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Pabst Blue Ribbon: Blue Velvet

4.04 average, 844 votes
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by Rob Lieblein
2008 November 3
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Modern Day Pabst

“Heineken?!?! Fuck that shit! … PABST BLUE RIBBON!!!” – A manic Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth in the film “Blue Velvet.”

When I first decided to do a write-up on Pabst Blue Ribbon, I anticipated Belly readers would question my judgement. “But Rob,” they’d say, “isn’t PBR the kind of unmitigated swill you said the Beer Belly would steer clear of?” In a word, the answer is “yes.” In several words, the answer is “yes and no.” Here’s what I mean…

On the main page of the Beer Belly, I admit that I may have seemed a little flippant with regard to lower-end domestic brews. This is not because I’m a beer snob, though (remember, if you like it, it’s good). Rather, I felt that you don’t need me to shed any light on the high and low points of the Bud-Coors-Millers of the world. Those are the brews our dads drank—and therefore we did too—when we were well under the drinking age. Instead, my aim has been to provide you with some humble advice on lesser-known beers that work well with Belly recipes.

So where does PBR fit into this discussion?

Yes, PBR does fall into the “piss” category. And yet, there’s a certain retro-coolness to be found in those all-American aluminum cans. PBR (in tall boys) was the official beer sold in the stands at Shea Stadium when the Jets still played there. PBR filled my cooler on many a camping trip in my college days–where breakfast, lunch and dinner were all “grill meals.” Several cases of PBR accompanied two friends and me on a road trip to Boston to visit my buddy Chuck. We arrived at his place late morning, while he was still in class, and by the time he returned home (mid-afternoon) we had already killed one case. Two days later his kitchen table was stacked with empties that we used like Lego blocks to create a beautiful tower that reached the ceiling.

Most important, PBR was (and is) cheap. And never let anyone tell you life is too short to drink cheap beer.

But, who drinks PBR nowadays? Who even knows where to find it? Imagine how cool you’ll be, and how much money can save for that dream grill you’ve longed for, as you suck down a few cans in your yard deciding what to have for dinner. The neighbors will gawk with envy as they sip on their warm, flat, Coors Lights.

PBR stands out from most swill in that it actually has flavor—somewhat bitter, yet with a clean light aftertaste. Its high carbonation level also contributes to its crispness. It’s the kind of beer that never, ever fills you up, and this makes it an ideal choice for pre- and post-meal guzzling. To get maximum enjoyment from PBR, make sure you follow the “rule of the C’s” below:

PBR must be Cold – icy cold, in fact. As it warms, PBR molecules tend to bond with ambient urine molecules in the atmosphere, making it taste like Brooklyn Pilsner (see Mike Best’s review).

PBR must be in Cans – aluminum is actually an important component of PBR’s flavor. Furthermore, it’s imperative that you crush each can against your forehead when it’s finished. This makes it easier to toss into the neighbor’s yard, and nobody has to worry about broken glass injuries.

PBR should be purchased by the Case – volume discounts, my Cheap friends. Keep several cases on hand, and make “Blue Velvet” your house brew. It’ll make you appreciate the other beers even more.

PABST BLUE RIBBON FACTS
From PabstBlueRibbon.com

  • Pabst started tying blue silk ribbons to the bottlenecks of its “Select” beer by hand in 1882. Customers called it “that blue ribbon beer,” so the name was changed.
  • During World War II, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans were painted olive drab at the factory for military use. All of the canned beer was for the military. Pabst Blue Ribbon beer was not sold to civilians in cans during the war because of tin rationing.
  • After a steady decline in sales since the 1970s, website BriansBelly.com makes PBR one of their first beer reviews in 1999. Since then, Pabst sales have risen achieving a 5 percent increase in 2002 and 15 percent in 2003. In Nashville, sales shot up 99 percent in 2003.
Belly Laughs
Brian's Belly Model 100Classic Pabst Blue Ribbon Commercials
Check out these two classic Pabst Blue Ribbon commercials from the 50’s. They’ll have you singing the jingle all the way to the beer distributor.
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56 Comments on "Pabst Blue Ribbon: Blue Velvet"

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Guest
Bob
4 months 11 days ago

Used to be one of my favorites when I was under 21 years old (under age).
I’m glad I make my own beers now. I have a wonderful Oak Barrel Bourbon Porter and a nice clone of Corsendonk Abby Ale.
GOOD stuff. Been making my own since 1990.

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[…] Pabst Blue Ribbon: Blue Velvet […]

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[…] Pabst Blue Ribbon: Blue Velvet […]

Guest
Jimmy Johnson
6 months 29 days ago

Yeah, I like imports, especially Mexican beers. The only problem is, the price of these beers are killing me. I finally talked my old lady (my drinking partner), into getting back to basics, and into a case of PBR. No, it ain’t Pacifico or Sol, but then again, it ain’t $25+ a case. Wal Mart’s got PBR in cans, for $14.97 a case. I can remember in the early 70s, buying Bud here in Florida, for $1.25 a sixer, so anything over that, will always feel like a boil in my ass – but what are gonna do?

Guest
Tom
1 year 1 month ago

Personally, I enjoy PBR. Its obviously not a top choice beer, but considering its price and flavor, its one of the best choices in terms of a cheep good beer. I never understood why bud light got more popularity over this brew considering bud light has nearly no flavor whatsoever. If you’re in the market for a good tasting beer that will really be a bang for your buck PBR is the way to go.

Guest
Nix
1 year 8 months ago

Greg,,,,,,, I think I love you. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Long live my favorite beer- Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Guest
Greg
2 years 7 months ago
I grew up with my neighbor friends dad drinking the heck out of PBR when I was growing up. We use to take a few when we were kids and I just thought that is what real beer should taste like. Well after about 40 years and about 100 different styles and tastes of beer I have decided I must have had a good taste for great beer. To be honest PBR is definitely the best beer for me taste wise, and the way you feel the next day. I never have a headache or feel as if I drank… Read more »
Guest
Daniel
2 years 9 months ago

sittin here drinkin a PBR. I have switched to this beer for the taste and price. It’s got a nice corn taste kind of like whiskey but isn’t rough on your stomach like Busch.
I drank craft beers, amber lagers, etc over the past few months and this is a nice simple beer that hits the spot after a long day. It’s better than Bud and my choice as a mainstay. To all Vets who posted thank you for serving and lets keep supporting a good ol American beer. Cheers.

Guest
Greg
3 years 1 month ago

I was a Bud drinker for over twenty years. During that time there was NO other beer for me. As the cost of Bud continued to rise, I thought that I would find a less expensive beer. I tried many but settled with PBR. After a couple of years of drinking Pabst I tried a Bud and could barely finish it. PBR is the beer for me.

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3 years 10 months ago

[…] Brian’s Belly | Pabst Blue Ribbon: Blue VelvetNov 3, 2008 … Check out these two classic Pabst Blue Ribbon commercials from the 50′s. They’ll have you singing the jingle all the way to the beer … […]

Guest
4 years 1 month ago

David Lynch, the director of the classic flick “Blue Velvet” invites you to enjoy a Pabst Blue Ribbon!

Guest
paul
4 years 8 months ago
I’m from Milwaukee area (Harley country) I was weened on PBR in the 70’s When they moved out of Milwaukee I was sooooo disapointed that I stopped drinking it. I understand it’s again made locally so they have me back! PBR in a can is by far the best mass produced domestic beer! My 21 Y.O. son says alot of kids his age drink it. (Who would have thunk?) Miller High Life a distant second. BUD SUCKS. As long as PBR is brewed in WI I’m a loyal customer. I can honestly say PBR is the only beer I can… Read more »
Guest
chris
4 years 9 months ago

Y’all get over it. The hipsters found out cheap shitty beer actually tastes alright. PBR is an institution and should be revered. Fuck it, skinny jeens and stupid mustaches will not be popular in five years, but I will still be drinking PBR.

Chris

Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I created two artworks celebrating PBR:

Share some HOPE with friends and enjoy the PROGRESS.

Guest
samantha
5 years 2 months ago

blame it on the PBR.

Guest
Loud Noises
5 years 8 months ago
PBR used to be cheap. Then all of these hipsters with Mr.Pringles mustaches and skinny jeans started drinking the hell out of it. So, what has happened because of these said hipsters? The price of a 12 pack has gone up from about 6 bucks, to 12 bucks. They have huge fancy displays for it at WHOLE FOODS. Seriously, whole foods. All of the sudden it is cool to pay high quality prices for very low quality beer. Pabst won a blue ribbon in 1893, at a fair in Chicago. A fair. Where they judge a goat’s utters, and how… Read more »
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

Love PBR!!! Here are ten reasons I absolutely love Pabst!
http://drinkphilly.com/index.php/drinks/artprofile/130

Guest
junebug
5 years 10 months ago

PBR me ASAP!

Guest
dad
6 years 3 days ago

Max Etchason is a fag. PBR is good.

Guest
6 years 1 month ago

PBR loves America… I love America… I love PBR

Any Questions?

trackback

[…] (for those of you NOT from the Hoosier state, that’s Ft. Wayne), I’ve got a 30 pack of PBR and am working on my second PWT Special-Pure White Trash-for those that haven’t asked for […]

Guest
tj mcmahon
6 years 3 months ago

come to weirs beach nh pbr on tap best beer best price #1 place to go CG

Guest
Richie
6 years 6 months ago

drinking a PBR as i type, decided to punch PBR in my computer and came up with this, Cool stuff! a forum for beer drinking. who knew? I like and drink many different beers. But I will say PBR rates high in drinkability and affordability. Besides anything I can drink a dozen or so of and not swear off must be allright…

Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Papst Blue Ribbon was the first beer I ever drank, March 1975. A 7 ounce bottle packed 48 to a case. I was 15, today 35 years later typing this drinking a cold 12 ounce bottle of PBR. I went into buy a 12 pack of Bud, not American anymore, instead got PBR not a bad choice. I believe its an American choice, like saying “we can bring lots of things back…Like jobs and PBR, to our America. Drink up enjoy.

Guest
mariana hernanez
6 years 7 months ago

bush rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guest
JSin
6 years 7 months ago
I have been drinking PBR for coming on 20 yrs now. Started when I was pushing ink, through construction and into culinary school. I also drink real Micro brews What i love and have loved about PBR is it’s clean and slightly bitter flavor. As far as lagers go this a very decent one. On a couple of tasting I have done lined up against other macro brews like Buttwiper and MGD, imports like Heineken and Sapporo and a couple of micro craft brewed lagers, the Micros and PBR came in tops every time I have done this. Bottom of… Read more »
Guest
Ol' Mac
6 years 7 months ago

God Bless Ya, Big Bill H ! I did only 20 years in the US Navy (you got me beat by 2), and I grew up in South Carolina, far from any brewery. But I DID grow up on America’s finest beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon ! As a matter of fact, I just enjoyed 3 draft PBRs tonite with a superb half-pound medium-rare cheeseburger at Carolina Ale House in downtown Columbia, SC. Long live Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Carolina Gamecocks, and the US Navy !

Guest
Big Bill H
6 years 8 months ago
Pabst supported the military as did Bud and Miller for many years. Since I’m now retired I don’t know if they still do or not. I grew up in Milwaukee, went to grade school where I could spit to the Miller brewery. Schlitz, Pabst, Miller and a lot of others were all home town brew that I always drank when available all during my 22 years of Naval service. I still drink them now when I can find them. They were all made here in the USA and owned by Americans. Now? Now too much of what we had has… Read more »
Guest
Snake
6 years 8 months ago

Back cover of the Allman Brother’s Live at Fillmore East. I’ve been drinking PBR tall boys since I bought that album.

Guest
Bill
6 years 8 months ago

Blue Velvet is my all time favorite movie, and it is the primary reason why I drink Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pabst is as much the drink of us starving artists, hipster posers, and supposed elites because of this movie as it is of red necks and joe sixpacks.

Guest
6 years 8 months ago

Pabst Blue Ribbon is quite possibly the best beer to pour past my pallet. Yeah it tastes like whiskey and water but I like it. If Bud Coors Miller had any nuts they would still be American owned and operated. All you beer snob chowder heads can bash me all you want. I like Pabst and it has quite a following, If you dont like it dont drink it more for me…

Guest
bruce
6 years 8 months ago

piss beer? its an award winning beer, won a gold medal in 2006 even.

Guest
Eye
6 years 9 months ago

Oh, a 12 pack here is like $7.49 (Wal Mart) or $7.30 (local supermarket). 24 Pack is $13.50 I believe. I always buy 12 packs because I go to Wal Mart quit a bit and always feel uncomfortable buying 24 pks.

Guest
Eye
6 years 9 months ago

It’s good stuff. I had one last night. The aftertaste isn’t good but I found that if it sits for a bit you don’t get that and it’s a lot better. Btw, Olympia (if you can find it, they do still sell it) just like Pabst except it’s a little bit more watered down. Pabst is better, though.

Guest
Jeff
6 years 9 months ago

I’m sure I’m one of many who never stopped drinking Pabst. Whether out of fashion or in (still hard to believe), Pabst Blue Ribbon is a great beer. Long wave the red, white, and blue.

Guest
Max Etchason
6 years 9 months ago

I am an American warrior. I spent a year and eight days on the

Viet Nam/Cambodian border. I love Jesus, my family, and The United

States of America. I am the “real deal”.

I drink PBR beer from bottles only. Thank You for a refreshing

beer at a fair price.

Guest
6 years 9 months ago

Who needs extenz when you can get some PBR. Don’t come to a party bringing the same beer as everyone else, grow a set and bring some real beer,,,,,, PBR. Chicks dig it……

Guest
Rich
6 years 9 months ago

For those of you that think Bud is a better Brew, LoL, shame on you..PBR is a very good Lager.. A Gold Medal winner in it’s respected catagory… PBR actually has Taste, unlike Bud..

Guest
Mikie
6 years 10 months ago

Been reading up on Pabst Blue Ribbon,I find it to be a very good tasting beer.I’m 43 years of age.Been drinking the Bud/light beer for years.I am not embarrassed to bring my P. B. R To any party that I’ll attend this summer + the price reasonable here in Massachusett

Guest
Shane
6 years 10 months ago

I decided to try a PBR a couple of months ago. It was AWFUL! As far as domestic beers…i’ll take a Budweiser or a Miller Genuine Draft over PBR any day!

Guest
Thomas
6 years 10 months ago

For rogerscottq

PBR is contract-brewed by Miller. The water comes from Lake Michigan, is very well treated, and there is no added fluoride.

As for the runs, that’s you, not the beer.

trackback

[…] for everyone too this past Saturday night at Club Firestone in Orlando, where the bar ran out of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Hank III performed with all three of his bands for nearly three hours in all. There was […]

Guest
Marine Tech Diver
7 years 21 days ago

heh drinking a lot of booze always results in the runs or as i like to call it “AIDS” Alcohol Induced Drippy/Droopy shits whatever you prefer to call them
trust me im a drunkard barfly. my liver is bored and i have two kidneys!

Guest
Marine Tech Diver
7 years 21 days ago

if you cant or wont drink PBR and or take a good plug of straight chewing tobacco youre a pussy grow some balls and man up… drink it up i can get pbr for 11 bucks a 12 pack usually 13 to 15 for a 24 pack at cvs ralphs has prices at 13 bucks atleast once a month my favoriate americn beer much better taste than bud9rather drink santa barbara harbor water and i would get more fucked up off harbor water than bud. coors original aint bad

Guest
rogerscottq
7 years 1 month ago

Four questions: where is PBR currently brewed?

And where it is brewed, do they fluorinate their water?

Do the breweries guard against heavy-metals
getting into their product?

Is it common for drinking PBR to cause the
runs?

Guest
Jon
7 years 1 month ago

I love PBR!! I just got me a PBR t-shirt a few weeks ago at http://www.boozingear.com

Guest
King Dave
7 years 1 month ago

Hey Al Merkel… NBev doesn’t own Pabst! Pabst Blue Ribbon is brewed for Pabst under contract by the Miller Coors Brewing Co. and distributed by company owned and independent distributing companies. Now as to the price of PBR in your area that is set by the distributor and the retailer where you purchase the beer.

Guest
Gus
7 years 1 month ago

The best beer in the world is the one you like. PBR drinkers don’t seem to mind what people think. We have an attitude. You’ll see an example of it in “Gran Torino”. Another PBR please.

Guest
rca
7 years 2 months ago

PBR is the kinda tinnish beer that ain’t half bad if you consider the price. If you can get it just after it’s brewed, it’s comparible to Bud. It’s all just advertizing anyway, ’cause both PBR and Bud really aren’t great beers.

Guest
bw
7 years 4 months ago

HEY SANE!! You skirt wearing homo! Since when did you care if “the man” was dead or not? You suck balls daily. Geez, your panties must have a run in them… you’re such a biaaatch.

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