1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

447 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 447
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 17.18%
Wants: 62
Gots: 29 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 447 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
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 tone77
3.6/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to woodychandler for the trade.Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some corn. Taste is crisp, malts with some hops, a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall one of the better adjunct lagers I have had.

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 sitarist
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, faint golden color...bubbles of various sizes rise up to a white head that falls to barely a ring.

Smells like cereal...a bit grassy.

Taste better than other beers of this style. Grassy with a mild sweetness.

Medium body with a nice attack of carbonation.

Very drinkable beer, cold anyways.

Photo of Redrover
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown longneck poured into my SA perfect pint glass. The beer is gold with a decent bone white head.

The aroma is of grains, a bit of perfume like hops and some honey.

The taste is slightly sweet with some grains, a bit of apple, some honey (again) and a touch of bitterness at the finish. Beer is well balanced and the hops become slightly more assertive mid-glass.

The mouth has crisp carbonation and a good feel. Very easy drinker. This and the reformulated Old Style are a good one two nostalgia punch. So much better than most macros.

Photo of Terrapin777
4.46/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really miss Schlitz. Not anymore!

I drank this beer back in the 60s & 70s (before they started putting that enzyme in it & ruined it). This was the best American adjunct lager made.

The first thing that I notice is the hops. Schlitz has more of a hops flavor than any other American lager that I've tried. The second is a clean taste with no after-taste.

Will I pass up a New Glarus, Tyrania or Two Brothers beer for Schlitz? Not unless I'm short on cash. But I think that Schlitz is the best American adjunct lager out there today. It even beats out Leinenkugel traditional by half a star.

Photo of cudmud
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very clear, straw color with a nice white head. However, the head breaks down very quickly. Slight lace and a nice steady stream of bubbles. It would be a handsome brew if the head didn't evaporate.

Smell: No yeast is detected, but there is a slight smell of malt and some grass-like notes from the hops.

Taste: No yeast flavors, but malts are detected. However, there is a nice hop aftertaste. In short, there is nothing much going on with the taste.

Mouthfeel: Thin and bruning bubbles.

Drinkability: You can drink it, and it's nice to remember back when this all you drank because you didn't know better.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this for the style, I am really not sure how much better an American-Macro Lager could taste, as this beer tastes more like an old school pils than an adjunct lager. That said, I cannot find this in Texas yet, so a visit up to Missouri to see the family warranted an in depth review.

A: Deep golden color with a good amount of head. Decent lacing on the glass.

S: This was really the spot where I knew before I even took my first sip that this was not your typical adjunct filled lager, as it's far more complex. The nose is filled with apple scents, honey, bread, and grass notes.

T&M: As expected, the nose carried over into the taste, as there is a floral, perfume like sweetness that is met by an assertive grass hop flavor and bite. Great balance, but a heck of a lot of bite for the style. A bread like malt backbone keeps everything in check all throughout, with a touch of alcohol in the taste as well. Almost no detectable adjunct taste, expect for a little bit of corn. Solid mouthfeel, arguably a bit too full bodied for the style. That said, it's not thick, just substantial, and would likely make the modern day BMC drinker refer to it as "heavy."

D & Notes: For the modern day beer lover, this is an awesome session brew. Not sure if I like it better than PBR, but it's definitely in the same category of a what an American Adjunct is supposed to taste like, as opposed to the brewer trying to make it easy to drink for everybody. Only drawback is that because of limited availability, it's currently priced like a craft beer, and more importantly, still very tough to find. Cannot wait until this makes it to Austin, Texas.

Photo of steveh
2.94/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ever since the 60s Formula (why '60s? Why not '50s or ''40s?) was "re-released" I've been intrigued to try this beer for fun. The other day I stumbled on a discussion at another beer forum where a newbie (if I've been drinking beer longer than you've been alive, you're a newbie) chimes in to say that Schlitz and many of the German imports are so similar, it's not worth the money to buy the import. Let's see.

First of all, the sixer of Schlitz was a dollar cheaper than I can usually get Spaten. Myth one kaboshed.

A -- Brown bottle -- definitely a plus there. Clear golden color with a sudsy white head that settles quickly. Very large bubbles, definitely force-carbed.

S -- Surprising. Mild malt nose with some vague DMS back.

T -- Hmm, yeah -- okay. Graininess up front, corn sweetness following through. No true barley malt character. Finish of nothing. Any flavor disappears. Hops? Maybe the vaguest bitterness in the little aftertaste of sweet corn.

M -- Light body with a mildly syrupy mothfeel.

D -- Yeah, well -- it's certainly not offensive in any way and goes down all right. The grain and corn bite that starts to linger on the palate gets a little heavy.

Am I about to swap this with Spaten or Paulaner -- let alone HB? Hardly. There's just no character in this beer, and it's not that there's a subtlety to find, the corn sweetness overpowers anything that might taste like a good beer.

It's not dreck, but it's far from a good light lager.

Photo of btorsdog
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great brew to have on hand at all times,everyone seems to like this one! Pretty strait-forward beer with nothing obvious to point out or any bells or whistles happening. Tastes like old school beer but in a very good way! Check this one out or pick some up if you got non-crafters stoppin by. Pretty good value at $5.99 a sixer also!

Photo of Clydesdale
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bright, clear golden color with active, effervescent carbonation. The moderately tall white head is somewhat dense, with a foamy, lightly fluffy texture. Retention is sturdy but not outstanding, and a little lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Bright, grainy maltiness - some sweetness. Faintly lemony, and more noticeably herbal/floral hop aromas contribute to a clean, fresh overall nose. A faint corn note.

T: A solid, straightforward grainy maltiness. Lightly sweet and somewhat crackery. Some modest notes of sweet corn, but this is pretty light on adjunct flavor. A bit of actual herbal and floral hop flavor, contributing a solid, focused bitterness.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is well done - lively and tingly but not at all club soda-esque. Refreshing and crisp, with a pleasantly dry finish.

D: A winner from Schlitz - a highly drinkable, tasty American macro. It drinks like a more refined, more robust, and cleaner version of regular Schlitz (which isn't half bad itself). The mouthfeel in particular is excellent for the style, and this is surprisingly polished. Who knows if this is what it actually tasted like in the 60s - this is a very good American lager right now.

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Best-by date clearly inkjetted on bottle neck. I was excited to try this classic American beer.

Super-clear golden yellow color. White head soon turns into patchy microbubbles that cling to the glass. Smells like a good and proper adjunct; husky and malty with some bittersweetness. Taste starts off with some hops and fades into some pretty tasty malts and grains. Finishes flour-y and a little bitter. Pretty complex. All in all, an excellent adjunct, perhaps the best one I've tasted so far.

"Hats off to all the ones that stood before me."

Photo of KeefD
4.04/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz "Tall Boy" can (as it's written on the side), "Classic '60s Formula" and "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous." Hate to take this beaut out of the can, but pours a crystal clear yellow color (SURPRISE!!), large white head, no lacing. Aroma is grainy, grassy, herbal, and surprisingly hoppy, but nothing stands out. Flavor follows the nose to the T. Grainy, crackers, some light bread and a touch of bitterness on the finish. Not getting much in the off-flavor adjunct department, pretty well hidden. I don't like drinking this out of the glass. This should still be in the can with the 6 pack ring still attached. Decent AAL, but nothing can top Premos!! Crisp, easy drinking. Will probably put pack a few of these tall boys tonight!!

Photo of jar2574
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First time I'd seen this, picked up a 6-pack in the grocery store.

1/4 inch white head disappears quickly. Lots of carbonation. Clear yellow color. Average looking beer.

Smells nice though. Honey. Sweet. Not a great taste, but at least there is some body and some flavor. I think it's a good alternative to Budweiser, Coors Light, etc., if you want an easy drinking beer on a summer day.

Photo of trbergman
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Crystal clear, pale straw body with two fingers of airy, bone white foam that quickly recedes to a thin lace.

S - Grainy, bready aroma with a sweet hint of corn.

T - Light, malt and corn driven palate - bready and sweet - with just a hint of spicy hop flavor and mild bitterness. Light, balanced finish.

M - Light, bubbly body.

D - Certainly no match for a good craft lager, but this far exceeded my expectations. This isn't bad as far as cheap beers go, and definitely better than PBR. I could actually see myself drinking this from time to time.

Photo of Hellas4400
4.7/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this beer for the first time the other day and was extremely pleased with the taste & drinkabilty. I had heard that the old formula was being used. I highly recommend this beer for it's value, taste & nostalgic appeal. Those that have their doubts must try this beer. It's nothing like the old Schlitz. Cheers

4.24/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one with a pale golden color. It tried for a head but it quickly gave way to a straight liquid top.
Aroma of tall grass up front, along with sweet corn husks and Cold Duck.
Taste shows the fruition of that grassiness in the aroma, and to a much lesser degree the corn. What really gets me is the hop bite of some good noble hops. It makes it just interesting enough while remaining in its purpose as a thirst quencher.
The carbonation is alive and well, almost jaggedly so. Ah but it makes this beer such a zinger refresher with all that CO2 that I wouldn't trade it. Slightly slippery even with the carbonation that was laying in the weeds.
I'm pretty impressed, I gotta admit. This Schlitz, it's mindlessly downable, but with character and pizazz. This to me is more of a pilsner than some beers that call themselves pilsner.

Photo of ommegoose
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks to style. I can't tell if it is a little darker than the usual or if I'm imagining that. Holds the head just a bit, with some flimsy looking foam. It actually laces a bit too. Not quite to the nearly absurd level that High Life does, but it makes a showing.

The aroma disappoints a bit, but it's no worse than one would expect. Thin grainy sweetness. Not bad, but basically every beer of every other style has more to offer for aroma.

This is the best tasting macro lager that I've had. A nice amount of grainy sweetness with much more of a hop kick than your typical macro. The finish is really nice, with a dry grassy bitterness, that actually is pilsner-like. This is legitimately good. Nothing about it tastes cheap, and while you wouldn't mistake it for a true pilsner, it still has a crisp dryness and enough hops to resemble a real beer, even hinting at some citrus.

Has more body than some other macro lagers. The feel is a bit more than adequate.

At $5.49 for six bottles, this is far cheaper than any craft offering on the market, so this will be something I consume fairly often over the summer. The difference between this and High Life will probably lead me to buy this a few more times. And it's certainly easy to quaff in large quantities. It actually reminds me a lot of Harp when that's fresh, as rare as that is.

Photo of jjanega08
4.37/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a fizzy yellow color which I totally expect from the style and a pretty nice two finger head on it that is a perfect white color holding pretty good retention and some pretty good lacing. Impressive.

S= It actually has a smell to it which is better than most adjunct lagers. It has distinct adjunct smell but it also has a little hops and a little poop to the smell. Pretty decent overall. The poop and the sweet corn malt fit well together.

T= You kidding me this is the best AAL in the world. Truely blows the competition out of the water. Living in MN I'm lucky enough have most of the top AAL in my home state including the wonderful Grain Belt. This beer however takes it up just a tiny notch. A little more hop flavor and a little more sweetness to it. Really a nice AAL taste to it.

M= Perfectly light and fizzy.

D= While most people hate this style I enjoy this beer. I've had it out of the bottle and now the can. Lovely beer for what it is. Worth trying at least once for every beer lover.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, light golden color with two fingers of white head and decent retention.

Scent of fresh grain and mild leafy hops. A mild and enjoyable scent, definitely ahead of the competition in the area.

Taste of fresh grain with a soft hoppy finish. An inoffensive, easy to drink Lager, a reliable go to beer.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp, refreshing.

Endlessly drinkable.

Photo of association330
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours golden (!) with a thin white head that drops to a ring of bubbles. No lacing.

S - A blend of gently toasted malt and corn. I think I may actually be able to pick up the faintest trace of hop oil as well. Slight wet grain funk.

T - Sweet and a bit malty up front, gentle and slightly dry swallow of corn with a trace of hop flavor and bitterness.

M - On the wimpy side, but not quite watery. Crisp, refreshing, and not obnoxiously carbonated.

D - Balanced, inoffensive, and easy to consume. Would sooner offer one of these to someone at a BBQ than almost any of its competitors.

Photo of morimech
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 6-pack of tall boys for $4.99. Seemed like a good deal. Pours a straw color with two fingers of white head that had surprising retention. Some sticky lacing is left on the glass. Not much to say about the aroma. It is not offensive like so many adjunct lagers. But it does have a touch of Noble hops in the nose. This "new" Schlitz is an extremely clean tasting beer. Some dry as a saltine malt flavor that is finished with a slight hoppy taste. Crisp, dry, and clean. Some characteristics that make this light lager so easy to drink. Nothing really to note in the mouthfeel. It is light and has abundant carbonation without being harsh. For a cheap lager this is very good. I would rather offer this to someone than a Bud or Miller.

Photo of Rayek
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A: Bright gold with lots of bubbly carbonation. A foamy white head starts strong, but quickly retreats to a ring at the beer's edge. Leaves no lace.

S: Musty, with a strong dose of straw and corn flour.

T: Straw like malts start things out. A bit of corn grit comes on next. Bitterness provides balance. but adds little flavor. Gets a little metallic before finishing very clean.

M: The light body is very fizzy.

D: This is light and goes down easy. It has more flavor than many beers of this style, which is a plus. One of the better beers of this type.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees, then freezer cooled for about 15 minutes
Thanks to ElJoebo, who brought me this one.

Pours up a pale yellow color, like straw or hay. It forms a two-finger plus head of loose, frothy, white foam. The retention is pretty good, leaving a solid surface covering layer of foam that's about 1/16th of an inch thick.Lacing is in spots and thin strands and is mildly sticky.

This smells like dry cornmeal, soda water and hops. There is also a mild corn sweetness here. Mild hints of grains. More than mild floral presence.
Smells better than the bulk of it's contemporaries.

This has a very mild malt presence. Not roasted or anything, just malty. A good level of graininess. Nice grassy notes. A nice balance between corn sweetness and hop spiciness. Despite the malt and sweetness presence, this one is more to the dry side of things, overall.
It's actually fairly well balanced and I don't really mind the taste of this one so much.

It's medium-bodied and has a medium-to-almost-high level of carbonation. This is pretty dead-on for the style. Very crisp, clean, and refreshing in it's feel. Not sharp, just crisp.

Drinkability is absolute. Will I search this out and consume mass quantities of it? No. Can I understand how someone else might? Yes. This is so smooth and easy-to-drink. There is nothing here to challenge your palate, but there is just enough to keep it entertained.
I can't imagine that any other American Adjunct Lager will ever score higher than this one for me, but there is a small amount of space for one to try.
I'm glad that I tried this.

Photo of jsh420
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz tall boy

pours bright clear golden yellow with a 1/2 finger white fizzy head that left no lacing

smells of grainy malts not much else

taste - by far the best macro adjunt i have had -this brew has flavor! sweet grainy/corny malts with some lemon hop bitterness

mouthfeel is light crisp semi-dry just what i want in a macro lager

drinkability is great - this beer has end of the work day lawnmowing beer written all over it

Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.