Monday, May 30, 2011

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Today, Beer! sees whether Pabst Blue Ribbon lives up to the hipster hype, or if it's just trailer-park swill:

Brewery: Pabst Brewing Company
Location: Woodridge, Il
Style: Lager
Rating: B-

In recent years, Pabst Blue Ribbon has been seeing a bit of a resurgence in a trendy counterculture "trailer park chic" sort of way. The question is, does PBR live up to the hype, or is it just another mass-market lager with little redeeming quality? Let's taste and see. 

Pabst Blue Ribbon pours from my brown-bottle longneck a clear, straw-gold in color with a white foamy head. The nose detects some grassiness, lager malt notes and a bit of juicy white wine.

On the palate the initial impression is that of crisp, smooth malt with wheat bread undertones. There is a bit of a calcium/lime mineral note, as well as some straw. Hops are fleeting and have an overall grassy flavor. PBR has a light body with decent carbonation. The finish is very short with a malt note that hints at pita bread.

Pabst Blue Ribbon is a prototypical mass-market American lager in that it is smooth and easy-drinking. The flavor does fade very quickly (too much for my liking). What is notable is the lack of any of the "off" flavors I typically notice with the usual Bud/Miller/Coors-style lagers. While it may not fully live up to the renewed hype surrounding it, PBR is still one of the best mass-market/adjunct lagers out there. I have no qualms serving it to guests, and it is always welcome in my fridge.

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