Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)
5,718 Ratings
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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Ratings: 5,718 |  Reviews: 1,767
Photo of Thrasher
2.58/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has cultivated quite a mystique in recent years, and it's a bit difficult to see why. It's ordinary yellow lawn-mower beer, and a decidedly average one at that. Still, it's become the beer of choice for the current working-class-chic trend. It's absolutely EVERYWHERE in Portland, Oregon, even at barbershops like Bishops. It usually goes for $2 a pint, often less than that, so I suppose I can understand its appeal from a cost standpoint. But from a local pride standpoint, in this city of breweries, it's confounding and disheartening that this is the number one beer. Taste-wise, it is certainly nothing special. Pouring a clean, clear platinum with a rising head that disappears quickly, it offers a slight metallic fragrance with the faintest musty wisps of yeast. The flavor is primarily of sweet malts and corn, a definite vegetable undercurrent. Hops are non-existent and the water quaility is off-puttingly metallic. As the beer warms, it seems particularly sweet, so I guess I can see why people who don't like beer tend to like this one. I'll be happy when the trend dies down, though, just because this beer has gotten way more attention than it deserves.

Afterthought #1:
The chief criteria of the fans of PBR seems to be: "Well, it doesn't SUCK." No, it doesn't suck. But it's not GOOD, either. How can not sucking be an acceptable reason to laud a brand of suds?

Afterthought #2:
Not to dis anyone, but a review below says "This is the beer of punk rockers." A common sentiment that I've come across more than once, especially around these parts. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Blindly follow the trend and choose a beer that's produced by a major brewing monolith (Miller), in order to maintain one's indie cred. WTF?!?

Afterthought #3:
I can get a 6-pack of Portland Lager (from MacTarnahan's) for $3.75. PBR is not much cheaper than that. How about some local beer, eh, Portland paupers?

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Photo of maek228
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

gold with a decent head. poured out of a 12 oz. can. i got the six pack for only $3.25, what a deal. smells alcohol, corn, grains, hops....smells kinda like budweiser. tastes like budweiser too, but more clean. very crisp and refreshing, great with pizza. tastes of corn, grains, light maltiness, lil bit of hops that leads to some bitterness at the end the beer. im getting a metallica taste too, probably from the can, but its not taking away too much from the taste .

this is the beer of punk rockers. any good bar has this badboy on tap, to me this is the true "average american beer" and its good. don't ever dis PBR

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Photo of rkhaze
2.48/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw color with a small white head.
Smells like grainy sweet corn syrup and surpisingly, a whiff of hops.
Grainy sweet flavor, but more in an adjunct way. There was a hop bitterness, albeit a mild one. Finishes crisp and tangy.
Light bodied with a thin, pallid mouthfeel. The carbonation level wasn't bad.
The light, crisp finish leads to decent drinkibility in the right circumstances, i.e. real hot weather and not a lot of beer choices.
This is actually the first PBR I've ever had. Can't say whether I like it better than the big three or not because I haven't had them in eons and don't really remember what they taste like. Maybe one day I'll try them all again just for kicks...but probably not!

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
2.48/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I don't find anything here that would rate this any better than Bud or Coors. Typical macro-adjunct sweetness, thin and watery. Actually, both Coors and Bud have a more distinctive taste. I would still rank Miller high life as the best of the macros. After two of these, I could feel a headache brewing, and I felt bloated. On to something else, right now!

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just tried last night at Mama's on the Half Shell in Baltimore. They have PBR on one of those new super cold taps and as a "Blue on Blue" They give you about 4oz. in a large shot glass with cocktail sauce and a fresh oyster. Mmmmm.

Lets face it, this is straight forward good beer. I can sit here and complain about macro's, but Pabst is pure quality and dependability. Looks a sweet, golden tan. Smells a nice thin hops with some grainy corn. The taste comes across as a bittery hoppy corn. Mouthfeel and drinkability are easy. Well worth having a few.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Usual macro yellow.

Smells like you would expect, some corn, a little grain.

Smooth taste, medium body. Do I detect hops? Maybe a little. Slight sweetness but very crisp. A little bitterness in the finish.

This is my second big name lager of the night, and to be honest, I really enjoy it. This beats Bud, Miller, whatever hands down. If you're looking for easy drinking, cheap beer, give one a try. Or if you're on a college budget like me.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.36/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

24 oz. can.

Into my pimp-cup this 'classic' goes. I'm currently running dry on funds at the end of the semester so i'll have to settle. This comes with decent recommendations here at BA.

This pours out a macro piss-yellow with an impressive head. Lacing on a macro! OMG! The lacing is in fact quite intricate and looks like a stamp left from a bunch of golf balls. Not bad at all!

The smell isn't too bad either, somewhere in between real beer and mass produced swill. I get a light twinge of metallic hops on the nose as well as a little bit of sweet malt. More than anything is the adjuncty metallic smell again. Again, impressive for its status.

The taste is rather unobtrusive. The first rush is all macro crap, but then your tastebuds are relieved to taste something somewhat "Beery". There's a nice hit of maltiness on the end as well as a slight prick of hops. The aftertaste is a little robotic and unpleasant, but altogether this is one better than mediocre macro! There is no mouthfeel to speak of: were talking about wetter than water here.

Drinkability is decent. You could probably wolf down a whole bunch, but would that really gain you anything? I wish I had an idea of ABV.

Really not too bad at all. This is one I would've avoided were it not for the forgiving BA crowd. If I had to dumb down my beer choices due to budget, this is most likely what i'd reach for.

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Photo of brewQ
2.98/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Okay- I've got too much nostalgia to rate this beer straight up.
Grew up in Milwaukee and drank PBR steady in the 70's.

Anyway ... It is a robust gold with a bleach white head.
I'm still searching for the aroma- though I'll swear it had one twenty years ago.

Taste, honestly, is mostly of corn. A light sweetness.
Yeah- it is drinkable. Must be what makes it a retro favorite.
If you make it to Milwaukee, stop and see the Pabst Mansion,
20th and Wisconsin Avenue, west of Marquette U. You get a good feel for Capt. Pabst and his time.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.64/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

OK....when I bowl, I usually "slum it" with Bud Light for lack of anything better. Keeping with that theme, I get a 6er of PBR for my first try ever.

The body is a transparent yellow with a huge head. Oh wait, I turned around and that head is going quick. I know the color is light on this macro stuff, but damn!

The smell produces a better than expected hop and malt smell. Not huge, but enough to know it's there. A nice surprise.

The taste is more malty than the smell. Not sensational but not unpleasant either.

Mouthfeel is drier than most macro-type beers but pretty good. Doesn't go down too badly.

This beer goes down easily enough and tastes decent so I could probably have a few if squeezed for cash ($3.50 for 6 vs $4.29 for a bomber of Dead Guy). Will probably rival High Life as my cheap beer of choice.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour was light golden yellow. A good half inch head that quickly dissapated to a light white ring that stuck to the glass through the drink.

The smell was a light mix of floral and malt with a hint of sour citrus.

The drink was very clean and malty at the start with a rather sweet tone to the middle and finished with a light hop bite.

This was a very clean, tasty, and refreshing American macro. It may become my lawnmower beer of choice.

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Photo of beergeek279
2.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in the 16 oz. pounder can into a pint glass. The color is golden, with a head that shows more retention than I was expecting. The smell is an almost sickly malt sweetness. The taste is somewhat sweet, with actual hops in there, and a bit of adjuncting taste as it warms. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, well, the last time I had a few in a row, the sweetness became far too cloying.

Well, it's certainly no Westy 12, but served ice cold, PBR is certainly a better choice than any of the 3 major macros, and is a far better deal at 10 dollars for a case of pounders (probably since they don't have a multi-billion dollar ad budget). Though I'm certainly not going to toss away my craft beer for this, I'd certainly drink this over BudMilCo anytime.

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Photo of Gusler
2.06/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer after shedding its aluminum can pours a transparent and luminous gold color, the head modest in size and bright white in color with the texture spumescent, the lace a very thin shield upon the glass. Nose is the prototypical lager/pils sweet malt, crisp and clean with the start slightly sweet, fair malt presence and the top cadaverous. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops apropos to the style, dry aftertaste, just a thin watered down beer that has lost all resemblance to the fine beer it once was.

As two of my great uncles were master brewers at Pabst some 60 years ago and as its my great uncle Joe’s birthday tomorrow, he would be 122 years old, I raise this beer in his honor, even if he would turn over in his grave seeing how much it has slipped over the years, irregardless “Uncle Joe this beers for you”

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Photo of shirfan
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, all the trendy hub-bub convinced me to try this.

Pours pale gold with a blink-and-miss-it head, smells of sweet and light malts with a hearty grain note.

For its price class and style, taste is fairly good. A bubbly mouthfeel with sweet and not-overly-watery malt predominates. Corn seems to be present but hides fairly well. Nondescript hops finish the sip with something that may be wheat.

The archetype for plain american macro-lager? There are no major off-flavors here, just a very simple and clean feeling brew. I will stick to Stroh's and Genny Cream when delving into the lowest castes of cheap beer, but this one is by no means something that I would feed to my sink. Much nicer than the flagships coming out of Molson, AB, Coors, or Miller.

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Photo of FormatKid
2.15/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After the numerous debacles I’ve seen on the forums, and the hipster kids sipping on this like sweet ambrosia, I had to check this one out to see what was going on. I grabbed a sixer of tall-boys at my local Bi-Lo in Cleveland. Poured it out into a tall pilsner glass, a sickly, pale, straw colored yellow. Big fizzy head pops up immediately a good four fingers high, not to be too impressed it faded away quickly leaving no traces of lacing behind. Big carbonation bubbles rise to the top sparsely.

Typical lager smell is present here, maybe a little less trashy than others but still sweet and corny, maybe the slightest presence of a hop bitterness clinging on to the edge.

This is definitely easy drinking, but so is water. Sweet, and light tasting with maybe the slightest glimmer of bitterness at the end. Doesn’t do much for me more than any other lager out there, although I will admit it’s better than some of the more cheaply-adjuncted ones. Mouthfeel is a little denser and less fizzy than some of its other counterparts.

What can I say about this one? It is what it is, and it’s about exactly what I was expecting. Make me choose this and say..Natural or Bud and I’ll take this. I’ve had better lagers than this, Yuengling being one. Hype is over, and it turned out exactly how I thought it would. I have a feeling this guy’s five brothers will be waiting in the fridge until I’m mowing grass in the hot sun or something.

(I must edit here to say that I did drink another, in fact they started tasting better after the first and I ended up drinking the whole six pack. I will say that I think PBR will end up replacing Miller High Life as my cheap "filler beer")

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Photo of ngandhi
2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PBR draft is based around nice honeyed malt and a dry finish. Some adjuncts come out, but are washed away by the very pure liquid quality of this beer. To me, this is what people mean when they say they want a "cold one." PBR is a lot sweeter, smoother, and complex than its macro competitors. The malt is as flavorful as any Czech pilsener and the hops, though dull, are appropriate in their bitterness and serve to dry out and close this beer on the finish. In its class, it is one of the best.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of TastyTaste
1.63/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Light yellow color with a head the quickly dissipates into nothing. Smell is bursting with grainy maltiness and skunk. You can almost see the old guys in the ice house. A very grainy, malty flavor. No hops traces at all. This is not a very good beer. Not a good value, either, at $7.99 for a 12 pack.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.07/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

i heard how this one was good for the money so i thought i'd give it a try. the last time i had it i was about eighteen and i remember at the time that it tasted pretty good, of course i was drinking natty light at the time so...

the smell on this is kinda funked up with some grains goin on a little. taste is mild and i'm picking up a mild saltiness. not sure? in line with the other big three for taste, qualiy, etc. price to quality ratio is very high. is it better? well you can't polish a turd, but i'd be proud to drink it anyday over bud.

drinkability is good!

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Photo of bigjohn
2.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

By far my favorite of the American "swill" beers. I personally try to support smaller beers in favor of bud, miller, coors, if I am going to be drinking that style. Pabst is the transparent golden color that is typical of an American macro. The taste is smooth, with a little bite at the end. Nothing particularly special about this one, but it is easy to drink and a perfect alternative to most macros if the occassion should necessitate drinking them.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.77/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is, hands down, the best of the american lagers. It pours a transparent yellow colour with a thick white head that quickly disipates. The taste is malty with a little graininess. I enjoy it very much. Don't let the cheap price make up your mind for you. You can't always judge a book by its cover. Pabst Blue Ribbon is the perfect beer to just kick back with.

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Photo of soper2000
2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is the macro lager i choose. When poored vigorously it produces a nice white head, but it quickly fades. First sip reminds you that this is a macro lager but some hop notes are present. There is not much to this beer but not much can be expected considering its price and list of ingredients. This beer is extremely consistent however, I have yet to have an off bottle despite this being a college staple for me.

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Photo of pheurton
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clear dark golden in color. foamy white head that completely disappears. no lacing or collar to speak of. lively carbonation lends a crisp, light mouthfeel. mild toasted grain on the nose. light body, spritzy, clean slightly sweet maltiness. lacks the overbearing adjunct flavor of the more popular macros...this is a good thing. faint light hops there only for balance make this beer quite refreshing.

though i admit the cult following this beer has developed is annoying, it is the best tasting macro i have come across. great summertime beer when you're in the mood for something simple and refreshing. better on tap than out of the can.

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Photo of RootedFool
2.1/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours perfectly transparent yellow from a tall 24 ounce can with one of the most recognizable labels in America. Fizzy, bubbly head rises fast and falls even faster. No lacing.

Smell is of candy sweet grainy malts, a thread -- a barely noticeable thread -- of hop bitterness and alcohol levitates around the surface.

Mouthfeel is less watery than water, if that's possible, and brings with it a stale sugary sweetness and a weak band of hop bitterness through the center. Aftertaste is a flat alcohol buzz and dirty hay-like malts.

The can says it was "selected America's best in 1893."

111 years ago.

Take their word for it, unless you're a hipster...


I've had to reconsider Pabst, after imbibing a bunch of macro swill as a part of my beer education it's clear that Pabst isn't so bad at all. You can actually pick up on a little zing of hops in the taste, and it doesn't smell like old pool water. I'm changing my scores for Pabst to reflect it's superiority compared to other macro brews. Definitely one of the best macros out there, if not *the* best.

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Photo of yankeeheel
2.81/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear with minimal whirte head after an aggro pour.

Smells of....nothing

Tastes pretty darn good for shit beer. Little bit of sweetness and a mildly bitter hop middle and finish. If I have to slum it this is it.

Mouthfeel is pretty close to water.

I could drink a half rack and walk home. My friends made me drink this. I'm sorry.

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Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light golden brew, I expected less.

Smell is slightly sour yeast and mild malt. This has a light floral aroma and a pleasant grain smell.

Taste is mildly sweet and clean, and a touch of sourness. Mild hops present. Not great but a solid beer.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly present and not bad.

Drinkable beats Budweiser any day.

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Photo of simmons
3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pabst blue ribbon has to be one of the best mass produced cheap beer around. There are many cheap beers out there that are just plain disgusting and horriable. pabst blue ribbion has a nicce feel to it when it, not much head to brag about. As for the flavor its not strong but its not too mild in hops and malt useage. i wouldnt pick this over a good flying fish or home brew but for $13.00 for a 30 pack this is your best bet.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 5,718 ratings