Beer critic

Weird things about PBR


Here’s three weird things about Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Weird thing Number One: When I saw the pallets and pallets of it at my local Dan Murphy’s last week (clearly they’re expecting to sell freaking loads of the stuff) it triggered a sense of nostalgia. This is despite the fact that I’ve never had it before and, despite the family living in the United States for three years as a teen, I have no memory of seeing my dad – or anyone else ever drink. In fact, I have no memory of ever seeing a PBR can EVER. Weird.
Weird thing Number Two: PBR has polarised the two leading online beer reviewing sites like no other. On RateBeer it scores an average of just two. Over on Beer Advocate, it gets a 72 average. Now that’s a 70-point gap. What’s the go with that? How can the same beer get two diametrically opposed scores? Weird.
Weird thing Number Three: The writing on the can includes the claim ‘‘Selected as America’s Best in 1893’’. Is that supposed to be a good thing? Because, to me it just says ‘‘this beer hasn’t won a damn thing since 1893’’. Weird.
Oh yeah, there’s one more weird thing – it’s not crap. I’ll admit that I was ready to write a mocking blog entry along the lines of ‘‘American mainstream beers are crap’’ (which, I grant you, could similarly be said about Australia’s mainstreamers too).
But I was pleasantly surprised. Sure it’s not bursting with flavour or boasting any weird ingredients, like, say, lobsters or bricks (come on, bricks would too be a weird ingredient for beer), but it’s quite pleasant to drink.
It definitely leaves crap like Budweiser for dead. Hell, this stuff is better than a lot of Australian macro lagers. It’s softer and has a more pleasant and slight malt touch, which allows whatever hope are here to poke their heads through. I wouldn’t go so far as to score it a 72 like those over at Beer Advocate, but it certainly deserves a heaps better score than the two RateBeer denounced it with.
Would I drink it again?: Yeah I reckon I would. In fact I’ve already bought another can. And I might buy a sixer for the family Christmas party this weekend. Hey, $14 for six pints of drinkable beer isn’t too bad a deal.

4 replies »

    • Yes, as Bryan’s link points out (thanks for linking to my blog, Bryan), PBR won gold in this year’s GABF. To me, that makes it even weirder that the can mentions 1893 on their can … they have won awards since then.

      I still have not had a PBR in quite a long time, but I will always remember it as the crap my father-in-law always drank. I really should give it another chance, although whenever I see it on tap there is always something else I want to try more.

      • I tried it for the novelty. It was a US beer I had heard of but not seen here before. It’s better than most other macro lagers I’ve had. I missed Bryan’s post about it winning at GABF. Will have to go read it.

      • Sorry, was looking at your comment through the WordPress app and didn’t realise you were referring to a link in the earlier comment from Bryan. Yeah I do remember reading that post, we had something similar happen at the Australian beer awards.
        Some mainstream lager (I forget which) that is much derided won a gold. Guess it goes to show how things can change when you try a beer without the knowledge of what it is.
        For instance, I often wonder if we’d have a different reaction to mainstream lagers and the like if they were served in a glass and we were told, say it was a pilsner from Europe.

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