Pabst Blue Ribbon

There comes a time in every beer drinker’s life when you put aside all concepts of taste, common sense and hard-earned beer snobbery, and sample a beer you’d normally rather just tip out.

A time when you’re not drinking for the citrus-driven hops, the robust malt backbone, the dense pillowy head, or the unique subtle flavours that linger long after swallowing. When you’re not in it for the unique beer style, the warming “excessive” alcohol percentage, or even the entertaining label.

You’re in it for the occasion.

As such, an apt occasion for this beer took place February 3rd at 10.30am at the Public Bar.

Superbowl XLVIII.

Being in Australia means that Superbowl Sunday is unfortunately Superbowl Monday (Morning). So, for those in full time employment, actually watching the game live is quite difficult.

However, the joys of casual employment meant I was free to partake in the occasion – which turned out to be watching the Seahawks completely destroy the Peyton Manning-led Broncos 43-8. It was ugly for Denver from the opening 12 seconds of the game. For those unfamiliar with American football, it was akin to the 2007 AFL grand final. Or every test of the Ashes. An arse-whipping if you like.

Now as well as devouring some chilli, corn-chips, and hot wings (hold the blue cheese sauce) over the course of partaking in this impressive demonstration of gridiron defence, it was with mixed emotions I was handed a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Hailing from Milwaukee, and around since 1844, the beer won medals for “”Best Beer” in 1876 and 1893, and is (according to the Dan Murphy’s website) “cellared and finished to the smooth, robust likeness of a fine Pilsner. Put simply, this is the perfect summer thirst quencher imported straight from the heart of US of A”

My friends, this is a straight up lie.

Drink of choice of counter-culture enthusiasts and hipsters alike, PBR (as it’s known by those who “love and live it” – according to the PBR website) is without a doubt a beer I would never normally purchase.

Reason?  It’s an American Adjunct Lager. For those playing along at home, this label should be an automatic warning sign to get this beer the fuck out of your fridge. Adjunct lagers are light-bodied, thin, pale, and basically weak beer-flavoured water.

Yet, this beer pulls a 2.96 rating on BeerAdvocate, so it can’t be that bad. Right? Wrong.

Being fair to the beer, PBR is exactly what it sets out to be. Mass-produced, inoffensive, and easy to down. Shit, it even comes in a good-sized can (473ml).

Hops? Negative. Malt structure? Negative. Any real flavour? Negative.

I’m not going to pretend this is a good beer. It’s not.


If you’re in a pub at 10.30 in the morning.

And you’re watching the Superbowl – which is basically a microcosm of American culture compressed into a 4-hour combination of $3.5 million ads, 30-minute half-time shows, and 11 minutes of actual game-play – Pabst Blue Ribbon works.



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