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

Not Rated.
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

448 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 448
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 17.18%
Wants: 63
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Pauly2X on 08-13-2008

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:
 http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/106/263 
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 448 | Reviews: 250
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sixer of tall-boy cans picked up at Whole Foods in DC. Thanks to Rhettroactive for the tip on where to score these. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear yellow-golden color with a pretty good white head and some slight lacing. The nose brings a bit of bread and some light corn character. Nothing cooked or DMS-like, but the use of adjuncts is noticeable. Flavor falls along the same lines. Nothing offensive. It's fairly bland, but does have a bit of malt flavor. Light body and slightly chewy. Average carbonation. I wouldn't complain about drinking this again.

Photo of Knapp85
2.7/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.23/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Go for the Gusto. Your Schlitz is back."

--Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company

Sun-splashed goldenrod with scads of sparkly carbonation leading up to an attractive cap of eggshell colored frothiness. I wonder if the head looks vastly superior to the heads on most American pale lagers because there are fewer (or no) adjuncts. A short sudsy collar of lace appears as the foam begins to recede.

The nose harbors no surprises, other than a lack of nastiness. The beer smells like cereal grains and musky hops, which is pretty much par for the style course. The brewery claims that this version has 'a more full-bodied taste' and 'more hop flavor'. Let's see if it actually does.

I'll be damned. Schlitz Gusto is the best beer of this style that I've ever had the pleasure to drink. And it isn't even close. Most of the present day recipes taste like diluted pond water compared to this stuff. It tastes and feels like there's at least 50% more barley in here. I'm sure the cost of ingredients is most of the reason why the brewery dumbed down Schlitz in the 1970s.

Gusto is both sweeter (maltier) and slightly more bitter (hoppier) than any pale lager you'd care to name. If it had been a part of a MacroSmackdown, it would have blown the doors off the competition after the first mouthful. Untoasted grain is perfectly complemented by musky, almost grassy, hops. Simple never tasted so good.

I once gave a craft beer to a friend who described the mouthfeel as 'way too thick'. She would have thought the same about this mouthfeel. As a member of the 'bigger is almost always better' school, I think it's tremendous. If fact, this might be the best mouthfeel on any sub-5.0% lager ever. No joke.

I have always wondered what the iconic American brands tasted and drank like back in the day. If Schlitz was as good then as Schlitz Gusto is now, then it's even more disappointing how far the asshats at A-B, Miller and Coors have taken us down the road of, not even mediocrity, but godforsaken swillery. *This* is what an American pale lager should taste like.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

ahead of its peers, but this is a style thats hard to pay much attention too. its cool they brought back an original recipe, and i agree with others that its far less offensive than some other domestic macros, but again, not something i ever really care to drink again. a little more grainy in malt composition than others, less adjuncty ans metallic and sweet than many others, so i like it on those grounds, but it is a little oxidized in the bottle, stale almost, and the hops are almost entirely absent. refreshing enough though with a light body and fine carbonation. i would choose this one over a lot of others in its category, but if i never see one of these again, im not going to be broken up about it. a nod to history, always cool, but the beer remains woefully pedestrian.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $3.25 at Taco Mac in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, bright, light yellow body with a ¼-inch head of white fizz fed by constant streams of effervescence.

Smell: A light hint of malt, a light hint of spice, and a light hint of lemon.

Taste: Lightly grainy, sweet accented cereal maltiness trailed by an even-handed pinch of lemon zest. Mildly spicy hops with bitterness aplenty to provide balance. Crisp, well-balance finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: A good lager at a good price. If only all cheap American beer tasted like this!

Photo of emerge077
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall Pilsner glass from the 16 oz. tallboy can. "Classic 60's Formula" on the can, to clear up any confusion.

Pale gold with rising trails of fizz. A finger of foam rises and falls quickly, leaving a broken skim after the first sip.

Clean grainy malt aroma, nothing skunky (it's a can) or unpleasant. A vigorous swirl brings a bare hint of lager-ish sulfur.
Faint floral hop hint.

Crackery, crisp taste, very light bodied, dry and slightly bitter at first (kiss of hops?), with an apple hint in the aftertaste. Clean, simple, straightforward. Carbonation is moderate, and isn't gassy. This is the best macro lager i've tried to date. Easy to drink several, tastes better in warm weather somehow.

Photo of zeff80
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a very bubbly, clear, golden-yellow color with a small, very bubbly, short-lived, white head. There was no lacing left behind.

S - It smelled of grains and caramel with a slight floral aroma. Much better than most other beers of this style.

T - Sweet caramel and grains lead off this beer with a touch of mild hop bitterness.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A light bodied lager that finishes very smooth and clean.

D - This is probably the best brew of this style that I've had. It tastes like a "real" beer unlike others of this style.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Founders shaker pint glass.

I just had to try this. It pours a clear straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises wheat, corn, flowers, and light grass. A vague sort of pleasant sweetness hangs over everything here. The taste brings in more of the same, though that sweetness has deserted me, and a light brush of metallic ore comes in at some point (thankfully not for very long and not very strongly). This taste is pretty bland, but in a positive way, if that makes any sense. The body is light, with a moderate carbonation and a crisp-ish finish. Overall, probably the best AAL I have ever had. I wouldn't necessarily pick this out to drink as a regular thing, but if I ever am looking for a cheap pack of beer for an outing or something, this will be opted-for over the likes of BMC, PBR, and Old Style. I do so like pleasant surprises...

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlitz was the first beer I ever tasted. That was way back in 1973, and I drank it straight out of the can. Over the years I've thought about that beer. In fact, I thought about it a lot. I thought I could remember how it tasted. The beers (of a similar style) that I was tasting in, say, the 80's or so, were just lacking. But at the same time I thought I was imagining it. How could I possibly remember?

So, upon finding Schlitz Gusto in the "classic 1960's formula", I had to try it. I bought a case of cans and I can't complain. It was $16.99 for 24 / 12 oz. cans, so it's still cheap beer. In any case, with my very first sip I thought "yes, this is as I remember it". Of course, I might be imagining that as well but I don't think so. It's the hops that I remember. It had some bitterness and some hop flavor to it (a little bit herbal, a little bit floral) - not that I knew what hops were back then. But I did know in the 80's that the beers I was drinking then lacked any bite, and even malt. The 'new' beer that reminded me most of that first beer I'd had was Yuengling's Lord Chesterfield Ale, but that had a bit more bite and body, and the hops weren't quite right. I know they're using all Cascade now, but I wonder what they were back in 1985. And I'm only guessing, but Schlitz was probably using Cluster hops back then. I wonder if they're Cluster hops now.

In conclusion, after such a long story, it's nice to have an American adjunct lager on the market that's got some hops to it, and a bit of malt flavor as well.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.08/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer from sitarist, thanks. Probably the last schlitz beer I'll drink for a while. Best AAL though. Poured into a Bruery tulip. Beer is yellow and clear, small head and low carbonation. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is weak and grainy.

Beer is thin and has a slight grainy aftertaste. It is almost vegetal. Eu, VSL was better. I'm done Schlitz. Peace.

Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -23.1%
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-

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of wrightst
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can,

A: Pours a super clear yellow with a medium somewhat fizzy white head, great retention for the style, spotty lace.

S: Light bready malt, with a hint of grassiness/noble hopping.

T: A pretty hoppy adjunct lager especially on the finish. Nice floral Saaz like flavours give a nice back end flavour. Malt is relatively innocuous.

M: Light-bodied, has a typical macro carbonation, but is a bigger beer. Light hoppy aftertaste.

O: Certainly one of the better macro lagers I've had. The price is good, though Full Sail Session is better at the same price. Hell of a lot better than Budweiser.

Photo of woodychandler
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Finally made it to PA and there it was in the singles section at my local! Will Cynthia Myers and the El Camino be visiting soon , also?

I had about a finger of bone-white head, but it fell like Wile E. Coyote off of a cliff. Color was a pretty golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. It wasn't fizzy enough for me to make a Greg Koch comment. Nose had a light grassy-hop scent. If this was an adjunct beer, it certainly had me fooled! Maybe extended with rice, but corn was not an additive here. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a lightly grassy hop bitterness on the tongue. This is undoubtedly what they meant by "Just a kiss of the hops". I prefer a French kiss, lingeringly so, but so be it in this case. Finish was pleasant, unobtrusive and definitely nostalgic. Man, I remember these in the heavy returnable bottles in my buddy's dad's reefer. We were big on helping ourselves. This may not be around forever, so grab some and take a trip in the WABAC machine!

Photo of tempest
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered a bottle at Palmer's Bar on Cedar Ave. Poured into a pint glass, it appears a clear straw gold. After reading about this beer, my expectations we a little high, but it's really just a better macro lager. The corn element is still present, though there is a quick hint of hops in the flavor and a mix of bready malts with the vegetable notes. Drinkable and certainly a decent macro, if you're into that sort of thing.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Thanks Matt!

A: Clear yellow with a small head that leaves a minimal amount of lacing on the glass.

S: Simple and unoffensive. Not much happening here. Smells exactly like what it is, minus any off kilter scents.

T: Decent tasting and simple. Much better than the typical beer of this style. I am actually enjoying it.

M: Smooth and easy. No unpleasant or cloyingly sweet cheap aftertaste, which I dread when drinking macro lagers.

D: I would have this again. A fine example of the style.

Photo of afsdan
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of smakawhat
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, I always wanted to try this. So I am having a party and need some regular beers that others might drink, but this has always intrigued me. Let's see what the 60s can bring?!

Poured from the can into a simple nonic pint glass, that shall do.

A real surprising and nice body color for an adjunct, a very shiny lemon gold with slow rising carbonation. Head is classic styrofoam white but forms nicely and has some good staying power. The carbonation had a mix of small slow rising bubbles, and fast rising cola bubbles. Never seen that before.

Nose is surprising. Holly molly it's white toasty bread, and a little bit of white sugar.

Taste is .. lacking? Ironically not getting much going on here, however all of the taste is in the finish. Very light breaded malts on the end, not much, some very small hop presence. Texture is a little creamy actually, particularly when chomping down on the head. No big sense of gaseous carbonation either, or bloat like most adjuncts.

Overall, this is pretty inoffensive, lacks a little bit of flavor, isn't noticeably faulty, but it doesn't taste like most 'adjuncts' I've had. It's pretty easy I must say, but I think that's part of its charm which makes it nice. I could have several of these and enjoy myself no problem. Perhaps the 60s were better for beer after all in America? Uh... probably not all things considering.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 448 ratings.