Review: Pabst Blue Ribbon Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea (2024 Vodka-based version)

At the time of this being written, by far the most popular review on is currently Pabst Blue Ribbon's Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea from 2023. Well, Pabst Blue Ribbon changed the recipe very recently so this is the 2024 version of the beer where it's made from vodka rather than malted barley.

There's a lot of non-malt based "coolers" with beer names in this day and age.. why? I have no idea. When you think of a Coors Light or PBR, you think of crisp, light tasting beers made from Prairie barley and hops.. but with the popularity with stuff like seltzers, beer brands are now simply just beverage brands.

A few months ago I noticed that the LC was now selling single-serve 473mL cans of PBR Groovy Lemon Strong Iced Tea. I was giddy AF because I can't justify buying a 12-15 pack so one can once in a blue moon made sense. I didn't read the can off at the beginning but when I took the first sip.. I knew something was up. This isn't the same Strong Iced Tea that I enjoyed last year. This tasted EXACTLY like the Canadian canned version of Twisted Tea (the US version is still malt based). I do drink vodka-based iced teas/coolers once in a while as it scratched the need for a sugary drink once in a while but I'm a bit disappointed.

Appearance: Pours like your typical iced tea because that's what it is. Copper-brown body with a tad bit of clarity to it. The head is a thin white film on top.

Aroma: The first whiff I got from this was the smell of powdered Good Host (TM) Iced Tea from those big canisters as a kid. It's sweet, very sugary, notes of whatever kind of tea Canadians seem to like most, so certainly not an earthy, bitter Earl Grey. *According to ingredients they use Black Tea

Taste: Lots of sugar. A sugary iced tea with a slight kick of vodka at the end. To say that this is sweet would be an under-exaggeration, though it's nowhere near as sweet as an American Sweet Tea.. that was sickly sweet but it also grew on me once I found a really good one. It's very smooth, the mouthfeel is a tad syrupy and the aftertaste is a sugar/sugar syrup taste that lingers a good while. Oh, and there's lemon in there, of course. 

Overall Thoughts: If I put this and the vodka version of Twisted Tea next to each other, I don't know if I'd be able to tell between the two. They're both incredibly sweet with lots of sugar, a Good Host-style iced tea for tea and a squeeze of lemon flavouring at the end. Incredibly smooth. I guess using Pabst's branding rather than using a popular brand that children have access to (Snapple, Simply, Sunny D (USA), etc) makes sense.. but it's weird that they're branding beers are coolers of a whole different grain/make-up now. Will I buy it again? I've been buying it multiple times since it was re-formulated already.

Ingredients: Water, Vodka, Sugars (cane sugar), Citric acid, Black tea extract, Natural flavour. 5.9% ABV

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