1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

417 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 417
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 16.9%
Wants: 55
Gots: 19 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 417 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of airforbes1

New York

3.1/5  rDev -12.7%

I had read about Schlitz bringing back their "'60s" formula and I saw a 12-pack in the grocery store available for $7.99 plus taxes. At that price, I was willing to take a chance on it.

The beer is a straw color and is completely clear. The head is decently foamy for the style. The aroma has a generic bready, grainy smell.

Hmm, I can't say I've ever had an adjunct lager that quite tastes like this. It tastes like white bread. I know white bread has negative connotations in food circles, but I use the term in a positive sense. I mean, I'd rather have a cheap lager taste like white bread than corn syrup and bitter water.

The real strength of its beer, comparing it to other beers in the style, is the mouthfeel. It's smooth and isn't too fizzy and doesn't leave me feeling bloated.

As someone who usually drinks ales, I'm having a hard time grading this beer. It's bland but great for the style. It might be comparable to white bread, but I'd rather drink something that tastes like white bread instead of Clydesdale urine.

I wish this beer would take off and take market share from BMC, but I fear BMC's grip on the minds of American consumers is too strong.

12-16-2011 01:34:46 | More by airforbes1
Photo of bacher468


3/5  rDev -15.5%

12-08-2011 07:06:23 | More by bacher468
Photo of Brac13


4.45/5  rDev +25.4%

Poured from 12oz can into standard pint glass.

A: typical macro lager plus one shade darker. Fluffy white head clears quickly. Hefty chugs leave nice looking lacing.

S: there's not a lot going on here, but what is happening is pleasant. Floral-soapy hops are present. Almost reminds me of a Czech pils.

T: on par with smell. Floral hops and dry. Very refreshing, makes you want to take another sip soon after the last.

M: thin but crazy refreshing. Carbonation is just right for the style . This one could be drunk all day while watching football or whatever your sport of preference may be.

O: the best aal I've ever had. BMC should be keeping an eye on this one. I could see this coming back and staking a claim in the aal landscape. Blows the other aal's I've tried out of the water. No pun intended...

12-01-2011 08:41:42 | More by Brac13
Photo of celticfutblclub


4/5  rDev +12.7%

11-30-2011 20:21:09 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of budgood1


3.53/5  rDev -0.6%

pours out of the 12 oz. can a clear pale gold colour, almost straw like with a relatively enthusiastic snow white head that seems to want to stick around awhile. some clingy lace, too. impressive. grainy malt aroma...a bit of corny adjunct with a good dose of spicy and flowery hoppiness. the taste department follows suit...a bit meek and meager in the malt bill, thin and grittily adjunct ridden but just sweet enough to overide the slightly seltzer like feel. again, the amount of raw hoppiness in the backend really sets this apart from the usual fare of mass produced american lagers. a touch floral, some spice, with a definite bitterness that is appropriate. it does have a light body and a thinnish, prickly mouthfeel. drinkability is good, especially if you like a bit of raw character to your domestic lagers.

overall, this is a pretty tasty, thirst quenching lager with some gritty character. the overall flavour and character makes up for the too thin body and mouthfeel. i like it. and happy 10 year BA birthday to me! now...on to the good stuff!!

11-30-2011 20:09:12 | More by budgood1
Photo of KingBiscuit


2/5  rDev -43.7%

11-29-2011 01:14:49 | More by KingBiscuit
Photo of Halcyondays


3.6/5  rDev +1.4%

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.

11-27-2011 23:09:37 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of chapcat


3/5  rDev -15.5%

11-25-2011 03:48:40 | More by chapcat
Photo of deapokid


3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

11-24-2011 19:53:10 | More by deapokid
Photo of KC9LDB


3/5  rDev -15.5%

11-21-2011 23:47:13 | More by KC9LDB
Photo of Wally1912


4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

11-19-2011 18:49:08 | More by Wally1912
Photo of tgbljb


2.63/5  rDev -25.9%

Saw some hype about a return to to the classic formula. I was not impressed. Seems to be the same old macro lager taste that is acceptable when very cold, but nothing great. Good for a hot summer day.Acceptable as a spacer, but not much else. Very dissapointing.

11-15-2011 22:14:48 | More by tgbljb
Photo of ej285701


4/5  rDev +12.7%

11-15-2011 07:54:39 | More by ej285701
Photo of hncowden50

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +22.5%

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.

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


3.65/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

11-11-2011 19:57:21 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Dools9


3.89/5  rDev +9.6%

"Tall Boy" into a pint glass.

A: Light golden color with a two finger soapy white head, leaves nice patchy lace and retains well for the style.

S: Sweet white bread, light metallic undertones, a bit of a taosty graininess, a noticeable grassy/floral hop presence, its pretty clean and inoffensive overall.

T: Surprisingly pretty good. Slight white bread sweetness, cereal grains, touch of minerality. Very clean. Actually detect a bit of a grassy/citrusy hop presence albiet very subtle.

M: Medium bodied smoothness, very crisp, clean, refreshing.

O: Wow, very good for the style. I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised by this one. Lacks many of the off flavors associated with the style. A better alternative to BMC most definitely. Only downside to this one is its a little pricey for what it is and hard to find in my area.

11-03-2011 23:17:13 | More by Dools9
Photo of pixieskid


3.9/5  rDev +9.9%

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...

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


3.58/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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

Rhode Island

2.08/5  rDev -41.4%

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.

10-30-2011 19:01:20 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

16 oz can pours a crystal clear gold color with a decent cap of white head. Retention not bad for the style. No lace.

Nose is light and grainy with a sweet, dried corn aroma. Not much here, a bit better than the regular Schlitz, perhaps?

Taste is light and airy, cleaner than regular schlitz it seems like, although the differences are not too wide. Not bad, seems to be a little bit of a leafy hop bitterness on the end, which is nice. I got this as a single, but I saw sixers of this selling for as much as Coors or Bud. Schlitz has always been a decent bargain beer, but at 'premium' prices, I dont think I would buy much. For an AAL this falls right on the better side of middling.

10-23-2011 19:22:48 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

3.9/5  rDev +9.9%

This is still one of my Dads'favorites!
This is being reviewed with the "Macro-mass brew" basics in mind.

Pours light gold yellow with a decent white head that lingers fairly well. Scent is typical baseball stadium beer. Taste is ricy with a tin twang to it, but crisp and clean. One of the better adjuncts.

10-18-2011 00:26:56 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of UnsungBeero


3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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.

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


2.85/5  rDev -19.7%

Pretty standard fare, straw yellow, but nice clarity. Don't even ask about lace or retention.
Smell, watery corn and alcohol, factory smell, not like a new car either.

Standard american adjunct fare, without the big advertising campaign, so its relatively cheap. Hint of hops. Hint of barley, but mostly corn or rice or something else super light that doesn't impart much flavor. Always highly carbonated. A good palate cleanser.

10-10-2011 22:55:39 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of mikechance


3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

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


3.38/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

10-09-2011 17:34:16 | More by justinjj1280
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 417 ratings.