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Jan 29, 2014 10:12 AM

Pabst Blue Ribbon........quality vs. quantity Question for Beer Drinkers

Let me preface my question with the fact I am NOT a beer drinker. On average I probably drink 10 beers a year and that would be after doing yard work during the summer, nothing quenches a good thirst like an ice cold beer. But that's really it, other than that I don't drink beer. Not since high school which was 25 years ago.

So the point of my post is this......I was recently at a new restaurant called Brickhouse (here in NJ) and they have a happy hour special of a can of Pabst Blue Ribon for $1.00. per can. I was so amazed by this, I haven't seen a $1.00 beer anywhere in 20+ years so as a novelty I ordered one to wash down my food once it came. I had a martini and a beer chaser. (don't judge me lol) The funny thing too about the restaurant they serve the can in a small paper bag, to hide it's identity I assume? Anyway when I tasted the Pabst I was surprised that it seemed "ok". I was expecting a rather vile, bitter or really shitty tasting beer, but it wasn't. I won't say it was the best beer I've ever had but it certainly wasn't hideous. (to my novice beer taste buds)

So my question is.....for $1.00 a can is Pabst Blue Ribbon a good deal, or is no price a good deal for that beer?

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  1. Welcome NJ to the hipster beer that is PBR. The brown bag is for extra hipster credit.

    1. $1 is a good deal. Technically. Who is going to go cheaper then that on any beer really? We used to drink dollar Schaeffers at our regular bar when I was in college which we felt was a good deal and that was in the late 80's! But as to the implications of your question, yes most craft beer drinkers would turn down a PBR even at $1 (or even at a penny Im going to guess). Doesnt mean its wrong to get it. Just dont pay $6 for it. Some people actually do that in Manhattan... But bottom line is if you like it you like it. And yes I would imagine PBR would work well as a "lawnmower beer". Im a sucker for Miller High Life myself...

      As JAB notes, PBR does have a reputation as a "hipster" beer so you probably stumbled across a place trying to take advantage of that for their happy hour. Although frankly that confuses me because all I hear lately is how hipsters have taken over (and somehow ruined) the craft beer movement (true or not this video is hilarious by the way: Well how can it be that hipsters and craft beers are synonymous AND hipsters and PBR are synonymous at the same time? Before you spend any time trying to answer this riddle please know that I dont really care. Just thought it was strange they get double labeled like that. Perhaps the PBR/hipster trend has played out and they have gotten older and moved on to craft beer?

      Oh... and the brown bag is just tacky...

      12 Replies
      1. re: Insidious Rex

        "We used to drink dollar Schaeffers at our regular bar when I was in college which we felt was a good deal and that was in the late 80's!"

        The Palms in Ithaca?

        1. re: GWRyan

          Yes! A fellow Cornell grad? We were saddened to find out it closed relatively recently. But its cool that The Chapter House is now a beer bar.

          1. re: Insidious Rex

            Yep, class of '90! I was more of a Dunbar's guy, since it was about 10 steps from my front door senior year. Chapter House is definitely still a good place, there's also a good beer bar downtown on Aurora across from the Commons.

            1. re: GWRyan

              wow small world. I remember many Group Therapy happy hours at Dunbars... Oy.... Went back there several years ago and it looked like they hadnt washed the floor since we were students...

              When I was a junior or senior Just A Taste had just opened down off the Commons and we used to go down there and get long pours of wheat beer and think ourselves sophisticated beer people. Used to buy sixers of Saranac at the Collegetown mini mart (which is now an ATM...?) and take them back to my cobwebby basement apartment north of C-Town and think I was just on the cutting edge. Wow how things have changed. Now you can get decent beer in many of the dives and hotel bars in Ithaca. And they have a world class brewery (Ithaca Brewing) whose products I can find down here. And when I go back to town my kids now insist on eating at the Nines and getting Hot Truck.

        2. re: Insidious Rex

          The great thing about Schaeffer is that back in the day it had the most honest slogan in all of mass-market beerdom: "The One Beer to Have When You're Having More than One". (No question where they stand on the Quality/Quantity issue.)

          In my impecunious post-college days living in the Mission, the local Walgreen's had a perpetual $2.99/12 pack special on Schaeffer's. We would buy a 12 and quart bottle of Sheaf Stout. Mix a couple ounces of Sheaf with a can of Schaeffer's and you'd get a pretty decent dark beer for a little less than dirt cheap.

          Good times....

          1. re: TVHilton

            The Schaefer slogan would get a quick rise out of the PC police today.

            1. re: Jim Dorsch

              I think a variation of that slogan was used by the brewery that made Polygamy Porter.

            2. re: TVHilton

              I dunno how good those times were. I distinctly recall vomiting quite a few of those $2.99 12 packs of Schaeffer. National Bohemian, or "Nasty Boh" as well.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                yes but think how much money you saved...

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  Schaefer has been watery drek ever since Pabst took over the brand and made it a bargain shelf product (just as bad as what they did to their own PBR).
                  But before that both were actually pretty decent beers (in the American lager category)back in the day, before the mid/late 70s).

                  Both had more flavor and character than a lot of the other mainstream brands back then. And their Bock beers weren't half bad, either.

                  Besides...ANY beer will make you vomit if you drink a 12 pack...and would be indicative of a bigger problem than the quality of the beer. LOL.

                  1. re: The Professor

                    It was Stroh that bought Schaefer in 1980-81 and turned it into a bargain brand, and S&P (aka General/Falstaff/Pearl) that did the same to Pabst a few years later in the mid-80s.

                    Both brands only came under the same ownership when S&P, by then dba as Pabst, bought the Stroh brand when the latter left the industry.

                    Used to be happy to find the original Schaefer on tap in bars that otherwise were AB and Miller dominated. A couple of years ago I walked into a bar and saw that familar 4" round lucite SCHAEFER tap handle of the 60's and 70's, and ordered one.

                    The bartender looked at me like I was nuts.

                    I pointed at the tap handle.

                    "Oh, that's just an old, obsolete tap tower we use for decoration..."

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      Wow...thanks for reminding me... I _totally_ forgot about the Stroh connection before it all fell into Pabst's hands!

            3. We used to get deep six packs of PBR at Byrne Dairy for $1.47 in the early 1970's. We called them "mind-benders". It was hard to scrape $1.47 together with loose change while in college. We still drink it today, along with more expensive brews!

              1. PBR sounds like the kind of beer I would chase a strong martini with. No shame in your martini with beer taster. Chances are the PBR was served VERY could so that you couldn't taste its defects.

                1. That's a deal.While in Vegas my nephew took us to Smasburger. My eyes lit up when I saw $1.00 Hamm's. I always have some in the fridge at my house.