1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Schlitz - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

697 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 324
rAvg: 2.91
pDev: 26.46%
Wants: 22
Gots: 23 | 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:
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:  http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profi ... /106/44315 

(Beer added by: BeerAngel on 05-29-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Schlitz Alström Bros
Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler
2.05/5  rDev -29.6%
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"!

Gusler, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden clear with just a rind of white lacing. The aroma is light in the malt and hops. It is full of adjuncts, corn specifically. The flavor is light in malts with a slight hop flavor and bitterness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A very drinkable macro, could be a staple macro for me.

Sampled 6/11/04

BeerBuilder, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of Bruiser81
3.55/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sclitz pours a farely dark golden color. A big bubbly head settles down quickly. Lots of carbonation.
Smell is of corn adjuncts and a very very small amount of hops.
The taste is very crisp and refreshin and just goes down incredibly smoothly. Doesn't leave the bad aftertaste like most other macros.
I can drink this stuff all night.
This is the only "cheap" beer I drink on a regular basis. Ranks right up there with stroh's.

Bruiser81, Sep 18, 2004
Photo of dren
3.68/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Schlitz is a very cheap beer with a descent taste. That kiss of hops hits you right up front and then hides leaving a slight malty aftertaste. A little corn here and there. Not as light bodied as a Budweiser, but still light bodied. A very easy beer to drink lots of. I can pick up a case of this locally for under $8. You can't beat that. All of my friends make fun of me for having a case of this in the fridge, these are my Coor's Light/Budweiser drinking friends. After they have a Schlitz to prove to me how bad it is they usually come around and drink my Schlitz over their go-to beer. I have read that the original Schlitz was much more flavorful than the cheap version that we have now. It used to be one of the best selling beers in the USA. I highly recommend a case of Schlitz for heavy drinking. It is far cheaper and tastes better than any of the other macro brews out there.

dren, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of DESTRO
3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this is $2.50 a six pack at my corner store so that gets me hyped when im flat broke. this stuff is light golden and clear as can be, no real head to speak of. smells like it tastes, grainy, slightly corny and clean. crisp in the mouth, serve this baby cold and she will do you no wrong. a simple beer that i have no problem drinking.

DESTRO, Aug 22, 2004
Photo of BJ1833
2.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a light golden color that is a bit darker than the usual BMC beer. A very grainy and slightly sweet malty aroma. The taste is light and crisp with a strong corn flavor. A dry finish with a metallic aftertaste (but not too unpleasant).

Overall this is a surprisingly smooth beer. I would definitely drink this over a huge macro any day.

BJ1833, Aug 05, 2004
Photo of ElGordo
3.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale golden from the can with a light, foamy head that actually sticks around for a while. Nice carbonation. Aroma of adjunct malt. Slightly creamy, mostly foamy mouthfeel is more agreeable from the can than from a glass. Flavor is lightly sweet, and, like the can says, has "just a kiss of hops". Not bad at all for a macro. As almost every other recent reviewer says, I'm pleasantly surprised. At $2.59 for a six-pack, this may compete with PBR as my session beer now.

ElGordo, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of ThirstyOne
3.88/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this beer for years, and got a bad batch so I stopped! I am happy to report that the old friend is back! It is hard to beat for the flavor, quality and price! Great head retention! Nice hop taste! Give it a whirl! I would love to see this old heavy hitter make a comeback! There is a brew date on the bottom of the can. This was the second largest brewery in the United States! Will take this over Bud any day!

ThirstyOne, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of Brent
3.2/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Quite frankly, I didn't know this beer was still produced until I happened to stumble across it in the store. I was putting together a "retro beer" collection of old-line names for the 4th of July, so I grabbed a six. I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. Very smooth, with some mild, sweet grain flavor. The label notes "just the kiss of the hops," and that is about right (and the sort of kiss you give your sister, at that), but it was enough to get by. Overall, the beer had a light, lively nature, without giving way to being watery. A strong contender in the lawnmower/lake beer category.

Brent, Jul 06, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
3.55/5  rDev +22%
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!

Bighuge, Jun 09, 2004
Photo of brewQ
1.18/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It hurts me to give my lowest rating to a beer I grew up with.
I debated whether to post at all- what I sampled is a beer gone bad. Although it had 2 months left to pull date and was in a cooler.

Here goes:
Poured nicely, white head falls rapidly, very thin yellow color.

The aroma was my tip off- the smell was akin to soggy cardboard.
I went ahead and tasted- chewy cardboard.

I try all kinds of beer- rarely do I pour out a beer. I dumped this one.

My expectation wasn't high ... despite my nostalgia for $1.25 pitchers of Schlitz in Milwaukee in the late '70's. However, this stuff was wrong. I have to believe that based on other folks ratings I just got stuck. Oh, well just a $2.99 six pack and I still have 5 display cans!

Joseph Schlitz would be disgusted to know how things have changed.

brewQ, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of BeerAngel
3.15/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra clear pale yellow with a 1-1/2 finger white head that actually last longer than most macros....imagine that! The smell is made of a grassy twang, light hops, and maybe a little grain. The taste is a light refreshing smooth profile with a hint of grains, slight corn athough not too much, has a touch of hops, and a nice amount of carbonation without the brewery using this to create the the focal point as some other macros do. This is a super light bodied beer that I'm going to enjoy from time to time as my lawnmower beer. Cheers!

BeerAngel, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
1.53/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Well, I was in the mood to try another macro to see for myself what it was all about. Ordered this, and I swear, the whole bar came to a stop...Anyway, I also got a glass, so my very own pour resulted in the expected yellow clear beer, a small head did dissipate quickly. Aroma was of candy corn. Taste was of yellow carbonation. It was a very tasteless beer. I can't give it out and out 1's, as I drank the whole beer, it wasn't awfuly tasting, just that the taste was lacking. Disapointed in that the can promised me: Just a kiss of the hops, and tastewise, I didn't even get a peck on the cheek. Don't be surprised that I won't get it again ;-)

PatandDavid, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
2.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden color with a thin, 1/2 inch, head that goes away fast. Minimal lacing, plenty of carbonation.

Smell was faint.

Taste was bold at first with a tangy, slightly harsh, aftertaste. Taste faded as beer warmed.

Mouthfeel was light and watery.

Drinkability was smooth and pleasant. Not a bad little beer for a cheap price.

masterbruewer, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
3.9/5  rDev +34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

There's just something about this beer that I really dig. Now that I have had it, it makes me wonder why it took me 3 years to try it. It's damn cheap, 2.50 a 6er, so I figured if it sucked, I wouldn't be out too much. Anyways, it was a very light beer, except had a little bit of hoppiness and a little bit if maltiness. It was balanced out very well. I can't really say much else. it's just a good beer. It's one of those great beers that have no standout traits I guess. I would rank it better than PBR.

JISurfer, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of Tballz420
2.5/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Its got that sick pale gold/water color look going on, and the smell is not very appealing. There isnt too much going on with the taste, pretty standard for this price. There actually is a kiss of hops, but its just a peck. Im not sure what this beer made milwaukee famous for, but it cant be too good. Not the worst beer in this catagory however, and it is better priced than a lot of the crappier compatition.

Tballz420, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of Andreji
2.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An OK beer decidedly for a macro lager. Pours a crisp goldent tone, very clean with a slight white head and some inner carbonation with some lacing being gradually left behind, though thin. The smell is very strong, With a hint of alcohol and hops above anything else. The taste is strong, bitter and with the feel of the alcohol dominating the basics, slightly like a more mild and upgraded heineken style lager. I'll have another one along the way, it's not a bad buy but there are better.

Andreji, Sep 01, 2003
Photo of SilentSabre
3.05/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

To be what it is, Schlitz isn't that bad. Yes it is an American beer, but it is most certainly better than Bud and the other "yellow stuff". It looks almost like other American beers, just slightly different, with an immediately noticeably different smell (for the better for sure). The taste is by no means exceptional, but again, to be what it is and to be as inexpensive as it is, it's decent stuff. The mouth feel is quite watery and poorly impressive. Because it is indeed so inexpensive coupled with its water like weight, it is quite easy to make large quantities of this stuff disappear.

SilentSabre, Aug 24, 2003
Photo of brakspear
3.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Just the kiss of the hops" or so the label says. I have not had "The Beer that made Milwaukee famous" in a very long time, and I was pleasently surprised how refreshing the beer was. Now brewed by Miller for the Pabst Marketing Company, this beer was both easy drinking and flavorful for a classic American lager. It pours a very pale gold with decent head and lacing. The aroma is missing much character and is mainly a sweetness from the malts and adjuncts. The taste is very smooth, but still has a nice malty sweetness with a slight kiss of hops in the finish. Overall, not complicated but still a very nice American lager.

brakspear, Aug 22, 2003
Photo of sponberg
3.3/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

In can as it is on tap - basic drinkable beer, a cut above the advertised brands especially in hop character. $2.69 a six pack. Such a deal!!

No idea about the color, as it went from can to mouth on the express train. Smelled like canned beer, meaning that the DMS and malt graininess were accompanied by that can smell. Flavor-wise, it's as it is in bottle - a malty graininess, hints of cooked corn, and a mild hop bitterness that lasts until the end - with the usual and unfortunate addition of that aluminum can flavor. Eminently poundable. If you have the opportunity, buy the bottled version - unfortunately, bottles don't work too well at a speedway.

sponberg, Jul 24, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
2.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's crystal clear light yellow in color with a fizzy head that quickly becomes air. Aromas and flavors involve some faint sweetness and faint hops. The hops are nice to notice at all, given the style. Alcohol is fairly easily noticeable as well. The best quality is the crispness. It's a refreshing cheap beer and one of my favs when the budget is tight.

AudioGilz, Jul 06, 2003
Photo of usualpulp
2.73/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thin golden color with a very short lived thin white head. There is a hint of hop smell to the beer, but mostly corn syrup. The taste is fairly bland, quite thin, heavy corn, light hop, medium carbonation. As far as cheap beers go ( got this for $4.50 for a 12pk) it isnt horrible. Not the worst beer I have had, but far from the best. There are several cheap beers I would buy before this one, but if its all there was, I wouldnt complain about drinking it, just isnt my first choice.

usualpulp, Jul 01, 2003
Photo of powoo19
2.63/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First, what amazed me was that Schlitz makes an ice beer. Wow!
With that said, I had this as a joke ona bachelor party, actually shot gunned it.
Later that day I tried it on a slow sipper and it wasn't bad since they filtered the chunks from it. I believe this could be the soul cause of liver disease. Joking aside, the smell was no different then a bud or coors. The taste is not bad but certainly not outstanding. I think it is a beer drinker must at least once! and let me just say:
It doesnt sit well with gin and tonics
and it doesnt feel that great making its way back up.
Schlitz, your grandad drank it, so should you.
Ill stick with PBR and Schaffer

powoo19, May 17, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
1.78/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I tried to prepare myself to like this beer, but I couldn't fool myself. My dad liked it in the 32oz bottles in the late 60s/early 70s. He let me sample it in little fruit juice glasses (child abuse?) as we watched Friday Night Fights together. But Schlitz reportedly changed their recipe in 1973. Big mistake!!! Rumors of added formaldehyde flew wild and Schlitz fell from grace. We switched to Narragansett, Knickerbocker or Ballatines. That said, and fond memories aside, this is beer bad. BAD! Straw in color with a thin white head and fast fading lace. The aroma of wet corncob and musty locker room is nearly repulsive. Am I tasting hops or the can? The fizzy effervescence gives way to a mealy pasty mouthfeel as it warms. So drink fast or don’t finish it!

BeerResearcher, May 01, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
2.85/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

How can you not like a beer named Schlitz? An atypical American lager with a long tradition of decent and consistent beers. This is definitely BTB and a good cheap beer that satisfies in a '50s kind of style. Straw colored and white-headed, the head is short lived and frothy. Typical macro aroma with a sense of adjuncts. Flavorful brew with good grain overtones. Crisp and semi-dry finish, though a bit astringent.

AtLagerHeads, Apr 13, 2003
Schlitz from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
68 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.