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Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
75
okay

491 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 491
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.71%
Wants: 15
Gots: 51 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 491 | Reviews: 183
Reviews by MisterTiat:
Photo of MisterTiat
3.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden, not much head

S: Toast w/ butter

T: Grainy sweetness (I think it has a slight taste of blueberries, but my buddies think I'm crazy), not much aftertaste, watery

M: Not much here

D: This is the go to beer for Twin City youngsters or anyone trying to throw a party, it goes down easy

I gave this one a low rating because it isnt that good of a beer, however I am absolutely in love with it and cant live without it

More User Reviews:
Photo of Oakenshield53
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%

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.

Photo of grynder33
1.93/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear light gold color, small head, terrible old corn aroma, very light corn taste, just a touch of malt sweetness. I guess you can tell its not a light, but I would take any Miller product over this. The third worst beer I've ever tasted. From the past reviews I'll assume its better when its fresher.

Photo of mjwoolley33
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Couldn't resist throwing in my 2-cents on this one. Grain Belt has become my go to grilling, boating, America-loving, hot-day beer. Strong but smooth carbonation balanced with a light and corn-driven taste. Pours with a big, 1/2 - 1 inch head but goes down smoother straight from the bottle.

Is it fantastic? Not really. It's cheap, tastes decent, and really beats the heat. Thumbs up.

Photo of bsp77
3.08/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into water glass while at work. Yea!

Appearance: Very clear golden yellow but head does not last. Nice bubbles.

Smell: Grainy, sweet and some corn.

Taste: Clean and crisp with corn flavored grains and very slight hops at end. Aftertaste is mostly corn.

Feel: More moderate carbonation than some for the style, which are often way too fizzy.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but I am not a fan of corn in my beer. Of course, I would be happy to drink this in the right situations.

This is considered a local favorite in the category, but I just don't like the corn.

Photo of pat61
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of MattyG85
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow with lots of bubbles. Decent white head and good retention. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet corn and grain up front followed by a hint of lemon. Slight hint of hops in the background.

Taste: Sweet grains and wheat followed by a hint of lemon zest. Finishes with a slight hint of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A very tasty beer for an adjunct lager. By far my favorite for the style and a great tradition here in Minnesota.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.38/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wizz colored yellow, like you've been working out heavily or smoking 2 packs a day. Good head, large bubbles. Aroma was of a grain belt or elevator, or maybe I'm just projecting that out of the name. Smelled kinda like old beer.

Taste, pretty bland, mild sweetness, almost nonexistant hopping or malt character. Fractional bitterness. When I think 'grain' I don't think corn, but that seems what its all about. Mild, inoffensive.

I think a lot of people just dig this beer for the old school, retroness of it, its like PBR, but for the working man who doesn't smell and dress like hipster shit. My homie from MN swore by this stuff in school. Wasn't bad. Wouldn't be buying it anytime soon other, but it does belong in that cool class of adjunct beer like Blatz, Schlitz, Rhinelander etc. . .

Photo of ADR
2.68/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In order to better evaluate how Schell is brewing the Grain Belt formula, and to give a lighter Lager its due, I poured this side by side with the new Pig's Eye Pilsner -- another brand re-born...

Clear pale straw, decent head of short duration, but a left over ring laces the glass. Slighly metallic but sweet aroma, light corn syrup malt indications. The taste is similar, fairly corn husk in nature. Decent body, sturdier than Pig's Eye, but with flavor demonstrating less fruit. Slighly less carbonated late in the profile than the Minnesota Brewing version to my tongue. Hops are a little disappointing and sort of Miller High Life typical. A decent macro for those who like to support local economies but won't stray from American Lager. Thanks to Schell for preserving the brand, it meets a need...

Photo of LordofTime25
4.4/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have had it in a can, bottle, and on tap.

Has a light amber almost straw apperance with a white foamy head that will last for a few drinks.

Smell is fruity with a hint corn.

Has a sweet fruity finish with a tangy corn taste.

Very light taste in your mouth with a full flavor.

I would drink this often. One of the beers I keep on hand. Found that women who like a casual beer like this.

Photo of zjungleist
2.53/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this one night on my recent trip to the twin cities. Light yellow in color with a white head. As for taste and smell, there is not much you can say about this beer that you couldnt say about PBR or Hamm's. However, I would say that Grain Belt wins by a nose. There was a little bit of canned corn in the smell, and a slightly metalic taste. The mouthfeel was wet and bubbly. I think that freshness played a factor in it's moderate drinkability. I woudln't really got for this stuff after it had been shipped 2 or 3 states away. This beer served it's purpose, and I can't really complain about that.

Photo of nkersten
3.96/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a.... No way, I drank this right from the can. This is a beer so good it should not have to grace any glassware with its presence. Appearance of can is red on the top with some red and white stripes. Says PREMIUM in big cursive, with the traditional grain belt logo of a bottle cap in the middle. Already this is much better then the Premium product Fosters brings to the table.

As I bring it straight to my face to take a nice big gulp, I briefly get the aroma of light malt, sweet corn, and apple. A red apple. Smell is actually pretty good for an adjunct lager.

Tastes like any other lager you have had, grainy and metallic, but then in the finish there is a hint of hops. Just a hint, but enough to let you know there are (at least) four ingredients in this beer.

Mouthfeel is a light to medium body with a nice manly carbonation to finish clean.

This beer is very drinkable. I barely wanted the first one, now I am looking at my second. All adjunct lagers should be this good.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A buddy brought a 12pck of cans back with him from a recent trip to Minnesota. Beer poured a golden clear with thin white head. The smell and taste were a nice balance of malt, grain, and hop. The mouthfeel was light in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a good beer.

Photo of tempest
3.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Blue Nile. Appears a clear, brilliant gold with no head. I think this beer is really an example of how to make the most out of adjunct beer. Yes, it tastes like corn. In fact, it tastes a lot like corn. But unlike Miller Light (another corn-y beer in my mind), Grain Belt is smooth with subtle bready malts. I mean, unless you don't like corn-flavored beer (and that's understandable), this is a great lawnmower beer. Macro beer at its best.

Photo of dbossman
3.01/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow and clear with a frothy white head with average lacing

S: Grainy and grassy with a slight soapy funkiness to it--and buttery

T: Grainy and buttery up front with a fairly pleasant balanced hop and malt back end

F: A bit thin

D: A decent adjunt lager with sustainable drinkability

Photo of barleypopmaker
4.34/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, I think its quite obvious from reading some the reviews that some people had their minds made up before drinking it. Every beer has it's place and you really shouldn't slam it simply because of the style. American lagers may not be my go-to styles either, but they are what they are and the ones that are good put any Bud, Miller, or Coors beer to shame. This beer does that easily.

First I want to comment on the bottle, a clear bottle is not a good thing for a beer and I'm surprised they chose clear bottles. I am just glad I bought this in a 12 pack that was in a fully enclosed box. But off the pour the beer is a nice light gold and crystal clear. There is a lot of carbonation and the beer appears very effervescent. There is a stiff mousy head that is very white. As the beer sat, the head remained as a solid 1/8" cap on the beer. That's quite impressive and that alone sets this beer apart from probably 95% of its competitors.

The aroma actually has some spicy hop flair. There is some sweet malt as well as some corn in the nose. What is most impressive is that the hop character is in no way hidden. It is quite evident right off the first sniff. I am quite impressed so far. From some of the reviews, either they had a bad bottle, or are not used to finding any hop aroma in Premium American Lagers at all.

The flavor is a touch sweet and corny. Very easy drinking with a nice spicy hop flavor through the middle with a soft and subtle bitter finish that fades quickly. Although the carbonation in the beer offers a crisp feel while drinking, that part fades quickly with the sweetness. The sweetness lingers quite a while and to me is obviously from corn as an adjunct (which is OK per style). The style guidelines state that this beer should be even, and it is. A great balance between malt and hops, I just wish it would finish a bit dryer.

The mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is high, as it should be per style. There is no astringency and overall very nice.

Overall for what this beer is, it is excellent. The sweetness is just slightly off-putting, but all in all this is a very easy drinking lawnmower beer I can live with. I can honestly say that I will buy this beer again and possibly stock it for my family that drinks what they call "Light Beer". It may not be my personal flavor of choice, but the obvious hop presence and malt flavor makes this beer a winning choice for my go to American Lager without a doubt. And coming from an IPA fan, this beer should be about as out of my range as they can get, but it wasn't.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
1.88/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Draft, Minneapolis. Had this after washing the taste of a Labatt's Blue out of my mouth, but it was only a slight improvement. Since this really is my father's beer (that and Hamm's), and because it has such a generic name, it's a little hard to approach without preconceptions. What I find is the usual pale American Standard color, not much head. I did get a hint of lager yeast taste, but not too much else. When we had to leave, I didn't really want to stay and finish this. Schell's keeps this going because of nostalgia and name recognition as this area's standard cheap beer, but they'd really do well to push more of their own brand.

Photo of Rooney107
3.03/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- It looks like any adjunct really. Yellow, straw gold with a small white head. Conjures up images of summer in the Midwest.

S- Not much, some malt, corn, and grain aromas.

T- It tastes like really good water. Maybe some earthy, "grainy" notes. But then again, this is what adjunct lagers are supposed to be. Grain Belt fulfills this striving towards mediocrity in every way.

M- Over carbonated, like soda.

D- This is a great beer for summers and nights out. If you have to go with an adjunct, go with Grain Belt.

Photo of Southernbrew
2.95/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The first of seven received in a trade from Tastytaste.

Pours a very pale straw color, good sized head though. Leaves some decent lacing.

Aroma is straight corn. Takes me back to my Iowa living days.

Light bodied, some sweetness, some graininess. Not really that much to say about it.

Decent adjunct lager. I would drink this if it were a toss up between BMC and this, but wouldn't seek it out.

Thanks to Tastytaste for the sample.

Photo of russpowell
2.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The very 1st beer I had in N. Dakota at a bar at the cedar inn (cavaleir (SP??))

Pours light yellow with some head, a little head retention & no lacing

Smell Corny

Taste: Grainy, sweet & slightly fruitty. Finishes grainy slighlty sweet

MF: Thin & astringent

Easy to drink one, if you drink fast, otherwise, be warned! run o the mill macroswill from a regional brewer

Photo of bditty187
2.55/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear yellow hue, sad in color really, there was no animation, the head was white, the height never reached a fourth of a finger before it faded to a soapy collar before disappearing entirely. No subsequent lace either. The nose had minimal potency, slightly sweet, not so much from malt but from adjuncts. It is not really worth smelling. I was surprised at how bad the palate was, awfully sweet, like cream corn, slightly grainy, like cereal and as a whole it is borderline unpleasant. I’d say the sweetness is almost cloying. This has the taste of a cheap American industrial lager and it makes no point to pretend otherwise. There is no malt influence, no hops bitterness or flavor either. In fact some hops would have been a welcomed addition to cut the sweetness. But that is not what this beer is about. There are minimal flavors that are favorable. Medium-light body, firm carbonation, overall it has a good mouthfeel, but I had a difficult time getting past the taste. One (clear) bottle was enough for me, I’m glad I tried it, I’m glad I reviewed it, I’m glad I didn’t buy a six-pack to do so. Otherwise there would have been five beers poured down the drain. Not recommended, as this is a poor example of the style.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.36/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed September 17, 2005. On tap at the Big Lake Brewfest. Aroma is a light dusting of grain bin over stale malt. Pour of clear yellow. Flavor starts with a surprsing run of decent malt flavor, but then quickly fades into something a little skunky. Finishes extremely clean.

Photo of ianrca19
2.95/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old-school, dirt-cheap, no-nonsense Minnesota beer. This almost qualifies as a guilty pleasure.

Light yellow in color, the first thing you notice is the carbonation, lots of little tiny bubbles dancing on your tongue. This is quickly followed by a very light fruity note, and then a finish that is a bit dry at first, then lingers sweet and grainy.

No one's trying to impress anyone here. It's the beer grandma used to drink, and they're just keeping a good thing going.

Photo of morimech
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A finer example of American Macro Lager you will not find. If you choose to go on this quest? That is up to you. I am too young to have sampled the beer back in the old days, but the revival by Minnesota Brewing was quit appalling. But Schells has really done this justice. A good light tasting beer. Nothing extra ordinary but nothing that will make a person turn there nose up to it.

My main complaint is that it is a tad expensive for its market segment. If there are added costs due to superior ingredients and brewing processes than I will give a pass. Another is the clear bottle, put it in a proper brown bottle for longer shelf life.

Photo of mcrow24
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Solid, Commercial style beer.

A: Light golden, very clear....very much the standard looking American Adjunct Lager.

S: Very light aroma of grains, corn and sweatness.

T: again, light flavor but sweet, grainy flavors. Malty but crisp.

M: watery feel in mouth but bubbly and a slight bitter bite in the back of the mouth for an after taste.

Overall:
Well, this is a commercial beer that Schell's bought out some years ago so it is no suprise that it is a lot like other commercial American Lagers. However, I think this one is a cut above and makes for a great brew on hot day.

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Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 491 ratings.