1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) - JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

378 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 378
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 16.2%

Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst) visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

"Classic 1960's Formula" Schlitz Gusto reintroduced in 2008. 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft.

Original Schlitz in 12 oz. cans and draft:

(Beer added by: Pauly2X on 08-13-2008)
View: Beers (6) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 378 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bis4beer70


4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

- medium to big carbonation. Two fingers of head,fast dissipation. Even some decent lacing. Appears clear-golden as the philosophers stone.

S: smells crisp and somewhat beyond refreshing. Some faint herbal hop presence, malt...no kidding!

T: the taste/finish is very nice. There is a very mild hop bitterness on the end. herbal.

M: full bodied for the most part. Comes off very refreshing...might get some foam stuck in yer full-hipster beard if not careful...by the way,this beats PBR beer by a long shot...sorry.

- Very flavorful. Cheap in price but not in taste.

I found it at one store in my town & it was around $6 for a 6-pack of bottles and i even missed it at first glance through the "looking-glass"...went up to the counter and asked a man (probably in his early 70's) if they plan on gettin' it in anytime soon? he surprised me and said it should be back there and he knew right where it was, as if he pulled 'em down for himself more often than not before leaving work at the end of the day...
-more of these "Classic" Recipes should come back...vintage repro-guitars & vintage repro-beers are fine by me as long as they do it right..just like this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 00:05:51 | More by Bis4beer70
Photo of Retroman40


2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear yellow with a rich but fleeting head that retreated to a thin lace.

S - Grains with a slight hint of hops.

T - Cereal grains with some bitterness.

M - Thin body with decent carbonation and a neutral finish.

O - I was looking forward to this and frankly was disappointed. A typical AAL that is priced way too high for what you get. Since I wasn't quite of beer drinking age in the 60s (other than the occasional sip) I have to take their word this was the 60s formula. If so, I have to wonder how Schlitz ever challenged for number one (other than the fact their competition was another non-descript AAL).

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 11:32:35 | More by Retroman40
Photo of KentT


3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great AAL style beer. Has a great, rich flavor with good hop/malt balance, smooth finish with slightly sweet, grain overtones, and rich bready notes. Smooth and easy to drink. No watered down character at all. Tastes like older style Milwaukee beers used to. The perfect lawnmower beer, session lager, or summer thirst quencher. Paid $5.99 for a six pack in bottles in Vonore, Tennessee. Beats Budweiser, Coors, and Miller for only a slight premium in price. Worth trying at least once. A pleasant surprise for macro lager. Does nothing wrong. Just good plain beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 16:42:42 | More by KentT
Photo of cs1992


4.59/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer: Schlitz (Gusto)
Purchased: Farmers Foods in Richmond VA

I have great memories of my grandfather drinking this beer (among other greats from the 60s like Schaefer, PBR & Piels) and after tasting it, I understand why it was once so popular. I have drunk my fair share of macros and this is honestly my favorite. Whoever formulated this beer deserves a medal. In fact, I find it so tasteful that I am not even going to break it down by category such as appearance, aroma, etc. If you ever taste this beer, its genuine goodness speaks for itself.

What I will comment on is the complete disrespect that so many macro makers in the industry must have for this class of beers. If Joseph Schlitz could figure out how to produce a tasty, high quality beer, then BMC have no excuse for some of the lower quality products they offer. Coors Banquet, an exception IMHO, is good, but Schlitz (Gusto) is great.

The owners of Pabst have no idea what a gem they have on their hands with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 21:56:18 | More by cs1992
Photo of USAF77


3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My Dad drank Schlitz Beer exclusively. Once sometime in the mid-60s he gave me my first sip of Beer. It may shock some now but back then it was common to give your young son a sip of Beer. Dads even took their sons to neighborhood taverns, which were more like neighborhood meeting places then taverns. We drank orange pop, played the pinball and bowling games, and watched the Cubs and Sox with our dads. It was a different world.

Then they ruined it. Both Schlitz and Old Style. They turned them to crap to make more profit and I bet the old time German brewers rolled in their graves. The American Beer genocide of the '70s and '80s was on.

But I remember that first sip and without doubt this classic Schlitz is the real deal. While not as good looking as many micro lagers its pleasant with good head retention and good lacing. The smell is of old neighborhood taverns in Chicago. I love the easy malt and sweet Hops.

Its not as bitter as I usually like my Lagers but who cares. Its so damn tasty you want to gulp it. Sweet corny Hops that refreshes and balances nicely. A sweet after taste with just a hint of bitter. This is a well balanced beer.

This is the Schlitz that owned Chicago for many decades. At $6.99 a 6 pack its a bargain. Im going to buy a case tomorrow. Memories of those Old Chicago neighborhood taverns, mostly gone now, and that sweet beer, orange soda, peanut, old wooden bars, come back to my nose and my memory. Im loving it.

This is the Schlitz of my youth and early manhood. Enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 20:13:55 | More by USAF77
Photo of ROOFDOG


2.1/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This has been my daily beer for some time now and on occasion the batches have varied a bit in flavor. No problem. Now with the the latest repackaging I noticed a distinct flavor and feel.
Crap!!! They changed the beer!? Or did a poor job of quality control!? I will wait for the next
batch and try again, hopefully I do not need to switch and Pabst brewing gets it right. This may
not be greatest beer in the world but I dig it and I think the Schlitz brand can't take another hit
like it did years ago!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 17:19:37 | More by ROOFDOG
Photo of Kestrel452


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For an adjunct lager, I'll take this one WAY before the vast majority of the others in its class. It doesn't have the corn-brewed taste slapped over the flavor like you would with Miller, nor the overly crisp profile of Budweiser. It's what an adjunct lager should be.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 00:54:55 | More by Kestrel452
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, who woulda thunk it -- Schlitz as a beer I sought out. Pours pale yellow with a decent foam head, with decent retention.

Some floral notes, and some corn sweetness, and light malt in the nose. Not macro nose.

Pale malt, a little corn, but not enough to get in a twist over. Nice balance of hops and malt, with a clean layer of bitterness. Finishes lightly malty and bitter. Look out PBR, you've got some competition.

Lighter bodied, good solid carbonation.

Surprise -- I liked this. The ultimate lawnmower beer. Clean, drinkable, and not filling. Snagged a single, could easily do a six on a warm day like today. I hope the brewers pay attention to reviews here. The 60's formula works -- don't revert back to the shit that made your brand a laughingstock. This is nice solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 18:53:27 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of davey101


4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This magnificent creature was born on December 24, 2012. A Christmas Eve beer, what a delight!! 12 oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

A - Pours a dark yellow/light golden body. Crystal clear with rising carbonation. Half a finger of white head sticks around for a bit eventually residing in a thin cap. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet corn, grain, and a touch of something pleasant. Smells nice and inviting.

T - Sweet corn and some chewy malts. Borderline cereal grain but with some toastiness. Faint floral hops. Ya, this is damn tasty stuff. Crisp and lively carbonation.

O - Full discretion, I actually LIKE AAL's. This one is right up there in the top of the tops. Probably better than 'gansett. The light toasted element gives it a nice splash of flavor while remaining light and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 02:24:44 | More by davey101
Photo of Pegasus


3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale golden in color, with a large white head, which dissipates rather quickly. Three is a steady stream of small slow-rising bubbles. The lacing is glass-coating, thin, and very fine beaded.

Aroma: Light corn and white bread notes, and a little steeliness.

Taste: Opens with a moderate hop flourish, a bit more than typical for the style. This carries throughout the taste, and rises a bit towards the close. The malt is light, with notes of subtle caramel and toastiness. Finishes with a lingering metallic and medicinal hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This was my Dad's beer of choice and the first beer i ever tried. Based on that very distant memory, the present version seems a lot like the original.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass longneck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a Chimay chalice.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2012 20:22:22 | More by Pegasus
Photo of Cyberkedi


2.28/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the PAMdemonium Mensa gathering. Aroma is weak but one does get a hint of malt. It pours a typical clear yellow with an unremarkable white head. Flavor, though, is better than I expected - strong, malty and just a little fruity. Body leaves something to be desired, but not the fizz. Overall, not bad for an industrial lager.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 01:12:16 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of regionrat37


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- typical AAL, thin head some lacing
Smell- nothing offensive, a little bit of hops with corn
Taste-Honestly the best tasting macro brew on the market, sweetness up front with a clean and slightly hoppy finish
Mouth feel- Incredibly smooth, it is not fizzy beer water like alot of other macros are.
Drinkabillity- This is incredibly drinkable. One can easily knock back a six pack.

This is by far the best macro brew that you can get. Granted it is not in the same league as the micro brew stuff. However, I was surprised about how good this is.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 21:17:43 | More by regionrat37
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at a roadside dive bar last night in Noblestown, PA...damn this beer was drinking smooth for a beer that just drinks like a classic. This is the beer that made Milwaukee famous. Pours a sparkling pale light golden color with a bright white head forming thick, actually holds onto the head quite a bit. Fine speckled lacing layers arounds the sides of my glass. Aroma has abright cereal grain sweetness, seems a bit mineral in the middle but overall a nice sweetness meant to be drank by the masses especially during the industrial revolution. This neck label states that this is the classic 1960s formula. Drinks so nicely semie sweet cereal notes goes down smooth it's actually chuggable and likeable and sessionable. Amazing that an old retro beer can come back and actually be drinkable for someone like me who has tried almost 2500 different beers. Happy to see this brew in a dive bar, I actually took a six pack home and cleared them out of their Schlitz supply.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 19:41:14 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Knapp85


2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured out as a clear looking yellow color. Not much to really say here. It had a small white head on top for a little while but faded quickly. The smell of the beer was of corn and other grains. The taste of the beer was light, clean and simple. No levels of complexity at all. The mouthfeel of the beer was drinkable, I drank it rather quickly just to finish it. Overall I bought a bottle with the only intention of saying I had it. I wasn't expecting anything from it or even expecting to like it. It's a beer, That wraps it up pretty well I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 04:23:50 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Bierwolf


3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsener.

Appearance: Light to medium yellow; Snow white head of about 1-1/2 fingers; The head reduces to a thin layer leaving some lacing; Good carbonation.

Smell: Malt with hops in the background; Some grain; Alcohol.

Taste: Mild and evenly balanced. Very mild hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body; Smooth all the way through to the finish.

Overall: In my opinion this is a decent beer for this style. It was refreshing and just sitting back and drinking one is a pleasant experience.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 17:36:34 | More by Bierwolf
Photo of jtnelson40


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured from bottle into a mug, golden color, plenty of carbonation, fluffy, white head, finger width...good lacing left behind.

S- Bready, sweet.

T- Hoppy, I'm surprised here!

M- Light and very smooth

O- I really like this beer, it has some flavor, goes down easy, and for the price, 5.69/6 pack, you really can't beat it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:13:50 | More by jtnelson40
Photo of WastingFreetime


2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle with the "Classic 1960s Formula" tagline on it's neck label.

A. Light straw yellow with fizzy soda head that dies back to nothing in 30 seconds flat, no lacing at all.

S. Once the initial bottle-opening rush of husky grains and cooked corn settles down, there is really not much to smell here beyond a faint sort of crystal malt.

T. Sweet crystal malt, very light herbal / earthen hopping. Surprisingly light on cooked corn flavor for an American Adjunct Lager.

M. Lighter side of medium flavor...yet strangely undercarbonated, it just lies limp on my tongue without any effervescence at all.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 00:31:31 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of hncowden50

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schlitz was the first beer I ever drank....a kid sneaking it out if Dad's cooler after he comes home from fishing in the early 70's. Also they used to Brew it close to home...Winston-Salem...I believe that's where they ruined the formula and made it cheaper...not long after that first beer of mine. Anyway, I would still buy it from time to time until it disappeared a few years back.

In the fall of 2010 I came across it in Memphis Tn, in cans. Immediately bought a 12 pack, trying to rekindle something from my teenage years. It worked. When we left Memphis, I took a couple of cases home. None of my friends were impressed. Schlitz was something their fathers/grandfathers drank, the butt of jokes.

Anyway, saw it in bottles here in NC just a few days back...heard it was coming. Immediately bought a case and iced it down in a cooler on the deck...went back to the summer of '75....

Honestly it is what it is...a good beer for drinking watching the ballgame or while grilling some burgers. Certainly a lot of more spectacular beers out there but I'm glad to see it back and I hope it stays!

I have a vintage Schlitz pilsner glass from the 50's a good friend and mentor gave me a few years back. I used that for my review.

Appearance...good golden color, poured with a nice head, lasted longer than I thought. Smell wad kind of bready...toast like ...better than store brand white bread ...more Roman Meal....taste was good...better than the average AAL for sure! Gives a little bite of carbonation...leaves a taste on the back of the tongue ...again takes me back to my youth. Mouthfeel, good and clean, drinks smooth. Like someone else described, without the bloat of the average AAL.

Overall, pretty good...an old friend returns.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 03:51:46 | More by hncowden50
Photo of pixieskid


3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this for some time and see if it really was better than your typical AAL. Surprisingly enough it is.

I drank the first half out of the bottle so that I could get the typical vibe that an AAL would have. Surprisingly I think it is actually a bit better out of the bottle (more bitter). Poured the second half so I could review it properly.

On occasion I will drink a PBR, Olympia, or what have you in this fashion: BBQ's, camping, hanging out in trailer parks, etc.

So yeah, this thing is pretty rad. This is what "beer" should taste like. It's easy drinking, crisp, clean, notes of grain and a bit of malt sweetness, finishing in a mild bitterness.

This is definitely all the AAL can be...

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 23:51:35 | More by pixieskid
Photo of BierStein711


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into 10 oz mug

This is an American Adjunct Lager? Wow!

I had this, and I swore it was something else. For the style it is very nice, drinkable for certain. I caught a whiff of hops, but mainly the typical adjunct effects. The taste though was grand. I knew I was drinking something a little more upscale than what's marketed nowadays. The only true downside to this beer is its appearance. This is a lawnmower beer, that I probably would only drink in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 06:02:45 | More by BierStein711
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.08/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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

T: The taste starts out with some breadiness from the adjuncts and light malts followed by a little bit of malt sweetness. The hops presence is very mild, but about where it should be for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Not very flavorful, goes down ok, likewise not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, there are other beers in the style that I would pick first.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 19:01:20 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of UnsungBeero


3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into 16 oz. glass.

A- Pale, urine-esque yellow with a thin, white, foamy head that actually holds up pretty well in my glass. Plenty of carbonation.

S- Smells like your standard, cheap, adjunct lager. A bit of a metallic aroma, over some hops and alcohol, but crisp and clean. Nothing real special, a bit like "dad's beer" that you remember smelling as a kid before you knew anything about it.

T- Here's where things get good, definitely some "kiss of the hops" like it advertises, some delicious cereal grain is thrown in there as well. A bit watery initially, but flavor hits you after you give it a second. Very, very, ever so slight metallic after taste, much more hidden than you find with most other adjuncts.

M- Light, once again plenty of carbonation, watery. Certainly not as bold as the taste, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

O- Overall, though I'm sure my judging on the appearance and smell will probably bring my overall "grade" down, I honestly think this is a fantastic every day beer, especially if price is a factor. If this were more prevalent in liquor stores in my area, it would be my regular "go to" beer, too bad the only place I've seen that sells it around these parts is forty five minutes away from me.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 04:59:48 | More by UnsungBeero
Photo of mikechance


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a little darker than most mass produced lagers

S - Pick up a little floral and citrus

T - Smoother, deeper and more complex than you would expect. The hops add a nice unexpected flavor. A nice touch of sweetness at the end.

M - light to medium body

O - It's not a half bad beer! A lot more taste than most of its big competitors (and cheaper).

This beer works on any hot day inwhich you want a cheap decent beer. At $5.99/six pack it's pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 22:45:46 | More by mikechance
Photo of justinjj1280


3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking this straight from the bottle, though I have poured it into a pint glass before. This is just one of those beers you need to kick back and drink straight from the bottle or can sometimes.

Sweet adjunct taste upfront, with a tiny hint of bitterness that is nice. It really does have some flavor.

Mouthfeel is light, pleasant, and smooth. About as drinkable as any beer I have had.

This has replaced PBR as my cheap American Lager of choice. Goes great with football games.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 17:34:16 | More by justinjj1280
Photo of Gordito

New Mexico

3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank a 6 pack of bottles without pouring into a glass. Beer did not seem over-carbonated and smelled very fresh when I popped the cap. The balance of malt, corn and light hops was pleasing and the floral notes from the "kiss 'o hops" (sorry, had to do it) made this classic both interesting and drinkable. The Pabst stable is really putting out some great beers these days and this is one of them. I would put this up against many of Canadian or Euro-Macros any day. Go for the Gusto!

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 20:45:30 | More by Gordito
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.