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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.

256 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 256
Hads: 473
Avg: 3.59
pDev: 23.4%
Wants: 74
Gots: 45 | 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:
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 256 | Hads: 473
Photo of KentT
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of cs1992
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

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Photo of Immortale25
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of USAF77
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of klimoja
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Theheroguy
2.92/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of BlkHawkFan01
2.67/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

So I thought I'd give this a go based on some of the above average reviews for an American Lager. Well maybe slightly beeter, hard to say. I personally didn't taste any hops as some had noted. It's maybe an above average lawn mowing beer. Good 4:00 PM beer after the yard works done. Nuff said.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.3/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

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Photo of dnoahg
2.84/5  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)

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Photo of ROOFDOG
2.12/5  rDev -40.9%
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!

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Photo of Kestrel452
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +39.3%
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. .

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of davey101
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

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Photo of browndog1
5/5  rDev +39.3%
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.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
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.)

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -24%
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-

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Photo of YeastWrangler88
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of rpilk
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
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 ...

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Photo of robertdrinks
1.5/5  rDev -58.2%
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.

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Photo of cityofFestivals
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.05/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.