Review: Pabst Blue Ribbon Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea (Malt based from 2023)

As of March 2024: Pabst Blue Ribbon Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea is now made from vodka, this review is the original version of the beverage made from barley malt. I don't agree with the change but I'm not the distributor, nor do I sell the beverage so if you're looking to send complaints/questions for this product, contact Stroh Canada (Sleeman) and not me.

Here's the 2024 vodka-based PBR Groovy Lemon review

I was about to buy my regular four-pack of Unibroue La Fin du Monde yesterday when I saw Pabst Blue Ribbon now has a malt-based iced tea beverage. I wasn't planning on buying Pabst Blue Ribbon's Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea but one of the people at my local LC harassed me to buy it for three reasons: So I could tell people what I thought about it (so they don't have to try it if it's bad), because it's on sale ($20.19 per 355mL twelve pack) and lastly because it came with a free PBR travel mug that my dad threw out (that I ended up finding in recycling by diving through other peoples recycling).

I don't have much information about PBR's Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea but I'm assuming this is 100% to compete against Twisted Tea as it doesn't mention anything about seltzers (which are still being forced down peoples throats). Looking at this can at certain angles, you just KNOW it's an iced tea beverage, where you almost think that it's a Brisk iced tea product. The ingredients contain water, malt barley, yeast, hops, cane sugar, citric acid, Black Tea extract, caramel colour and "natural flavours". 5.9% ABV. So is this a soda? Probably.

Appearance: Opaque with an amber/orange body to it, no carbonation on the body, and the head is minimal with bubbles mostly touching the glass but small amount of bubbles on top of the beer as well. So far it looks like a typical iced tea beverage you'd get here in Canada.

Aroma: Good amount of sweetness - sugar is the very first thing I get out of this, followed by lemon zest, Black Tea and then a hint of malt. My first impression of this was that the malt profile was very faint compared to Twisted Tea and other commercial malt-based tea beverages I've had. Light herbal notes to it.

Taste: Slight amount of booziness gives me a bit of heat right at the front. There's a heavy amount of sweetness to it, notes of Black Tea to give it an herbal and tea flavour to it, as well as a bit of lemon. The malt is there but pretty faint. It's very, very smooth.

Overall Thoughts: Does Sleeman (Stroh Canada) possibly have a hipster-worthy iced tea beverage to take on Twisted Tea? I'm a Twisted Tea fan but not too pleased that they moved their canned beverages from malt-based to vodka based, I don't like the subtle yet sharp taste I get from from vodka while in malt it's a bit smoother. I gave a small sample to a few of my family and the first thing they said was "smoother than Twisted Tea" and I agree. One thing though - I wish I didn't have to buy a 12 pack just to try this malt beverage, so I wish they did single serve 473mL cans of it, which I assume they will do one day as PBR itself is now available in 473mL cans fairly easily. Will I drink this again? Well I've downed several cans already so yeah, I will. Will I get diabeetus from this? Probably yeah. Will this also be your BFF on a scorching hot summer afternoon? Also, yes.

PS: This is also my 1500th post on here, this doesn't include posts I did at Brandon Sun or on Flickr/elsewhere over the decades.. I've been writing about beer too long

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