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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

406 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 406
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 16.85%
Wants: 49
Gots: 14 | 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)
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Photo of OlRasputin989


2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz enjoyed from the Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass

A: a yellow-gold brew with a fluffly white head. A thin layer hangs around (could just be the glass, though).

S: dusty corn feed, hay, and earthy hops. reminds me of an old barn.

T: again, dusty corn, rice, and a "KISS!" of earthy hops. finishes with dusty, cornmeal and rice.

M: has a light-medium body with a lively entry. Almost feels grainy. has a dry finish.

Overall, This was an enjoyable beer for the mostpart, though the review could lead you to think otherwise. It does have more of a "bite" to it compared to other beers of this style (miller high life, coors) but doesn't stray too far. Don't know if that is for better or worse.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 00:02:49 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of sbe1

New York

3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe how good this beer is for what it is (an American macro-lager). It's truly a shame the macros stopped making beer like this.

Appearance: Dark (for the style) very clear gold with a sudsy white head that last a little while and settles to thin foamy ring around the glass.

Smell: Clean grain, sweetish malt and corn, musky hops, but none of the skunk or chemicals that one usually finds in a macro beer.

Taste: Clean, slightly malty, a hint of hoppiness, dryish finish.

Mouthfeel: light, refreshing, mild complementary carbonation, even a touch of creaminess.

Drinkability: the definition of drinkable, a tasty refreshing session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 03:10:43 | More by sbe1
Photo of malty


3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle stamped 'AUG3109' - so I guess I'm a day late.

Pours from the traditional brown longneck a pale gold with tremendous clarity. There's a bit of visible carbonation uprising to the 1/4" bright white head.

A few swirls on my nonic Bass Ale pint glass evoke a sweetish malt scent with a bit of a popcorn aroma. There's a snappy clean smell that's kinda appealing also.

The flavor is actually pretty nice. Clean pale malts with a surprisingly noticable hop flavor to even this (albeit light) flavor out. A light white pepper flavor hits the back of the mouth as a nice dryness comes from the hops.

Mouthfeel is light, but with a neat slik/oiliness to it. The carbonation is good at keeping the flavors going.

Drinkability is very good. I'd drink a couple more of these - especially on a hot day.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. I prefer it to nay of the BMC brews out there. It's got a bit of merit all on it's own due to it's great mouthfeel and fresh/clean flavors. No 'off' flavors on the macro. Pretty good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 00:35:09 | More by malty
Photo of BedetheVenerable


3.35/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown screw-top with freshness date clearly marked and old-school looking label

Appearance: Surprisingly dark gold (for the style) beer with great clarity, steady, almost fizzy carbonation and a stark white head that soon fades to a thick soapy film

Smell: Sweet (though not the crazy cloying/sickly heavy sweetness of many examples of the style) adjunct beer (mostly corn-like aromas) with hints of unidentifiable sweetness. This really isn't all that good; honestly I was expecting a bit more, given the hype of this beer.

Taste: Very generic sweet adjuncty graininess with just a hint of malt and a whisper of hop flavor on the finish. There's actually a nice sharp twang of bitterness from the hops on the finish, which puts this slightly above other beers in this category.

Mouthfeel: Light

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: The bottom line is that if I'm at a BMC-only establishment, I'll order this over the other macros every time. That being said, now that it's around $5.99 a sixer around here (and I can get Summit on sale for a dollar more) it's hard to make a case for buying this on any kind of a regular basis (though I do miss the 75 cent Schlitz happy hours).

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 03:23:03 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of jeremyd365


2/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden with a slight white head. Smells like a macro--overpowering sour with a little maltiness. The mouthfeel is thin but average for a macro. The flavor is... ah yes, like college. Reminds me of PBR. It's sour, but at least it's cold. I wasn't going to say it was horrible, but.. it's horrible. I got it for the novelty, and that's about all it's good for. Maybe I'll buy a sixer for my dad or grandpa--they'd probably get a kick out of it.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 18:10:09 | More by jeremyd365
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.28/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 12:15:21 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of joe1510


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Longneck
$6.99 6-pack
Route 6 Liquors

Best Before 9/14/09

"The beer that made Milwaukee famous" is back with the old 60's formula. A straw golden liquid fills this here imperial pint glass with a surprisingly frothy two fingers of billowy white head. The body is perfectly clear, allowing me to see each and every bubble pop to the surface. The head dies fairly quickly to a skimming but leaves some solid lace along the glass. Not too shabby.

I'm shocked to say it but the nose immediately gives off a nice dusty, grassy hoppiness that compliments the clean, semi-sweet graininess nicely. A quick swirl brings back the head and freshly husked barley sweetness. Although the grassy hoppiness is fairly mild I'm surprised it's there at all. It does manage to lay down balance with the mild sweetness. I think I'm going to like this one...

I cracked this bottle open as I was getting the "Q" fired up. The first few drinks make me wonder 'is there a better beer out there for just such an occasion?". I'm thinking but can't come up with much and zero of the macro lager variety. The mild sweetness hits up front with ultra clean barley before the slight grassiness hits on the swallow. There's a great balance and none of that sickly muddled graininess I run into with the other lagers of this type. This is some good drinking, all things considered.

The texture is on the lower side of moderate with some decent carbonation to push things through. The carbonation makes for a somewhat creamy feel on the swallow. A touch of sweetness gets left behind but is quickly eaten away by a surprising dryness that I instantly enjoy.

Dry, thirst quenching beer in the summer months? Sign me up! The dryness keeps me coming back for more, quicker than I should. I haven't set the glass down yet. It's nearly time for another after about 5 minutes on this one.

I feel as though I've been gushing all over this beer. Maybe I have, it is a damn fine beer. When I take the style in mind I haven't come across a better example yet. With that said, styles be damned! I just want my backyard beers clean, crisp and refreshing. Schlitz Gusto fits the bill. This will be in the icebox often for just such an occasion all summer long, what's left.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 22:49:15 | More by joe1510
Photo of blackearth


3.13/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light yellow with no head. Probably not even meant to be drank from a glass... Aroma of pilsner malts, light hops and a champagne note. Light bodied mouthfeel that is sweet with crisp carbonation and subtle hop aftertaste. Just the kiss of the hops as the commercials used to say. Very good drinkability with not much flavor. I wouldn't stock my fridge at home with this, but wouldn't turn it down if offered to me from someone else's.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 18:49:08 | More by blackearth
Photo of BarrelO


3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Typical macro paleness. However, there's actually a good amount of head retention. It even leaves some lacing.

S: Some noticeable corn, but there's also quite a bit of hop presence. It actually smells kind of like a beer.

T: Mirabile dictu, it tastes kind of like a beer too. Almost pilsner-like hop bite. Corny sweetness, but not nearly as prominent as in other macros.

M: Too watery for my taste, but less so than the typical macro.

D: It's no Prima Pils, but it's definitely head and shoulders above all the other beers in its price range.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 23:36:07 | More by BarrelO
Photo of Trigcove


3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard poured to produce a very tall head with large bubbles. The head dissipates to nothing in record time and leaves no lacing on the glass. A very light straw color that you would expect from the style.

The aroma immediately after the pour was of light malt and heavy yeast, almost like fresh baked bread.

The taste is grainy with a light, sweet-ish malt flavor and almost no hops up front, but much richer than the usual American macro. There is a *very* slight hop finish. If you are not a fan of what I consider the over-hopping of beer that seems to dominate today, then you'll like this one.

The mouth-feel is much more robust than the average American macro, possibly because there is considerably less carbonation than one might expect. It's still a nice, crisp lager, but the mouth is almost approaching the smoothness of an English pub ale.

Overall, it's far above the typical watery, over-carbonated, flavorless macros that we get today. A very good session beer for a hot summer day, and easy on the palate. I will be drinking it again, because it offers a reasonably good quality at a minimal price.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 17:13:10 | More by Trigcove
Photo of projectflam86


3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear light golden color with a fluffy white foam that leaves some decent lacing.

S- A touch of sweet malt and grain in the nose. Maybe some adjunct scents (corn?) and a light bitterness of hops.

T- A sweet malt and grassy flavor with some toasted grain and cooked corn. Some diacetyl butteriness and slight hoppy citrus (lemon)bitterness in the finish.

M- Light and crisp with lots of carbonation.

D- A decent flavor with an easy feel. Really drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 02:38:44 | More by projectflam86
Photo of ABOWMan


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden brown with perfect clarity. Little head to speak of and what head there was disappated rapidly.

Pleasant grainy aroma with some roasted malt.

The taste is slightly sweet with nice malt balance. Little to no pronounced hop bitterness to speak of, but the flavor profile is pleasant and refreshing. There is some unique backgroung flavor that is similar to Stroh's "fire brewing" but I just can't put my finger on it.

Not a real lager fan but this Schlitz is a very drinkable refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2009 21:15:37 | More by ABOWMan
Photo of hwwty4


3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard chalice. This beer pours a crystal clear straw with just a slight white head that left no lacing. The aroma is sweet corn, crackers and just a whiff of grassy hops. The flavor follows suit with sweet corn dominating the flavor profile. Biscuits and crackers come out from the pale malts. There is definitely a kiss of grass/floral hops that come out at the very tail of the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is rather sweet for the style and doesn't finish with any of the dryness that's associated with the American Adjunct Lagers. Like most decently done Macro's, its easily drinkable, especially on a hot day. I have no problem with Macro Lagers, when they are decently well made and Gusto follows along those lines.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 01:48:40 | More by hwwty4
Photo of Natural510


3.4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the predictable pale gold, but with carbonation which quickly fizzes away and leaves no head or lacing at all.
Smells lightly malty and very grassy. Not too bad for the style.
Grassy flavor as well. Malts add a definitive granulated sugar sweetness. Very light hop residue can be discerned.
Does the job of a lager in the mouth, very crisp. Also, to my surprise, there's a decent hop bite which I didn't detect in the flavor.
Overall, one of the better American macro lagers. The grassiness borders on skunkiness and does wear on me a bit. Probably won't buy it again, but I can assume from the packaging their 60's formula is superior to their 2000's formula.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 01:35:11 | More by Natural510
Photo of Strix


4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw color, head that eventually dissipates to nothing.

Grainy smell, notes of cheerios, corn, and a hint of hops.

Grain, water, ginger ale, and a subtle floral hop note. Not bad at all. In fact, if we're reviewing within style, it's stupendous. Palatable even when warm, imagine that.

Medium mouthfeel, not much carbonation.

Macros are always hard to review, compared to the more flavorful brews I generally drink. For the style, this is quite nice. It has just enough flavor to keep it interesting, and none of the off-flavors often found in the style. I probably won't sit and ponder the flavors of this again, but I'll be back to it when choices are limited.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 18:12:59 | More by Strix
Photo of Bitterbill


3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my notes of July 18, 2008 before Schlitz 60s formula was entered.

This is the newly reformated 60s formula in a bottle and I got some in trade with Lofgrep. Thanks Peter!

Well, it pours pretty much the same in appearance except that I notice the head of foam is a good 2 finger with this one and the head retention is very good.

The nose has a similar maltiness to it but I'm also getting a decent amount of hop bitterness and that's a good thing.

Tastewise, The hops play a good role in the flavour as well as the nose. Sure, the malt is up front with some corny tones and some sweetish tones but dag nab it, then some nice hop bitterness moves in and it dominates the finish. Good aftertaste from those hops as well. A much better product than the cans that they have been putting out all these years and something that I could easily revisit. Darn drinkable and darn tasty. I like.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 21:13:09 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of Vancer


3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the old Schlitz, looks just like I remember it back in the early 70s with the bold brown label.

Crystal clear straw yellow pour into the tall pilsner glass. One inch white head died quickly. Left a couple lace rings, thin, but there.

Cooked veggies and corn in the aroma. Quaff was old time Schlitz, plenty of gritty, grainy malt with a bite in the finish. Still a crisp and clean drinking beer.

Thanks for the Legend for the sample bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 01:44:18 | More by Vancer
Photo of homebrewhawk


3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle served in a pilsner glass. Pours a brilliant pale straw color with a finger of white head. A bit of sulfur and corn in the aroma. Also some noble hops. Sulfur fades quickly. Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. Crisp with a little bit of sweet malt. Fair amount of noble hop bite. Light and drinkable. I'm not sure what all the hype is about, give me a good Euro pilsner or helles over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 01:46:05 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of roadhouse


3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pils glass

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a three-quarter inch white head. Not much active carbonation coming up to make it look great, which is one of the characteristics that I really like in the pale yellow lagers. Head falls to a skim and leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma is grainy, very clean overall, a bit of a lemony citric note.

Taste is actually pretty damn good. Not objectionable at all and easily the best of the style. It's clean as can be with a bit of sweet malt and a touch of hops, slight DMS, and a bit of lemon.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, pretty smooth and creamy, easy as hell to drink and not objectionable at all like most adjunct lagers.

While it's of course not even close to a Munich Helles or something, it actually has some flavor that isn't bad like most adjunct lagers. For the cheap price, it's not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 01:39:14 | More by roadhouse
Photo of biggred1


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, pale golden with a fizzy white head that quickly settles into a thin collar. Smells of untoasted grain and grits with a lemon citrus hop note. Tastes like a better version of every macro lager I've ever had, crisp and refreshing with soft lemon and hay flavors balanced nicely with mild hop bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated, finishes squeaky clean. Top of the heap in this category.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 22:15:49 | More by biggred1
Photo of jokelahoma


3.93/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at Old Chicago in Olathe, KS.

Pours a beautiful gold, clear as a bell. Decent head that laces far better than one would expect.

Aroma is clean as can be. American malt and nothing else. no hop aroma, nor should there be.

Taste is nice. All barley, no corn or rice, and it shows. You listening InBev AB? Of course not. The beer is definitely sweet. Enough I put a shake ot two of salt in mine. But it's definitely all malt, and so much better for it. Clean, crisp, sweet. no hops at all, as per the American lager style. This is nice, in a twisted, no-big-flavor American lager kind of way.

Mouthfeel? Seriously? In an American lager? (yes, I rate to style. So should you!) It's non-existent. This is thin, and should be. Well done for what it is.

This is not the greatest beer EVAR!!!!111eleventy! But it is good for what it is, which is an all malt American lager. Rock your world? Hardly. But it may rock your summer cookout, if you're gutsy enough to let it. Not world class, but perhaps top of its class.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2009 05:11:44 | More by jokelahoma
Photo of DukeofAle


3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm old enough to remember when Schlitz was one of, if not the, best selling beers in the USA. "Go for all the gusto you can grab" was the slogan, I believe, ad their adds featured sailors in exotic ports. Anyway, more to the point; Schlitz pours a nice straw-golden color typical of American Lagers. There is little head and what there is rapidly thins to a trace. The taste is mild and not objectionable. The body is thin. There is little in the way of hop flavour or odor - but that is typical of the style. I would say it is a little better than average for this category. I keep some around to have when I'm in the mood for an AAL and for cooking ham.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 23:55:06 | More by DukeofAle
Photo of KI9A


3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle into pils glass, clear, piss yellow, little head, disappears real fast. zero lace.

S: Slight malt, some citrus, bready.

T: Getting better. First sip reminded me of any American adjuct lager I have ever had. Plain, uninspiring. Then after the second quaff, I realized it actually had a slight hop bite, and some bready/biscuit thing going on.

M: Super clean, crisp. No aftertaste.

D: Very clean, and decent. Easy to nail a bunch of these guys. i normally can't stand to drink a beer from the bottle, but, would have no trouble with this. Will buy again, once it gets hot in here in St. Louis...sometimes, a guy just needs an easy drinking, lower ABV, plain old American macro style lager. This, and PBR do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 00:09:47 | More by KI9A
Photo of bort11


3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsener glass. Thin white head, quickly recedes. Thin cap sits on the surface. Clear dull straw yellow color.

Smell is a dry biscuit with hint of lemon. Taste is more lemony. Very crisp, finishes dry.

I had a few of these the night before, straight from the bottle. I think beers like these are better straight from the container. There was more of a bready malt character. This is a good yard beer. Not as good as my favorite, Hamm's. but good.

Blipped "Mucho Gusto" by the Aquabats

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 01:42:40 | More by bort11
Photo of MikeInIowa


3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried Schlitz. I had seen it on the shelves all my life, but I and so many of the cohorts of my generation were warned that Schlitz was a skunk of beer, and it was not to be imbibed unless one was dehydrated and in danger of metabolic acidosis.

Schlitz used to have a really bad rap -- like Blue Ribbon, Old Style and Old Milwaukee and other beers that are generally not regarded among the high-end labels.

If you think you know Schlitz, you don't. The 1960's formula is well-worth the purchase of a sixer, and I feel that you will be pleasantly surprised. I surely was. And the message here is that we should not be beer snobs about anything out there. Give something a try and if you hate, you hate, but don't let my or someone else's opinion influence your sampling. Give them all a whirl and make your own judgements accordingly.

With Respect for Beer,

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 20:40:36 | More by MikeInIowa
Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
81 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.