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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,674 Reviews
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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: 1,674 | Ratings: 5,360
Photo of spike882
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generous amount of foamy white head the dissipates relatively quick. Leaves behind a think amount of even lacing around the glass. Color is medium straw and clear.

Smell is rather light with a slight sweetness and grain notes. Very crisp aroma with almost no hop presence.

Taste is light but very crisp and refreshing in that their is a healthy amount of carbonation. A very slight malt finish that is also dry.

Overall a great Amercian lager that is better than any of the other big macro brews of the same style. Also, price is amazing. This beer holds a special place in my heart and in my fridge as an easy drinking standby. Also, would never schedule a grill out or BBQ without at least a 12 pack or two on hand.

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Photo of scoley32
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 1 | overall: 5

Good old Peeber's.

Drink this if A) you're on a budget B) you're an alcoholic. Beats Natty and all those other horrible beers any day.

Beer at it's core. Golden color, smells like beer, looks like beer. Tastes... like beer... only different.

If you're on a mission to get smashed on a budget, there's nothing better. If you're looking to sit down and enjoy a nice, hand crafted, complex alcoholic beverage, you may want to look elsewhere.

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Photo of PBBC
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this today on the Frisby-Golf course at the local park... braced myself for a cheap beer taste...

Not bad at all. Light, grainy, with a tinge of sweetness.

I finished the can pretty quickly, and couldn't find any offensive tastes... certainly not ALOT of taste, but PBR is a great example of a consistent light beer.

Would buy this again, especially for the price ($10 for a case)

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Photo of superdavex
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The best value around here as I can get a pitcher of it anytime for $3. Tastes better than the other American macros and more drinkable as well. I've drank so much of this stuff I'm sure it's part of my DNA. I only hope they don't use any genetically modified ingredients!

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Photo of Bertman
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

nice head holds up well in glass

nice color rich amber, crystal clear

big nose, smells like a much more expensive beer

big American flavor, very easy drinking, balanced with a little bitter finish

thick and rich in the mouth.

this is my favorive saturday law mowing, game watching, chicken eating beer. nothing, made in America, is better on a hot day!

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Photo of sacredduck
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A staple of any good college student's diet, this is the classic "cheapest beer that isn't Steel Reserve" for the drinker with a light bank account.

A - Pee yellow. For me, it's hard to say any beer has unpleasant appearance. This one falls about as low as it can in the mediocre range.

S - Malty, sweet, very light.

T - Surprisingly good. Sweetness is enlightening. Try drinking this one after a darker beer and the sweetness will catch you off guard. Hints of grape and honey underly the high carbonation. Other than that, there's basically no taste here. What taste is there, is pleasant.

D - I could drink this all day (and I have). When all is said and done, I think this might be the most highly drinkable beer I've ever encountered. Even for an American lager, the drinkability is exceptional. The carbonation can be a bit overwhelming, but if you just take your time, it shouldn't be a barrier.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. can
Glass: Pilsner glass
From: A 7/11 in Allied Gardens (San Diego, Calif.)
Price: $11.99 for the 18-pack
Misc.: Expiration date of Feb. 18, 2013

Yellow golden clear with three fingers of frothy white head that surprisingly had some last to it. Light sporadic lacing and decent retention for the style. Lots of bubbles.

Smelled grain, corn, cereal (Captain Crunch), hay, bread and a bit of some kind of rotten fruit. That being said, it wasn’t too bad overall.

Tasted cereal once again, some kind of hybrid of Shredded Wheat, Captain Crunch and Kix. Also got hay, grain and honey grass.

Light-to-moderate body. Thin texture. Lively (above average)-to-average carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Considering the style, this may be the best. In fact, I was quite surprised I enjoyed this as much as I did. It’s been awhile since I had one. While I’m still partial to the tall boy in a bag, the 12-oz. can has some staying power as well.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
3.7/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed many, many times over the years and formally reviewed here for the first time as it is my king of the cheapy's IMO and I've been going back and reviewing some of my favorite old man brews of yore that I've put off while reviewing craft and import beers. Poured from 12oz can into pilsner glass for the purposes of this formal review for an informal brew. Pale straw yellow color pours a fluffy head of about and inch or so if you let it and you enjoy that sort of thing. Usual suspects smell wise for an american adjunct lager, corn mostly and mild sourness of yeast and bread. Taste is sweeter then most and goes down easy and finishes clean though their is that bit of aal funk to it as well. An obvious choice for a session beer, good and cheap no matter if it's can, bottle or draft and IMO creates a better buzz then High Life over the course of a session/night out. This was the standard american adjunct lager I came to enjoy over the usual BMC stuff thanks to dive bars, rock clubs and using it as the main ingredient in flaming Dr. Pepper shots at parties and not wanting to throw away the rest of the can when no one else would volunteer to finish the remains not used in the shot. Also great for making up beer bread and beer can chicken. I prefer the can to the bottle or the draft, both of which seem a bit more watery and rather tasteless where the can seems to have a bit more and the metallic taste IMO adds something as crazy as that sounds. Snobs and hipster's be damned, I enjoy this blue ribbon devil of cheapness.

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Photo of Kloug
3.71/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the cheapest beers in Quebec, but better than most Canadian beers.

There is some hop bitterness in the PBR, something unknown in Canadian beers, cheap or not.

PBR is a very simple and enjoyable beer, a good friday treat beer. There is better beers, of course, but at a much higher price.

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Photo of wmtxbb
3.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into pint glass

Appearance: Very clear yellow with head that dissipates into non-existence. Bit of carbonation that finds its way up to the top.

Smell: Candy like scent, little bit of pilsner malt. Not too much there.

Taste: Clear crisp flavor. Not very complex, but not bad. Zing like effect at the end from carbonation and alcohol.

Drinkability: Okay, so I'm not going to give this beer a very high rating on taste because there isn't much flavor there. I didn't give this beer a low score because the flavor that is there isn't too bad. I will say this though: this beer is very drinkable. It's crisp and refreshing which makes it the perfect adjunct lager. Besides it's dirt cheap which makes it a great beer for the price and among the major brewers it is easily the best pilsner.

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Photo of Keg-Stand-Kenny
3.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Drinking it out of a 12 ounce can poured into a beer mug. The beer pours with an average sized head that linger for a decent amount of time. The color of this beer is really nice. It's a bright golden color. The beer has a nice hoppy and grainy smell to it. It smells like a lager. The beer has is nice semi-sweet malty, and grainy taste to it, with a slightly bitter, hoppy after taste. The taste is pretty good overall. The feel of this beer is nice. It feels smooth and slightly frothy in the mouth.

Overall I'd say this is a really good tasting American style lager, and it won't cost you much wither. I bought a 12 pack of it at Safeway for 10 bucks. It is the best tasting American style lager at that price point in my opinion. PBR is one of my go to beers. I would recommend this beer to anyone who is drinking on a budget, yet still wants a flavorful, tasty beer.


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Photo of Donnie2112
3.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: pale straw colored, light head, nothing special in the looks department

smell: typical of an American macro, light beery. Clean grainy aromas

taste: light clean flavors of faintly sweet malts, a bit of alcohol, not much for perceivable hops but clean and nice for the style

mouthfeel: light in body, fizzy real smooth

drinkability: extremely drinkable, this stuff is slam-able. It's the kind of beer that you can sit around and appreciate or more commonly forget and about and drink whilst watching football or enjoying the company of friends.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Things are tight this year, and this summer the cooler won't be overflowing with craft beer as a result. I grabbed a case of this last week for $11.99... I still can't get over that.

I'll serve this at fridge temperature in a 1970's era Stroh's glass that fellow BA and friend EPseja was kind enough to give me. Here goes.

Appearance- Pale gold, a bit richer once it's in the glass, this beer is streaming microbubble carbonation from the bottom of my glass while replenishing a supple, inch-thick head. After two minutes the crown is gone, but it doesn't look flat. There's a smattering of small lace patches along the inside of the glass.

Smell- I'm happily surprised that the nose isn't cloying at all... rather there is a husky, semisweet malt aroma and some grass that actually flatters the style character. Almost no trace of cereal, but there is a suggestion of creamed corn lingering in the background.

Taste- While the adjuncts do dominate most of the flavor here, it's actually well balanced and doesn't leave the typical unpleasant aftertaste in the swallow. Surprisingly, I am getting a very subtle hop dryness and mild bittering in the finish... Not at all bad, and flavor-wise it beats out Bud and Coors for me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The texture begins nice and prickly, with the bubbles very small and alive. It does thin out in a few seconds, but it never ends up too boring. Besides my last experience with Ballantine a few years back, this is the only macro I can recall actually enjoying from a glass. An easy choice for the big BBQs this year until things turn around economically.

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Photo of Prostman81
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Was finally able to pick up some of this the other day at a grocery store that is an hour drive from my house. My first chance to try this legendary brew. I know, I know, what took so long? Well, except for maybe in college a million years ago, none of the stores that I've lived by since then have ever carried it. Don't know why, they just haven't.

Anwways, I think I've finally found a good alternative to BMC when I have to buy an adjunct lager. Looks/smells like any other adjunct lager out there, except....it actually tastes pretty decent! Considering the price, why would anyone buy a BMC? I won't be abondoning my normal "good" stuff (or homebrew) in favor of this anytime soon, but I will definitely continue to put it in my frig as a quick, go-to beer. Thank God this is still out there, I can't drink another Miller Lite or Bud.

I know this wasn't the best formatted review, but I can't contribute anything that hasn't already been said, and by more eloquent reviewers. Just wanted to give my endorsement FWIW.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a clear yellow with a large bright white head that quickly faded into a bubbly film that left fairly decent streaks of sticky lace.
S: Smells of dry grains and light toasted malt. Hints of peppery earthy hops come through as well.
T: Actually almost, almost, tastes like a pale wheat ale. Lots of grains and pale malt to the flavor. Hardly any hops come through but you can tell there are some there. Aftertaste is sweet and pleasant.
M: Expected super light body with a light crisp mouthfeel. No bitterness.
D: For what it is, this beer is good. The best of the worst I guess you could say. The thing that sets PBR apart from other BMC's, is that PBR doesn't have a terrible aftertaste, even as the beer warms a bit. Like I said, for the style, this beer is one of the best; the style just needs some work.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured into a frozen mug. It has a thick fizzy white head that is lasting much longer than expected. As for the color of the beer itself, typical pale straw color.

S-Grainy/corn adjunct notes. It smells somewhat musty. Overall generic beer smell the style is famous for.

T-The slightest of hop bitterness followed by malty sweetness. Grain flavor is present as usual but finishes clean. Not much flavor but what does exist is good for the style.

M-Thin and watery.

D-Great session beer alongside of non-craft friends or when you just want to drink something cheap.

Overall, I prefer this is bottle form and straight from the bottle at that.

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Photo of bceaglejoe
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm assuming people will call me a point fairy for giving this beer such high marks, but here goes.

Appearance: Poured a bright orange color with slight hints of yellow. Head retention was impressive for an adjunct lager. The scent had lots of "adjunct" characteristics - corn, grain, cereal - but they were muted. There wasn't much of an aroma to this beer at all.

Tasting: This is probably my favorite beer of this style. It goes down smooth and easy, with almost no hop bitterness and sweet malt flavors. There was some grain flavor, giving it a bread-y taste. This beer is incredibly easy to drink. It'd be perfect for backyard grilling and parties, as well as mowing the lawn.

This definitely was a macro beer that I'll return to time and again. I'm told it causes bad hangovers, so I would suggest drinking lots of water to stay hydrated while you drink it. But for one beer, it was very good.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.74/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz can into a pint glass, this brew pours your typical straw yellow of the the Macro Lager world. Little head and retention but more lacing than expected and able to re-up a surface film.

Offers a clean malty nose, yet a bit hollow. Hints of cereal grains are surely there, but a strong corn presence is not. Kudos to that. After some air a bit of sour yeast emanates, rather unusual for the style but nice to find.

Taste is a bit grainy and lightly sweet, slightly creamy and citric in nature. Best served well chilled yet in a glass. Most macros I prefer direct from the bottle/can. Feel benefits from a supportive carbonation level, but is by no means 'fizzy'.

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Photo of vicsju1991
3.74/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from pounder into duvel snifter
A - pours a clear, yellow with big head that goes down quickly
S - just beery, kinda metallic
t- perfection for an american adjunct lager, little metallic bite at the end, but its kinda good for this beer
m - thin and kinda watery, but very drinkable and clean
O - i am kinda biased, but I really really like this beer, my favorite college beer

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Photo of Decker
3.74/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

PBR is good for what it is. It's cheap and it tastes alright. Hardly any cheap 30 rack tastes 'alright.' Genesee Cream Ale might be the only other 30 that tastes decent.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.74/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz. tall-boy can,

A: Pours a typical, pale yellow lager colour, but the head is really nice and leaves some nice lacing in a pint glass.

S: Light, typical of a macro lager, but still more robust and has more substance than average, mainly of malt and corn.

T: A very good taste for a macro, a simple malt and corn flavour, with a hint of hops that's easy to drink.

M: Very good, again for a macro, medium-bodied, not over carbonated, creamy and smooth.

D: A great example of a macro lager, my favourite of the style so far, much better and tastier than BMC.

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Photo of diesel59
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As said before in other reviews... I judge this solely for what it is, an American Adjunct... that being said, this is a great beer when all you really want is a beer.. followed by another and so on.... light,crisp, refreshing,and it dosen't taste like that BMC swill.... Honestly, this is my go to beer when I need a break from all the great craft beers out there... It really puts me in sync with all the varieties available today...

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pilsener glass, dated 10/25/10.

Pale straw with a glorified AAL flash in the pan head. In all honesty, the head is better than some others in the style.

Soap, minerals, grassy hops.

Minimally sweet corn or Pilsener malt, grass, a slight white pepperiness, and saltine. To me, PBR has a hop edge that no other macro lagers I've had, have.

We all know what average for the style is; fizzy, thin, but redeemingly refreshing at the right times.

Sure, better than most other AAL in my mind, so golf, beer pong is usually when I'll suck this one down.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

PBR was the first beer I actually liked long, long ago. Out of the macros it is the only thing I would still purchase I think.

Piss yellow, huge white head quickly dissipates, turns to a thin ring leaving just about zero in the lacing department.

Cereal grain and pilsner malt along with very light hops in the nose.

Definitely a little more flavorful than your average adjunct lager. Light lemony/floral hops, oats and grain. Actually quite a pleasant bready aftertaste. Carbonation is not overpowering. Although it is missing some key elements to the style (garbage, creamed corn) I'll let it slide. Tiny bit of booze as it warms up.

It is what it is. I have always enjoyed this much more than Budweiser and the like. I don't buy this as often as I used to, but this is my go-to when going to a party or if the wallet is getting thin...it has a time and place, a $5 6-pack pricepoint, and gosh darnit, a piece of my heart.

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Photo of deejaydan
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah, yes, my Grandfather's beer. I still remember the empty, fully sealed *from the brewery* can that he had..

Anyways... pours, well, pale yellow, clear, as it shour... the head doesn't hang out at all... but there is a thin ring of bubbles left down the side of the glass...

Aroma... holy cow.. I can almost smell some hops in this macro beer... that is impressive...

Taste.. a lesson in balance between hops and malt.. I can pick up a lil of each here.. not much, but enough....

Mouthfeel... well, slightly high on carbonation... but good.. thin.. as it should be for this type of beer..

Drinkablilty.. enough taste to keep you somewhat interested.. especially when you look at price points..

One of the best, if not the best mass produced american beer.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 1,674 ratings.
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