Home > Pale Lager > Pabst Blue Ribbon (276 of 1001)

Pabst Blue Ribbon (276 of 1001)

Rating: 2.1

A bit of an odd one this, a beer that originally hails from Milwaukee and was first brewed over a century and a half ago before falling into relative obscuring before being heavily praised by Dennis Hopper’s character in the movie Blue Velvet at the expense of Heineken. The beer is now marketed as a retro beer, commonly known as PBR, it was originally called Best Select before changing to Pabst Select and finally Pabst Blue Ribbon, taking it’s name from the numerous ‘blue ribbons’ it won at beer exhibitions in the late 19th century but I can’t imagine it winning much today, although it was apparently selected as America’s best in 1893 so it must have been doing something right. The beer is now brewed under contract from the Pabst Brewing Company (San Antonio), previously known as the Empire Brewery and after that the Best & Co. Brewery, this has been the case since 2001 and Pabst no longer owns a brewery of its own. It is a beer that I almost ordered online about a year ago only to remove it from my cart at the last minute, this year I kept it in since it features in the 1001 beers list as well as being one of the cheaper American beers to buy online; there is probably a reason for that and I imagine it will be down to the taste but despite not expecting a whole lot from this beer it is one that I’m quite looking forward to trying this one for some reason unknown to me.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Appearance (2/5): This one looks a lot like what you’d expect from a macro pale lager, it’s clear bodied and light amber to golden straw in colour with a thin, half centimetre tall head that is bubbly white. Retention isn’t the greatest with the head all but disappearing after about twenty seconds, leaving not much more than a patchy surface lacing.
Aroma (3/10): Very basic on the nose, there is some corn and grain with a lot of adjuncts coming through and a few touches of alcohol make an appearance as well; you just know this one isn’t going to be up to much taste wise if the nose is anything to go by.
Taste (4/10): Corn, lager malts and adjuncts to start, there is some sweetness and very faint grassy flavours but to be honest whilst matching the nose the beer is quite poor tasting but falling short of being undrinkable.
Palate (3/5): Light bodied, quite thin but not watery, only just though. There was a slight tang to the beer but overall it was clean and crisp with a dry finish and average carbonation.

Overall (8/20): What can I say about this one? It was pretty much as expected and not at all good, the smell in particular being a poor one but it did manage to remain at least partially drinkable, just not all that enjoyable. The taste was fairly basic and I could imagine it appealing to your macro lager drinkers due to it’s crisp, clean taste but it wasn’t a good beer at all.

Brewed In: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
Brewery: Pabst Brewing Company
First Brewed: 1844
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: BeersOfEurope.co.uk
Price: £1.69

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  1. December 24, 2014 at 12:25

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