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Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Educational use only; do not reuse.

188 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
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 Oxymoron
1.73/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Is there a grain belt buckle? Pours a clear lemony yellow color with great clarity. Needed help with the pour but still left with a large bubbly head that quickly dissipated to nothing. No retention, no lacing, no carbonation.

The nose is limited but what aromas you could get were off. Noticeable canned corn mixed with butyric/sewer smells. Some lighter bread notes that was boarder line cereal and boarder line grainy. Feint yeast notes as well.

The taste is on par with the nose. Or well below par in this case. A almost sickly sweetness with strong notes of corn and butter. No real malt notes at all. No hop notes either to balance. To me this is more along the lines of a malt liquor than macro lager. Some minor sewage notes in the end but not as bad as the nose indicated.

The body is closer to light than moderate. Next to no carbonation and a offsetting finish leaves a filmy finish. Overall not recommended. Not recommended at all.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
1.88/5  rDev -43%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.91/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 12oz bottle at the Doolittle American Grill ($3.50) Alexandria, Mn. Pours with two finger white head that goes slowly leaving a good lace. Clear pale amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Wet stainless steel nose. Starts with a hoppy citrusy flavor but weak, finish is clean since there is not much here. Good lawn mower beer.

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Photo of grynder33
1.93/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

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Photo of moulefrite
2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Comes in a clear bottle that showcases its extremely pale staw color. In fact, I can see right through the darn thing! More like an Italian chardonnay in color than a beer. Sports a modest white head throughout-to its one credit I guess?! Aromas hint straight off of adjunct-lots of corn here folks! The beer actually tastes like a can of "light" cream corn-if there is such a thing. The mouth feel is redolent of water, and as the beer warms in the glass it loses its carbonation with the quickness of a cat, and actually, almost passes for water! Grain belt finishes with a lingering "frito corn chip" flavor! If you like em corny and flat this one is for you brave drinker!!

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Photo of John_M
2.04/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Another local gem furnished by my very gracious and good natured hosts.

Yes, well, this one pours a pretty solid gold color, showing considerable carbonation, and fairly decent head retention and lacing. On the nose, this is really a pretty bad beer (the light version is every bit as "good" IMHO). I get considerable sweet, creamed corn and seltzer water. It's really not working for me guys. The flavor profile replicates the nose very closely, but on the palate the sweet creamed corn flavor actually works pretty well. However, there's some odd flavor on the finish that I can't quite put my finger on, except to say it ain't real attractive. It's something of a sweet corn meets tin metal flavor. Otherwise, the seltzer water flavor really dominates in this beer, and the CO2 gas really seems to dominate the more I drink of this crap. Mouthfeel is all light, watery, weakly sour macro swill, though it doesn't finish too badly. Drinkability would normally be OK I guess, except the flavor profile is so poor, I can't imagine ever wanting to drink more than a single serving.

Bottom line... there's little to commend in this basically light, watery, oddly flavored swill. Sure, there are worse beers out there (I'm looking at you Inbev-AB), but that's hardly an excuse for this crap. Given a choice, I'd probably save myself the calories and drink the equally swill like premium light. This is pretty bad...

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Photo of Mardukk
2.13/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this from the clear bottle.

A: Looks like the typical macro straw color with no little to no head and no lacing.

S: A sweet corn type smell. Not much of a smell really

T: Hits your mouth without much fanfare...but when it hits the back of your mouth the corn/malt liquor taste makes a strong statement. A sweet metallic taste hits your tongue and leaves an unpleasant filmy sweet taste lingering.

M: Medium to light mouthfeel

D: I guess you could drink a few of these if you love malt liquor. The taste and filmy aftertaste would prevent this from being a very satisfying session beer.

The more I drink this the more it reminds me of a low alcohol malt liquor. Avoid this beer.

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Photo of TexIndy
2.26/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got as the Bad(ass) in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly BIF from Scoobydank - thanks! Poured from a 12oz can into a pint glass. There was a date on the bottom of the can but didn't specify if canned date or best by date. It was a clear light good color with some carb streams. No lacing. It had a finger of fizzy white head that quickly evaporated into a thin collar.

The aroma was corn, malt and a touch of sweetness in the back. Very weak aroma overall and it really faded as it warmed. The taste was decent. It goes down easy but really no flavor to it. Feels like drinking a BMC. Mouthfeel was watery.

Overall, it was a below average beer in par with the BMC's. Not one that I'd buy but glad I got to try since it's a Minnesota legend.

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Photo of hero27
2.3/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Macro color, macro taste..but I'll try to keep an open mind on the much talked-about "Grain-Belt". Let's go with the facts..it is a straw-yellow color...no head, no lace. The aroma is nothing but rice..grainy, grassy herbal smell with a hint of corn thrown in there. The taste comes down to a combination of very mild grainy malts and possibly good dishwater. Thin mouthfeel. Slides down as easy as corn-flavored water...remarkably, that's what I found out this is. Thank god this was the "Premium" grain belt..I'd hate to taste what the sub-par grain belt tastes like.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.36/5  rDev -28.5%
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.

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Photo of DaCheesehead
2.37/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a pale yellow with a light head that faded to lace quickly. Aroma was slightly sweet and was of malts and grains - slighltly fruity as well. Taste was unique - malt and corn with an interesting finish of light hoppiness. Tasted like High Life with an extra dash of corn just for good measure. That said, it was pleasantly different than other mass produced lagers in that corn flavor was not as bitter and unpleasant as many of them. Palate was acceptable but nothing special. Overall, not too bad for a cheaper pale lager.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.38/5  rDev -27.9%
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. . .

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Photo of Gehrig
2.38/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a thin finger of white head. The body is a light golden, reminding me of Miller, unfortunately. The smell actually isn't bad, with a good deal of corn sweetness emanating from the glass as well as some modest malt. Everything is so-so, until the taste. This is one of the worst tasting beers I've had in a long time. The sweet smell didn't carry over to the taste well. In fact, as the beer warms, there is a distinct sour-bitter taste that I can't help but think results in part from the clear bottle, notorious for aiding and abetting skunkiness. Ugh.

The beer flattens quickly, with too modest carbonation letting this beer down. I'm far from impressed with this, and will studiously avoid it in the future. Not worth trying, in my estimation.

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Photo of MeLikeBeer
2.4/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I have to attest that this beer is probably more impressive to Minnesotans (or Midwesterners) than anyone else...for myself it's impressive because I drank it in college. That being said:

Appearance is a translucent, yellow color...carbonated bubbles infuse the glass. Light head.
Smells slighty fruity with just a hint of (read: little) hops.
Tastes wheaty and smooth...light malt flavor...sweet.

Very easy on the palate and a good beer to seek out at the end of the night..if you've already shocked your tastebuds with good beer.

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Photo of jlb307
2.42/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from the 12 oz. can into a pint.

A: Thin, watery, and yellow. Kind of like what's produced naturally after consuming beer. Fizzy white head that dissipated quickly.

S: Some yeast and malt. That's about it.

T: Nothing spectacular. Sweet yet bitter. Pretty malty.

M: Light in body, crisp because of the amount of carbonation.

D: Meh.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.48/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

No abv., date, nothing.

A) Very pale, almost white glass that holds a soapy head.

S) Grain water with a lightly dusty edge

T) Thin taste, watery, with some white bread and sweet corn

M) Prickly carbonation, light body

O) Nice, but fairly bland Macro/Adjunct

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Photo of zjungleist
2.53/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of bditty187
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

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Photo of tito42
2.55/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Decent white head, average lacing.

S: Grainy, grassy, faintly sweet.

T: Corn syrup, way too much sweetness comes through from the adjuncts for my taste.

M: Decent body for an AAL, and a nice touch of hoppiness for this style at the end.

D: The sweetness...some have reviewed it as honey but it was more corn syrup to me, is just too much for my palate. There are several other adjuncts (such as PBR) that I would rather drink.

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Photo of Mdog
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pale yellow, good carbonation but a fading head.

Smell: Sweet, corn.

Taste: A little too sweet. Corn comes through as the main flavor, really strong at first but I either got used to it or it fades as it warms up.

Drinkability: The strong corn note reminds me too much of dangerous malt liquors.

Picked up a 12 pack for cheapo beer over the 4th. Unfortunately the taste reminded me too much of malt liquor. I'll still finish the 12, but I probably won't come back to it again.

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Photo of Misfit138
2.63/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Bright transparent yellow with a bright white head that left lacing

S- Sweet corn, grains and hints of flora

T- smooth yet Grainy flavor with a crisp finish

M- Fairly light and medium carbonation

D- Goes down pretty well, nothing to complain about just a simple beer.

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Photo of jwilli7122
2.63/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is about the clearest beer i've ever seen. Smells sweet but like alchohol. Taste's pretty sweet...slightly fruity/citrusy- and sometimes it can taste like somebody spiked it with a pinch of vodka or something. It's not all that unpleasant though, and it doesn't seem potent at all. dont let it get flat, it needs some fiz.

I actually liked this much better when I had it out of a can (or maybe that was the "old" grainbelt?) It also seemed to work better in the summertime. In any case it's OK for the price.

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Photo of ADR
2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
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...

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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 russpowell
2.78/5  rDev -15.8%
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

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