste but after about 14 PBRs you'll be praying to make out with a smoker for more reasons then taste alone...

If you can show me a more accessible, drinkable, not necesarilly bad tasting beer than PBR then you too will get a high five. PBR stands as the absolute definition of a maintenance beer.

Bottom Line:
A beer for the long haul, even light weights find this beer in their hand no less than 10 times in an evening. Not the best macro lager I've ever had but it's a damn good one in my opinion.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Very pale yellow body with about a finger of head that quickly dissipates. Smells malty with a hint of hop. Tastes Sweet and watery. Not really noticing any hops here. Reminds me in some ways of Molson Ice in its flavor. Becomes somewhat more flavorful as it warms, but still fairly watery. Very drinkable, though. And very cheap. I would say this beats anything the Big 3 make (yes, I know Miller makes it now). I’m sure it’s better on tap than from the 16 oz can I’m drinking.

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Photo of icefisherman
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Every time i pop the top on one of these i cant help but think of bear hunting but on to the reveiw and the guide totally avoiding this stuff till he ran out of his bud light then we could not keep him out of our beer such is like

Looks and smells like cheap beer taste on the other hand is out of the park this is some good tasting stuff and highly drinkable for the $9-10 a 24 pack

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Photo of Bones54
2.91/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the classic go to beer. Sure its cheap and a macro, but this is still decent stuff. It's perfect for really warm days, sitting on the beach, or when just looking to relive one of those college nights trying to drink all the beer in the world.


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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.5/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Can: Poured a very light yellow color beer with a medium white bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of corn and adjunct is not surprisingly dominating. Taste is as bland as it can be done with no aftertaste at all (which is probably the purpose but does not provide me with any satisfaction.

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Photo of jwc215
3.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw yellow with a fizzy head that slowly descends to a wisp. A little lacing is left.

The smell is typical macro adjuncts with some grassiness thrown in.

Slick hops and a touch of alcohol are noticeable at first. There is also some sweet malt and subtle grass. A touch of corn is hinted at as the drink progresses. Water nearly dominates after awhile, but it's not as watery as many other macros.
It has a drying quality that cuts some of its refreshingness, but maintains some aftertaste.

For a very cheap macro, it could be much worse. I had a few of these at the pool in the heat on Sunday and found that I felt more like I was drinking beer than if I had many the big, more expensive macros. If you are in a place that allows only cans, you can do worse, especially for the price.

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

The color is almost clear, little to no body. Foamy head that, reminds me of the foam you'd see on a questionable lake. The color of urine when you are close to hydrated. Smell of metal, a tinge skunky, no real hops or barley character. Taste is subtle with little to no complexity. Taste of metal, mild yeast a little sour, thin no alcohol warmth. Really this is not a good beer, but out of the macros I'd rather drink it than bud or any other cheep completely quantitative beers. Maybe simply for old times sake, but likely not.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of Rudgers73
2.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Ok listen.

I know that when you pour this beer into a glass the head foams up and disappears before you can set the can down. And I know that it leaves a fruity, skunky aftertaste in your mouth. And when you look at the color of it you think of some crap beer like budweiser watered down by half.


When you are in college and you go to the grocery store and see a 24-pack for $11 with a $4 mail in rebate, what do you want from them?

You have to remember that this a beer coming from the makers of Colt 45, Big Bear, Stroh's, Silver Thunder Old Milwaukee, and Schmidt's.

We had a saying when I was in college. "$4 rebate? You can't afford not to drink it."

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Photo of veech
3.87/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic macro that has enjoyed quite a resurgence in the market at least in the southeast. While in college the only place one could find PBR was at either sketchy roadhouses or frat houses when money was low. Now it's at practically every beer bar out there. Pabst, among others, has really stepped up their marketing, and many classic macros have a much larger presence now (e.g. Miller High Life and even Schlitz). PBR is beer that brings back nostalgia as I drank it regularly in college. It has more flavor and body than most macros and is very easy drinking. I just enjoyed 3 of them for $2 each @ Gene's Haufbrau in Charleston S.C. When money's low PBR is always a decent alternative. FYI it was Pabst who originally invented the 6 pack.

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Photo of LordChesterfield
3.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got PBR because I heard that it might be a decent macro brew. Well it is. It pours extremely pale with a frothy head that quickly dissipates. I can smell corn before even puting might nose near the glass, but this subsides into a flowery sweet aroma. It tastes almost as light as it looks and leaves light sweet taste on the toungue. Imminently refreshing this is with a drinkability that would embarass any other beer I can think of. And what's more? It's cheap as hell! Apparently it's a classic though I would never know. This gets a five for drinkabilty for the ease with which it is drunk and for the ease with which it is purchased.

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Photo of dustylong
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden yellow color with pretty much no head (poured from a can into a mug). Average macro lager smell to it, with a hint of corn. The taste matches the smell, a typical macro lager with a hint of corn. Has a slightly sour taste to it. Very easy to drink, with a good amount of carbonation, making it nice, light, and crisp. Feels very light in the mouth, with a lot of carbonation. Very good for a cheap beer...very good for the style...

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Photo of neenerzig
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very light golden color. Almost zero head retention. The head is reduced to a tiny ring around the inside of the glass about a minute after being poured. Average aromas of some corn and malt are present. Has the sweet malty, corny taste comonly found in most American macro lagers, with a subtle hint of hops. The only difference is that the taste is a bit stronger and better balanced in this beer than in most other American macro lagers I have had. That being said the taste is not anything great or special either. Has a crisp and very smooth mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This beer is refreshing in hot, humid weather. It is easy to drink, in a good way. Nothing special or out of the ordinary here, but this beer is certainly among the better American macro lagers out there.


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Photo of eballard
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very pale golden with no more head then you would get from soda. By the time I has poured out the whole beer there was absolutely no head. Not very impressive smell with a sour wheat quality. It has a light hops taste with not much of an after taste. It has a slightly heavy feel with a little bit of a sudsy texture. Over all this beer is very well balanced. It doesn’t have much of a taste but it doesn’t have a bad taste. If you looking for a smooth beer that’s really easy to drink this would be a good one.

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Photo of cproioi
1.98/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pale golden body that crystal clear and constant carbonation rising. It looks like any other American Macro Lager. The smell and taste are nothing to special either. The both are filled with corny adjuncts. The mouthfeel is paper thin and it goes down like water. Not the worse Beer I've had but not the best by a long shot.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.47/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice golden appearance with a smell that's a bit corny and grainy.

Taste is dry and malty with nice corn hops. Slightly sour however. After taste is very clean and a bit sweet, very drinkable and refreshing.

This is a solid affordable beer, a bit boring compared to other Lagers with corn hops but still respectable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Revisited this beer last night as I enjoyed some chicken wings and watched the football games at the local B-dub's.

This beer is picking up the pace in the Central Kentucky area since the In-Bev purchase of Anheuser Busch. The bar manager's take is that a lot of his Budweiser clientelle is put off by the acquisition and have turned to this American classic instead.

I actually think that this is a better beer than Bud. It has equal amout of pilsner malt flavor, but maybe a bit more robust if using less adjuncts. This beer also veers away from the acetaldahyde and sulftery flavors of Bud. Ceaner, bolder, and fresher make me a beleiver.


Went to pick up some beers to take to the lake and finally took up the recommendation from Kmpitz2 and purchased a sixer for the trip. The good thing about the beer is that there is nothing wrong with it. The look is a crystal clear and hightly carbonated canary yellow. Could have better head retetion. The flavors are grain, adjuncts, and vegetable-like. Nice tones of green apples and a light lemon-zest. Very light and playful in the body, with a very clean finish. A little dry and a little watery, but it is to be expected. Though there are no real standout characters, the flaws are what you'd expect for the style. Not bad stuff.

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Photo of Poser
2.83/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I'm actually fairly impressed with this, considering it's an American macro. I started drinking it because they sponsor the Birmingham Roller Derby team, which I'm somewhat involved in.

It has a decent taste and it's very drinkable. Slightly sour, of course, but it's better than you might expect. Also, it's generally cheaper at the bars. If you're needing cheap beer, try this over your usual Bud/ Miller/ Coors varieties.

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Photo of SetarconeX
1.84/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Purchased a case of this after they started sponsoring NPR. I say a case, because this is one of those beers that, outside of a bar, you can't buy in quantities less than a dozen. Also, it's union made. I like that.

Looks like your average pils, with a head that lingers perhaps a tad longer than usual. Smell is a bit sour, with a dash of malt and a heaping shovel of the sulfuric mud from the retention pond around the corner. Tastes a bit sour, but thinner and more watery than the scent would have led me to expect.

Actually, this is a little icky. I think I'll avoid it in the future.

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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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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,494 ratings.
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