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

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

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420 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 420
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 17.18%
Wants: 56
Gots: 20 | 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
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Ratings: 420 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of acelin
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from the can, poured a bit to see the color. Surprisingly dark!

Smelled very grainy, husky, with a kiss of hops. Surprising for this style.

Taste was something else! Very malty, little adjunct flavor, and slightly hoppy. Makes me wonder if the big boys tasted like this at one point.

Mouthfeel was nice and thick.

Overall a very good lager, the best adjunct lager I've ever had.

acelin, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold, medium-big white head steadily shrinking to ring and some wisps.

Aroma: nice, strong fruity grain, apple, perfumy leafy-grassiness, hint of mineral. It’s a very good, solid American lager aroma.

Taste is a firm, lightly fruity grain, lightly sweet malty body with light apple, and a balancing light but very firm, zesty hop bitterness that in character is grassy with light herbal element that is almost minty. It is a simple, straightforward traditional American lager but with unusually good malty and hoppy body and character, with the hop flavour and bitterness really standing out complared to others in the style. This is better than the “regular” modern Schlitz and really stands out in the class. After drinking this, and comparing it to several other such American lagers at the time, the others are utterly bland and rough by comparison.

Offa, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of aval89
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a clear bright golden color.. head perfectly reached the rim of my ABA pint glass.. fizzles down to a thin film.. pretty much what your standard lager should look like..

s: slightly sweet.. cereal grain, corn.. maybe a slight earthiness to it.. nothing off putting.

t: upfront its slightly sweet.. graininess with some mild corn flavors.. finish actually has a small hoppiness to it.. nothing too big, just a mild earthy, almost leafy hop flavor..also maybe a mild toasty malt flavor.. clean finish that begs for another sip..

mf: light, crisp, clean, & refreshing..

o: first time having this one.. its actually quite nice.. far better than any AAL i've had.. having this while i bbq outside & it pairs perfect! this will make more appearances in my fridge.

aval89, May 30, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My grandfather's go to brew.

A-Pours a delicate straw hue. The beer is quite transparent. Bubbles rise to the top with determination. Pure white head forms, but unlike most other Macros I have come across, it actually retains. Random plots of lace cling to the glass. Looks like a macro with some purpose.

S-Like the appearance, macro-esque with but clearly of higher quality. Sweet grainy malts combine with some light hoppiness. Lacks the ugly copper/metal twang that makes many of the style unattractive.

T-Not bad, truly not bad. Getting some lasting grassy hops in the aftertaste which is great. The grains are more effective in Gusto than in most other from the same style. Not only is the beer's flavor more pronounced than perhaps any other macro, it is also just better as well. The taste is clean, the hops are set to a perfect pitch. Really not bad at all!

M-Light, clean, crisp, more natural tasting than any other from its family. Carbonation is evident but not overwhelming. Begs for another sip.

O/D-Perhaps Narragansett Lager has been supplanted in the category of best macro in my book by the Gusto. The light body combined with the clean grassy hops really make this one a winner. My new go-to non-craft? I think so!

VelvetExtract, May 29, 2011
Photo of youngleo
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured right down the middle of the glass. Gave a nice two fingered white head. Head didnt hang around to long. But head did settle down to about one eighth inch. Then dissapated. Nice bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Beer itself was a light golden color. Smelled slightly sweet. Also notes of corn and malt. Actually taste, I thought quite good. Not bitter. But did have a sweet taste. Not real heavy on sweetness. Just slightly sweet. Probably from the malt. Felt good in the mouth. Carbonation I thought was good. Ill buy again. I thought better than PBR or Coors. Would make a good session beer or lawnmower beer.

youngleo, May 19, 2011
Photo of HopsSchnapps
2.3/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Received a 12 oz. brown bottle in a trade with nerdrocker101 so I'll give it a fair shake. pours a crystal clear light golden with a very small head that fizzled away instantly like a Sprite.

The aroma really doesn't offer much but there isn't anything offensive in it. Some grains and corn.

The taste has light grains but a whole lot of corn. This has a big corn taste and really is like corn water. But again there is nothing offensive in the taste just a boring beer. Instead of cussing the "S" word I now have a saying- "Ah Schlitz"

HopsSchnapps, May 18, 2011
Photo of beerprovedwright
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can remember Schlitz tasting this way...way back. I just wish they would bring back the original Stroh's. Pour gives a one finger head of white foam that lasts only for a little while, leaving a clean sided glass, no lace to see. The color is a 2 on the SRM beer color chart, and very clean looking. Smell is that of cereal grain, heavier on roasted corn and malt. Taste brings back memories of a younger time in my life. Rough of the edges, flavors of cooked wheat, roasted corn, and a slight sweetness from the malt. Mouthfeel is light but creamy, with a wonderful tingling and a little dryness on the edges. I really like the taste that remains in the back recesses of my upper soft palate. Although this beer is not refined, I like the taste and the pleasure it brings. Great beer after coming in from the hot sun and yard/car work. A little pricey, but can you place a price on memories.

beerprovedwright, May 16, 2011
Photo of SamN
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gettin' old school here. Let's see how the 60's have held up.

Poured into a dimpled stein. Pours like an adjunct; pretty light yellow color, fizzy head, though this lasts noticeably longer. Smell is, whew, powerfully grassy and and also tinny. Rather flat aroma. Taste is a bit better than I expected, a bit fuller malt flavor, some nice toasty notes in there. Biscuitsy, or crackers. Not super deep, but certainly more than I expected from a Schlitz. A touch of sweetness rounds out the beer quite nicely. Feel is also nicely fuller than expected, with active carbonation keeping it lively and moving.

Damn it all, this is a pretty tasty beer. Underdog beer style aside, this is quite a tasty brew. This just may replace my current macro standby, PBR. Drinkability is excellent, I'm so happy with the taste I can't put this beer down!

SamN, May 10, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for this beer

It pours a pale fizzy yellow like you would assume a beer of it's style would. The smell is actually rather nice and mild. There's no off flavors in the scent. I can't believe that I really don't mind the taste of this beer. I was so scared and nervous because I had consumed the non-Gusto varietal of this beer and it was god-awful. The only thing wrong with this was that there was an almost iron like taste that stayed on the tongue. For the style this is good. When we go fishing and drink the cheap stuff, this will be my beer of choice. I'm pretty happy about that now.

Vdubb86, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schlitz Classic 1960's Formula beer has a thick off-white head, and a very clear, golden color; carbonation is high. Barley is prominent in the aroma, with a dash of spiciness. The taste is very good, with barley and a higher-than-average (for ASL beer) hop bitterness. Mouth-feel is medium. Schlitz 1960's Formula finishes crisp and refreshing, with a satisfying bite. I really like this beer. Try it!


RonaldTheriot, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
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...

TMoney2591, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of ElCommodoro
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells like banana, cereal grains, and a bit metallic. The first thing I notice in the taste is a bitter bite. Other than that, it's exceptionally smooth. I can taste some of that cereal malt, but it's very subdued. It's not sweet, certainly refreshing. More so, it's refreshingly different from other adjunct lagers out there today. It's much more bitter and noticeably lacking in sweetness. However, it's lacking in just about any other flavour too. As an escape from other budget beers, it's good, but overall, it's too watery.

ElCommodoro, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Fatehunter
2.08/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Very light straw color with a short white head that quickly gave way.

Smells lightly of honey and malt. Very faint smell though.

Slight malt, a bit of bitterness. There is an unpleasant flavor in there too but I cannot place it.

Lots of bubbles, kind of annoying. Light body.

I initially bought it for the novelty and to see what the 1960s tasted like. They can keep it. While it does not taste bad, it just does not taste like anything, plus the high carbonation makes it difficult to be a session beer.

Fatehunter, Apr 23, 2011
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!

woodychandler, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of emmasdad
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally made it to Colorado. Picked up a six pack of tall boys and had one last weekend. Poured a clear golden color with a small white head. Aromas of corn, straw and light citrus. Palate was light bodied and crisp. Flavors of straw, light corn and a hint of citrus with a crisp clean finish. An improvement over the other Schlitz.

emmasdad, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a six pack of "Tall Boy" cans in a trade with arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!
* 5/3/11 - got a 12 pack of 12oz cans

16oz can served in a pilsner glass.
*12oz can served in the same glassware (cleaned of course!).

L - clear yellow with a white head that thinned to a ring and left a few spots of lacing.
*No difference in the 12oz.

S - somewhat grainy and a little bitter.
*I got pretty much the same whiff the 12oz.

T - sweet taste with a hint of bitterness on the backend.
*It's all good.

F - lighter bodied with a crisp feel making it very easy to drink a lot of.
*It's pretty consistant.

D - this is a classic from my youth and I really like it.
*12oz cans are now available to me locally, cool!

JoeyBeerBelly, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of schlitzophrenia
5/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been waiting to try this for 3 years in South Carolina and it finally arrived today at the local Piggly Wiggly. The store carried canned Schlitz for years and today started carrying the "Classic 60's Formula" in 12 pack can version. Here goes the review:

Appearance-dark golden with a head that disappeared quickly. Nice, bubbly carbonation throughout the beer.

Smell-One of the freshest beers I have ever smelled-clean malt, honey, and bread

Taste-This is VERY similar to Schlitz in a can, but there is a difference. Gone are the sour,metallic, vegetable-like flavors that would form the aftertaste of the beer. In its place are corn, very light hop, bread, spice, and honey. The finish is clean and full.

Mouthfeel-Soda-like and VERY clean. In fact, this is the cleanest AAL on the market.

Overall-I am going to give it a 5. For years I have drank the standard AAL's (High Life, PBR, etc) and this is the best one so far. I will take this over craft beers and IPA's any day. Hopefully this will be a permanent staple in grocery stores and convenience stores from here on because this is real beer.

schlitzophrenia, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of steveclarkus
4.38/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've waited three years to try this beer and it has finally come to my region. It was worth the wait. I was at a micro brew beer fest recently and found IPA's to the the current fad and it seemed they were all having a hops contest. After tasting many, I was getting bittered out and dying of thirst but the only thirst quenching beer there was Chechvar (as Budweis is marked in America). I was dying for a drinkable American beer. I was talking with a local distributor wearing a Schlitz t-shirt and found Schlitz had finally arrived.

I am reviewing this beer relative to its American peers.

The AAB I've been drinking lately is Yuengling, PBR was the beer of my youth but it seems to have changed for the worse.

I went out and bought a six pk of bottles and a twelve pk of Schlitz and I do believe I've found my "go to" American beer. My opinion is that it is not all the good characteristics of Schlitz but the absence of bad ones. I haven't noticed a difference between bottle and can.

This is a near perfect example of the traditional American beer at its best. It's not the Schmitz of Philadelphia of my youth but it is close enough.

steveclarkus, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of mattcomstock213
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pabst is growing into an interesting company. You can tell how they view each of the brands in their arsenal by how they market each of the beers.
Sure Schlitz was never very good, but they killed themselves in the 80's and Pabst did the smart thing by bringing back the old recipe.
That being said Schlitz Gusto pours fizzy, pale, and yellow. Its tastes fine, by which I mean its good enough. Schlitz gusto is a perfectly reasonable utility beer, one that I will not make fun of anyone for drinking.

mattcomstock213, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of Thads324
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Starting to review aal, then will perform a blind test to test a marketing theory.

A : pours a vibrant yellow with a huge billowing head of loose bubbles that dissipates quickly but leaves a solid ring at the top of the glass

S : sweet husks of corn and a musty and generic hop aroma

T : i was not expecting much from this beer, but it certainly is better than it smells. It starts a subtle sweetness with an almost floral hint. followed by a watery middle and finished with a czech style hop. there is a lack of bite often found in other lagers of a similar style.

M : easy going and smooth. can't take anything away from it

D : All day if I have a will to pound light brews all day.

The second that grass starts to grow I know the wife will have me out mowing the lawn. We like to keep it green and neat. Usually I'll have a brown ale or a nice ipa while in the hot sun, but if i feel like having a few it could be these. nice

Thads324, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of bigrzman
3.1/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a darker straw color, zero head retention, and uneven carbonation (tiny bubbles little bubbles).

Smells metallic and corny. I guess they used a crap ton of corn back in the 1960's too.

Tastes pretty standard for this style. It tastes of corn, freshly mown grass from pale barley but has a little more hop assertiveness for a macro which is still pretty low on the IBU scale, kinda has a Heineken hop taste.

Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy and thirst quenching. Drinkability would be high because there is nothing hateful about it.

Basically, you people got fooled. Beer in the 1960's was probably just as bad as it was before the micro-brew revolution. It is your standard Joe Average lawn mower beer and nothing else but something that hearkens back the days of old and onion skin nostalgia.

bigrzman, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.18/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, date of 6/13/11 on the bottom of the can, nonic.

Light, shining golden yellow with perfect clarity. The head is a glossy white foamy affair with decent retention for the style, meaning from inches and inches there is now half an inch. It does look like it will hold on about there and possibly leave some dollops on the glass. Never mind, no lacing.

Grassy, almost skunked hops, corn and light malt sweetness, and grain husk typify the style, and I don't find if far off of PBR at all.

Happily the corniness disappears for the most part, but is replaced by a more rice-like sweetness. There is still a grassy and slightly herbal hop presence and a bit of grain. A little more bitterness would make it more crisp.

It seems a little less carbonated than it's peers and I am unsure whether this is good or bad. It slightly detracts from the crisp, refreshing quotient while making it less stomach bursting if you have more than one and allowing the flavors to land more heavily. That last one may be where I'm not sure that less carb is better.

I'm not crazy about the beer. While a more flavorful (mostly in a good way) AAL than most, it is not much of an improvement. It costs more than PBR and I'll stick with that for situations conducive to this kind of beer.

brewerburgundy, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of merlin48
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My father rarely drank beer, but when he did it was good ole Schlitz, in the era before poptab cans. And, he poured salt in it. No salt goes in with my pour but Schlitz has a clear yellow body with a small white head. Retention is poor and lacing consists of only a few speckles. Aroma is unremarkable, somewhat of an attribute for the style. Toasted grain and a hint of herbal/spicy hops. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, light bodied and well carbonated. Taste is clean and even. Toasted grain with a mild sweetness that is nicely balanced by a subtle herbal hop bitterness. Some barley and a hint of corn underneath. No offnotes. Simple but well done, this one leaves the other macro lagers in the dust. Very clean and sessionable.

merlin48, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of welldigger888
3.3/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle, bright golden hue with a snow white cap that lingered but laced poorly.
A mallty aroma is in the front (wow) followed by a distinct adjunct corny smell with a nice floral hop.
A disidedly more hop forward flavor than I am used to for the style and a nice noble hop floral spice, some adjunct comes through but not overwhelming.
Very smooth brew, better than expected. A little bit over the top carbonation but good none the less.
Given the price piont and availability this is good stuff.

welldigger888, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of saintwarrick
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this, and it does not disappoint. Pours a nice gold color, slightly darker than most American lagers. Fizzy head dissipates quickly. Nose is some nice roasted malts and corn and honey glaze. Surprisingly good body in this brew, where its brethren are little more than glorified, over-carbonated water. This one is actually has some heft to it. Very smooth taste with just the right amount of carbonation. Taste is light and smooth, the perfect brew for cookouts and warm weather. Wish all American lagers tasted like this; definitely need more macros to got "retro".

saintwarrick, Mar 16, 2011
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.