Pabst Blue Ribbon Light | Pabst Brewing Company

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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 Greggors
3.45/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Light American Lager
S: Light American Lager
T: Sweet and Sour at first, followed by crisp almost German Pilsner dryness without the skunkiness.
M: Suprisingly "heavy" or "full" given the style and the carb content
D: Light American Lager with a little bite.

Conclusion: Buy a 12 pack. Go camping with a few friends. Light a fire. Shoot the empties in the morning. Don't get mad because it ain't Chimay.

Slightly less polemic abstract:

Pabst Blue Ribbon is not a bad beer. Charlie Papasian actually called it "satisfying.*" It really is complex. Which is an adjective hard to achieve when you're working with half the fermentables and a fraction of the hops of, say, a good pale.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Light is not a bad beer either. The coolest thing is that is a perfect light clone of PBR. If you hate PBR or its lighter cousin it's best that you do away with the whole Light American Lager style.

If you're standing in front of a wall of light commercial American lagers and PBR Light is on hand, I assure you it will be the best option. I'm only good at a few things, and drinking "bad" light beers is one of them. Unfortunately for my pocket book and girth, I'm also good at drinking good beers. But when I have to drink a "bad" light beer, I figure I might as well drink the best of the "bad" light beers. What'll you have?

*"365 Bottles of Beer for the Year," Workman Publishing, 2008.

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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 berserker256
2.1/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer was poured from a can into a pint glass. I poured it violently to create a head. It was white with big soap-bubble consistancy and disappeared quickly. As the head retreated to meet the surface of the beer level none of it stuck to the side of the glass. The beer stinks of musty wet hay and metal. The taste is only marginally better. Grainy yet watery as if brewed from inferior ingredients, as to be expected. Mediocre as hell. Actually, it tastes like all other cheap light beers around. I'm convinced they're all the same beer.

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Photo of kguyty
3.25/5  rDev +24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can honestly say that I am not a light beer fan. I try light beers from time to time with the slight hope that I will find a good one, but I usually end up going back to beers that are not light beers (fat beers lol).

PBR Light tastes a little like regular PBR, but is definitely more crisp and watered down. It has a decent mouthfeel, and is very easy to drink. It is what a light beer strives to be - light and easy drinking... I drank six of em in a row and did not feel as if I was the least bit full.

Not a bad beer for a light beer. I'd choose this over Bud Light or Coors Light, but for some reason I like the flavor of Miller Lite better... whatever that means...

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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 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 BoitSansSoif
2.78/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured yellow with mild cloudiness and a thick head that quickly faded. Carbonation was strong initially, but also slackened off rapidly. No lacing.

S-Grainy sweet malt and polenta, hint lemon rind at beginning that quickly faded.

T-Slightly sweet grain and corn flour, and finish hints at hops, mealy apple, and cornbread.

M-Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, and one of the aspects of this beer that renders it palatable. Carbonation is pretty good for style.

D-This stuff is nothing special of course, but for its price, it's a far better value than most of the stuff out there. It's a fair drink, it's better than most other light beers, and it goes down smoothly. This is my go-to cheap stuff.

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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 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 brjr508
3.95/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this because of the recommendation of BA and because the girlfriend is recommending I lose weight. However, this was pretty surprising. It's a shame that Miller gets so much focus in the Chicago/Milwaukee area and Pabst is nearly forgotten.

The appearance was typical macro clear, but for a light lager PBR Light loooks more like a real beer.

Smell was typical Heileman's can. A little bit of skunk, some adjuncts, but surprisingly the beer was quite fragrant, which is more than can be said for most light beers.

The taste was where I was most surprised. PBR Light tastes very similar to PBR Not-light. While some people would argue that this is not very impressive, I would also respond that this is a light beer that has characteristics of full-bodied beers.

Mouthfeel was rather full. The carbonation present made this feel like a real beer, and that feeling diminished only slightly when I allowed the carbonation to run its course in my mouth. Quite impressive given the style.

Since this is a light beer I would have to rate the drinkability as very high. It would be easy to sit down and drink this if one did not want to end up weighing upwards of 400 pounds after completing a session, but I also think that there are better beers if one wants to drink for taste instead of practicality.

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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 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 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 Badger28
3.4/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Too keep it short : For an American Light Lager pretty rich tasting, well not as good as Sam Adams Light but by far better than the more expensive light beers like Bud Light,Miller Lite,Coors Light etc.Got an 30 can pack for under 13 Dollar, well anytime again.

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

PBR LIght - 2 for 99C at the 99C store. Worth it? I don't know. I just got a sixer of Rheingold for 1.50. Thats half the price and a better beer. Oh well, The 99C store is a good place to pick up strays I haven't rated yet; a place to buy singles of beers I wouldn't dream of buying a sixer of. So it goes.

Light crystal-clear gold with hardly any sight of carb activity, with the exception of one or two stray bubbles here and there.

Nose: Hollow
Taste: Same

This beer is very chic - but, not a pleasurable experience.

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

Here we go again - take a good beer, or a bad one for that matter, and add water. Presto, Chango, lite beer. Lighter taste, smell, and calories. The thing I wonder is if I drink beer for the goodness of taste and smell, why would I want to not get those qualities. It is, of course, BTBL, but that's not much, is it?

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Photo of psugrad98
3.72/5  rDev +42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprisingly good light beer. Pale straw colored with moderate head, lace and carbonation. Light aroma of grain with traces of malt and hops. Smooth and easy drinking with slight hop bitterness balanced by sweetness derived from cooked corn. Surprisingly, this brew does not turn sickeningly sweet or disgusting as it warms up in your glass. Goes down smooth and drinks easily. Very tasty.

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Photo of texascarl
2.83/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance = pale gold, medium head, medium carbonation +

Smell = macro brew, but with a mo' bettah aroma than some other light beers.

Taste = tastes sweet but watery, light, few hops. But I won't badmouth it for being watered down PBR. Actually, watered down PBR is still lots better than several other macrolights and at least you don't pay a fortune for Superbowl advertising.

I won't damn it with faint praise here, I'll just dang it with faint praise instead. I'd much rather have a real PBR instead of a PBR Light, dang it.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
2/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Usual light beer characteristics: light colored, not overly hopped, faint hint of malt, too much carbonation. Not worth drinking, or peeing. Stick to the full bodied Pabst. This is just a watered down version.

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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 whit
3.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pale straw with a thick bubbly head that dissipates quickly. Typical American macro aroma. I'll be kind and call the flavors "subtle" and "well balanced". Actually this is a good beer, which is suprising since this beer is not advertised during the football games. I'll continue to drink Bud Light since large breasted women will be attracted to me if I consume that product.

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