Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,675 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,675 | Ratings: 5,392
Photo of mikesgroove
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, so I was at Hooters and had to drink something, had never, and I mean that never had a PBR, so what the hell. was actually very impressed. Poured a dull, unremarkable pale golden yellow, lots of carbonation and a white fizzy head that faded immediatly. Smell was non descript and uneventful, nothing really to discuus to here. The taste was actually quite pleasent. Now dont get me wrong, it was not complex and full of flavor, but for the style it was superb. Light corn/grain taste, but mostly fizzy water. Very smooth and well carbonated and easily poundable all night long. I would have to say, hands down thi is the best Macro lager I have ever had, not that that is saying alot, but this was nnot actually that bad with some wings!

 741 characters

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.

 613 characters

Photo of jmbranum
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking on tap tonight at Texadelphia in Norman, OK

Clear golden brew with almost no head. Minimal crisp aroma.

Flavor is decent for the style. Crisp and clean. Nice amount of grain. Some hops in the background. No creepy macro aftertaste. Fairly simple but they pull off what most macros can't pull off --- it actually tastes good.

Mouthfeel is outstanding. The best I've experienced in a macro. It actually has some substance.

Best choice for a domestic macro. Not great compared to micros but for what it is, it's pretty respectable.

 543 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

head is the fluffiest and merangueiest of any macro lager i've seen, although there are of course some bubbles in there the size of your fist. persistent cap, some lace. the usual pale golden color, similar to old mil, darker than bud.
smell is of dank barley malt (almost like barley soup), some alc, maybe some rice? not detecting corn at the moment. suggestion of grassy/possibly spicy hop in very small amounts.
taste, well what it isn't is as important as what it is, especially when you want a beer you can buy cheap by the case and use in just about any situation without getting sick of it. it's not corny (e.g. old mil), not too sour (e.g. bud can be), not crazy carbonated (e.g. a lot of them). the finish is crisp and short, and the aftertaste and afterburp are neutral, barleylike, and oh so slightly bitter. pretty nice really.

 846 characters

Photo of GimmeASchlitz
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is not the greatest beer at the bar but it sure isn't the worst.

This is the kinda beer you can drink and have great memories with. A pure, true session beer. BBQ, fishing, camping, you name it. Want to have a great night drinking for hours at the bar? PBR! Want to drown your emotions for the night? PBR! Feel like your tongue is all hopped out?PBR!

This, along with Narragansett and Schlitz, will always be my go to beer when I just want to have fun.

 464 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pabst on tap!!!!! What more can I say, well actually a lot. This beer is really cheap and fairly good, especially for the price. Can you beat $1 a glass? I think not! Anyways, back to the good stuff! Has real light color and real light taste. You can definately tast the malt in it, but it doesn't ruin the flavor. Also nice on the tastebuds. It's definately not some beer made by monks in France, but it's worth buying, especially if your poor or in college. Like most beers, it's better on tap.

 496 characters

Photo of Tundruth
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear, golden yellow color topped by a 2 finger or so high head that dissipates quickly. Leaves behind a thin layer of lacing.

In the nose I can pick up on hints of grain, malt, and maybe even a bit of grassy hops.

Taste is where this beer comes in the highest for me, it is clean and smooth tasting. Its definitely tastes like an adjunct lager, but it seems to have a sense of purpose that most all of the others are lacking. It beats all those other BMC lagers with a superior flavor that is spot on in my opinion.

MF is average, it is highly carbonated and light.

Overall this beer is not anything too special, but at the same time it does stand out from most other lagers of the style. I would certainly recommend giving it a try.

 753 characters

Photo of rowew
3.58/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 24 pack at the store for around $10. Tastes just as good out of the can as it does out of the bottle. All in all a nice beer to have around when you're not ready for a bigger beer, but still want something tasty. Either this or High Life have to be the best of the cheap beers.

 289 characters

Photo of jlervine
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PBR, the king of mass-produced swill. Appearance is nothing out of the ordinary for a pale lager - golden color, white head that disappears quickly leaving the faintest of lace on the surface of the beer. But the smell... hmm that's different. An American macrobrew with hops? Say it isn't so! The taste is very crisp, very clear; sharp and biting on the tongue, mellowing afterwards. A little grainy, but nowhere near Miller's grainy taste. It's not much, but it's cheap, and it beats anything A-B can put out for generic swill.

 529 characters

Photo of BricksandPorter
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My "ode to pbr"

Poured two cold cans into my Dortmunder boot. I grew up drinking pounders of this. Still one of my favorites.

Pour - alright, ill admit it, its on the inexpensive side for a reason. Nothing blowing ya away on this beer. But thats what i love about. Pours a nice solid straw yellow with good carbonation, slight and quickly retreating head and little lacing to speak of. Bubbles are tiny and numerous.

Nose - plain and simple malt. No frills, no surprises.

Taste - like it smells. Simple, less-flavorful malts. A fair punch of hops at the start but that soon gives way to the rusty, enduring sweetness. No aftertaste at all. Complexity is at a minimum - if anything I detect notes of apple or pear maybe.

Mouthfeel - smooth, clear, crisp, and (in my opinion) very refreshing. Medium bodied. Carbonation is not too heavy, it could use alittle more I think.

Drinkability - a great beer. Simple yet classy. Goes down smooth and doesnt require a great amount of effort to enjoy.

I stand by this beer. Its a great model for good, old fashioned working class american beer that hasnt sold out, hasnt changed, hasnt deviated from the plan.

 1,157 characters

Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale straw in color with a foamy, frothy white cap. Nose is vegetal, corn husk, barely discernible noble hop aroma detected. Goes down extremely smooth with sweet corn being the dominant flavor, graininess is smooth and soft, no hops in flavor but then again I didn't expect any. Highly carbonated with a medium thin mouthfeel. Let's be real; this is damn tasty beer that snobs refuse to credit. If you're part of the crowd that only responds to Heady Topper, Founder's Breakfast, or Bourbon County, then enjoy your craft beer supremacy. As for me, I'll take a PBR any day of the week and twice on Sundays. The best cheap all-American lager on the market.

 655 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite pale and transparant. Piss yellow. Clear. Thin ivory white head. Lacing is minimal. Nice nose on this beer for the style. Grainy and sweet. That's a given. But also some light bready malts and hay like tones in the background. Crisp and somewhat agressive carbonation. Light to light-medium in body. Sweet, grainy tones hit the palate first. Agreeable maltiness. Not a lot of depth, but a decent macro. And a good enough quencher in the summer.

 450 characters

Photo of brewbucker
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I do not ever remember having this beer. I must have when I was just a young lad but I sure don't remember it.

Pours a light golden with a faint white head. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is your basic light corn, malt and wheat. Hints of citrus. Flavor is tart and crisp with more corn and light malt and a touch of caramel. Actually after many big stouts and IPA's this is a nice change.

 388 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i know it's far from being the best beer in the world (hell, most think it's far from being a good beer period) but i really do enjoy PBR. it's quite possibly the perfect simple beer. go into it not expecting much and you'll be rewarded hansomely. it's certainly better than the major macros out there. it even has some mild character to it, with hints of hoppiness and sweetness. it's clean and refreshing. what more could you want from a simple brew? make sure it's cold, cold, cold as hell (another no-no usually, but you gots to give in sometimes, right?) and enjoy.

 570 characters

Photo of ormuzd
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is what it is. It is not made by Trappist Monks in a remote Belgian monastery. It is not made by an eccentric Quebecois obsessed with tradition. It isn't even made by some rabidly insane American beer fanatic. It is the quintessential cheap American beer, unusual only in that it has not been changed for a century or more and the company doesn't attempt to convince you that drinking its product will cause scantily clad women to materialize randomly and start having sex with you. For what it is, it's pretty good.

 519 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale yellow with a big fluffy head that fades quickly into a thin collar of foam. Smell is of corn and grain with a faint hop in the background. Tastes like it should, no frills but light and pleasant like a macro lager should. Medium creamy mouthfeel with a faint citrus in the finish. Par for the style. It's at least priced right, a good session beer that I could easily crush all night long.

 395 characters

Photo of dcamella
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying what should be obvious - when you review PBR, you are reviewing a mass market, mass produced beer that isn't craft brewed or served out of a cask or made by dedicated beerophiles. Just like it isn't fair for movie critics to compare a popular entertainment to an obscure, suffered-over art film, it just plain isn't fair to compare Pabst to a Trappist ale or a barleywine, or even to something more widely available, like Sam Adams.

When you think about the real competition, PBR really does shine. It is far more flavorful than Natty, with a real hoppy finish, and despite its thin mouthfeel, it doesn't taste watered down. Even more blessedly, it doesn't have any odd, offputting flavor elements - unlike other canned macros like High Life (which tastes horrifyingly of corn), or Keystone, which tastes like soybeans and misery and is probably America's worst tasting non-malt liquor alcoholic beverage.

Look, we all know that if you want to drink a beer and really have an amazing taste experience, you aren't going to even consider PBR. But if you're outside on a hot day, at a frat party, or you just got home from the steel mill, and you want a cold, chuggable brew that won't make you gag, PBR is the way to go. It's the best cheap-ass, drunk-straight-from-the-can beer in the land, and we should all be proud of it.

 1,353 characters

Photo of MOTrout89
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crisp refreshing beer. Hops are absent, lacking bitterness. Corn and rice flavors replace the bitterness of hops and make this beer highly drinkable and refreshing. Looks are nothing to speak of: pale yellow, dissipating head. Pleasant cereal-like, smooth aftertaste. Much better than the average beer of a comparable price. My go-to cheap beer.

 347 characters

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

A: Was actually surprised by the amount of head that accumulated on the pour. 10 seconds later though, as expected, it's all pretty much gone. Rather soapy looking head though. I'm shocked how see-through this beer really is. Pretty much looks like carbonated colored water. The color though is a very light yellow. Very light lacing left behind.

S: A lot of people say PBR reeks of an awful offensive skunky sour smell (I think those are just people trying to knock it.) I don't smell that at all. In fact I don't smell much at all... maybe some hops with a slight bread smell. That's about it.

T: Hoppy bitterness in the front. More hoppy than I thought based on the lack of a smell. The bitter hoppy front gives away to a dry almost wheat-like finish. Not a bad taste at all. Based on some horror stories I was expecting something a lot different. I'm not going to sit here and say it has this huge amazing flavor. It really doesn't. But if you take it for what it's worth and for what it is.. it's actually a pretty good flavor. So if you rate this against a Russian Imperial Stout, Hefeweizen, Tripel, etc.. you'll obviously be disappointed and say it sucks. If you put it against your average American Adjunct Lager, you definitely can't be disappointed with the taste.

M: Very light bodied. It's crisp and refreshing. Everything you could want out of this kind of beer.

D: On a nice warm day, you can get caught up drinking one after another. High drinkability mixed with low alcohol leaves you wanting more.

 1,519 characters

Photo of godlessape
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I know it's not usually done but I poured this one into a snifter glass.
I got a one and a half inch head that swiftly receded to a mere skim. The body is typical clear light straw colored as most in this style.

Slightly sweet malt notes come out along with the grainy, bready, yeasty aroma.
It tastes like white bread with a hint of sweetness that fits just right. It also has a real gentle hop finish that works great if your eating something spicy or just quenching your thirst on a hot day.

The mouthfeel is perfect for the style.

Overall this is a decent American Adjunct Lager. Nothing fancy and nothing to poo-poo either.

 632 characters

Photo of BTFU
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - While it has the same general color as a lot of the other macros, it has a much more vibrant yellow/gold than a lot of them

S - It has some good malt/grains in it, and a small bit of hops mixed in there

T & M - Very smooth and crisp, but what separates it a lot from the other beers associated with it is the clean finish that leaves only some faint maltiness in the mouth and nothing overwhelming, off, or awkwardly bitter or sweet.

O - While it will always be associated with Clint Eastwood-like people, PBR is now my new favorite for the 30-pack class

 561 characters

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

 386 characters

Photo of Seru1
3.6/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance- Clear Yellow with a thick white head, and tons of bubbles and lacing.

Smell- Grans and lemons and not much else.

Taste- Easy drinking fresh lemon taste filled out by a corn like body. Still very thin allowing this to be guzzled easily.

Mouthfeel- very thin and easy to drink with a decent if not abit skunky aftertaste.

Drinkability- I don't think I've ever had a more easy drinking beer. And for the buck you'll never get a better value.

Notes: This beer is far from perfect, but if your having a drunken party and need alot of beer for cheap that you can stomach with a smile there's no better place to turn. Value wise this beer gets a 5.

 658 characters

Photo of AniGamor
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I don't really post on Beer Advocate. I generally use it to look up what style a beer is when it's not obvious before I buy it. That said, I regard the ratings as an indicator of how strongly flavored (for better or worse) a beer is. I would say that generally on a BA review, the higher the rating, the more I'm not going to like a beer unless I've already prepped myself with some previous drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I'm generally not some macrobrew swelling bro, who marches into a bar and immediately orders a bud light. I generally stroll into my local brew garden, and look at what's new and ask the opinion of the bartender on stuff I haven't tried. I try all kinds of things and it really just depends on the mood I'm in.

I would like to think that a lot of people had evolved from similar experiences with beer early on like I did. The first time you may have tried beer, was from your dad's can, and it was vile. I believe my first beer sip might have been Coors. You also might have gotten the feelings that beer was a low class drink that drunks partook of. During your High School or even early drinking age years, you may have come to the conclusion that "you hate beer".

Eventually, you might have discovered a wine cooler, or a lambic, or cider. Flavored beers or fermented beer-like beverages from colorful bottles or pulls that tasted good and were beer related. You may have discovered Guinness, a beer that initially may feel you with thoughts of manliness or the Irish hills. A stout that moved you to better Oatmeal based concoctions and other opaque, dark brews. You may have thought that "maybe I only hate piss colored beers".

At some point you run into IPAs and other Ales in general. You look at their color with disgust, and reluctantly try one, and you hate it. However, overtime you keep trying them and you might evolve to appreciate the hoppy flavor, and you discover some fruitiness, that reminds you of those lambics, but less extreme.

I think at this point you've learned that it was the Pissy American Macrobrewed rubbish all along. Though, secretly you might realize that you're being a snob now.

I think this is how the hatred of beers like PBR comes about. Pabst Blue Ribbon, in my opinion, is the epitome of beer. Strong words, but listen. It's not that it's 'good' but it is the essence of the thing of which it is.

PBR is an American Lager. It's Grain, Hops, Yeast, and Water. It's simple, yellow, and drinkable. It has successfully accomplished all that it has set out to do. It's about 60 cents for a 12 ounce can (in a 30 pack). I've bought it for $4 a growler before. It's more expensive than Malt Liquor, which I have found for 50 cents for a 40 ounce bottle. Still, Budweiser drinkers and the like will look down upon PBR for being cheap.

It's not such a bad thing! PBR's biggest strength I feel is it's smell. It reminds me of a passable Champagne with maybe some extra flower scents. It smells good and smell is probably the most important part of consuming something.

Taste, it tastes like a decent beer flavored carbonated water. It's a bit like Perrier, but cheaper and less citrus to it. The beer component is malty, it is my opinion that any hops are converted directly to scent upon opening or pouring though, because that it really the only place I detect them.

Pour? It's a yellow beer, mediocre head, unimpressive. It's not a 6 dollar pull of nitrogenated stout. There's no showmanship. It's plain yellow beer. It looks fine in a can in a paper bag, or in a giant mug, or poured out of a growler into a glass.


Keep it cold. These Adjuct Lagers don't like heat. PBR is less bad than other when warm, but it's unpleasant.

Drink it as a session beer. I find that it's low alcohol content and high drinkability make it excellent for drinking over a long period of time. If there is something on TV that requires a beer, this is a good beer. If you're hanging out at a family event, this is a good beer. If you need a cold adult beverage on a hot summer's day? It's fine!

Buy in bulk. This beer is cheap, but it's still actually a beer. You're not going to find it for 80 ounces for a dollar like King Cobra. You will, however, find it on sale in 30-packs. I think that if you have thirsty friends, it's excellent to offer them one of these instead of Coke now and then. Coke is still cheaper in bulk, ~9$ for a 36-pack around here, but you have to add rum to it if you want an adult beverage, and that adds up.

Bottom line. At a normal bar journey I'm generally going to order two pints and some food and then leave. This will not be one of those pints. It's great for everything but drinking at a bar or cooking with (unless you're drinking it while cooking).

 4,748 characters

Photo of mullenite
3.61/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a completely clear golden yellow with a 3 finger frothy white head. They head looked very similar to a meringue after the initial pour. Lacing on the glass is not very thick but is very present.

Smell is very sweet and grainy. Lots of whole grain bread notes. There is a very slight hop aroma, it is grassy and not the citrus or strong pine you would get from typical craft beer.

Taste is not very strong but very bready. Strong whole grain flavor at the beginning and finishing with the typical biscuit flavors you get from this style of Adjunct Lager. The sweetness from the nose is there but it is not a strong flavor and there is very little hop flavor to the taste.

Body is thin and somewhat watery with very sharp carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, I can't imagine a beer being more drinkable than this one is.

I really enjoy this beer, I drink it a lot and if the choices (or wallet) are slim this is not a bad choice at all.

 947 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!