Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

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Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

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188 Reviews
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Reviews: 188
Hads: 520
Avg: 3.3
pDev: 30.91%
Wants: 21
Gots: 66 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TastyTaste on 07-04-2003

Although the Grain Belt Premium recipe has changed hands over the years, one thing has remained the same–its legendary unique taste. And now that Premium is in the capable hands of a brewery with an even longer tradition than Grain Belt–the August Schell Brewery–may you rest assured that the flavor and heritage of Premium will live on forever.
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Reviews: 188 | Hads: 520
Photo of SD-Alefan
3.42/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Being a native Minnesotan, I've had more of these over they years than I wish to admit. Figured it was time to review this midwest classic.
Clear straw color and it would have probably a moderate head if poured into a glass but this is Grain Belt, dammit. Drink it out of the bottle. Or can.
Aroma is sweet and grainy with, perhaps, a hint of hops hiding in there somewhere. And, thanks to the clear bottle, there's also the piquant bouquet of odeur de skunk lurking beneath the sweetness.
Taste is sweet and malty and there is a hint of bitterness in there from the hops as well. Finishes clean and refreshing. The slight skunkiness in the nose isn't really showing up in the taste. A hint of sweet fruit as well, almost berry-like.
Mouthfeel is light and bubbly.
Hey, it is what it is. A well-done AAL. Crisp and refreshing and about perfect for a hot summer day. Seems to be it tastes better than it did, say, 30 years ago...

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Photo of Sconnie25
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw yellow with a thick head that mostly dissipates. Smells of sweet corn and grains. Tastes slightly sweet, slightly watery, with corn and grain mixed in. Overall this is very refreshing and one of the better AALs out there.

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Photo of Beer-vortex
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Qualifier; this is a lawn-mower beer, not Heady Topper.

16oz can.

After very good smoke it pours a light yellow with a persistent 2 finger head that slowly dissipates. Smells of wheat and a grainy grassiness. The aroma is actually pretty decent.

The taste mirrors the nose; wheat, grainy-grassiness. This is a standard adjunct lager. I catch no alcohol and I shouldn’t at just 4.6% ABV. Lots of carbonation but that’s to be expected. Poor lacing.

This is a very good lawn mower beer; nothing more, nothing less. It is not a high-end DIPA! However, on a hot Summer day I find myself still drawn to this beer, and it remains a decent offering. I’d much rather have this than almost ALL of the other macro-brews. I will purchase this beer again for a lawn-mower beer.

The can had a best before date on the bottom. It doesn't say "BEST BEFORE", it just has the date, which in this case, was 11-11-15.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.78/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grain Belt Premium Beer has a very thick, frothy, spongy, white head (somewhat like whipped cream, at the crown), a mostly clear, straw appearance, but with noticeably more white sediment chunks than what one will see with macro-lagers. Lacing is pretty heavy. Aroma is of surprisingly strong northwest hops, and the flavor is of white bread, white bread crust, mainline hop bitterness, and a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Grain Belt Premium Beer finishes crisp and refreshing.


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Photo of BobbersDown
3.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A go to beer for a Minnesota native. Consider it skewed if you like, but considering the price point, it's tough to beat. Taste is light, and perhaps on the sweet side, but not in an unpleasant way. Just an easy beer to reach for if you want something that goes down smooth on either a hot day or spending some time in the ice shack. If you have a chance, try may not be your favorite, and it isn't mine, but it does hit the spot.

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Photo of jwc215
3.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw yellow as seen through the glass. A fizzy white head leaves lacing.

The smell is clean. Smells like a typical adjunct lager - perhaps even a bit cleaner.

The taste is clean overall...there is a hint of blueberry for some reason. Finishes crisp and clean.

An easy-drinking, inexpensive "lawn mower" beer.

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Photo of B-Stad
4.24/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My go to beer when I'm out at the bar, or really anywhere for that matter. This is my answer to a domestic boring American lager. Price point matches your Buds, Coors, & Millers. The taste blows said beers out of the water. This is one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. I've been drinking GBP for 10 years, and it's my overall favorite beer. It's definitely sessionable, as I know all too well. If you're looking for an affordable beer that isn't too sophisticated yet actually tastes like beer, you've found your match with Grain Belt Premium.

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Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
3.91/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

If you open the bottle looking for something mind blowing you'll be disappointed. There's no complexity, just a simple yet unique American adjunct lager. There's always been a strange hint of blueberry as far back as I can remember.

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Photo of pat61
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brilliantly clear straw to yellow, off-white quickly dissipating head leaves some delicate lacing.
S: grainy, no hops, a little apple, some corn sweetness, no appreciable malt aroma.
T: Tastes thin, grainy with corn-grain sweetness, no hops, and slight apple, faintly malty. Low hops make it lean to the malt, a light white bread or white flour tortilla after taste.
F: less highly carbonated than some, no carbonation bight, smooth, a little slickness on the tongue, refreshing and dull.
O: bland, low flavor, lower carbonation makes it less interesting than better standard American lagers.

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Photo of SenorElRaz
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is my favorite adjunct lager. It has a very unique taste, and it looks great. Pours a nice, foamy head. Also gets points for being brewed in my home state of MN.

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Photo of GuyfromGB
4.32/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic beer, with rich flavor, and an unpretentious reputation originating in Northeast Minneapolis. I rate it so highly based on its simplicity, full flavor, and also quite if bit of nostalgia.

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Photo of Jim_Benz
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is what I drank before before the craft beer explosion. Well, this and Summit Pale Ale. It's got a whole lot more flavor than Bud, which isn't saying much, and I still buy it for making beer brats--then save the leftovers for guests who don't appreciate the "good stuff." Overall? It's okay. But if I want to really enjoy a lager, I'll pick up some Brooklyn.

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Photo of Goodspeed83
3.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As a Minnesotan, this is what I "grew up" with, as far as my early beer-drinking days went. It's better than your typical American lager, and is sometimes what I'll buy when I need a break from my beloved stouts and other heavier beers, especially in the summer. Is it a world-class beer? No, but it's a quality, easy-drinking beer that's a good value. It's like a friend you occasionally hook up with, but don't feel awkward or ashamed about afterwards.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.15/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my fallback when not drinking craft brews. It doesnt taste like water like most macrobrews, easy drinking when you plan on having more than one. I also like that it is brewed in my home state of MN.

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Photo of libgotti
5/5  rDev +51.5%

This is my go-to, favorite beer. Same for my grandfather and his grandfathers. Goes down smooth and easy, and tastes soo good. Beats Bud Light, Coors light, etc. for me on every level.

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Photo of jhartley
2.99/5  rDev -9.4%

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a stange style glass.
Very pale yellow color, almost a washed out gold. 1 finger fluffy white head, left a decent amount of lacing left in the glass.
Smells of stale wet cardboard, corn and an underlying almost white wine smell.
Taste isn't terrible, it's just not good at all. A step above Coors Light, but a small step at that.
Super thin mouth feel, almost like water: no after taste at all, what is there is unappetizing.
Yeah this is just not good, unless you want to dump a macro-lager down your throat.
Not gonna finish this one, although I did drink more of this than their Nordeast.
Drain pour.

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Photo of Oakenshield53
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

OK, by rights this is a 3, but I'm giving it another .5 because - hey, Grain Belt.

Crisp, clean - a good summer adjunct lager, but then there's the sweet kick at the finish. The much superior Grain Belt Nordeast has this as well, but Premium's is noticeable and a little surprising if you haven't had one before.

Going by appearances, you're ready for some Blatz, right on - just something to knock the dust down a little while you finish hanging that garage door, but then - there it is. A little bit like the after-taste of Corn Flakes, including the sugar.

That might not be everyone's idea of a good time, but I always have some Grain Belt standing by.

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Photo of Foyle
4.5/5  rDev +36.4%

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 2" sudsy white head that slowly falls with plenty of lacing left behind. Color is clear light golden with plenty of streaming carbonation.

Aroma: nice aroma of light barley, a bit of corn, some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: light and crisp, slightly sticky, with a pleasant and refreshing finish.

Flavor: yeasty white bread, some corn sweetness, a bit of hop bite for balance.

Overall: well balanced and outstanding in the adjunct lager style. Perhaps the best I have had thus far.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.77/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grain Belt... because it's like being smacked in the face by a belt of corn syrup! (Or something to that effect...)

Seriously, man. This is a very sweet beer. Pretty thin, and one note -- corn. It tastes like creamed corn or something and that's about it. I'd liken it to Old Style in a way, but something about it (likely just misconstrued memory or a thing to that effect) makes this almost off-putting. I can see this being popular with people who like adjunct lagers that are on the sweeter side, but it's not for me. On the plus side, it's not skunky or metallic or anything like that, which is always a good thing. It's a better-than-average AAL, but it's still very "meh."

In short: You get what you pay for.

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Photo of flagbearer
3.83/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

had one of these a few years back and still wish I could find it again. I will admit, I'm a fan of a number of AALs after all, that's what over 90% of beer drinkers probably start on. If they tell you different, they're probably lying. It bothers me, like I said in a forum, that these beer snobs rate all AALs low just because its not some overly
hopped crap. there's a ton of AALs, especially grain belt, that are (in my opinion) better than most craft beers. anyway, overall a great beer and staple of the Midwest.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.6/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Ah, I love a good Schell beer. Grain Belt is no exception. I haven't had this one for awhile so I'll review it with a fresh mind (and palate).

Appearance - as always, in bottle. I almost never pour. Average rating at 3.0.

Smell - cracking the cap...buttered and very lightly sugared popcorn; deep sweet smelling grain husks, fresh corn, salted and sweet malts. A lot like High Life. Enough smelling, I want to dive in.

Taste - Fantastic. Nice and sweet with a bit of bite that dissolves into a musty grain flavor. Very low bitterness but it's there. A hint of sour chemical at the end that I wish wasn't there so it gets docked half a point. A very easy drinker.

Mouthfeel - Carbonated right from the get go but still smooth.

Overall - This beer is a clear winner. It's got the right flavor in the right areas and keeps it simple. This beer is like High Life but better. Grain Belt is a beer I would recommend to friends for almost any occasion. The friendly beer!

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Photo of mjryan
3.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Not going to lie, I'm a homer and this is the home town beer. Well, GBP and EPA are THE home town beers, but this is the original. It's a corny lager, not my favourite, but probably my second favourite. It's sort of sweet, which is my only complaint, but it's a nice sweetness. We like sweet here. Give me a Jucy Lucy and a Premo and some fries and I'm in fucking heaven. GBP is liquid history, a regional brand that somehow didn't get sucked into the multinational brewing conglomeration, a fucking time capsule. Your grandfather drank this beer. And so do his grand kids. I'm grateful for that and I'm proud that Pennsylvania and Minnesota somehow managed to keep the wolves at bay and retain their regional brewers (Schells in Mn's case, who keep the GB torch alight). A far from useful, but from the heart drunken review. You are welcome.

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Photo of Kww900l
5/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say. This is the greatest beer in the world for the price. Where else can you get a case of tasty suds for so little. I know you beer snobs will turn your noses up at this awesome Midwest treat that's been passed from father to son for over a hundred years. Clean,smooth and sweet. I love it goes great at the ball game,deer camp,or avoiding the wife. Take my recomendation and pick up a six pack of this you won't regret it. All hail to the big friendly!

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Photo of OMBeer
3.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

After trying several local beers, this was one of only a few craft, local brews on the menu. First one went down very fast and I enjoyed the second. Very lite, or pale in color, not very appealing by appearance. Smell was slightly malty with a touch of grain scent.
Enjoyed this beer and would definitely purchase as a workhorse in the fridge if I lived local. See why it is very populer in the college town of Eau Claire.

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Photo of workingclassbrew
3.31/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Grainbelt what can I say? Actually a lot. The 1st time I bought GB was when buddies of mine, and myself took 5 cases of Blatz returnables and changed them in, no Blatz, but I saw a familiar emblem that brought back a childhood memory from tavern stools in my moms hometown. It was the GB diamond label.

Cracked open a 16oz can ( " The Big Friendly" ), into a mug, hazy yellow, yes hazy, I usually buy GB bottles, and its clear as glass, whats with this?

Smell, sweet grass a little skunky.

GB has a taste that separates itself from big brand American macros. HighLife does this too. Sweet, but not over the top, slightly sour which sounds disgusting to me, but with the slight hop finish in the end it goes well. Easy drinking, light on all points malt, hops, sweetness, and carbonation.

This is my "Up North" brew, in the taverns as well as the cabin. I love seeing the old Grain Belt signs in the small towns in north western Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Its great to see the neon Premium signs, and places still serving it on tap. The name Grain Belt, how working class, no nonsense can you get? Love it!

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Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.