Pabst Blue Ribbon Light | Pabst Brewing Company

50 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Light Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.19%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2001

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 124
Photo of Knapp85
2.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found a can in a friends fridge last night, figured I'd give it a go since I had never had it before. The pour was actually kind of impressive there was a big white foamy head on it white the liquid remained a very pale looking yellow. The smell was of sweet corn and a touch of malts. The taste was light of course but had an ok flavor for being a generic light lager. The mouthfeel was carbonated and a little tingly nothing over the top at all here. Probably won't ever drink it again but I enjoyed trying it.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't seen the light version of PBR around to often but it showed up at a party I was at. Tastes very similar to PBR regular, which is good because I find that better than the usual Bud/Coors/Miller. It's easy to drink, cheap, and not awful tasting.. what else can you want when its $12 a 30?

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Photo of zeff80
2.54/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - 12 oz can poured into a pint glass. Golden yellow color, highly carbonated with a small head.

S - Smelled of corn and grains. No skunk!

T - Had a faint hop-like quality to it. It wasn't watery like most light lagers.

M - It was crisp and light bodied.

D - I wouldn't get it every time but given a choice over a BMC or PBR, I'll grab the less expensive/better tasting PBR Light.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.21/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very light gold color with a large white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, adjuncts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready, watery and a little sweet with the flavors of adjuncts, grain and barley. There's a very mild hops presence that brings a little balance. The after-taste is faint but slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, very light body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean finish.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily because there isn't much to it, not filling at all, mild kick, this is your stereo-typical light beer, it's very poundable but only because there's so little substance.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For Macro Smackdown XIII I've decided to compare the light lager versions of two pretty decent standard lagers. Several things make this head-to-head interesting. One is that I gave Pabst Blue Ribbon and Heineken Lager identical scores of straight 3.0s. Another is that this beer is the light version of an American macro lager and its competitor is the light version of a Euro pale lager. I hope the beers themselves are at least semi-interesting.

Pale gold with a few fine flecks that indicate a lack of filtering. It's difficult to tell for certain, but I believe this beer is a fraction less pale. The cap can only be described as dingy white, almost light gray. It looks pretty decent otherwise. An acceptable amount of splotchy lace finds its way to the glass.

I smelled skunk of crown cracking, although I'm pretty sure it was emanating from the green-bottled Euro. PBR Light's nose is simple and grain-like with almost no appreciable hoppiness. Its less assertive nature makes this category a draw since the more aromatic HPLL doesn't use that advantage to its... uh... advantage.

This is amazing. The two flavor profiles are clearly different, yet there's no real difference in quality as I see it. This beer is very slightly more grain-like and its competitor has a touch more hop flavor. Otherwise, they might as well be the same beer. With no dating available it's hard to tell for sure, but I get the sense the Heineken product is a little fresher.

The mouthfeels are indistinguishable from one another. They're both light, as befits the style, and they're both moderately carbonated. Did Pabst and Heineken Nederland collaborate prior to releasing their respective products? I'm pretty sure that PRB Light has been around for a while and that HPLL is a fairly new release.

At this point it looks as though the scores will be the same all the way down the line; a first for any of the 22 head-to-head matchups that I've done so far. I need to break the tie, though, because I've just decided on a new rule that says there has to be a winner. And the winner is... the other beer (see that review for the reasons). Pabst Blue Ribbon Light is a decent light lager that I could drink if I had to. Obviously, that puts it comfortably ahead of any of the light lagers from BMC.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.77/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is an extremely light yellow/gold color with an initially fluffy white head. That head dies down quickly.

S: The smell is sweet, mostly of corn and grain. There isn't much in the way of hops, if anything. There's still something "off" about it, though.

T: The taste is quite similar to the nose. The beer is sweet, light, and crisp. The flavor is still lacking in hops, but also is missing the off-putting qualities of the nose.

M: Light, thing bodied, and highly carbonated.

D: Not quite as good as "regular" PBR, but certainly not the worst light lager I've ever had. It's something you'd consider on a hot summer day when you're out and about, but definitely not something I'd reach for routinely.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.25/5  rDev +24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

CAN you believe it?!? The CANQuest continues and I am finding new CANs more and more frequently. I scored this up in Providence, RI on Sunday while coming home from the Maine Brewers' Festival in Portland.

I got a finger's worth of rocky, bubbly bone-white head with low retention. Color was a very light golden-yellow with lots of fizzy bubbles and NE-quality clarity. Nose was lightly sweet with a light cereal/adjunct quality. Mouthfeel was medium with a slight taste of apple cider. Not bad and actually tending towards dry. I was not really happy with the effervescence of the finish, however. It was so spritzy that it killed what little taste I had experienced on the tongue. Still in all, not bad for a macro light lager.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.8/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Throw back brews, trendy hipster canned PBR does well. But why do they have to make every varietal of the same beer? Fizzy yellow beer, pale pissy golden or apple juice if you wanna be PG about it. Minimal specks of lacing left after the bright egg shell white head fades, oh so quickly. Aroma has cooked veggies and cereal notes going down efficiently enough to be classified as an industrial lager. No reason to go for this brew but for 5.99 a 12 pack of cans I had to grab it. Now I have something in my fridge to offer the folks who couldn't give a shit about my beloved micros. Don't get me wrong I still try to convert but this is a better alternative then them clearing out my DBF. Flavor is pretty much a watered down slightly metallic cooked veggies in this case corn and rice show up hard core. No real hop flow but I wasn't expecting one, I still can enjoy a PBR with the best of 'em but this one leaves much to be desired. Mouthfeel is carbonated water, carbonation levels a bit much will bring the Barney belches in no time. Drinkability overall could be pretty wreckless, but I'm not in the mood for a White Trash Wednesday party like I would have been back in college.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can.

Smells like the original. PBR.

Taste is of light grains. Cooked corn. Nothing really astringent, or out of place. Then again, not much there in the first place.

Mouthfeel is slick and fizzy.

Drinks like water. A bit better than water, since it contains beer like ingrediants. Drank side by side with Pabst Ice. This one drinks easier.

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Photo of ZAP
3.38/5  rDev +29%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update 3/24/06-

This really stikes me as one of the fuller bodied and flavored light beers. I would imagine it would fare quite well in a macro blind taste test with astute beer drinkers....corn and cooked vegatables on the nose are a little strong but other than that it has some nice qualities for the style....
An OK light beers...pretty unoffending

I was checking out of the local liquor store the other day and saw this on sale...8 bucks for a case of longnecks....I haven't seen prices like that for any beer up here since...we'll I've never seen prices like that....Old Mil runs 13 bucks a case to give you an idea...anyhow I gave it a shot and did not get burned...

Pours a light gold..darker than most light beers....slight white head...nose is corny adjunct....body is limedium....very easy drinking though if you're thirsty...I had three after basketball yesterday and three more after a little hockey today....very nice thirst quencher...sure I'd prefer a Hefe but this comparatively speaking stacks up to a lot of light beer out there...Flavor profile has some sweetness to it if you're really thirsty

You can do much worse than this....and for $8 a case I will buy more for certain occasions....A decent light beer....not up there wtih SA (or even relatively close) but on the next tier..seems watery at times when I haven't just played sports....the price was right...the product was OK in the right situation....Not a beer I could enjoy by itself after work....more of a thirst quencher than anything..

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.25/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear golden color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of weak biscuty malt with a significant amount of corny spiciness. The taste is like the aroma, but without the malt tones. Really all I taste is the adjunct. The mouthfeel is watery thin, and over carbonated. Overall, this isn't the worst light lager I've tasted, but it is still tough to drink

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Photo of garymuchow
1.36/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Very light malt aroma. Very light to pale gold color. Medium head, with average retention. Light on taste, no dryness, no crispness, really not much to it. Heavily carbonated, yet very thin mouthfeel. Beer flavored water is probably most apt.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somehow I guy that I've tailgated with has his tailgate sponsered by Pabst.

A- Pours a bright, clear goldish color. Thin white head pretty much no retention or lacing.

S- Smells of grains, maybe a touch of a sour fruit but thats very faint if at all there.

T- Grain and corn not too much else.

M- Crisp and clean, lighter in body and carbonation is pretty much every where.

D- Nothing to write home to at all. I'd say its better than most other lighter marco beers...but that's not saying much either.

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Photo of Floydster
3.32/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce can from a six pack from a liquor store near my apartment

Poured this into a chilled glass and was very golden yellow with no head really

Taste is watered down, but still very good for a light beer

Could drink of lot of these because they are much lighter than normal PBR

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Photo of emmasdad
3.16/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to my neighbor, I had a can of this one tonight. Although it was 4 months past the best by date, it tasted as it always had: about 95% of a PBR. Poured a light to medium gold with a large white head. Aromas of corn and freshly cut grass. On the palate, highly carbonated and light bodied, with hay, corn and light malt. lead to a rather bland tast.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
1.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer sucks in every facet of sucking.

Looks like dishwater.

Smells like nothing

At least it is 10$ for 30 cans.

Everything else about is not worth reviewing.

On par with Natty light but cheaper.

Tastes like beer was mixed water, soaked up by a rag, and then wrung into a glass.

Easy to drink because it is so light and thin.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.24/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours the palest of yellows into my mug. Large head disappears quickly. Pretty standard light lager look.
S- Smells like a farm. Corn, grain and that dreaded metallic smell. The smell isn't as bad or offensive as many light lagers.
T- Tastes like it smells. Just like a bowl of liquified cereal with a slight metal "off" taste. Maybe a little better than the average light lager.
M- Watery, as to be expected. Carbonation is decent. Leaves a not great sticky feeling.
D- For what it is it is great. My favorite light lager. Better for grill-outs with non-craft drinkers than bmc products. This one has more positive aspects and less artificial/adjuct/metal taste.

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Photo of bditty187
2.53/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is okay. I hated the metallic smell that creped out of my glass. The metal did cover up the corn (and unfortunately the subtle hops and malt smell as well). The taste is simple, there is some “beer” flavor, and it didn’t taste half-bad. As Light beer goes it is drinkable without losing much. Maybe the fact it is heavily carbonated hides some of the flavor flaws.

Better than the more popular light beers. You know which ones I’m talking about…

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Photo of secondtooth
2.69/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a pale straw gold, with lots of quickly-subsiding white foam. There's actually some attractive and detailed lacing here on my glass, too, believe it or not.

Aroma is adjunct corn and grainy malts. Nothing more, nothing less. Standard.

Taste is light, as expected, and even watery. The overall notes I get are rice and corn malts, though there seems to be a slight (ever-so-slight) touch of citrus hops near the finish.

Solid enough for the style, and this is one I can knock back easily. Don't go in expecting a world-class craft beer, and PBR Light works just fine.

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Photo of gordavidson
1.95/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

1000th review.
~18 year old can stored in warnerry's grandparent's refrigerator. Thanks to warnerry for sharing!

Appearance- Pours a slightly hazy yellow with tons of tiny floaters. The thin white head settles to a ring and is kept alive by a few streams of carbonation rising from the middle of the glass(?).

Smell- Surprisingly fruity with notes of apples and pears. There is something a little astringent in here as well. Definitely different.

Taste- Kind of nice right up front- almost a little champagne-like. Things quickly go south from there. The sweet fruity flavors quickly turn astringent and metallic.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated up front but it becomes a bit messy on the finish. There is a very odd and dry finish to it. Weird and itchy.

Overall- Definitely a different beast than it once was. It isn't really drinkable considering the odd mouthfeel and flavors, but it was fun to try.

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Photo of rye726
1.7/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This is a really cheap light beer that compares to most others in the category. Usual light yellow color has a fizzy white head. The nose and taste are quite hard to decipher. If anything, some rice/corn water. Light body leads to below average drinkablility.

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Photo of Rayek
2.35/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'd never had PBR light. And then I volunteered for the company softball team....

Anyway, PBR Light is pretty much regular PBR, only lighter. My sense is that they simply take the regular beer and dilute it, but maybe I'm wrong. It pours the same pale straw color with the same short-lived head, while leaving no lace behind. It smells and tastes like your basic macro. Cooked veggies, straw and a bit of metal from the can are pretty much it. Overall, the flavor and aroma experience is more pronounced than most light beers, which I think is a good thing. The super light body and seltzer carbonation make PBR Light go down quick.

PBR Light is better than Bud Light, et al, but that doesn't mean it's a good beer. It's simply one of the better examples from a mediocre field.

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Photo of mentor
2.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can provided amid a bunch of stuff given to me for volunteering at 2005 GABF. Thanks, I appreciate the opportunity. The stamp on the bottom reads 12195 A80651. Pours a really fizzy one finger white head. Most of the head settled before I was able to finish the pour. The beer is crystal clear and very light straw in color. Smells are very mild. A hint of tin-hops and a malt sweet that comes across as kinda honey-like. The taste is primarily carbonation with some iron and a late hint of malt sweet that has some red apple skin quality. Could be some hop floral in the aftertaste, but everything here is so faint it's hard to tell. Water-like mouthfeel and heavily carbonated. Better than I was expecting, but not something I'd ever spend money on. Lose some of the carbonation and I might increase the drinkability rating.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.05/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very, very pale crystal clear yellow with a small white head that disappears to nothing very fast.
Aroma is slightly sweet and fruity and definately 'American Macro"...possibly because of the adjuncts or because of a common yeast.
Taste is actually more flavorful than most light counterparts...sweet malt, a little corn....
Aftertaste is a little cloying on the tongue but still drying.
A decent effort by Pabst at a poor style

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.1/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A welcome change from most light beers. Poured out a pale light color, and had a short lived white foamy head. Tasted like a (suprise!) light version of PBR. Still a very flavorful, but a slightly stronger alcohol flavor than most light beer.Got a 30 pack case for ten bucks at my local liquor store and feel it was well worth it for the price. Worth a try if you are a macro brew fan like myself.

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Pabst Blue Ribbon Light from Pabst Brewing Company
2.62 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
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