Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

5,494 Ratings
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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: 1,714 | Ratings: 5,494
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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Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Sampled on 6-13-07

A nicely decorated can, with the trusty blue ribbon featured prominently.

Smell is not too bad, actually. Kind of like a German pilsner, though very light.

Taste is quite good, considering. Nice malt backbone with a surprising hop balance. No super-corny macro lager at all.

Mouthfeel is good, exactly what you'd expect.

Drinkability is fantastic, this is the stuff college is made of.

Overall, one of the best, if not THE best cheap beer you can buy. Amazingly balanced, it's a very good choice. People will still give you shit, though.

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Photo of zdk9
2.42/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This was a lager which I wouldn't really enjoy drinking, but on the other hand I wouldn't detest drinking. The smell is neutral an inoffensive. The taste is sweet and malty with strong hints of corn syrup and a touch of earthy hops (probably the only macro lager with hops flavors that I can detect). The mouthfeel is overly too carbonated and sweet. I found myself unable to down larger gulps of this one as it was powerful in my throat and this is not a good thing. I might take PBR over Busch, but certainly not over a decent micro brew.

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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.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.97/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A - Pale gold, nearly colorless brew with a one finger foamy head that takes it's time reducing to a wispy haze and small collar. A small amount of dish soap lace is left on the glass. Not a pretty beer, but given the style and the price, this doesn't look half bad.

S - Vegetal, malty, and spicy aroma. Odd musky smell that reminds me of old Indian food, or the way that my apartment smells after I cook a bunch of chicken breasts to last me through the week. Mushrooms and black pepper. Rather interesting and not at all bad.

T - Olive and mushroom flavors carry over from the nose, with the addition of some peppery hops and a nasty macro adjunct flavor.

M - Light body, fizzy but not overwhelming soda-like carbonation. Nice neutral finish that lets the tiny hop flavors shine through.

D - I like this! It's a weird old-school throwback that is not really tasty, but it's cheap and much more interesting than Bud Light. In fact, this was cheaper than Bud Light at my grocery store.

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Photo of mithrascruor
2.68/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a light golden-yellow color. Very clear, and with an airy white head that turns into a lace. Laces the glass a bit too.

Smell: Light malt aroma with some grains (including a slight bit of corn). Slight metallic accent.

Taste: Malts and grains infused with metallic flavors. Generic and not bad, but way less than impressive.

Mouthfeel: Very light-bodied with ultra-minimal carbonation. Rather smooth, however.

Drinkability: Easy to drink; no problems here. Goes down fine, though it can get a tad boring.

One of the more decent of widely available American macro-lagers; nothing objectionable, but far from impressive. More affordable than BMC too. But not something to even consider getting for enjoyment at home.

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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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Photo of geexploitation
2.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear with a dirty yellow color and bright white head that fades quickly. Lots of bubbles floating upwards throughout. The nose is very mild, with sweet malts-and-grits notes, a faint herbal tea quality and little else. The palate is quite bland, with a light malt sweetness and a touch of balancing bitterness that grows toward the end. There's a hard, carbonic quality to the beer. Mouthfeel is quite fizzy with carbonation and, as expected, extremely light in body... although not too light by macro standards. Overall, this is pretty bad, and nothing that I would order or drink if I had a reasonable amount of choice in the matter. But it's not terrible by macro standards, and I can see the attraction of it given its cost.

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Photo of bozebus17
3.3/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light crystal clear straw color. A large fizzy bright white head is there at the start but quickly retreats. The color and clarity remind me of a sparkling wine. No lacing.

The scent is very faint and grassy.

Tastes slightly sweet with a bit of that macro rice flavor coming in. A small hint of bitterness is there before the end. This beer seems extremely carbonated and my whole mouth tingles after each swig. It also feels ultra-light, very watery. It goes down very smooth.

For what it is this isn't a bad beer at all. Served extra cold this beer is damn refreshing. What can I say about this beer that hasn't been said? It's been a long time since I had a macro and the urge caught me on my way home today. It'll definitely be a while before I buy it again but I wouldn't turn one down if offered. I'm drinking the next one straight from the can for the true experience.

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

At the Middle East Bar in Cambridge, MA (aka the home of PBR in Eastern Massachusetts) on 12 ounce bottle. Maybe it's 100% psychological but Pabst is one of those beers that tastes completely different depending on the serving method. Drank out of the bottle so appearance is moot. Little to no smell from the neck of the bottle. Corny sweetness with a Bill Raftery "the kiss' of weak hops from beginning to end of the bottle. There's a reason that this sells unbelievably well, and it's not just the price. I really do prefer it on bottle to even can or draft. I think the can makes it too cold and while draftwise you are at the mercy of age of keg and cleanness of line when experiencing PBR

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Photo of Clockwork420
2.3/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Heard about this one quite a bit, and got what I expected.

A-Inside can.
S-Corny kind of metallic.
T-Just about the same as the smell, very easy to drink as a starter. The corny smell and taste is easily adjustable.
M-Thin and easy on the palate. Not harsh or gagging.

D-Very easy, cheap, decent beer. Good chillin brew for you and the buddies.

Not too bad.
I still prefer colt to this.

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Photo of guitarmage
3.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pale golden yellow, seems slightly darker than others. Sudsy white head disappates quickly into a transparently thin lacing.

Smell: Faint smell, a little stinky, cabbage, musty.

Taste: Musty, cooked rice, cabbage, a quick dash of spicy hops, finishes clean and quick. No citrus, or real sweetness, kind of grainy and clean.

Mouthfeel: A tight crisp carbonation, light bodied, moderately dry, a little watery.

Drinkability: Probably one of the lightest flavored beers out of the AML group, easy to drink, not much going on.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pabst Blue Ribbon
12 oz can
Served in a pilsner glass with an occasional sip from the can

Pours a clear golden-yellow. Agressive carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass.

A fluffy bone-white head on top. Nice trails of sticky lace.

Grainy flavors with a husky quality. Clean and quite refrehing with a smooth carbonation pull. A tad watery, but not excessive. Very drinkable and even more appealing when the price is factored in.

Probably one the best economical mass-produced beers on the market. PBR is quite drinkable when it comes down to it.

Q: Drinkable in warmer weather?

A: check

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Photo of Bamabrew22
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer at all. Much prefer this over the other macros that dominate the market. Epitome of the American-styler lager. Nice appearance, straw, pale yellow in color with a light head. The smell was effervescent, with a note of hops. Not a bad tasting beer either. Tart, yet floral hop presence, not huge, but noticeable with just a hint of malt. Light on the palate, crisp. Overall, an easy drinking beer, and definitely what I reach for if nothing else is available but the standard macros. Stands out amongst American, mass produced lagers. Friends always make fun of me for drinking this, because they think that because it costs less that it is a "cheap" beer. However, if we had say PBR clydesdales, PBR lizards or other reptiles/amphibians, PBR bikini teams and commercials every 15 minutes of each viewing day, I'm sure PBR would come at a premium price. They still concentrate on making consistently decent beer as opposed to mass marketing.

It's an easy drinking, affordable beer, best enjoyed outside on a hot day. When the budget is tight and I can't do the craft beers, I'll pick up a 12-pack of this. Worth a try.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.43/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pabst Blue Ribbon, this is what my dad drank when i was a kid, it was the big boy back in the 70s in the upper mid-west. soon miller and AB took over and pabst all but disappeared.
well a friend drinks this and gave me a can because really i am a beer snob and don't drink macros. with that being said, i did find the beer enjoyable in its own way, it had a very clean aroma, little malt, a hint of butter or it could be the cooking as dinner is being made. pours a brilliant golden with a 1 1/2 finger head that leaves lacing down the side of the glass. the flavor is very clean, little malt, some sweetness, little hop spice, has a very balanced bitterness, hint of honey and graininess in the aftertaste.

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Photo of happygnome
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: pale gold color three quarter inch of head (aggressive pour) that dissapears fast leaving little lacing
s: corn grains, adjunct, very little hop notes
t: deffinate corn grain notes bitterness present seems nice
m: medium to light bodied beer with a lot of carbonation

overall this is a brew for a hot summer afternoon and for after youve already had a few

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,494 ratings.
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