Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Want me to shake up this can of beer and spray you with it?  Too bad.

 Old man beers are probably my favorite bottomshelf beer sub-genre.  My love of old man beers first began in my earliest days of drinking, when everyone else was still drinking Icehouse I felt the need to blaze my own trail through the bottomshelf.  I don’t know if I was motivated by my sense of adventure or the disgustingness of Icehouse, probably the latter though I prefer the former because it makes me sound like Daniel Boone or a tough pirate.  In any event one of the first old man beers I came to love and respect was Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Joe Don Baker loves old man beer; hates ice

That's more like it!
Pabst Blue Ribbon was born in 1844 as “Best Select.”  The beer acquired its sobriquet Pabst Blue Ribbon after winning America’s Best in 1893, at least according to Pabst.  Others claim that it acquired the title from the blue ribbons tied around the neck of the bottle from 1882 to 1916, but holy heck who cares?  I have a degree in history so I understand why this shit is kind of important, but the Wikipedia entry spends more time on the goddamned etymology of “Pabst Blue Ribbon” than explaining why the beer peaked at 18 million barrels a year in 1977 and dropped below a million in 2001. That seems like it might be important: writing the history of a beer in its Encyclopedia entry.  The entry does however state that PBR has found resurgence in recent years due to its popularity amongst hipsters (barf.)

You may have noticed that in every beer review I try to find a different angle, something that will make my beer review unique, even if the beer isn’t.  The obvious choice for Pabst Blue Ribbon is of course hipsters: both my hatred of them and their “love” of PBR (hipsters have no soul and are incapable of love on all but the most ironic levels.)  While that is certainly tempting, I tend to think of this entire blog as a rallying cry against hipsterism and spending an entire post focusing on them seems a little redundant.  Besides, just thinking about them makes my skin crawl and fills my mind with white hot hatred.  It honestly baffles me that we live in a country that could at times seems so divided by ethnic, ideological, and religious differences when all true Americans share an instinctual universal hatred of hipsters.  
All images of hipsters were too disgusting, so I included this one instead

Click for fullsize!
Instead of hipsters, I thought I’d take a little time to talk about boilermakers.  The most official recipe for a boilermaker I’ve ever heard of is the “citywide special” in Philly (a shot of Jim Beam served with a pint of PBR.)  There are some that will claim that it’s socially acceptable to take the shot and use the beer as a chaser; however a boilermaker is defined as a cocktail and should be drank as such.  We are men, not ladies; except for the ladies, who are welcome to use a chaser for their shots…if they want to set feminism back like 25 years.  It turns out that beer with a whiskey depth charge is pretty good, all the delicious flavor of a beer with a nice whiskey aftertaste.  It’s better than you think it would be, but at the same time kind of really fucking weird, like when you discover your ex-girlfriend and your cousin’s next door neighbor know each other on facebook.
As fond as I am of cheap beer I despise cheap liquor, hence the single serving of Jim Beam

On its own Pabst is delicious. It’s easy to see why this beer’s been around for over 150 years.  It goes down smooth, and tastes like beer with just a slight hint of sourness.  It’s less crisp than Old Style but also less grainy than Miller High Life, certainly one of the better domestics.  PBR is 4.74% alcohol, about average for a domestic beer: enough to get you drunk eventually.  That is of course unless you’re mixing it with shots of whiskey, in which case welcome to Drunkville population 2 (Hello neighbor!)  During my research I also learned that they sell PBR in China at a wimpy 2.5%ABV.  Dude, there’s more alcohol in my piss on a Sunday morning.  That’s all the proof I need that they will never ever overtake the United States as a global superpower.  In fairness though, they make some great cookies.
...IN BED!!!

Pabst Blue Ribbon in an old man beer, sharing a special place in my heart with beers like Hamm’s; however unlike Hamm’s it seems that Pabst is going to be around for a long time.   Good thing too, because it’s a good beer that’s still usually sold at a reasonable price, despite its trendiness with the worst people on Earth.  Pick some up next time you get the chance, unless there are hipsters around.  You don’t want them to mistake you for one of their own, unless you feel like hearing about their goddamned kickstarter all fucking night.  I get it dude, the world is ready for an environmentally conscious skateboard company, that doesn’t mean I give a shit.
Heineken? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

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