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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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1,678 Reviews
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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: 1,678 | Ratings: 5,405
Photo of Boneheadmx
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I was at the supermarket one day, and I was looking over a fairly wide selection of beers. I had very little money on me, so I bought the cheapest beer, which was this. The 12 pack was on sale.

It pours out a nice yellow that's a bit darker than other cheap beers. The head it big when you pour it out, but subsides quickly like a soda. Smells like honey and plastic. The taste isn't so bad. It's malty with a bit of a sugary aftertaste. The hops don't really make a prescence.

The mouthfeel is really, really bad. Too many bubbles. Once you drink some of the beer, your mouth dries up immediately, which forces you to take another swig.

The drinkinkability is quite good considering all of the above. It does quench some thirst, believe me. Will I buy this beer again? Well, hopefully, it'll be just as cheap as last time.

 832 characters

Photo of unkiedave
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I read a review on this site earlier that I would like to concur with in regards to PBR. If you take this beer for what it is, a cheap(sub 6 bones a twelve) macro, and compare it with similarly styled beers, PBR is definately one of the better ones.

Smells about like you would expect from a beer like this, a little hoppy and malty. Pours a pale yellow with a little lacing that tries its best to cling to my favorite frozen mug. The area that I think puts PBR above other like beers is its flavor. PBR, to me, seems to have a different pleasant flavor, mid taste to it than other similar beers.

No offensive aftertaste or foul odors associated with it. Definately not the king of the expensive beer heap, but hey, noone ever said that it was trying to be. Definately not a first choice selection, but as an everyday regular or session beer, not too bad.

Overall a pretty good beer based on what it is, definately better than anything spat out by the big 3. And for those who want to turn their nose up at you for drinking an "old mans beer", go look in the mirror, you're getting old like he was. If it was good enough for Grandpa, its good enough for me, PBR me ASAP!

 1,181 characters

Photo of Higravity
2.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well what do you do when you are in a bar with nothing good on tap and you will be there for a few hours with company folk. Drink PBR on tap and seem cooler than everyone else that is having Coors light out of the bottle. It looks good like a golden ale and is darker than I remember, nice white head with mild staying power and even some lace. Well I wish I hadn't given up smoking as it smells like corn and reminds me instatnly of beer drinking days of yore. It doesn't taste half bad, corny and sweet with some bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is decent if a little slimy, I know slimy sounds bad but that is the only way I can desrcibe it. I had four pints in the hour+ we were there.

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
2.38/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My fathers beer. Better than Bud and has a great look in your hand. Had my first one probably 45 years ago.

Smell-very little.

Taste-hits the spot on a hot day. Crisp, clean, bubbly. Thats about it.

Mouthfeel-not bad

Drinkability-I have to have one every once in awhile , especially during a Red Sox game while eating peanuts. Not cashews, peanuts. Or State Line potato chips. Then it works. It more of a ceremonial beer than a regular drinker.

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Photo of nickss
2.22/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fizzy straw yellow with a moderate head which very quickly subsides... looks about like every other macro I've ever drank.

There is a strong smell of malt, which surprised me. Not much else.... corn... etc.

The taste is pretty much like the smell, only with less malt and more corn... bleh.

Huge carbonation in the mouth, with a slightly more robust mouthfeel than the BMC's.

Not much to say about this brew... better than BMC for the most part, but still not good by any stretch of the imagination.

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Photo of xduderx
2.7/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Here in Nashville this is the favorite drink of punk rockers and other "hipsters" and in my opinion is a pretty trendy beer. For this reason I've avoided drinking it as I really wasn't expecting much. However, I saw a 24oz can in a gas station yesterday for $1.09 and decided to see what this beer is all about.

appearance = had this in a can, so no idea.

smell = average smell of macro piss beer

taste = actually tastes ok with very little aftertaste

mouthfeel = watery and highly carbonated

drinkability = it's palatable but will give me hangovers if I drink more than 2 or 3

 583 characters

Photo of casualbeerman
3.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hmm, this is a macro I'm not too familiar with. You can get this in pretty much any liquor store around here, but no way I'm cluttering up my fridge with 6 bottles of something that's not supposed to be good, and bars just don't have this on tap in my experience. Anyway, there's a bowling alley near me that does and I tried this on a whim not too long ago. I have to say this is definately decent. Everything about it is pretty macro-standard but not in a bad way. The appearance is a sort of gold-yellow. Macro standard, but the better kind of macro standard at least. Head is thin, but I found it creamy, while it lasted at least. No lacing was visible, but then again this was in a plastic cup (that's what you get in a bowling alley). Taste was fine. I found it quite sweet up front with some very mild bitterness in the finish. There was some adjunct grain but at least it was corn and not rice. Mouthfeel was like any other macro, but its not overcarbonated. Drinkability is fine so far as I know. But I only had one and when you're going with a beer with the sort of rep this one has, I think several would be a good idea before you pronounce the drinkability great. But anyway for now this has replaced Highlife as my reccomended cheap beer. Granted I also don't know how this tastes in a can or a bottle which would be interesting. But unless I'm hosting a whole bunch of friends on a budget(or visiting someone else who is) I won't be finding out right away. Anyway this is a decent beer for its category. Better than MGD, less likely to produce comments about skunk or paint than Rolling Rock (I've never had that problem, but I know lots of other people complain about it), and way cheaper than Labatt Blue or Stella.

 1,731 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was at the beer store today and picked up some quality to welcome the New Year in style. I had Allagash, Young's, Sam Smith's and was headed to the register when I saw this awesome 22 of PBR for .99. I had to have it and figured I'd slum it a bit before the ball drops.
This American college classic pours clear, overcarbonated and mostly headless into my pint glass. The color is pale straw and the nose is corn and adjuncts with a hop backround.
The taste is crisp and has some decent hop characteistics and a slightly dry, bitter finish. It's clearly a macro but not in a bad way..more like a comfortable old pair of shoes. If you don't know what this is, go get some, but I don't think there are too many BA's who don't know PBR.

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

Rediscovered this old friend on tap at a new local BBQ place and I have been enjoying it in cans with BBQ since. Average american canned lager that somehow tastes better then Bud or Miller. Maybe it is just warm memories of my good old high school days.

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Photo of bignick
4.22/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing to review it relative to style:

I think that this is one of the vest best American Macro Lagers. Thus, my high score represents this fact. In other words, because I give it a 4+, that doesn't mean it is comparable to other beers that I have rated 4+. It ain't St. Bernardus, but it ain't Corona Light either.

Regardless, I do like this beer a good deal. The taste has hints of corn, malt, and hops. I like the nutty taste that I get in the finish. It definitely refreshing. This is a very decent beer, and a very good value. A 30 pack costs around 15 and a pint rarely more than $2 at the bars I frequent.

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Photo of MSchae1017
2.94/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a Pilsner Glass from a can.

The beer pours a golden color with a thick white head that dissapated quickly and does not lace. The smell is dominated by corn but there is some bitterness. The taste is just a little bland. Kind of your average beer taste. The is good carbonation and thickness. Its a decent beer to just sit around and drink.

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Photo of bonbright7
3.4/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of DrZarkov
2.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK here's my real question about PBR....Is it beer-flavored water or water-flavored beer? It looks about like water too! I guess the one up side to PBR is that it is very light and I could see it being pretty refreshing compared to most other brews. I wouldn't bother to spend my money on it though—if you're going to drink beer drink something that you can taste.

 365 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.33/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear yellow snow in color. A couple of rapid bubbles streaking up from select points around the glass. Bubbly head that vanished. Zero lace.

Nose is hardly present. But not bad. Just not there.

Flavor is fairly nice for most examples of the style. The adjuncts almost have me thinking there are ample malts. Slight hops come through at the back. Kind of sweet but with a pretty nice (but slight) bitterness to it.

Crisp but with a medium body. I actually kind of prefer this beer as it warms up. It's a pretty good beer to drink while cooking too because it will not destroy or affect your tastebuds and, consequently, I can properly sample what I am concontcing on my stove.

 694 characters

Photo of Rootdog316
2.23/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On any given Friday or Saturday night, you can catch me with an ice cold can of PBR in hand. It's kind of cheesy, to be sure, but I've got several reasons to justify my drink of choice:

1. Price. My PBR habit was born out of pure desperation. It only costs $1.50 at most bars. Drop 50 cents into the tip jar and you're all set for a cheap evening out at two bucks a drink! Woo-hoo! Meanwhile, my friends are buying expensive lagers, mixed drinks and such for upwards of three or four dollars a drink. Who comes out ahead in the end here, hmmm?

2. Taste. I've always been a cheap beer drinker. I love all the "lite," watery-tasting beers (not to mention that they are half the calories of regular beers, which is an added bonus). Note: PBR is not a low-calorie beer, but that's okay because it's a low-cost beer and life is full of difficult decisions. Sometimes cheap is just more important.

PBR is somewhat watery tasting-- not quite as full-bodied, if you will, as expensive beers-- but that's what I love about it. Actually, now that I'm a certified (or certifiable?) PBR addict, I'm finding it somewhat difficult to drink more expensive beers because they taste extremely different... strange, even. My friends try to tell me that most beers taste different because they're better than PBR, but I tend to disagree. Those so-called better beers mostly just taste bitter to me. Why drink bitter when you can drink bland, hmmm?

PBR is not, however, a dinner beer. For some reason I have a hard time drinking my PBRs with food. It's just not a good combination at all! Maybe that's why most restaurants don't serve it?

3. Respect. That's right. For some reason, drinking a PBR seems to garner a certain amount of respect from other bar patrons. People assume that you must be a really tough person to actually be drinking a PBR. It seems to say, 'Check me out. I'm wild, I'm crazy. I'm not afraid of anything. Watch out!' I think this is especially true sometimes for me because I'm female. As an added bonus, I've discovered men seem to totally dig the idea of women drinking PBR. Maybe it's that whole wild and crazy thing...

 2,147 characters

Photo of tweeder263
2.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured out a crystal clear yellow gold brew with a 1 finger head.Moderate carbonation.Has a corn\grainy smell.Taste is hmm a little rough.Very sweet up front,with that corny lingering taste ,,nothing in the way of hops. Crappy feel. In the battle between this or high life,,high life definitely wins.

 300 characters

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

Pours a pale yellow, very clear, small white head forms and goes real fast, no lacing. Smell is sweet and honeylike, with some grass and citrus. Taste is sweet malt up front, with citrus and grass hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is high. Perfect swill beer for watching hockey.

 300 characters

Photo of falcn5
2.47/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beats the Big Three hands-down. To the casual eye, it appears to be just another BMC - light, fizzy, a pale yellow with barely any white head. Taste is where this beer can shine (in comparison to its brethren, of course). Served from a keg, into a pitcher, then into shot glasses for a good old-fashioned power hour, this beer has a refreshing zing in the mouth. The only part that tripped me up was a barely-noticed chalky sensation. On every 10th shot or so the beer had a hint of blackboard eraser.
An admirable beer for the purpose, I believe this is the best of the American "drink while enjoying other activities" beers.

 632 characters

Photo of evanackerman
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

finally got around to trying PBR - I bought a twelve pack in order to have a beer to drink with my co-workers after work - they only like American Macros.

This beer pours a pale yellow with abundant carbonation and a fizzy head that didn't stick around long.

Aroma is faint malt and corn, i cannot detect hops.

taste is bland but with a hint of sweet malt and maybe just a touch of hops, maybe. very clean, nothing offensive like other cheap beers.

mouthfeel is a little light but pretty decent.

drinkability is as high as you can get since there is little flavor and low alcohol.

overall this beer really isn't that bad, i like it better than Bud and about the same as High Life. It does the trick when you don't really care.

 746 characters

Photo of becktone
2.06/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Usually I drink Pabst right out of the bottle there is no point to put it into a glass. However, for this review's sake I have poured it into a glass. It looks like water with yellow food coloring in it, there is no head at all and there is very little in the way of carbonation.

I was taken by surprise when I smelled this beer. Holy shit, could anything besides shit smell this bad! Let alone something that is meant to be consumed. I can't get over how bad this stuff smells. And I really never noticed how bad it smelled because the acrid aroma can not be smelt when the beer is in the bottle.

Contrary to the way it looks, one actually feels the carbonation when this beer is consumed. In other words it is high in carbonation contrary to the lack of visible carbonation in the glass. It goes down as smooth as any macro will and is light on the palate. It really doesn't taste that great either, granted its better than natty, but that's not saying that much.

As for the drinkability, I wouldn't buy a case of this. The only time I drink this is when my friends and I all get together and drink. I usually throw in a few bucks for beer so that I am not only drinking the six pack that I have brought with me. I really don't recommend this beer.

 1,259 characters

Photo of ghostwalker
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thin, yellow, small white head falls off fast.

Smell is malty and kind of sweet.

Taste is much better than I remembered from my younger days. Malty, sweet, maybe a hint of hops. Some yeast and bread flavors too.

Mouthfeel is thin American Macro Brew.

Drinkability is pretty good. Lawnmower beer, hot days beer, BBQ on the beach beer, call it what you want. It's not really bad to drink at all for cheap stuff. I will buy some again when in the appropriate mood.

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Photo of mentor
3.88/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yup, I'm broke but wanted to review beers tonight. Obtained from the discount bin of Liquor Mart (Boulder). Pours a finger and a half fizzy white head that quickly settled. The liquid is light straw-orange with a couple streamed of bubbles feeding the half-layer of head left on the beer. Smells dark hops, wet cardboard and fresh dark mushrooms. Malt sweet is way beneath, as is a little bit of sting, which I think is from carbonation release. Tastes sweet to start with a noticable hop oil on the tongue. The aftertastes sees a burst of hop floral in the back of the mouth. Yes, I do not exaggerate, 'burst'. Some grain in the malt character early, but this vanishes upon the swallow to leave and empty space in the flavor. Despite this, this beer is actually tasty. A bit more carbonated than I'd like, so I will swirl to release some of the CO2. The smell is now more of a wet hay than cardboard & mushroom. With the carbonation decreased, the beer is quite a bit more flavorful. I just don't understand why macro lagers are so overcarbonated that they make carb sting a main component of the flavor profile. The hops are still quite noticable, perhaps a touch stronger than the weak malt dictates. Md thin body. Drinkable, yeah, very nice. Judged to style, not to my flavor preferences.

 1,292 characters

Photo of Atvar
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Definately better than PBR from a can, it tastes crisper and doesn't have that metallic taste. I don't have to force down the last few sips when drinking this from the bottle, even after letting it warm up a bit. I find PBR to have a slightly better taste which is more enjoyable than say, coors light. Slightly bitter taste, maybe from a touch of hops? For the price, drinkability is great. It's not hard at all to put down a few of these.

 440 characters

Photo of Enola
2.08/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I bought a twelve of PBR to take camping last night and I must say thank God that's over with. This beer looks undistiguishable from any other Macro. I can't even begin to describe the taste if not kept at a cool temp. Say around -12 degrees. The taste was right in line with what you would expect from a $4 twelve pack. I think cheap beer has an important place in society, but it damn sure ain't in my beer cooler.

 416 characters

Photo of wcudwight
1.78/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Corn yellow. Small head that left quickly. Smells like canned corn and straw. Taste like any other macro to me. Very grainy and maybe some malt. Mouthfeel was thin with some carbonation. Drinkability would be good except a horrible metalic aftertaste and the beer becomes absolutely putrid when warm.
When the situation calls for a low abv macro beer and some situations do. I think it's best to just get the cheapest b/c it's hard to distiguish the taste between them. The cheapest is usually PBR. It's a cheap beer plain and simple.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,405 ratings.
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