Primo | Pabst Brewing Company

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

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Commercial Description
Using the original ingredients from when it was first brewed in 1897, we took the liquid back to its roots and made a highly sessionable everyday beer.
- ABV% 4.6
- Calories 134

Added by atigerlife on 07-26-2008

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 140
Photo of Bunman3
2.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best I can come up with is "The Coors Banquet" of Hawaii. I drank a tall can of this on the deck of an overpriced store on the road to Haleakala. I was pleasantly surprised - this would be fine for quaffing on the beach, but don't expect much in terms of complexity.

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Photo of ordybill
3.62/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap many years ago in Waikiki. This beer is your basic AAL straw yellow with a small white head. It has a weak beer aroma of malt but I found the flavor to be refreshing, Not a craft beer type flavor but a hot summer day session beer. I am not sure how the new brewery stateside makes it, but the Schlitz brewery had a nice flavor.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
2.25/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Never had the original brewed in Hawaii so I can't compare it to that, but it is an ok beer to drink on a hot day. It's more of a nostalgia beer to drink in Hawaii, but most people in Hawaii don't drink it. Made more for the tourist.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.63/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A rather good lager, sweet with little hop or complexity. A simple, easy drinking lager for chilling on the beech or mowing the lawn. I found it rather enjoyable- though I wouldn't seek it out

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Photo of Filippuneddu
4.5/5  rDev +54.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm normally a Heineken drinker and not a huge fan of American beers, but I really like Primo. Great taste and has a nice full bodied taste to it. I'm not really sure why it got such lukewarm reviews, but each to his own taste. As for me, I'm a big Primo fan now !

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.06/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Almost a half finger of head on a clear, medium straw colored body.
The aroma is faint overall: a little grain.
The taste is mild bitterness and a little sour with a touch of sweetness at the end. Not much to it though.
The texture is meh with moderate carbonation and light body.
This beer cannot even manage to be "light and refreshing" for the hot island/beach environment.

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Photo of leaddog
2.99/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from ABC store in Honolulu.

Appearance- Pours a straw yellow with a finger width of bubbly head.

Smell- Malts, a little apple. Nothing really special.

Taste- Sweet malts, apple, and bready.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with light carbonation. A nice crispness to this brew.

Overall- A pretty standard lager. Nothing really special that would make it stand out. Would be good on a summer day.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Lots of Hawaiian Islands references, but it's made in California, with that "pure island cane". Aw, crap, yet another thinly-veiled faux-craft offering, eh?

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden yellow colour, with one skinny finger of weakly foamy off-white head, which bleeds away with little fuss, leaving a few sparse flecks of lace as appropriately innocuous detritus.

It smells of grainy corn mash, some mild plastic notes, and a dry, earthy mustiness. The taste is a somewhat acrid graininess - some bready, some corn-fed - with some soft generic fruitiness, a twinge of PVC pipe, and dead leafy, yet somehow almost spicy, hops bitters.

The bubbles are fairly fine, cutting a thin edge to the affair, the body showing a medium-ish weight, with a subtle clingy tendency, that seems to grow imperceptibly with each sip, though overall it's plainly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the grainy sweetness tempered by a simmering zingy, metallic undertone.

Well, not too bad a rendering, especially given the style parameters - and the drinkability plays, even if the paper trail logic doesn't. Late night, need a fix at the nearby ABC store fodder, I'm guessing.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
2.55/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle to flute the beer is a clear straw golden color with excessive carbonation, a small 1 finger white head, some retention, some lacing. Little in terms of aroma, hints of pilsner grain, earthy hops, but not much really going on in the nose. Similarly the flavor is very bland, hints of pilsner grains and earthy hops, a bit of skunk to it even, finishes crisp though with a noticeable metallic character. Not much in terms of bitterness, or really flavor in general. Light bodied and well carbonated. Overall, I didn't realize this was a macro, figured it was another Hawaiian beer, bit disappointing. Won't be back.

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Photo of canucklehead
3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I kept a few big cans in the fridge while on Maui and found it to be a reasonable macro beer to start the evening or day off. The finish is a little sweet which is why I liked PBR better ( both brewed by pabsts)but still a better choice than Bud or Miller. I am not sure if Native Hawaiians really drink this stuff or it is bought by Tourists as I saw more locals with Coors than anything else

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.08/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, deep gold; a classic, rich looking lager. Bubbles are a bit toad's eye-ish, though and the ivory white head fades down to nothing quickly, and without ceremony.

Smell doesn't give you much to go on; some corn, some raw, plastic papaya, the smell of dried, uncured loofah. Grainy, but light and graceful.

Taste is pretty even-keel; a suggestion of bitterness (if someone told me there were hops in here, I'd believe them), carbonic acid, and a slightly sweet, malta goya like undertone, which is just deathly dull. That said, there are no notable off-flavors, no fermentation mistakes -- this is pretty squarely done, if uninspired.

Mouthfeel is nice and vigorous (which you'd never expect from the appearance). Lots of peppy bubbles, which goes a long way in fighting the cloying sweetness.

Overall, one of the better adjunct lagers; it makes no major mistakes, and is a far step above the Icehouses, Miller High Lifes, and other beers of that ilk. I just wish it wasn't so sweet; with a drier finish (and a hint more hoppiness), I'd happily carry this in my fridge.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.98/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoying while on a vacation in Maui....

A- Pours a slightly darker than grassy color, and is very clear. The carbonation is plentiful and aggressive, rising to the top quickly. The head is actually quite impressive, starting out about two fingers thick and eventually settling down to a thick layer over the brew itself. Lacing is average at best, as there isn't much bubbly goodness clinging to the glass. Overall a slightly above average looking brew for this category.

S- Overall weak aromas, with primary smells of grass, dry grain, sweet corn adjunct malt and just a hint of hop bitterness. Nothing much else to say here other than that this smells very much like a macro with just a slight kick.

T- Again, nothing much to report here...main flavors of adjunct....corn to be exact, with perhaps the cleanliness of rice mixed in there as well. It finishes clean, with just a slight taste of metal blended in with a faint hop bitterness. Not bad, but not great either. The aftertaste is of sweet/bitter malt....kind of synthetic.

M- Thin bodied, lots of sparkly carbonation and an adjunct laden stickiness that clings to the palate in an unforgiving manner about says it all with this one. It needs to be drunk ice cold!

O- I've definitely had worse, but I think I've had enough tropically made beers to put this right in the's not a great beer except if you are drinking it right at about 2pm in the Maui sun on the beach! I'll probably end up having more in the future but won't buy it again. It needs to be crisp and clean throughout, which this isn't....sorry!

 1,586 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.2/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Primo Bombucha

Appearance: champagne gold, huge head, and a little lacing.

Smell: grains, corn, and distant hops.

Taste: grains, corn, and faint hops.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

It goes down easy and has fairly decent flavor quality without being too watery. I would call this a hint above average.

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Photo of TippySelenoid
2.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a hotel rocks glass.

It's yellow and fizzy.

It's smell of metal and grains is unpleasant.

It's taste is not good. Cheap beer!

It's watery and thin. Highly carbonated.

I thought this was a Hawaiian beer, but thanks to its marketing it's impossible to tell otherwise.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear light yellow with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a small cap. Decent foamy curtains of lace form along the edges of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains, corn flakes, and grassy aromas. Taste is of sweet grains and corn flakes with a grassy aftertaste. This beer has a decent level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average lager. It says it’s brewed with cane sugar but there is no evidence of anything special going here.

 498 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.46/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a clear golden color. Thin film white head. Slight lacing.

Aroma isn't much. Just Linda lagerish. Needs some malt aroma.

Taste is ok. More American lager style with a bit of malt. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is pretty refreshing. Nice carb.

Overall not a bad beer. Guess I would get it when it's the beer of the month again at Wahoo's fish tacos. It's there often. Probably wouldn't buy it otherwise.

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Photo of Jemonster
3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Small bubbles and lots of carbonation. Heavy white head because of a quick pour into a pilsner glass. Very clear gold classic look.

S: Smells like corn and some sweet malt. Sweet and clean. A little sour also.

T: Lots of brown sugar up front. Clean and slightly sweet. No hops whatsoever. My girlfriend would like this. Malt and bland bread. Finishes clean with almost zero aftertaste. No complexity or interesting flavors, just simple and clean.

M: Refreshing and cool. Carbonated almost as much as a soda.

O: It's not bad. I would pick it up again for a BBQ with non-beer geeks. It's that kind of beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a pale yellow color with a short lived white head and no lacing.

S: Lots of corn sweetness and sugar sweetness, too. A bit of straw and apple juice (which gives even more sweetness). Just a light ester quality. A slightly stale feeling to the aroma.

T: Slightly bitter on the back of the throat, but otherwise it's just as sweet as the smell. A light grass and straw flavor as well. Corn and white sugar with some light grainy flavors.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Sort of falls in line with any of the other number of blah lagers.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.83/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


"With a hint of Hawaiian Cane"--

Pours a light gold, clear, head retention is actually decent, no lace. Smells like spent grains. Taste is on par for the style, light malts, grains, corn syrup and a very small sweetness. Decent carbonation level. Not incredibly drinkable or even that good. Kind of has that retro beer style going on. The guy at the store said it was an old school beer popular 50+ years ago. Pretty much a Pabst with better marketing strategy.

 469 characters

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
3.91/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You'll notice if you take the time to look, that most of the top reviewers do not vote ANY american adjunct lagers high. The point of BA is to review within the style. That's what this review is.

Poured from a bottle into a Fenway APA pint glass.

A: Looks good for an adjunct. Nice head retention. Buttery golden colored. Darker than most.

S: Smelly; pale malt and barely any hops. Not the strong point here.

T: Slightly creamy mouthfeel is complimented well by a sweet, slighly hoppy taste which finishes ultra-clean with a sweet essence. Floral and tropical fruit hints throughout. Is this really an anjunct??? This tastes pretty damn good.

D: I could easily polish off a sixer.

Value: Don't be fooled by the bad reviews. I'd like to find an american adjunct lager to beat this one.

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Photo of BDTyre
2.71/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Packaged in a lovely craft bottle with no real idea as to who actually brews this. Brewed in California for a brewery of the same name in Hawaii? Island cane sugar? Something is wrong here.

Fizzy macro lager appearance, sweet corn adjunct and sugar scent. Bland, mass produced lager. Taste is the same...corn adjunct, skunkiness, bland grassiness.

Fizzy, and uninteresting. Great for a hot day on the beach, but not anywhere near what I was expecting. Longboard is much better.

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours pale gold with white head. Nose has a bit of corn and grain. Light on the palate with an up front corn component that doesn't let much else be appreciated. Maybe some malt in there too of course, whiff of hops, light bodied, and watery. Really feel deceived with the bomber and craft-like packaging and pricing. Should have checked BA at the store.

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Photo of dfillius
3.75/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a water glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1/4 finger of head with poor retention - just a ring. Clear, nice gold color. I'd like more head with better retention please.
S: Breadiness dominates, some crisp herbal hoppiness comes through. No off aromas. Nice and simple.
T: Mostly bready with slight sweetness, not terribly complex. I'd like more hoppiness. No off flavors.
M: A bit prickly, clean, thin. A bit too watery. Smooth.
D: Good for warm days and nights. I could drink another. I'd buy it again and order another.

 529 characters

Photo of drummstikk
4.08/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! Smooth cereal grains and light adjunct body. Extremely minimal hops and light mineral yeast flavor. Like drinking a bowl of Cheerios. There are very few flavors in this beer, as others have noted, but those that remain are of high quality and intent. Color is a dark straw, aroma is of freshly-baked bread and yeast, and mouthfeel is mild and light, going down easily for a soul-nourishing and transient brew. Not too much else to say about this simple and good beer -- it is a light adjuct lager done right.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
2.35/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to July2Nov for this beer.

A- Pours a standard gold with no haze and minimal head. No lacing left behind.

S- Pretty typical malts, a little bit of sweetness and some saltiness cracker.

T- Again pretty standard for the style. Malt forward with a touch of sweetness. Maybe a little bit of corn and that's is about it.

M- Lighter body and with less carbonation than expected for the style.

D- Pretty much what you would expect from an adjunct lager. Minimal in every category but you can still put them down with ease.

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Primo from Pabst Brewing Company
2.91 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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