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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)
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Ratings: 378 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of timfelix

New York

3.16/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is the beer that introduced me to beer, in 1965.
It tasted good then, and tastes pretty good still. This has some traditional american beer flavor, with less sweetness than Bud, and more flavor than Pabst. After many years of drinking craft beers, I have to say that Schlitz is not great, but it is pretty good. Considering a price per ounce to taste analysis, Schlitz would be very tough to beat if price is an equal factor to taste.
I don't get this often because I only see it in suitcases of 30, but if it sold in six packs I'[d get it occasionally. It is a decent, yet cheap beer. It is better than some of the craft beers out there. I am amazed that it tastes the same as I recall from 1965.

Serving type: can

04-07-2014 00:17:50 | More by timfelix
Photo of JamieDuncan


3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Guru brought this over for me to give it a go. Not much to look at, weak head and not much to it, looks like tinted water with minimal head. Decent smell though has me more optimistic. Not bad flavor. Weak and not much to it but certainly not bad and easy to drink. Would not buy but would not turn down.

Serving type: can

02-24-2014 02:02:54 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of McStagger


3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gusto! So, apparently all Schlitz is now Gusto according to their facebook.

A: Pale golden with lively carbonation. Two fingers of head with rapid/moderate dissipation. Nice lacing on the glass. Looks like the commericals.

S: Smells crisp and refreshing. Some herbal hop presence, good crackery malt and a mild hint of adjuncts. You can tell that corn is involved, but it's more subdued than your average AAL.

T: Adjuncts come out more in the taste, especially in the finish. Still, it's far less than you get from Pabst, Old Style, Olympia, etc. There is a mild hop bitterness on the end. Mostly herbal. but with a very mild spiciness intermingled as well.

M: More full bodied than its counterparts. Fairly mild carbonation, but still lively enough to be refreshing.

O: Very flavorful representation of the style. I'd like to see more of these "Classic" Recipes come back. It'd be interesting to see what my grandfather drank in his thirties.

Serving type: can

01-30-2014 04:57:50 | More by McStagger
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Had at Company Burger New Orleans. Bottom of can says FEB1714

A- Pours a very clean light golden color with a 1/4 in h white head that almost immediately dissipates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and various specs of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Light smell of corn and alcohol.

T- Flavor carries much of the same as the nose. Watery corn flavor with just a kiss of alcohol. Trace amount of hop bitterness. Too drinkable.

M- Thin and watery with a slightly oily feel. Medium-low carbonation and a super light body.

O- The least offensive of all macro lagers but it's still no fun to drink.

Serving type: can

12-19-2013 00:38:51 | More by Immortale25
Photo of klimoja


3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok What is it now that its not gusto but taste like gusto but not in a gusto can? anyway....Glad to see they are producing this a little more after its summer disappearance. Beer has a light look, feel, pours with a two finger head into a Schlitz goblet.The sip is clean, good balance like a Macanudo cigar. Nothing at all unpleasant and most certainly a go to beer for all occasions. This isn't a craft but its easily still one of the most balanced drinkable adjuncts I've ever had. Feel the nostalgia to back when the gods at Schlitz ruled the earth.

Serving type: can

11-17-2013 16:15:07 | More by klimoja
Photo of Theheroguy


2.94/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Much better head formation and retention that one would expect for an adjunct lager. Corn cereal notes very present in the aroma. Overpowering the barley. When tasting the corn is there but it isn't so prominent. Hop flavor is mild but present. Even a mild hop presence is much more than your average American macro lager. This beer would benefit from more bitterness. I think too much corn is used in the mash bill also but it isn't terrible.

Serving type: can

11-16-2013 15:09:19 | More by Theheroguy
Photo of JuicesFlowing


2.3/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a clear light golden color. A fizzy white head sits on top until it recedes to a light wisp. Little or no lacing.

The aroma is dominated by a metallic smell. It covers up any grains or malts that may be present.

The taste is even more metallic, with some sourness coming through. Otherwise I can't detect a lot of taste.

Mouthfeel is very light but a little harsh due to carbonation.

Overall, not very good to me. Too sour and metallic.

Serving type: can

09-29-2013 16:03:07 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of dnoahg


2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I was there in the 60's, and I drank Schlitz. It was also my go to beer in the early 70's, especially when in college, and the local stores were having "beer wars". You could get a keg (15 gallons) of Schlitz or Bud for $10! (Yeah, believe me, I know, money went further then. But come on, $10? Even students could keep the whole dorm in beer for a week). But the Bud would would always give me a headache. Not so the Schlitz.

Is what they're offering today the same Schlitz as back then? Hell, I can't tell for sure. My taste buds have changed so much over the years that it would be impossible to determine. All I can say is this beer tastes a little too sweet for every day drinking if you ask me. They used to advertise that it had just a kiss of the hops. Well that's for sure. There's hardly any noticeable in this beer. To me it's fizzy and not as satisfying as it once was. (It's hard to go back after you've tasted Heady Topper)

Serving type: can

08-10-2013 02:42:38 | More by dnoahg
Photo of bbluemzbeer


5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

King of BEER take WAY FROM bUD call it SHLITZ . iT TASTE LIKE A germany beer. I bought a six pack of tall ball for little over six pack. Best american lager out there!

Appearance- Nice,carbonation on this beer.

Smell- iT IS THE MOST refreshing beer out there.

Taste- A corn, very light hop, bread, spice, and honey. It is very well balance which makes it a great beer. The finish is ver clean and full. Can drank it all day long!

Mouthfeel-It is very clean. The mouthful is best!

Overall-This is is 5. I have drank the standard american lagers Bud , (High Life, PBR, Red Stripe) and this is the best of t hem all . I will take this over any craft beers s any day.This will s a true staple beer. .

Serving type: can

05-24-2013 05:19:47 | More by bbluemzbeer
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

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

Served in a can at The Lower Depths in Boston, MA

A: Pours a clear medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a couple of small thin patches, a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of cereal grains with a little bit of added corn along with some lighter grassy hop notes.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of cereal grains with a light amount of added corn sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of grassy hops which impart light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Probably the most enjoyable AAL that I have had the opportunity to try - it is a darn shame that they stopped using this as the main recipe sometime in the 1970s. Easy to drink and enjoyable - nicely balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the hops without leaving out their flavors.

Serving type: can

05-06-2013 20:57:38 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 6/10/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus zest, and floral hops. Taste is much the same with malt and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice hop aromas and flavors for the style.

Serving type: can

04-17-2013 03:20:22 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of browndog1

5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank gallons of this before the great Frank Sellinger "Improvement" of the late 1970's which rightfully put the company out of business. The new reformulated brew tastes just like the Schlitz of old. Was the best mass produced beer then and still is with this formula. Just make sure you get the new reformulated stuff and not the bargain basement stuff usually found in the 12 oz cans at the Quickie Marts. Better than Bud, better than Coors and better than Miller. Cannot top the microbrews but it never was intended to compete with this market. Hope they keep producing this.

Serving type: can

03-03-2013 20:56:40 | More by browndog1
Photo of TTAmod


3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6-pack of tall boys for $4.99 at the local beer store. 60's formula? I guess that's good. I wasn't alive during the 60's, so I cannot compare it to the real thing. Poured into a pint glass

A: Pale, fizzy yellow with a pretty thick white head.

S: Smells of grass and grains. Pretty run of the mill AAL.

T: The taste is much improved over the smell. Bit watery and tasteless up front, but *gasp* all of a sudden, a dose of hops pops up. There's a nice bitter, lemony, grassy taste along with a rustic grain malt bill. This beer ends pleasantly bitter and slightly sweet.

M: Slightly creamy and less carbonated than some of its other AAL brethren. Easy to drink.

O: As far as AALs go, this is definitely one of the better ones out there. Look past the Miller Lites, Budweisers, and Coors out there and grab some of this. There's a lot more depth to this beer for the same price and same ABV. In my opinion, there is absolutely ZERO reason to buy any of the BMC beers over this (unless, of course, you cannot find it, which is definitely possible because only one beer store in my area carries it.)

Serving type: can

03-03-2013 06:19:03 | More by TTAmod
Photo of kojevergas


2.75/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz aluminum can served into an Odell 90 Shilling pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average. I have nothing against the style, but I've yet to have a truly remarkable beer within it.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured gently as overcarbonation is expected.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and decent retention - though its ABV is rather modest. No lacing. Body colour is a pale bland yellow. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looking at the bubbles, it doesn't appear as direly over-carbonated as something like Budweiser or Coors.

Sm: Plain barley. Some clean malts. Adjunct presence is obvious - corn I'd guess. Not as stale as many other beers in the style. Not metallic. Surprisingly fresh for a canned beer of purportedly low quality. An average strength aroma.

T: Fresh clean barley, limited clean pale malts, hints of buried corn or rice adjunct, and thin depleted grains. Well balanced for what it is. Not as abrasive or stale as many other adjunct lagers I've had. I'd stop short of refreshing, but it does scratch the auld beer itch. No alcohol comes through. Certainly simple, but I'd hazard to say it's well-executed for an adjunct lager. Lacks the straw body of many poor beers in the style. When I strain to find them, I do pick up some very hidden light floral hops - a notable feature when compared to other adjunct lagers.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit creamy. Well carbonated - certainly a bit overdone, but not to the extent of many other adjunct lagers. It's a bit sharp, but that's to be expected I suppose. Palate presence could be better. It's even slightly buttery in the body.

Dr: Drinkable and affordable. A pretty decently executed example of the style. I'd sooner reach for Simpler Times on a budget, but this is drinkable enough and would be a good neutral beer to pair with food or barbecue. I'd stop short of sessionable given the carbonation, but I think some reviewers may be coming down a bit too hard on it merely because of the style it's in.

High C-

Serving type: can

12-31-2012 21:46:31 | More by kojevergas
Photo of YeastWrangler88


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz "tall boy" can into a Sam Adams Pint glass:

Appearance: pale straw, crystal clear, lots of carbonation is seem, thin head, soda like head.

Aroma: light grains, no distinguishable malts are found, maybe pilsner, alcohol smell seems to be more aromatic than the hops.

Flavor: actually not too bad.. For a american adjunct pale lager, tastes of pilsner malt come to mind but along with some cane sugar-like sweetness that somehow works hops are not very dostinguishable, but they have to be there right?? Because it IS slightly bitter, so its not unhopped! Lol

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated, not a lot of body, finishes dry, but the flavor doesnt disipate.

Overall: for a adjunct pale lager, its really not bad, id reach for this at a bbq over any other in its class.. But definetly not a craft pilsner style beer.

Serving type: can

11-20-2012 02:05:49 | More by YeastWrangler88
Photo of rpilk

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a "Tall Boy" and not easy to get around RI. As compared to PBR, Gansett, Rolling Rock or Coors Banquet (adjuncts with old school cache) this my favorite of the retro lagers. Enjoyable and drinkable. The Tall Boy presentation was nice but I'd prefer a 12 oz. The color was unknown as I drink from the can, the nose was real beer, taste was full and crisp beer taste, clean after taste ...

Serving type: can

10-07-2012 02:57:06 | More by rpilk
Photo of robertdrinks

1.5/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This was not good. I think i received a real can from the 60's.
It had a slight cloudy yellow appearance to which should be clear golden. no head to speak of.

smelled of basement

taste was bad and sour. no skunk, just flat and awful.

i would like to try this again because i think i received a bad can. i will update my review if i find it better in the future.

Serving type: can

09-14-2012 15:55:02 | More by robertdrinks
Photo of cityofFestivals


3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed straight from 12oz can. As is the trend with most 'old school' American Adjunct Brewers, Schlitz is making an attempt to re-brand themselves to a younger audience, but with mixed reviews. They've increased the prices of their cases by 2-3 dollars (at least in this part of the country), and it's turned some people off. IMO, this is a highly drinkable and very quality sessionable beer.

(A) As mentioned, had straight from the can, so appearance wasn't something I was that interested in. Pouring a can out for this review, it appears a pale yellow as you would expect any beer of this class.

(T) Honestly, this is the strongest attribute of this beer. Schlitz Gusto starts clean, finishes clean. In between is a mix of maltiness, a hint of sweetness and a touch of hops. Not too overpowering, done just right. Refreshing. Some in this class leave a weird, pasty aftertaste in your mouth, not this one. Excellent drinker.

(O) Again, probably my favorite of the re-branded American Adjunct beers. I gave it an overall score of 4 because I believe it to be above average in that it delivered everything I was looking for in this particular beer. Flavorful, refreshing and an all around solid beer. Super underrated, and very well done. Most likely won't appeal to fans of 'big' beers, but this beer certainly has it's place. For whatever reason, here in central PA Schlitz has become almost impossible to get. I picked this up at a distro in Chester County, and will make it a point to stock up.

Serving type: can

09-13-2012 12:23:49 | More by cityofFestivals
Photo of HalfFull


3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a pils glass. 'The Classic 1960's Formula' perhaps mimics the old man's beer of choice back in the day? Pours your typical mass produced clear medium straw in color. Head retention does seem a bit better than average.

Nice aroma actually as a subtle noble hop presence is muddled with some light grainy malt and a hint of yeast. No adjunct evidence really. Creamy lemon bread though very light and balanced.

Pleasant attributes do indeed carry forward to the taste. Slightly creamy with a subtle carbonation, bit of lemon again and some subdued grain. Not as coarse as you'd expect from a pilsner but surely leaning in that direction. Feel is full and lingers much longer than your big three lagers. A touch of sweetness is present to make that happen but yet hardly there. I guess it has a slight malt body vs. near zero in a Bud for example.

Overall a very light German Pils with a hint of Saaz hops I would guess. Quite pleasant given its competition.

Serving type: can

09-05-2012 03:48:10 | More by HalfFull
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear pale yellow color with a fluffy, big-bubbled head that slips down to a little ring. Clean, lager-y aroma - there's actually a nice, spicy hop note, which is surprising. A bit of lemon, sweet cereal grain, and a touch of sulfur. Chuggable, inoffensive flavor - crisp, spicy hop and grain. Not bad at all. I could drink a hell of a lot of these on a hot day (or anytime for that matter). This just might be my go-to cheap beer of choice from now on...

Serving type: can

07-13-2012 01:49:55 | More by wedge
Photo of iSip


2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Schlitz: I usually drink wheat beers during the summer, but thought I would work through the classic mass produced US beers as a change of pace. The Schlitz has a darker golden color, light carbonation, and a decent head. The aroma is very mild. The malt flavor is up front, and finishes with some bitter. The only drawback to this beer is an abrasive aftertaste, which takes it off of my list. PBR still holds the lead. Stay tuned.

Serving type: can

07-05-2012 13:58:38 | More by iSip
Photo of rangerred


3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tall boy into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium gold with a fluffy but shorted lived 1.5 finger head.

Smell definitely has some hops buried within. Some citrus and earth sneaks through. Can pick up corn and just a little bit of grain.

The flavor is quite malty. Some adjunct that I believe is corn sneaks through but does not overpower. A tiny bit of citrus followed by a light, drying bitterness that finishes clean.

A very well done and refreshing AAL. One of the better ones out there. The greatest thing about this beer is the price. I picked up a 6 pack of tall boys on sale for $4.

Serving type: can

05-31-2012 21:22:28 | More by rangerred
Photo of 12stepCornelius


3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer after spotting it in the beer isle of my hometown grocery store. I already knew about it, knowing that it was huge in the 60s, but has since puttered out in popularity. Well I'll say, this is one adjunct lager that surprised me quite a bit.

I poured it from a 12 oz. can into a typical pint glass. The head frothed up bubbly and pure white, diminishing quickly as most adjuncts do. However, before it diminished I gave it a whiff and noticed much more malt and hop nose coming through. This is something I don't quite get with say budweiser or pbr. I also was unaware until I was about halfway through the 12 pack I bought that this was the re-issued classic 60s formula. I had heard that Schlitz was no longer as good as it was before they changed how they brewed it, but that it now tasted like a Schlitz should. This beer also has a higher carbonation than most adjuncts I drink. More on par with the carb of High Life.

This beer tastes spicy and bitter to me. Which is right up my alley when it comes to a cold one. You can taste a good bit of hops with some sweetening malts about halfway through a swig. Your left with the bitter aftertaste of the hops, giving a satisfying taste each time you take a drink.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and sharp, hence the high carbonation. But because of this, makes it that much more refreshing.

All in all, I'd say this has become my new favorite American adjunct I've had so far. I usually pick up Budweiser, High Life, and Pabst; but I'd say this tops them all in my opinion. Not sure I could say the same if they hadn't re-introduced the classic formula before I hit 21, but oh well, lucky me! However, if you like more malt and less bitter hops, I'd go with something else. The only downside about this beer is that I can't get it where I currently live. I'll have to pick up a couple 12 packs each time I'm home from college. Anyway, a refreshing, satisfying adjunct to quench your thirst and catch a buzz on a hot summer day. Now all I need is a wife with a beehive and a '64 Chevy in the driveway.

Serving type: can

05-28-2012 19:28:07 | More by 12stepCornelius
Photo of buh

New York

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

A- poured from can to pilsner glass - poured fast to produce a good 2" head. Bright golden color, lots of bubbles. Lots of lacing left behind as the beer warms in your glass.

S- Rich bread aroma and slightly sweet. Malt.

T- Slightly sweet - touch of malt. Not bitter.

M- soft and creamy, doesn't sting

O- $3.99 in NY - date on bottom of can was 3 months out (fresh)

Tip: pour fast, build up a good 2-3 inch head and let it settle an inch before enjoying. Vent some of the carbonation - that's how these were made to be enjoyed.

Better at 45F rather than right from a 37F fridge.

Serving type: can

05-20-2012 23:47:03 | More by buh
Photo of Etan


3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint can.

A: Pours a clear gold with a large white head.

S: Sweet corny grain with some light and clean phenols.

T: Brief wave of slight hop bitterness, followed by mildly sweet bready malt. Pleasing grain taste in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Not quite as dry as most AALs, which allows a bit of the sweet malt character to come out. Pretty nice (for the style).

Serving type: can

05-19-2012 07:17:27 | More by Etan
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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 378 ratings.