Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,706 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: 1,706 | Ratings: 5,477
Photo of merlin48
1.74/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

In my many years of beer drinking I honestly can't recall drinking a PBR. I'm certain I've never purchased one, before today. This 12 oz bottle from a six pack pours a clear, pale golden body that is actively carbonated. Once inch white head evaporates in seconds, and leaves no remnants of lace. Aroma is unremarkable, with subdued notes of adjunct grain sweet maltiness and a suggestion of vague hop. It's light bodied in the mouth, with bountiful carbonation. The taste is unappealing. Corn syrup sweetness, light grain presence, a metallic offnote, and muted hops bitterness. Tastes like cardboard, with an acrid finish. Crisp, but not what I would deem refreshing. Not as clean as other macros I've tried the past two years. Very disappointed that this is inferior to Coors and Bud.

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Photo of bubseymour
1.76/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

One of the best looking bottle labels in the history of beer. Ok now onto the review of what's inside. I don't care for PBR at all. I love several American Adjunct Lagers but this one just has a bad taste and overall flavor to me. I can't even describe it...its just off the mark in taste and drinkability. One of only a handful of American Adjuncts that I had to force to finish. I'll stick to my tried and true easy drinkers and leave the PBR's for the trailer trash and phony hipster crowd.

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Photo of Antc2382
1.76/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

They won't be winning any blue ribbons with this one anytime soon. People will argue that this is an American classic. In reality- This beer is a watered down, flavorless turd.

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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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Photo of SteveJeremy
1.78/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Downright awful stuff. Can't see how people think the skunky, putrid taste of sweat and mild-grain hops beats something genuinely refreshing like Miller High Life and Miller Genuine Draft, the former being in the same low-grade class. Still can't believe I'm contemplating purchasing a thirty pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon Light during my next trip to Wisconsin.

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Photo of evergreen_machine
1.78/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Pours a very light straw color with a thin white head, which disappears quite quickly. Smell is somewhat unpleasant, with none of the grassy smell I would expect, more of a damp, slightly rotten hay aroma. The taste is an empty, ricey taste with some citrus notes. The flavors are very simple with not much going on. Mouthfeel is very thin, though the carbonation is pleasantly refreshing.

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Photo of Vixie
1.8/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a straw yellow color with a thick white head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing.

Very strong smell of corn, has a grain like smell that reminds me of the smell of the local grain processing facility here.

Pretty weak in the flavor department. I think if you boiled corn and rice together, then drank the water from it, it would taste similar to this. Has a bit of a metallic aftertaste.

Feel is basically water.

I guess if you had never had good beer before, this might appeal to you. Beers like this make me appreciate how much better craft and microbrews are.

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Photo of wolfpack87
1.8/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Did not like much of anything about the king of college beers PBR. Other than the fact it was very cheap and a fairly smooth drink, it was not a pleasant experience drinking my first and only PBR. The appearance was your standard yellow American lager but once poured had very little foam and basically looked like urine that had been sitting around for a while. Taste left a lot to be desired, one of the worst beers I've ever had to be honest. If you plan on getting drunk and don't want to pay much for it, then go for some PBR. If you actually want to enjoy your beer, I would recommend something else.

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Photo of TheHammer
1.83/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Appearance: Sickly yellow , boasting low, thin carbonation that poured with a finger of head that did not lace or retain very well.

Smell: It certainly has an acidic funk to it with an odd hard water smell backing it. Warming didn't really help or hurt it, but I wouldn't say it's appetizing in the least.

Taste: It starts with a sweet, swampy corn taste that builds and builds and ends with a brief earthy hop twang. That's really it, nothing too out of the box on this one.

Mouthfeel: It's got an acidic texture to it that is undesirable but other then that it's alright, the carbonation is ok and doesn't fall flat for a good long while. It does cloy a bit after a while.

Drinkability: That acidic tone really hurts my desire to get this stuff down, and doesn't quite settle right. It's also very uninteresting so it's really not something I want to continue drinking for any purpose other then getting smashed.

Final Thoughts: I finally found out why South Park lampooned this beer, but remain oblivious at how this has suddenly become a "hipster" beer. It's pretty much a slapped together cheap lager, which I wouldn't really wish upon anyone.

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Photo of SetarconeX
1.84/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Purchased a case of this after they started sponsoring NPR. I say a case, because this is one of those beers that, outside of a bar, you can't buy in quantities less than a dozen. Also, it's union made. I like that.

Looks like your average pils, with a head that lingers perhaps a tad longer than usual. Smell is a bit sour, with a dash of malt and a heaping shovel of the sulfuric mud from the retention pond around the corner. Tastes a bit sour, but thinner and more watery than the scent would have led me to expect.

Actually, this is a little icky. I think I'll avoid it in the future.

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Photo of SaunaKing
1.84/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A friend of mine picked up a 6 pack of this while we were at his cottage and i tried one out on a boat ride. Can't say much about the appearence since it was in a can but the smell was unpleasant, something like sulphur.
The taste was pretty awful, strong presence of adjuncts, either rice or corn i guess. A very fizzy mouthfeel like tonic water and even though we were out on a boat in the sun i couldn't drink any more of these.

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Photo of GilGarp
1.85/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked up a 24oz. can to do some brats and thought I might as well review some.

It should be noted this is from a grocery store in Colorado so it is legally not to exceed 3.2% alcohol by weight. Strange law in these parts...

Pours into a pint glass with lots of white head. The color is almost white as well. The palest yellow beer I've ever seen that wasn't labeled 'light' or Lite. Perfect clarity.

Aroma is sweet and grainy in a corn and rice kind of way. Smells almost stale even though the can is fresh.

Taste is an instant throw-back to college when we drank whatever was available and/or cheapest. Thin, light, almost tasteless. Slightly sweet and citrusy but even those qualities are barely there.

Mouthfeel is very thin. As we used to say, like having sex in a canoe...

Drinkability would be ok if I was still in college but I've moved on and this one doesn't cut it.

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Photo of Derranged
1.85/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Had this a few times.

A- Straw pale yellow

S- A little like vomit, and something else I cant describe.

T- Metallic, bitter, sour, pretty much the same as Budweiser, only the flavor is stronger. It left a sour film on my gums.

M- thin and very carbonated

D- I did manage to drink 10 of these one night. I was on a budget, and I was stuck with this, until we got to the bar. Never again.

No offense to anyone who likes it, but this beer is just nauseating, worse than Budweiser. Overrated for sure, I just can't understand how so many people on this rate it as high as they do. Oh well, its not the end of the world.

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Photo of beertunes
1.87/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I poured some Hipster Deluxe into a glass to evaluate the visual components, drank the rest from the can like one of the cool kids. Poured a clear urine yellow with a sharp white head that immediately dissipated, leaving no lacing.

The aroma was slightly sweet, with grain and grass most prominent, not totally bad smelling. The flavor was very neutral, almost no flavor of any kind. I was expecting corn, grass or grain of some sort. Maybe that's why so many drink this beer, it has no flavor.

As expected the body was nearly non-existent. The beer was very drinkable, in the same way water is. Avoid this beer.

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Photo of macpapi
1.87/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Alright, so I was out with friends and P.B.R. was on special (allegedly, it turned out it wasn't and my friend got screwed). So someone bought a bottle for me, and I decided to use the opportunity to review this 'fine American' Macro. Wasn't surprised in any way.

Pours a clear color, with a tinge of yellow. Is this water in a brown bottle with a red, white and blue label??

Smells like corn and little else. Boring.

Tastes watery, with a bit of corn presence. A bit bitter, somewhat different from what I expected. Not enough to make it very good though.

In the mouth, it does have a bit of a presence. Not as light as I thought it might be. Again some bitterness with a slight kick.

Overall, what can I say? It's a macro and cheap and not very good. One could probably easily chug a whole bunch of these. There would be no true beer appreciation, though. Next time someone offers, I'll pass.

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
1.88/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is just the most basic and chintzy light lager you can find. If you're going to be repainting your garage or need to buy 144 beers to cover a Super Bowl party at your local AA office then it's passable but otherwise it's watery, and tastes only of grain. There are better starter beers (Coors, Boston lager, michelob, Stella Artois, Saporo, Dos Equis) and I'd choose one of them. No real reason to ever fall back on this one.

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Photo of ratfink2099
1.88/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Pours that crystal clear pale straw color, with a slight, fizzy head that diminishes instantly with minimal lacing.

I cannot detect much in the nose. A hint of pale malt, and what I can only describe as metallic, starchy corn. There may be a hop in there...

Taste follows suit. This may sound silly, but I feel like I'm drinking Old Style brewed with softened water.

Mouthfeel is exactly what you would expect from an adjunct lager: Fizzy and seltzer-watery.

Overall, this is just another cheap lager that fills the "I can slam a bunch quickly" bill that justifiably lets the rest of the world make fun of American beer. I'm prepared to get flamed for this truth.

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Photo of thydarkprevails
1.89/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

On tap in a pint at a dive bar, oh yeah. Pours a clear blonde with a small white head that quickly disappears. Aroma is corn and bread. Taste is exactly the same. Thin mouthfeel and sour aftertaste It sucks but still better than bud and miller crap..

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Photo of Lauthaha
1.9/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 24 ounce can into a 16.9 ounce beer glass.

Appearance: Whoops! Heavy pour results in MASSIVELY foamy head (four or five iinches...yikes) which actually settles into a decent two-finger head after a moment. User error there. Beer is a pale golden color with abundant carbonation which eases off after a few moments. Looks filtered, not murky at all. The receding head leaves a light trace of foam around the inside of the glass. All things considered, it looks like an adjunct lager should.

Smell: Ouch...heavy corn alcohol invades my nostrils. Absolutely no trace of anything else in my opinion. Rotting corn.

Taste: Cold, saltless urine. That's about the best I can do. Vinegar and grain battle in futility over who will have the strongest taste. In the end, there isn't much of an aftertaste, which is the best thing I can say about the taste. Even for what it is, this is poor.

Mouthfeel: Very oily...not something I would expect from a beer. Unpleasantly slimy, leaves a film after imbibed.

Drinkability: Low. Not recommendable. If it were literally ICE cold and it was being chugged, it might be a "do-able" beer. As it stands, I don't know if I can finish the tallboy.

It's cheap; a local bar sells this beer for $1 per 32-ounce pitcher. That is the only reason I could ever see myself drinking this beer again.

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Photo of ValpoExpo
1.91/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Whenever I go to a concert, this is the beer I drink. I'm always excited to give PBR one more chance as my favorite cheap beer, but it never impresses me. PBR is an extremely heavy beer and would not even consider it a session beer. I'd still rather drink Coors or RR for hours on end.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
1.91/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

PBR will get you drunk. And it's a better option than some of the other macros.

It's a pale straw yellow with visible fizz. Smell is the typical macro lager smell, some weak grains, corn, a tiny touch of hops, and not much else. Taste is just the same. Weak grains, lots of what I'm sure are adjuncts, and corn.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Drinkability? I'll reiterate. This will get you drunk. It's your standard American Macro Lager, and it just doesn't taste very good.

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Photo of aficionado224
1.91/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

To say this beer is uninspired is to put it mildly. It has so many off flavors and peculiar aftertastes, it's a wonder how they manage that in such a watery brew. There is nothing to recommend Pabst Blue Ribbon for any reason. I wouldn't buy it for myself, and I wouldn't offer it to anyone else.

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Photo of berkeleymaw
1.93/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Every time I encounter a huge PBR fan I wonder in the back of my head if I'm the unwitting victim of some kind of practical joke or social trolling. I swear that if you did a blind Pepsi-challenge style taste test most of PBR's ardent supporters would not be able to discern it from MGD or any other so-so Milwaukee adjunct.

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Photo of BGP
1.94/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

American-style lagers from macro-breweries are, by and large, as weak in terms of substance as they are dreadful to the taste. PBR, the hipster's choice, is no exception to the rule. When considered under the most positive of circumstances, PBR is a cheap beer which can be forced down with greater ease than the major of its direct competitors; however, at the end of the day, there's really nothing to appreciate about this beer.

Resembles: given the color of the beer, and the beer's extremely poor head retention... urine, I'm afraid (★)

Smells like: a bag full of week-old beer cans (★★)

Tastes like: one part "last dregs of a real lager," nine parts "water" (★★)

Overall drinkability: I have to file this one under "almost bearable," aka "once I have a pitcher in my system, I'll be used to the taste" (★★)

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Photo of bort11
1.96/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. White head that stands about a fingers width and quickly recedes to a foamy cap. Color is a clear pale yellow with lots of active carbonation.
Smell is a sweet cereal base with a slight lemony note. Taste is also a weak lemony flavor. A little bit of pepper in the finish.
Mouthfeel is light yet slightly oily.
I cold never figure out why PBR is so hot with the hipster crowd. The only reason I got this was the store was out of Hamms, and I wanted to put something in the can holder in the door of my beer fridge for Memorial Day weekend

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,477 ratings.
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