4/24/24: Pabst Brewing Company's Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer

12:45 PM

Ah, Pabst. Or, depending on when you first encountered it, PBR. Well, I guess it's always been PBR but, when I was in my undergrad, the music and art kids who drank it prominently called it Pabst.

A can of PBR

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a staple. I think I've seen it in every bar I've ever been in. Every gas station I've ever visited has has it. It's (anecdotally) as ingrained in American beer and brewing culture as AB InBev, and Miller, and Molson Coors, yet (again, anecdotally) thought of as being on a lower tier. And I've never really gotten that (well, okay, maybe it's deservedly lower than many of Miller and Molson Coors' beers, but it's definitely at least on-par with any Budweiser product).

Today, I'll drink a can and give you my thoughts.

I wanted to give you Pabst's history, but there's no "History" or "About Us" section on the brewery's website. The bottom of the homepage says it's brewed in Milwaukee, but Wikipedia disputes that. My can says Pabst was established in 1844, but Wikipedia also disputes that, so I don't know what to think.

PBR (as I'll be referring to the for the remainder of this post) is featured on the brewery's "Beer" page, where it's billed as "Always good for all the time" with an ABV of 4.7% ABV. It's a lager, because of course it's a lager.

My can's nose is light. It's white bread, rice, and a bit of malty, biscuity sweetness. That's about it. There might be a slight twinge of hoppiness, but, seriously, this smells like an American macro lager. I'm willing to bet you know that exact bouquet. Purrl doesn't like American macros--she refused to come near my open beer.

A blurry image of Purrl refusing to sniff my PBR.
This blurry action shot was the best I could get.
PBR's sweet. If you've ever added sugar to a bland breakfast cereal, it tastes like the dregs that settle to the bottom of your bowl. There's also a bit of aluminum canned water flavor, which is cut through with just a tiny bit of skunk. Then there's that warm lager taste that you get with American macros, which is something synonymous with the style.

The mouthfeel here's smooth with a strange mix of frothiness and thinness. It's hard to pin down.

When I was in undergrad, members of my D&D party would bring PBR to our sessions. This would lead, inevitably, to our DM being given an outrageously hard time as the sessions wore on (thanks to certain party members drinking more than a few pounders of the beer). Ah, the memories.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer might have, at some point, won an award for its quality, but I can't think it would now. It's fine and perfectly serviceable, but that's about it. I've purchased it before and I'll doubtlessly do so again. I'm giving it a 6.5/10. It's not my favorite American macro-style lager, but it's far from my least favorite. As they say: PBR me ASAP.

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