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 | website

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: 1,675 | Ratings: 5,392
Photo of Richter35
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

In my quest to find a beer that was both delicious and affordable, overwhelmingly positive reviews convinced me to try it. I'm sitting down a few months later now to review it.

Appearance is extremely clear. Not a lot of bubbles, lacing, or head. Yellow/straw coloured. Served in a pint glass.

Smell is not so typical of a cheap beer. Not overly sweet or harshly bitter. Fresh and bready with a sour twist.

Yum! Taste is fantastic and instills visions of hot, sunny days and BBQs with friends. Nothing special, but a sweet malt profile combined with a reserved hop bitterness blend perfectly to hide it's truly adjunct nature.

Mouthfeel is o.k. and suffers from that kind of syrupy feel that most cheaper beers do. Still, not too bad and is otherwise very smooth.

Drinkability is excellent. It's better cold.

Not similar to what I would usually hail as a good beer, it is decidedly different enough from it's bland competition to be respected.

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Photo of chrhowe
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I think anyone involved in this website would define themselves as an individual passionate about great tasting beer. And the American Adjuct Lager is probably toward the bottom of our lists if we were to choose which beer we would drink.
However, if I may be somewhat "cliche" for moment, considering the holiday....
I watched fireworks from my driveway tonight with my family and neighbors and there clinched in my hands was none other than an ice cold PBR. Pabst, in my opinion, remains one of those bulwarks, that has become part of American history and tradition. Most of us grew up watching our fathers grasp can after can of this stuff, especially on hot summer days after the grass had just been cut. I would bet that almost every one of us "cut our teeth" on Pabst or one of the many adjucts in its category trying to steal sips of it when Dad wasn't looking. I guess that's why this sense of nostalgia has hit me like a bomb tonight. PBR isn't a great beer, its a decent beer considering the price, and a good beer if considering the category it resides in, probably at the top of American Lagers.
So, yeah I was happy to have an American classic in hand to celebrate our independence.
I never really planned on reviewing this beer. I've had it many times before and most definitely will again. I agree with almost all of the previous reviews for this brew. But, I felt that sense of pride sitting there celebrating the independence of still the greatest nation on earth and enjoying a classic american beer with some friends even if it wouldn't have been the first beer I would have picked in the first place.

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Photo of Ericnpeterson
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My go to cheap beer. Smooth, pleasant american style taste aroma and color. Usually had on the cheap and available everywhere. No real hop flavor to speak of, but come on this is a cheap american style lager.

Appearance: looks like beer.
Smell: Smells like beer.
Taste: Tastes like beer.
Mouthfeel: when it is in your mouth you think "I've got beer in my mouth"
Drinkability: Pretty good, when you consider the cost. Easily on par with other American styles like Budweiser and Miller products.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz can. Freshness date on bottom of can.

Pours perhaps the litest gold of all. Smell is a silo of modest grains. Taste is light and bready, morphing into a somewhat bitter, shockingly decent, hoppy finish. Feel is lite and toasty, clean and grainy. Cuts itself above many of the other adjuncts..

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Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can. Light yellow color with a nice bit of foam that fades. Aroma is sweet and grainy, not far from a macro lager. Taste is inoffensive with some bitterness. Good malt taste on tongue. Definitely tastes better than the last time I had it. Not too bad.

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Photo of Iheartstouts
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pabst Blue Ribbon is, and forever will be, my beer of choice for parties. As cheap and ill-reputed as it is, PBR leaves all other American Macros in the dust.

1. Serving Type- PBR is one of those rare beers that doesn't seem to differ whether it comes from a can, bottle, or tap, so the serving type is a moot point.
2. Appearance- Eh, there are much more presentable beers. The virtually nonexistent head disappears very quickly. I generally drink this beer from the can.
3. Smell- PBR doesn't really seem to have much of a smell. It lacks the pungent "piss" smell of most macros that turns away so many non-beer drinkers.
4. Taste- In my opinion, PBR is what an American macro should taste like. The corn lends an obvious sweetness that is more pronounced than many, and the hops are nearly indistinguishable.
5. Mouthfeel- PBR is has a full, yet light feel to it. It goes down clean, and doesn’t leave the aftertaste so commonly associated with your average macros.
6. Drinkability- As far I and many of my friends (who I tend to have converted from other "dirty thirty" brands) are concerned, PBR is one of the most drinkable non-light beers out there. I know that I have to be careful when drinking it; whereas it feels so light in my stomach, I tend to overdo it.

Although many people may look down on American macros in general, Pabst Blue Ribbon is a hidden gem of American brewing. Like I said earlier, PBR is my party beer; it’s cheap and drinkable. Regardless of my favorable opinion, it is not one that I would recommend for anything other than parties and budget-constraints.

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Photo of BDIMike
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

PBR is what it is.
It has a fizzy, carbonated look with barely any head.
The smell is almost nothing, a little bit of hops and floral smell.
The taste is a little better than most American Macro Lagers. It has a bit of a floral taste to it, which sets it apart.
The mouthfeel is fizzy, but a bit of a thickness to it for a Macro.
And as with most macros, the drinkability is top notch. Had a good amount of these last night and could have had more.

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Photo of jayrod20
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Great cheap beer to supply the masses.

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Photo of bwhite105
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a pint glass.
a. pale golden. rather urine-like
s. really not much smell. faint corn/ straw smell. nothing overpowering
t. corn, watery, generic

Despite the less than steller reviews, PBR is the best cheap beer money can buy. It is essentially like drinking alcoholic water. If your short on cash but want to throw a few down, don't deviate with other crappy mass produced American lagers, grab a PBR.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I literally grew up on PBR. The first beer I ever had was one of my Dad's PBRs from the basement fridge. I drank this beer EXCLUSIVELY for 42 years (until about when it started its resurgence, at which point I figured I'd done my part to preserve an American icon, and moved on to craft beers). So much for "living on a beer budget".
Pabst is actually a decent beer. You can drink a lot of it without getting totally trashed, and it's pretty cheap so you'e not breaking the bank either. It was best in returnable bottles (remember them??) but it's OK in cans too. I occasionally run into PBR on tap, which is irresistible (it's not that much better, but hey - it's PBR on TAP!!)
OK, so it tastes a little grainy and maybe it's over-carbonated. But it's a damn sight better than Bud, Miller, or any other macro swill. Hint: drink this stuff COLD. Optimal temperature is when it CRYSTALLIZES when you pop the can or bottle cap. Mucho refreshing!

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Photo of biggmike
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Gets you drunk and doesn't cost much. Can't believe what the can says "Selected as America's best in 1893." That timeframe was the golden age of brewing in America. All the immigrants were bringing their different recipes from all over the world. There were more breweries then in the US than now. That was pre-Prohibition before the giant macro-brewers began global domination. As far as macro lagers go, this is probably my favorite after Schlitz. Actually has some taste. Extremely drinkable. A nostalgic choice for my brother and I, as we used to drink this because our dad drank this.

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Photo of rmolledo
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Crystal Clear Golden Straw with frothy white head. excellent lacing.

S: Pilsner Malt, Lager Yeast, feint fruity hop aroma, corn.

T: slightly sweet malty pilsner flavor, sharp corn bite, no hop flavor. after taste is of fresh barley malt, good stuff.

MF: high carbonation, moderate-light body. dry finish

D: this is a great session after work american lager. The best American Light Lager IMO.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on vacation--- recorded notes into my iphone and I am typing them up now. Central MO isn't known for its craft beer selection-- had a shit beer showdown one night...

Pours a pale straw colored yellow.. 2 fingers of frothy white head leaving lacing in spotty chunks that are in a ring ship.

Smell is faint-- sweet malt, slight hoppiness. Not a lot of hops used in any of these macros, but these are noticable in the smell. There is some sweet malt and a hint of wheat. A soft bitterness towards the finish. This isn't the best thing ever, but it sure isn't unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is definatley better than some others we've had during this tasting.... Tnis is close to medium body.

Drinkability is scoring pretty high for me.

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Photo of Eagles_Foot
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a got to have a beer after dinner, and want it to be light. I always use this as a clear the palette while taking with friends beer. Crisp taste, not a bud.. Has a hint of bitter to let you know it is a beer.

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Photo of beerNdarts
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PBR is the great old standby. It is what it is, and in the AML category, PBR stands above the big three like no other...

A- Lets be honest, does anyone really care how PBR looks? Pale yellow, like a beer in this category should.

Smell- Grassy and cereal-grainy. A bit of sweetness in there too.

Taste- PBR's taste is great, esp. when you aren't looking for much of a taste at all. Sweet and light, with a hint of hops as well.

Mouthfeel- Light. Watery. Like I said, it is what i is.

Drinkability- High. I could easily swill at least a six pack of these on a hot day. The key to enjoying PBR is having it cold, like from an ice filled cooler.

Just found a place around here that serves PBR on tap can't wait to try it draft!

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Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Ahh the ole blue ribbon, although it does not deserve any awards from me, besides the wow I need to get drunk cheap award.

look is of a ghost yellow, barely any head.

nose is a skunky sweet concoction, but barely anything.

mouthfeel is a little slimey, but overall crisp and flows easily.

taste is just what you think, nothing pops out, a little sweet, a little skunky malts. overall you can pound them.

which is the point afterall. kudos for the cheap and alright.

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Photo of Blob77
3.56/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Not too much to say about this beer. For me its a staple because of the cost and drinkability. The Appearance is light yellow, nothing special. Smell is light a little malty and again nothing special. Taste is good compared to other american lagers and if you review this beer with a "reality" focus its hard to beat (because of the price). Mouthfeel is light and kinda fizzy. The drinkability or Poundability rather of this beer is what makes it a staple for me. I can drink it all night and all day.

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Photo of bill93063
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

PBR always impresses. Here is a very inexpensive beer that while very good in a bottle is even better on tap. When served at 40-45 degrees F. and drunk relatively quickly, PBR is one of the most satisfying warm weather brews bar none. It is head and shoulders better than the big 3 and is a cut above Molson Canadian Lager and many microw brews which cost significantly more money. The character is malty with nice smooth body and vanilla notes predominate. The hops are faint but pleasant, something unusal at this price point.

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Photo of vrbulldog22
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first beer i ever liked...
Appearance is extremely pale & see through. Is this well water?
Smells metallic (yup, it's well water..), slightly sweet, slightly yeasty.
Taste is slightly metallic, bits of corn, grain, kind of bitter in the finish. Kind of surprised at the amount of flavor for a macro.
Feels kinda watery, but smooth, kind of crisp.
Overall i enjoyed it. It remains my go-to cheap beer.

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Photo of Silverandblack5
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It excels at being both light and tasty, while remaining true to the very foundation of simplicity. Especially given the price, this beer works exceptionally well.

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Photo of jar2574
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a can at the lake or in the backyard grilling, a better choice for a hot summer day than most macro-brews. Plus, the can has a cool design.

As far as appearance, if you pour it into a glass it looks pretty much like other macro-lagers. Smell is maybe a little better than the competition.

I think it has a fuller flavor and avoids the "bitter-beer face" grossness of a lot of macros. I could drink several without getting tired of it.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had lunch at a diner and they had 12oz bottles in their drink cooler. Drank straight from the bottle, so not sure of the appearance. If memory serves me correct, I imagine a clear, golden straw colored brew.

Smell is mainly grainy, grassy.

Tasted actually a little better than I remembered. Mild hops, again grassy, but not bad.

Plenty of carbonation to provide most of the action. Felt pretty crisp in the mouth.

I think I'm gonna pick up a sixer of this, if for nothing else than to provide a surprise for my friends when they peek into the mancave fridge.

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Photo of Strix
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells of grains with a touch of hops. Tastes of grains, then sweetness fades to a slightly hoppy and brief yet sweet finish. Mouthfeel thin, and finishes fairly crisp. IMO, this is one of the better mainstream macros out there. I am not embarrassed to drink these on occasion.

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Photo of OneSickPuppy
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drink this beer to cleanse my pallet. It's neutral taste will clean my taste buds so I can resume drinking more flavorful beers. Not a bad beer for a frat party or your "white trash trailer bash".

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Photo of BasementBrewerSF
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

There is not much to a PBR. Classic American Pilsner, as light as water with about as much taste, but unlike water, PBR is 5%. A great beer for a buck in a can at almost any bar around town. Personally I find myself spending money at beer stores rather than bars due to the mark up. So PBR is nothing to rave about but it is cheep, drinkable and gets the job done. As I say to my beer snob friends, "it is the best of the worst". And now Pabst is the oldest American owned brewery in the country. "America! Fuck Yeah!"

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,392 ratings.
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