Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) | Pabst Brewing Company

1,699 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: 1,699 | Ratings: 5,462
Photo of RossPeterson
3.14/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Straw colored, 3-finger head but no retention. Died before I could sip.

S - Nothing really stood out; Grains and malted hops. Staple beer smell overall.

T - Surprisingly suited for my tastes. Full-body for an adjunct with mild hops. If it makes sense, this was a "fresh" tasting beer with a clean finish.

M - Very thin and pretty watery, standard for adjuncts but very drinkable. Clean finish with a tint of metal...

O - #2 on my "Shit beer" list. If I need beer and I only have a few bucks, or I need to throw a party, this is one of my go-to beers. Surprisingly satisfactory and rightfully deserves a spot on the top adjuncts.

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Photo of Silverandblack5
3.57/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It excels at being both light and tasty, while remaining true to the very foundation of simplicity. Especially given the price, this beer works exceptionally well.

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Photo of El_Farto_Magico
2.03/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pretty much the only time you're going to "enjoy" one of these is at the end of the night when you've already had too much to drink. I read somewhere that every time a PBR is drank, a hipster gets his vintage bicycle.

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Photo of diamonddave
3.15/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

How bad could this be? I mean, it won the blue ribbon, right?

If you drink lots of water, your pee will look like this. Come to think of it, drinking Peeber is like drinking water. Very thin. The smell ain't nothing to write home to Mama about, either. You might as well skip that "breathe out while the beer is still in your mouth" step in the beer-tasting tips. There aren't any subtle flavor/aroma nuances to be found here.

This poured a half-inch head that was gone faster than you can say "half-inch head". Once the beer is gone, there's no sign that it was ever in the glass.

The taste is, well, not much. It's that usual grainy thing that you get with beers that cost $5.99 for 12 bottles. Sure goes down easy though, kinda like [insert victim's name]'s mom. Much better from a bottle than a can, with little (if any) difference in price.

As a responsible journalist, I'll admit my bias: this is the house beer at Nyabinghi in Youngstown, OH, which is one of my favorite clubs. Buck a can on Monday nights. Come on down and join the PB Army.

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Photo of Macdoyal
4.05/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Appearance: Maybe it's the bottle or maybe i'm just thirstier then usual but this looks a little better then last time. Then again I have been practicing my pour so that might of helped with the nice head.

Smell: I think it's just lacking any tin smell from last time. It smells lightly hoppy and very nice.

Taste: Again I think i prefer this bottle. Stays colder hence more refreshing longer. I sense the right about of hops with a nice impression of sweetness. It's very good.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is excellent and refreshing. It doesn't stick in your mouth and ends clean. I like it.

Drinkability: I can drink this refreshing beer any time. It's great with BBQ and grilled food. It's carbonation it great for celebrating events because it's a champagne of beer ... oh wait i think thats taken.

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Photo of mrsoul12
4/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's not going to win any RB awards anytime soon but, dollar-for-dollar, it stacks up pretty favorably to its immediate competition (aka American macros and other pale lagers). Aroma is weak, but slightly sweet and grainy. Flavor is very smooth and dominated with sweet malt flavor. Nothing too strong or complex but is far superior to the Bud, Coors, etc. products out there. If you can't afford the good stuff, you could certainly do worse than PBR.

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Photo of Floyd12
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass.

A- Pours a brownish gold color with a decent sized head. Good foam that quickly clears, but still manages to lace the glass nicely.

S- A semi-sweet, grainy, grassy, earthy smell to it.

T- Slight grainy hops with even slighter malt with a somewhat sweet undertone. But even an alcohol presence is detected at times.

M- A very balanced carbonation makes this beer very refreshing. The dryness is unexpected but makes for an enjoyable drink. Not watery, but definately lighter than most full beers.

D- Highest draw CHEAP. PBR is non offensive and can be enjoyed, particularly the more you have. An almost guilty pleasure of mine how much I enjoy this one. Its perfect after working outside on a hot day.

We just need the damn hipsters to give this one back so it will be more sociably acceptable to drink.

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Photo of Evansbeer
3.23/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The classic look of the can is an appeal. The red, white and blue represent an age old american traditional beer. Tastes a little more skunky than an average American beverage. A good party beer because its the best cheap beer available (beats Natural Ice 10-1). A good beer to drink your fill from.

Recommended by a college student, and a patriot

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Photo of MattyDTD
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wish it was more available in the UK as the price over here is not representative of the quality and i would like to try it on draught. Have tried both can and bottle versions and they are like regular lagers but with an extra sweetness. Can also distinctively taste corn or maize syrup. My girlfriend doesnt like beer but likes this one.

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Photo of SenorElRaz
3.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

This is the best cheap adjunct lager. Pours a surprisingly thick and creamy head, and while it is watery it still has a nice, creamed corn taste. The only real complaint I have is the inconsistent feel. I've had this beer many, many times, and sometimes it's incredibly smooth, but it often has a stinging carbonation. Still, an excellent beer for what it costs.

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
2.38/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

My fathers beer. Better than Bud and has a great look in your hand. Had my first one probably 45 years ago.

Smell-very little.

Taste-hits the spot on a hot day. Crisp, clean, bubbly. Thats about it.

Mouthfeel-not bad

Drinkability-I have to have one every once in awhile , especially during a Red Sox game while eating peanuts. Not cashews, peanuts. Or State Line potato chips. Then it works. It more of a ceremonial beer than a regular drinker.

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Photo of jballeng
3.33/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Poured a golden straw color with a large, short lived fizzy white head. Aroma of hops, corn, and subtle berry fruits. Slightly metallic.Taste accents of malt and corn. Slightly bland but better than many others for the price. Not very interesting but not bad at all. Overall, I must say that I am impressed by this beer, not simply because of the bargain price for which I bought it, but because I think it tastes good. I have heard a lot of harsh comments about PBR, but I have to say that it is, in my book, a highly underrated beer.

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Photo of austinhensley
3.82/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ah PBR. What a rich history. And by history I mean I have seen more Pabst Blue Ribbon bar signs in garages than any other brew.

From the can there is not a lot I can tell about the appearance. The smell and the taste have something in commom: nutty. The taste is so rich and flavorful I could drink this stuff all day. Drinkability: drinkable. Mouthfeel: not thin but not thick.. Just right.

For the price can't be beat.

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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 Acho
3.4/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a nice macro for the price. 18 packs were what got me going for the last two, nearly three summers.
Yellow transparent colour with a white typical head that sticks around for a little.
There is a smell, very faint but a bit grassy, not unpleasant. The taste is much better than any other American macro lager and the crisp mouthfeel makes you want more and more.

Overall the best cheap beer I have had in USA, quite worth it.

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Photo of hopfiend666
3.51/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: crystal clear yellow beer, with carbonation bubbles, not much head

Smell: smells like spilt beer on a tile floor the night after a rowdy party.

Taste: spicy, watery, but better than budweiser.

Mouthfeel: watery, light, well carbonated

Overall: this is a good session beer, drink 12 of them and you won't have a headache the next day, you will actually feel good.

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Photo of orcsinspace
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In a complicated world where a beer can only be considered "good" if it has chocolate or gingerbread, or some other things that do not belong in my beer, PBR is a breath of fresh air. As far as American Adjuncts go, this is neck in neck with the gold standard, Budweiser (sorry beer snobs), but PBR has a little more flavor.

It smells like beer. Everything you would expect: a little yeasty, a little malty, and not really over the top with hops. It has a balanced smell that does not smell stale like some other adjuncts can, and it is fairly subtle.

The taste is classic, and reminds me of a simpler time when beer was affordable for everyone and was not becoming increasingly gentrified: not too bold, not too watery, but just in the middle. The reason I like adjuncts is because they are very neutral beers on the whole; there is not an over the top taste that can burn one out quick, and there is not a taste that really has to be acquired. PBR nails the archetype of the adjunct, and I have bought 12 of them for less than a tall draft of beer that tastes like burnt coffee at the local craft beer bar down the street.

One thing I have noticed is that the beer market has trends, just like everything else. A lot of the microbrews that were big a decade ago went the way of Zima, and I imagine that the majority of the ones popular at the store now will as well. One thing is certain though: if I want a real tasting beer without gimmicks and pretense, I can always count on PBR.

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Photo of EricLiverpool
4.27/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another good, honest American Lager. The reputation it has as a "cheap beer" is really a shame. In my opinion there's a big difference between cheap and inexpensive.

Either way, I'm glad it's getting a big revival.

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

This is one of the best mass produced beers I have run across. I prefer it to many of the others in it's class. I feel it packs more flavor and color then many of it's competitors. It pours a nice yellow and has a faint citrus taste to go along with it.

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Photo of fff
3.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Like any other American lager, it's light yellow, thin head, little lacing.
S- Not nearly as bad as other selections, but nothing exceptional. There's no need to smell a PBR, I promise.
T- This, in combination with price, is what sets PBR above the rest of the pack. Not a great beer, but not a bad beer either. It's got body and substance, unlike other budget selections.
M- Like any other beer, maybe a bit fuller.
O- PBR is a good beer for a great price. I get it for $1.25 a pint at the local bars, cheapest thing on the menu and probably the best "go-to" beer available in my area. When drinking on a budget, you can't really beat a good old peeber.

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Photo of chrhowe
3.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I think anyone involved in this website would define themselves as an individual passionate about great tasting beer. And the American Adjuct Lager is probably toward the bottom of our lists if we were to choose which beer we would drink.
However, if I may be somewhat "cliche" for moment, considering the holiday....
I watched fireworks from my driveway tonight with my family and neighbors and there clinched in my hands was none other than an ice cold PBR. Pabst, in my opinion, remains one of those bulwarks, that has become part of American history and tradition. Most of us grew up watching our fathers grasp can after can of this stuff, especially on hot summer days after the grass had just been cut. I would bet that almost every one of us "cut our teeth" on Pabst or one of the many adjucts in its category trying to steal sips of it when Dad wasn't looking. I guess that's why this sense of nostalgia has hit me like a bomb tonight. PBR isn't a great beer, its a decent beer considering the price, and a good beer if considering the category it resides in, probably at the top of American Lagers.
So, yeah I was happy to have an American classic in hand to celebrate our independence.
I never really planned on reviewing this beer. I've had it many times before and most definitely will again. I agree with almost all of the previous reviews for this brew. But, I felt that sense of pride sitting there celebrating the independence of still the greatest nation on earth and enjoying a classic american beer with some friends even if it wouldn't have been the first beer I would have picked in the first place.

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Photo of irishman06
3.41/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beats all the other lagers in the mainstream market. My choice for a simple, refreshing American Macro Lager. I'd choose this over a Bud of Coors any day. Crisp, clean, and refreshing. Perfect for a large outdoor gathering or BBQ. Easy on the wallet as well. A winner.

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Photo of vikingloki
2.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ever since PBR won the Gold Medal at the 2007 GABF, I've been interested in trying it. I was looking for a CHEAP summer lawn mower beer, and I can say, PBR does the job and fits the bill.

$11.50 a case of cans.Perfectly good for those hot humid summer sit outside and sweat days. I am a homebrewer, I can't even make my own that cheap.

Pours yellow and fizzy into a pint glass, huge white head that rapidly disappears and leaves little lacing. No real smell. No apparent hop flavor, it's mildly malty. Best when very cold.I can drink a six pack easy and will have no ill effects, in fact, I'll be sober in a couple of hours.

I've had everything from St Bernardus Abt 12 to Victory Prima Pils, German, English, Belguim and even Norweigian. Thrilling to find a cheap enjoyable drinkable beer.

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Photo of rrob311
2.88/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is available at most places.

A- Appearance is normal for this type of beer.

S- Not too much smell too it.

T- This beer doesnt have much flavor, a little metallic, but not offensive.

M- mouthfeel is normal.

D- I can easily clean off a six pack of this. I probably wouldnt buy it more than 2 times a year but its relatively smooth and a good beer to have when you want to put away a few.

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Photo of ghebb
3.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap @ the Other-Side cafe in Boston.

Nothing special, just an easy drinking American-Style Lager. I think PBR has become more trendy lately, as the price of a 30-rack has went up from $13 to $17. Still, its cheaper than the big 3, and definetely better as well. Seems to be hoppier and creamier on tap than from the can or bottle. Solid choice when you're low on funds.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) from Pabst Brewing Company
3.01 out of 5 based on 5,462 ratings.
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