Brewery: Pabst Brewing Co. | Beer: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Style: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 4.7% | IBUs: ~12
Serving Method: 16 oz. can poured into Pilsener glass
Sales peaked in 1977 at 18 million barrels. Over the next few decades, sales dropped off over 90%, getting to the sorry state of under one million barrels by 2001. However, the brand experienced a revival over the coming years, thanks to popularity amongst hipsters (not judging) yearning for an earnest, traditional, and cheap alternative to Bud/Miller/Coors. PBR is now a budget beer pitched at a dichotomous group of old-schoolers and hipsters.
Unlike many beers in this style, Pabst is actually pretty forward about the ingredient list. The malt bill includes six-row barley along with "a carefully balanced carbohydrate profile" from good old corn syrup. As for hops, there's a "unique" mix of Pacific hops and an "imported Yugoslavian variety."
Well, my skinny jeans are still at the cleaners, but I suppose we should jump on in anyway.
Appearance: A crystal-clear golden-straw body capped by a little over two fingers of bubbly white head that burn off quickly and leave no lacing.
Aroma: A thin pale malt body with just a whiff of flowery hops.
Taste: Grainy pale malt makes up the bulk of the profile, and unfortunately brings an off metallic flavor to the party. There is a thin wave of hops if you go hunting, and if you happen to catch them, you’ll find bare notes of lemon, grass, and banana. Pale malt and a hint of dark fruit in the finish.
Mouthfeel: A medium-light body with medium-high carbonation and a crisp finish.
Drinkability: This is an easy drinker, perfectly suited for a summertime Dashboard Confessional show.
Verdict: While the hipsters may be more interested in the can design than the beer inside, PBR is actually not too terrible of a beer. I suppose the highest compliment I could pay this beer is that I could easily believe this was a poor attempt at an easy-drinking lager from a mediocre craft brewery.