How much caffeine is in Pabst Blue Ribbon Coffee?

While traditional coffee has been enjoyed for centuries, with evidence of its existence dating back over 1,000 years ago in Ethiopia, it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that coffee was mixed with alcohol.

Coffee cocktails, or beverages that combine coffee and alcohol, are believed to have originated in Vienna. Some of the popular ingredients that were first used included egg yolks, honey, whipped cream, rum, fruit liqueurs, and cognac. Fast forward to 2019, when Pabst Brewing Company launched a coffee malt beverage. This mixture, which is American-made, offers a unique combination of two popular drinks.

An American-Based Company

The Best Brewing Company was established in 1844 in Wisconsin by a German American named Jacob Best. In 1889, Jacob’s son-in-law Frederick Pabst gained shared control of the company, which was named after him in 1890. It was Frederick’s last name that we now associate with the brand today, Pabst Brewing Company.

One of the most popular lagers, which also happens to be its flagship brew, is Pabst Blue Ribbon. Commonly referred to as PBR, it was named after its alleged win at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893. The blue ribbons draped around the bottlenecks after they won inspired the name known today.

Other Popular Beverages

Today, Pabst Brewing Company is a holding company for many different brands. A holding company is a business that takes shares in smaller companies, essentially controlling them. Some of these brands include:

  • Lone Star Brewing Company
  • National Brewing Company
  • Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company
  • Stroh Brewery Company

To date, this company has won over 70 medals from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup and offers 24 brands of beer and malt liquor. Some of the more popular selections include:

  • Schlitz
  • Old Milwaukee
  • Old Style 
  • Colt 45

Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee

Although not for the first time, the booze and coffee worlds collided when this malt beverage was released in 2019. With just 2.7 mg of caffeine per ounce, each 11 oz can contains 30 mg of caffeine. When compared to other caffeinated beverages, it is relatively low. 

When looking at the alcohol content, it also comes in at 5% ABV (alcohol by volume), which is within the normal 3% to 13% range for beer. It also contains 30 grams of sugar, which is on the higher end of the spectrum. This needs to be remembered, since it is recommended that adults not consume more than 40 grams of sugar per day.

Taste & Popularity

The taste of this intriguing concoction has been described as sweet, creamy, and milky, with detectable notes of vanilla. The consistency has also been described as thin. While there is a presence of an alcohol taste, it is said to be subtle. Others have compared the flavor of Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee to the popular chocolatey Yoo-hoo drink and Kahlua.

This beverage is popular with people who like sweeter beverages. Since it does not have a super high ABV and the alcohol is hard to taste, this drink is also popular with people who like to enjoy alcohol without the strong taste of booze.

Popular Mixes to Try at Home

If you have inquisitive tastebuds and love experimenting with different cocktails, there are several cocktail recipes that call for Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee. Many of these concoctions can be found on the company’s website

“Swamp Thang”

For this beverage, you will need 3 oz of Pabst Hard Coffee, 1.5 oz of rum, 1 oz of Blue Curacao, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, mint syrup, cardamom, and cinnamon. Simply combine and shake all the ingredients, except for the cinnamon, in a tumbler. Pour in a glass over ice and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

“Blue Ribbon Breakfast”

This beverage, born in Columbus, Ohio, calls for six different ingredients. There are a few steps to making this drink.

  1. Infuse 1 oz of Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey and 1 sachet of Chai tea in a small cup. Let the tea bag steep for 5 minutes.
  2. To a large cup, add 1 oz of Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee, ½ oz of Nocino, ½ oz of Aquafaba or egg whites, a small squeeze of orange juice, and some ice.
  3. After five minutes, add the infused whiskey to the large cup. Shake all the ingredients together.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a glass and enjoy!

“Everything Nice”

This recipe is a bit more involved than the previous two. It requires you to first make mull wine syrup.

To do this, you will need a saucepan, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup red wine, 6 whole cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1 inch of freshly chopped ginger root.

To make the syrup, simply combine all the ingredients and heat until the sugar dissolves. It’s best to do this over medium heat so that the ingredients don’t burn. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 20 minutes. Strain, cool, and refrigerate the syrup until you are ready to use it.

To make this drink, combine 4 oz of Pabst Hard Coffee, ½ oz of the mull wine syrup, and 4 oz of club soda in a glass. Garnish the glass with mint and ground coffee, then enjoy!


Made from a mixture of arabica coffee, robusta coffee, and alcohol, Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee is a unique blend with 30 mg of caffeine, 30 grams of sugar, and an AVB of 5%, all in one can. Although the company that produces this beverage has been around since the mid-1800s, this concoction didn’t come about until 2019.

If you love to experiment with flavors and love the idea of mixing different ingredients, there are several cocktail options available on the company’s website where Pabst Blue Ribbon Hard Coffee is used. Known for its sweet, milky, chocolatey, and slight alcohol taste, this drink is perfect for any adult who has a sweet tooth.