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

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: 1,704 | Ratings: 5,474
Photo of KevinB
3.02/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the original big 3 Bud, Schlitz and Pabst, before Miller and Coors got in the mix.
I read Fred Pabst got the non-existent ribbon in a contest, which had a questionable scoring system to begin with, by swinging votes away from A. Busch's Bud at the last minute.
When it's comes to cheap macros I'm a Schaefer and Schlitz man, Piels is a nice all arounder, and Genesee Cream is my all around fav, but usually PBR is universally available all over the place and is an easy go to.
Appearance is a typical straw color with a foamy white head. I gave this one the royal treatment by pouring it in a pilsner glass, I usually drink these straight out of the can pulled from ice.
Smell is grainy, sweet and corny.
Taste is decent, slight sweet maltiness, faint hops with corn and grain.
Mouthfeel is fizzy, light and crisp.
Overall this is a decent beer for the money,it seems to get either way too much praise or gets relentlessly slammed, the truth lays somewhere in the middle. This beer is meant for drinking, it's very drinkable.

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Photo of illidurit
2.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy, overcarbonated, smells like creamed corn. Taste is corny but with a sweet finish that makes it pretty easy to drink. Some graininess, moderately refreshing. Pretty crisp. I doubt anything more has to be said about this ubiquitous beer, it's good for a macro but that's it.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Drank straight from the 12 oz. can. The label assures me that "this is the ORIGINAL PBR Beer." I don't think I had any doubts to begin with hahaha... The label also declares that PBR was "selected as America's Best in 1893." 114 years later, I doubt that's still the case, but here goes...

Smell: Typical macro beery smell, but somehow seems "fresher" than your average BMC. I'm not a fan of macro smells, but this one is pretty unoffensive in that department.

Taste: Mmm Mmm Beer... But seriously you got your run of the mill grains in here, but again with a "fresh" sense. Hint of metallic flavor from the can. Not much of an aftertaste to speak of. A refreshing one on a long hot Tallahassee summer day. Sometimes a simple, not complex beer like this in nice to clear the mind...

Drinkability: I could put away a whole case of this stuff... and I probably have at some point. At 4.7% this stuff is like drinking water compared to some others I've had... Of course, that's probably the reason I have this beer gut...

Notes: It all comes down to price here... and for the price, this one is pretty damn good. It's a bit more than 50 cents per can at my local grocery store, and it's worth every penny. Perfect on gamedays before going into the stadium, I would take PBR over Bud, Miller, Coors, Schlitz, Milwaukee's Best, etc. etc. etc. any day. The Best of the Bad, PBR still reigns after all these years.

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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 ndekke39
2.38/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank this from a 12 oz. can, poured into a pint glass. Pours a clear, pale yellow with a foamy white head that dissipates almost immediately. Can barely smell anything. Taste begins alright, centers around the malt, but then it drops out altogether. No aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a tad fizzy, but not much else. Easily drinkable, not altogether bad, but there's just nothing much to it.

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Photo of Badgersno1
3.27/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one because I just wanted something refreshing after yard work, its a beer that I've passed over many times, but I wont anymore if I'm looking for a good all purpose beer, and the price can't be beat. I think its a lot better the the big three.

Poured from a 16 oz. can to a pint glass

Appearance: Pale gold, in the beginning of the pour the head is big then quickly dissipates, some lacing but not much

Smell: Grainy, some hops hit the nose

Taste: Light, grainy,crip and pretty good for a macro

Mouthfeel: Light, decently carbonated,

Drinkability: Very drinkable, refreshing

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.26/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow with a highly carbonated white head. In the nose is European hops and slightly skunky. It tastes of a smooth sweetness and a small bitter end. Smooth, dry end, and no aftertaste. I think it might be the hoppiest of the big 5. Refreshing and I alway sing in my head every time I drink this "The beer that made Milwaukee famous, made a fool out of me!"

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Photo of kguyty
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have got to be honest... I hated this beer when I first tried it. After trying other American macros, this one unquestionabally beats the others (Coors, AB, Miller). No, it is not the most complex beer out there, but if you want a decent tasting cheap beer, this is the beer for you. Perfect for a warm day...

I have often wondered what the original formula tasted like when it was actually brewed in Milwaukee, not San Antonio...Can anyone provide me with this information?

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Photo of woodchuck69
4.4/5  rDev +46.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cans, cans, cans is the way to go with PBR! 16oz and 24oz. For some reason it just doesn't taste the same out of the bottle and I've only had it on tap once and it was _nothing_ to write home about. I recently moved to Colorado and before I knew anything about their laws, I picked up a 12 pack of cans at a grocery store only to find out it's the 3.2% stuff. Not the same goodness as the original can.

Heads and shoulders above the big 3 macros. A fine brew for an afternoon thirst and goes along with most foods just fine. Excellent at 8am with a re-heated mesquite grilled steak leftover from the night before.

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Photo of BeerDreadz
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 onz amber bottle with no freshness date.

The appearance is a pale yellow color (classic american lager color) with a white head that go away very fast.

In the smell grains and some hops not a lot but some there.

The taste is not that bad, hops and there in there flavor which is good, but i taste some corn and some carbonation also(that i don''t like in a beer)

Notes : where i buy this beer there's sign of Pabst that says "Viva la Beer" that makes me think "isn't this the most patriotic beer?" , i don't think the sign was a good marketing strategy.

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Photo of flexabull
2.46/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear yellow color with a nice large white head.

Aromas are funky, kind of sweet and corn like.

Taste is dry and crisp. There is an underlying sweet maltiness, with some corn like flavors. Finish is flat and uninteresting. Not bad, but not good either.

Mouthfeel is actually ok. Pretty decent full feeling in the mouth for such a lean beer.

Drinkability is so so. I am not against the idea of Macro Lagers, some I don't mind drinking. This is one that I would probably pass on again. Not as clean and refreshing as some of the others in the style.

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Photo of berserker256
2.22/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Why do we even reviews beers like this? Schlitz, Blatz, Pabst, Stroh's, Hamm's, Old Milwaukee, Natural Light, Red Dog, Old Style, Milwaukee's Best, etc. I know what I'm buying when I buy a 30 pack block for $11.99. These beers are for when you want to go for quantity and not quality. These beers are for those lucky enough to be young and in college. These beers are not meant to be premium beers worthy of being compared to carefully brewed microbrews. Bitching that these beers don't taste great is like bitching that the 1987 Ford Escort you just bought doesn't have the speed and handling of your new BMW.

Anybody who expects their Pabst to taste like a Sam Adams needs a good punch in the throat. And perhaps an eye poke... Three Stooges style.

In conclusion, these beers have their place in our world. God bless them, every one.

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Photo of musicjustintime
3.25/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Haven't had PBR in over 6 years....back when I was 26, and a "beer novice" to say the least.

Pour this? Why the hell would you? It's an American classic, that has very little flavor...a tiny hop "bite" in the finish...and is, in my opinion, very smooth and poundable. Now like $16/30pk, and was only $10 the last time I bought it...again, 6 years ago. Why the hell are they raising the price of this?! Anyway, I'd recommend it for a cheaper than B, M, C, etc...spacer brew. Not bad. I remember seeing empties of these around the house from my dad when I was little! Brings back memories of the old man. He drank anything cheap...but AMERICAN! I'd go back to this again, and sooner than 6 years....but I can see that I really didn't miss alot in those 6 years of not having PBR! Don't be too hard on it, though. Remember what it is...and that it DID win a blue over a hundred years ago....but it MUST be the same recipe, right?! Have a PBR if you're into the macro lagers and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Ciao for now my beer-drinking, alcoholic friends!! Cheers!

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Photo of FriedGold2010
1.23/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Terrible. Absolutely terrible. The only fans I know of this beer like it because its such a joke. The flavour has a faint maltiness that's mostly not present and no lace. It's mouthfeel is less viscous than water, the over-carbonation stings the tongue, and the skunkiness is UNREAL. It was a cross between rancid gone-off cocktail olives and the aftertaste of oral surgery. I found a sort of bitter aftertaste that left me far thirstier than a beer should. This beer has only served any purpose after many rounds of scotch and Guinness Extra Cold when one is still thirsty but broke, going at $3 a pitcher. Fans of craft beers, even American macro should stay away.

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Photo of supercolter
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ok taking into account the style, this beer is now my second favorite macro. Leinenkugels has a bit more flavor, but you'll have to venture up north for that.
Anyways, appearance is average for the syle, not a lot of head or lacing.
Smell is difficult to detect, a bit of malt, some corn and a touch of hops.
Taste is a bit more fruitful, not literally, with a more friendly malt seeping through.

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Photo of Cresant
2.45/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass but I felt like I should be drinking it straight from the bottle, that's what's appropriate for the style right? The body was a clear, light yellow. The fizzy white head evaporated quickly, leaving a ring of foam around the top. There were active random bubbles rising throughout the drink.

Smell was mildly vegetal. Ever so slightly chemical. Not really much smell at all.

Taste was not really of malts nor of hops. Lightly organic, but more texture than flavor. It was quenching with a light, muted bitterness in the quick finish.

Mouthfeel was thin to medium in body with high carbonation. Appropriate to style and non-offensive.

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Photo of dren
3.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Went for my usual case of Schlitz and CVS was all out so I turned to a 12 pack of PBR for under 6 bucks. What a deal...

The bottles are cool because they have playing cards under the cap. We've played some side games durring a night of poker with this beer.

Pours a piss yellow not unlike many of the other macros. A very thin head even though I poured this violently in my pilsner glass. Quite a bit of carbonation, just no head...sort of like marriage.

The smell is very weak. Smells like sweet corn cotton candy if anybody ever made such a thing. Not skunky, fairly pleasing, just not very strong.

Tastes of sweet corn, almost like Fritos minus the salt. I am still searching for the hint of hops others have said exist. I want to say it's in there, but I can't find it.

Fairly carbonated and just about medium boddied. Not bad in this department.

This is liquid Fritos. Even the aftertaste reminds me of the Frito aftertaste. I like it. Better than the big three. I still favor Schlitz far more over this brew, but this is still a good choice if looking for a hot summer day cheap throw back beer.

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Photo of cyrenaica
1/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This brew was the laughingstock at my graduate school department. I avoided it as long as I could but alas, I did eventually try it. It was rank right out of the bottle, and thankfully it had a more yellowish tinge than some other brews...and that's a very minor thankfully. There is no discernable smell to speak of nor is there any discernable taste. The mouthfeel is very watery with hints of carbonation. Overall this is not a beer that I would try again, nor is it a beer that I would recommend to others.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.45/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

PBR = probably the best macro lager out there. Pour is a golden, carbonated, average appearance. White head of a decent size that fades somewhat quickly. Smell is of grain and malts with a bit of hops in there, at least more noticeably so that other macro lagers. Taste is much less watered down and actually contains some decent flavor for what is there. Slightly bitter hops and more grain and malts, somewhat sweet. Mouthfeel is light, refreshing, and because this beer has flavor, it's much more balanced and contains some substance. Drinkability, considering all other aspects of this beer, is good. That's hard to say for most other macro lagers, yet somehow I can't deny this one a 4. Cheap and better than decent. I see why this one still wins its fair share of awards.

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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!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 16oz. can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep yellow color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, corn, grain and a touch of hops.

T: The taste doesn’t seem to have much to it and contains mostly grain and corn. It has the usual macro sweetness but it’s very faint. The malt character is thin and there’s very little hops presence.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, it’s all right for an inexpensive beer but there are certainly much better beers out there even within the style.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

First time in about 20 years that I tried a PBR.

OK I drank it out of the can so I can't comment on the appearance. I suggest you do the same. And make it ICE cold!

I was tired and thirsty after a couple hours of karate class. I sped from class to the evening's boccie match after changing out of my sweat-drenched clothes.

My partner had the foresight to bring some PBR and some Sam Adam's offerings. I said I was thirsty and he said "Good, here's a PBR..."

It was cold as hell and it went down smooth as hell. A nice light malt/adjunct flavor, no bitter finish and definitely thirst-quenching. I had another before switching to something else.

The 30-pack price is unbeatable for a beer that beets Miller Lite and Bud/Bud light hands down.

I might just stock up on this myself next time I shop for beer.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into pint glass, no freshness date.

A:Pours a pee yellow as to be expected, very carbonated with a big bubbly white head the dissapears into a thin ring around the glass in a few seconds, looks like all the other macros out there so I gave it an average rating.

S:Skunk aroma up front but behind that is a nice bit of malt presence hidden behind cooked corn and grains, a bit better smelling than other macros out there, but still does not blow me away.

T/MF: Very carbonated up front with a taste that lingers on the tonge, do not finish as clean as other macros. The taste is also a bit more complex, the cooked corn flavors that define most macros are present here but paired with a nice bit of malt sweetness along with a faint hop nibble one the back end.

D: Very drinkable and better tasting IMHO than most other macros out there, also considerably cheaper (30 cans for 10.99 as opposed for 13.99 for 24 cans of Bud or Miller) always will be my first choice for cheap macros.

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Photo of giblet
2.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this is the brand that my grandpa used to drink. i am sure it was much better than it is today. this was cheap. it worked very well for our cookout. it was 90 degrees out and we had some grilled pork. this beer was well iced in a cooler and it was very good for that.

i had maybe 10 of them and it was refreshing.

not bad for a macro.

suckem up and movem out!

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Photo of gotweid
3.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5 I'm reviewing PBR. But I must say, its' really good for what it is...a cheap, let's drink a bunch, don't give a care beer. It's like saying "Airplane" and "Gone With the Wind (or whatever oscar winning movie) are both great movies. It's good for what it represents. Onto the review. I poured one from a can (drank the rest of them from the can) and it actually had a really big head. It dissipated rather quickly. Verry yellow golden...typical of this kind of beer. The beer had little aroma but had decent body and taste. Not much of an aftertaste and they can go down rather quickly. Much better than the other mass produced swill that dominates sales. People laugh at it, but this is a classic American brew that is good for what it represents. It's obviously not "complex", not one of our "comfort" beers or the beers we love and brew. But it has it's place as on of the better, if not best, of the cheap brews. Chug em baby.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,474 ratings.
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