Schlitz - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

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325 Reviews

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Reviews: 325
Hads: 737
Avg: 3.03
pDev: 38.28%
Wants: 26
Gots: 61 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAngel on 05-29-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

Entry for 12 oz. cans and draft only.

"Classic 1960's formula" Schlitz reintroduced in 2008 is known as "Schlitz Gusto". Available in 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft: ... /106/44315 
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Reviews: 325 | Hads: 737
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This review is part of Macro Smackdown IX, a slugfest in which this can of Schlitz will be going up against a bottle of Michelob Golden Draft. I have no idea how they'll stack up, but Schlitz is clearly the winner in terms of a long and storied tradition. Originally brewed in 1849, it was the best selling beer in the world in 1956. Will those bloodlines be of any benefit against the upstart MGD? (no, not that one). Let's pop the tops and find out.

Schlitz is a slightly paler shade of golden amber, but doesn't look any worse for it. Where this beer is clearly superior is the head. Decently bright white, semi-sticky, persistent, it's one of the best looking lids on a macro lager that I've seen in a while. It absolutely shames MGD's head. Oh, and there are a few stray splotches of lace too, while its competitor has a clean glass and a now absent head.

The nose on this beer is vastly different. It's grainy, but isn't sweet, and has a much more serious, musky, hoppy smell. Perhaps the 'just the kiss of the hops' tagline that Schlitz is known for is true after all. Even though the noses are nothing alike, I don't have a clear preference. Both are decent given the style.

This isn't the best macro lager that I've ever had (on second thought, maybe it is), but it's one of the most distinctive and possibly the hoppiest. There's very little sweetness to be had. It's all kilned grain and musky hops with a clean, dry finish. Even though I can't see myself drinking this stuff on even a semi-regular basis, it's one of the better macros in recent memory. Cold is still a requirement, but the amount of flavor makes drinking it cold possible.

There's very little difference between the mouthfeels. The sweetness of MGD and the dryness of this beer make the mouth experience somewhat different, but, at bottom, they're both acceptable.

I used to drink Blatz on occasion, but I don't ever remember having a Schlitz prior to today. I'm pleasantly surprised; mostly by the fact that some brewers don't insist that their macro lagers adhere to the 'no hops' rule that seems to be in effect. Schlitz (simple, perfect name) is the runaway winner of MacSmack IX. I guess those bloodlines were worth something after all. Recommended for those who want a little old school flavor.

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Photo of zeff80
2.8/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a clear yellow color with a small, white head. It left no lacing.

S - It smells of corn and grain adjuncts.

T - It tastes of corn, some malt and a little hoppy bitterness.

M - It is smooth and crisp. A light-bodied brew.

D - It is pretty good considering the price ($6 for a 12 pack). Overall, it is a nice representaion of the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tall 16 ounce can - $3.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, yellow body with a thin, white head that fizzles out fairly quickly, though there remains a continued effervescence.

Smell: Light pale malts that are particularly grainy along with a bit of cracked maize.

Taste: Light pale maltiness that's once more strongly grainy. Sweetish throughout. Sprinkling of corn. There's only a brief, fleeting hint of hop bitterness. Finishes crisp and a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Simple and basic. Akin to the majority of standard pale lagers out on the market today.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.42/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure who's brewing this right now, but they're doing a good job. The appearance is good, with a nice golden color, although the head retention is lacking. The aroma is very clean, which is to be expected - but is not always the case! The malt has a very nice, round character and there's even a touch of hops. Although I find the flavor a little sweet, it's balanced - partially by the crispness of the light body and effervescence. Never cloying. A little bit better than your average "premium" American-style lager. In fact, I'd drink this over most of the "super-premium's" (Budweiser, MIller High Life, Coors Original).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.35/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a very thin white head that fades very quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of adjuncts, corn, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with an adjunct sweetness that is quickly followed by a grain & light malt breadiness. The hops presence is very mild just like every other beer in the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: A little smooth and a little crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily, not filling at all, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's not a completely bad beer, in desperation I think I could drink it, but there are several others within the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Bought a case of this for a party for $11.99... trying some of the leftover ones tonight.

This is pretty damn good for a mass produced beer. It definitely has more body and a thicker feel to it than the other macros out there. It was decently tasty and super drinkable. The next time I'm going out to a party this will be the beer I'm bringing.. a nice cheap beer option.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can with no freshness date to be found. “Just a kiss of the hops” and “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous” on the can.

Appearance: There is some decent lace that formed after the initial rush of foam.

Smell: Thick harshness of corn and hop, other than that no much else in the semi-clean aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Very crisp light body, brash hop bitterness (Cluster?). The graininess takes a bite into the palate, some astringency in the back. Light on the malt with some alcohol in the middle. Clean and dry with a grainy in the finish.

Notes: Hands down this is my choice cheap lager, its right up there with PBR. This beer is served cheap at “real” bars and there is a bigger following for this brand than you think. Once the warm weather hits Schlitz and others like it will be on my mind.

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Photo of jwc215
3.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a thin head that becomes wispy. Minimal trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of bland malt, no real hop presence. Something vegetable-like in it.

The taste is rather bland - hint of grainy sweetness - a mild non-descript hop touch is there in the crisp, brief finish.

It is smooth and easy drinking. It is fizzy, but not more than typical for what it is.

It's a typical, non-descript, bland adjunct lager. it's inoffensive. Average-ish for the style.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.32/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer that made Milwaukee Famous...true story.

Just the kiss of the hops - trademark

Poured from a can into a Bruery tulip. Beer is yellow and clear with moderate carbonation and a huge head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

Come on now, its in an effing tulip for christ's sake and there is close to no aroma. WEAK!

Beer is medium bodied and kind of cereal in the mouth. There is a harsh aftertaste of boiled vegetables. No carb in mouth, no sweetness up front, no intentional bitterness in the back. If this is what Milwaukee is famous for I don't want to go there.

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Photo of stakem
2.93/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Eric for his endless generosity in making sure I drink a shitty beer or something off my normal beaten path once in awhile. Poured from a 12oz can into a pub glass. The brew emerges with nearly 3 fingers of pillowy white head that fades fairly quick despite rising bubbles of carbonation trying to support. The color of the solution under the cap is a clear pale. Some fine particulate hangs in suspension keeping this from looking polished.

The smell initially is a bit cheesy with sulfur and almost like mild farts. As it opens up in my glass, it reveals more notes that are carbonic and mineral-filled almost like dirty pennies. Across the back-end is something familiar and enjoyable minorly reminiscent of hops but you gotta get yourself through the initial surge of unpleasantness.

The taste is pretty neutral considering the ups and downs going on in the aromatics. Plain grainy quality like biscuits run across the tongue with a mild fruity alcohol note and more indications of sulfur towards the back that is a little cheesy/footed. The finish is surprisingly crisp and neutral with not much of an aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For an american adjunct lager, it falls almost right down the middle. The nose is a bit weird at first but the taste is tolerable. If not having any options I would possibly drink this again but it isn't something I would seek out.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

CAN you dig it? I certainly CAN!

My server was too gentle in his pour and so we got a quick layer of white head that degenerated into wisps. Color was a golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a mild cereal quality along with a slight bitterness. Compared to the CAN of Schmidt that I just had, this was actually showing some promise. Mouthfeel was medium with "just the kiss of the hops". Hey, at least I could taste SOMETHING in this beer. Yeah, it wasn't much and I'd prefer a smooch of hops or a French Kiss of hops, but either way, Schmidt just got bumped out of my "Hula In the Coola" celebration on 01 Febrewary. The finish was only slightly sweet, almost dry, but not quite achieving it. The BEER that made MKE famous", indeed.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.46/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A lot can change in 50 years. During the 1950s, Schlitz was the #1 selling beer in America, but recipe changes in the 1970s brought down the former giant. It's now being brought back to life via Schlitz Gusto, but right here I have a regular version. First time I've seen it in SoCal, so I picked up a 12-pack for $7.99. On to the beer:

Into a Heineken tulip pint, the beer shown is a pale yellow color with some bubbles . The foam is "cheap", being very airy but thick, retains well above. A little lacing is left around the glass. Some cheap adjuncts in the aroma like corn, a little hay, quite clean and not totally offensive, just light.

It's okay when cold; it tastes like a decent adjunct lager. As the beer warms, a little pale malt sweetness is pciked up, and that's where we get "just the kiss of the hops". It's also where the beer seperates itself from the crowd. Also, it's clean, and doesn't have any serious faults such as sickly sweet corn flavors. A little grainy in the aftertaste, neutral. It's light in the mouth with a tight crispness.

In order to do this review, I needed TWO 12 oucne cans because I drank the first one so quickly. This is an obvious step ahead of most of the others beer in its class, and with that in mind, would make a great hot day/thirst quencher beer.

Fun fact: a $7.99 pricetag today comes out around $1.15 in 1957 dollars. I can't find the average price of beer during the 50s, but beer under 10 cents per 12 ounces looks like a fantasy. I'll stay in the modern age with the wealth of beer to choose from and the significently higher Purchasing Power (even adjusting for inflation), thankyouverymuch.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yeah, so I hadn't had this one for a looong time. Ran into today at a friend's house. Picked it up and popped it....

About expected look to it; pale straw body, big sparsely bubbled head.

Aroma is sweet malt, corn and stale socks. About average anyways.

Same with taste. While I don't get that stale malt in the taste, it's still a bit there. Corn, sweet corn fades in and out. Dominant is the husk.

Watery feel. No zip. Carbonated, that's fer shure.

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Photo of Wasatch
2.23/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light yellow color, nice carbonation, small white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight hop note. Light body. Not drinkable, would not buy again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TALL BOY!!! I saw a six of tall boys standing amongst 12-packs of micro specialty brews and I said...OH Yeah! I gotta have that! Take me back to the 60s BABY....YEAH! Alright I must confess...was born in the 70s....but hey this is not a bad beer. The color was clear golded with a white head. There was no smell other than...SCHILTZ!!!! Taste...c'mon its a standard US macro pilsner/lager type. SESSION....SESSION...You bet your ass. Can drink the F' out of this. A great Saturday or Sunday would be a six of Schiltz and a side of Brats! Stay thirsty my friends!

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Photo of Tone
2.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale yellow color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of adjunct up front, some yeast cleanliness, and the slightest hop aroma. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of adjunct up front, then yeast cleanliness comes through strongly, then some very pale malt in the background is noticeable. Overall, a strong metallic aftertaste and a biting nature dominate. This is just another run of the mill adjunct lager.

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Photo of tone77
3.17/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hints of corn. Taste is crisp and rereshing, not a whole lot of flavor, finishing with a mild bitterness. Feels light in the mouth. Very drinkable, great for a round of asshole. Overall nothing special here, but for $3.19 a 6 pack, I can't complain.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz can a light-medium gold with a small head of foam that dissipated quickly leaving just a fine ring around the glass.

The smell is all sweet malt and corn but that's not a bad thing for the style.

The taste is a good mix of sweet malt and a wee bit of hop bitternesswhich makes this cheap American Macro tastier than it has a right to be. ;^) I'm not complaining, mind you, because sometimes you just want to pass on the micros for a bit and spend less and the drinkability factor of Schlitz helps that cause. Good stuff.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the better macro lagers that I've had. The color is yellow-golden, head is average-sized and creamy. The smell is adjunct sweet, definently above the average level for this style. Taste is grainy with a adjunct sweet finish. There is more flavor here than expected and no bad aftertaste that I find with a lot of these macro lagers. I'll be having this in my fridge, along with PBR, as a cheap backup brew.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.02/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the 40 fl. oz. "brown bagger" marked AUG2409-DO8040643. Sampled on August 14, 2009. The pour is straw yellow with an overzealous puffy white head the bubbles downward in about two minutes to just about nothing. Corn and grain permeate the aroma with a little hoppiness in the background. The mouthfeel is lighter and thin. The taste is actually a bit of malts, dried hops, and corn but not offensive. Better than anticipated but I have not had it from a bottle in eons. Usually I only find it in the can and it tastes kind of flat that way. But for a cheapy American classic it is not horrible.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pale, light yellow appearance. Sticky ivory white head of decent height. Lace is sporadic. The aroma has some sweet corn character, but there is also some actual malt tones detectable and a trace of hops. Good nose for a macro. On the palate, there is an underlying grainy malt presence that is accentuated by some light hop tones... just a kiss of hops. There is a slight dry and tinny and bitter finish to this one. The carbonation is not too fizzy as it is with some macros.

I have a Great Uncle in Milwaukee who has had this on tap at his tavern for the past 30-40 years. He proclaims it as the best beer around. I won't go that far, but for a macro, this is pretty damn good.

Props to the Big Guy. Thanks for the best macro I've had in a while ZAP!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lots of carbonation and clarity. Standard looking macro stuff. Aroma was that of industrial activity. Metal hydraulic fluid and corn.

Taste, a neat fruity retro yearst feel. Gentle, easy going. A palate washer. Feels authentic, like what you'd drink if you were in Cudahy right now. As you get the feel of it more, there's not a ton of hop character, just lots of carbonation. Even though the price went up with their new-retro (oh no, a misnomer like black ipa!) marketing campaign, its still cheaper than the other adjuncts out there.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My dad gave me a bottle of this as a joke. I had to review it.

Pours a clear pale straw with some good bubbling and a strong two finger head that recedes to a thick foam. It even leaves some lacing. Thebes t looking macro I've ever had. The aroma is a gentle milled pilsner barely with some lemony to metallic hops. Gristy malts mix with adjuncty must. Maybe ten minutes after pouring and drinking. The beer starts to warm up enough to change the flavor. This needs to be drunk fast to enjoy any of the nice flavors of this beer.

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Photo of Gusler
2.06/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer after its disinternment from the 12-ounce can sets in the glass a typical lager golden yellow with a smallish frothy bright white head, the lace covers the pilsner glass in a fine sheet. Nose is crisp and clean and all malt, start is lightly sweet and thinly malted, top is cadaverous in feel. Finish is sternly acidc and the hops as one would expect from the lager style, dry aftertaste, and is as I remembered from my last sample some 4 years ago, "Yuck"!

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Photo of clayrock81
2.6/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Perhaps regarded as one of the worst beers ever, although this is kind of like 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' (regarded as the worst movie ever by some). Because they are so widely known for being bad they're reputations have morphed into "worst ever". But trust me, as somewhat of a cinephile there are much worse movies than Ed Wood's and Schlitz is not the worst beer, not by a longshot. In fact, I find it to a cheap beer I can stand and that is a rarity. It has a pale, seethru straw color that leave almost no head. The smell is not metallic but still dirty, like there is an overabundance of adjuncts. The taste and mouthfeel are pretty balanced though. It has that sharp, hops taste that is mixed with just enough grain/barley to give this beer a mediumish body that resonates on the tongue and does not dry out the mouth or throat.
Needless to say, I can chill with one of these here and there.

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Schlitz from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
71 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.