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Grain Belt Premium | August Schell Brewing Company

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Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by TastyTaste on 07-04-2003

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Reviews: 195 | Ratings: 546
Photo of flagbearer
3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
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
3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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 +11.9%
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 Czequershuus
2.54/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

This beer pours - well I think it is best described as well-hydrated-piss-yellow with an enormous head (my straight down pour method may have been over-exuberant for this level of carbonation). The aroma is actually quite nice, a sort of mildly fruity pilsner funk. The flavor, however, is not quite so powerful. There is a somewhat pleasant crackery malt flavor, but little else. The mouthfeel is extremely watery and quenching. Overall, this is a fun experiment into AAL's for me, and my first time truly reviewing one. There are nice things going on here, especially in the aroma, but there is not much else to recommend it. Glad I just have one.

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Photo of Kww900l
5/5  rDev +52.4%
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 +5.8%
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 +0.9%
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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Photo of mcrow24
3.18/5  rDev -3%
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.

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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Photo of zeledonia
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can has 020814 on the bottom. Guessing that's best by 8 February 2014. Tasted 3 February 2014.

Pours very pale golden yellow. Crystal clear, with a thin column of bubbles rising. Half-finger of white head, okay retention and lacing. Fine, for an adjunct lager.

Smell is thin, lightly sweet. Lager yeast busting through. Light and clean. Pretty good.

Taste is pretty good (again, for an adjunct lager). It's moderately sweet, a clean golden sweet. Could use a bit more crisp, and a bit more bite, but it's well balanced and smooth. One of the better adjunct lagers I've had.

Feel is really nice. Light-bodied, carbonation right where I want it, though it drops off a second before I want it to. A little expansive, like a bubble inflating just a touch in my mouth.

A flavorful, clean, crisp lager. I wanted to dislike it, but I don't. Sweetness is almost too much, but it backs off right when I want it to. It's close to being really really good, with a few little things not quite measuring up. But overall, I dig it.

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Photo of DrCDPriest
3.17/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad beer for a traditional American beer by a great company with a low price-point. Usually I would rant and rave over anything from August Schell Brewing, great history, great people, great location, wonderful products. And I use to love Grain Belt before it sold to ASB.

The Grain Belt Premium has a nice, although very pale yellow, color, more like corm than other grains, good aroma, smells like dad's Miller Highlife 40 years ago, taste has a bit more of a sour than bitter flavor, starts sour/bitter but has a good semi-sweet grainy follow through, hint of corn maybe (?), highly carbonated, bubbles like a ginger ale, still, great beer with pizza, nachos, or hanging out at a local bar watching the Super Bowl.

At home I pour a 12 0z bottle into a pint glass, out, draft is usually pretty tasty.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.11/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours yellow with fizzy foam head - quickly receding to nothing. appearance is average for the style, reminds me of High Life. Aroma is a surprise, there is the typical grain/corn thing from adjunct lagers but there is also a very apparent floral hop aroma that is above average for the style, nothing crazy, but better than most.

Taste is unremarkable - on par for style, mostly standard adjunct flavors, tastes like corn as opposed to rice, again kind of similar to High Life. Thin mouthfeel but appropriate for the style.

Overall, clean, crisp, refreshing, cheap (got a 12 pack of tall boys for $12), a bit above-average for the style. It is what it is and hits the spot after too many IPAs or Imperial Stouts, it helps to cleanse the palate.

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Photo of davey101
3.27/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can into a pint glass. Thanks Bennett! This one pours a crystal clear yellow with a finger of awkward white foam. Excellent lacing and retention. Smell is cereal grains, sweet corn, and some chemical smelling fruit. Not a great aroma. Taste is spot on though. Great balance between the grainy malts and sweet corn with an underlying hop fruitiness. Clean and crisp this drinks very easily with no real aftertaste of any kind. Not overly carbonated or too thin. Just a damn solid adjunct lager.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.01/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours a clear, light amber color with only a slight head. The aroma is mild with a fair amount of grains in the mix. Lots of flavorful grains in the taste that actually make this somewhat pleasant to drink. Reminds me of Miller Genuine Draft on steroids.

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Photo of cervezango
2.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Premium is kind of become a hipstery beer here in wisconsin, because you can't find it everywhere here, mostly just Minnesota, or wisconsin city near the border. Its a better than some of the other big macro brews, but not really better than high life , old milwaukee, or PBR in my opinion. Fun novelty beer in the sense that its not everywhere.

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Photo of Averwo
2.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

For an American Adjunct Lager it is miles a head of the Bud/Coors/Miller products.
I drank it out of a bottle but appearance wise it is a pale yellow.
Smell is a cereal grain with a slight wheat tone to it.
Taste is like you would expect. Pretty much the same as a Miller High Life. Cereal grains with a sweet after taste. Nice light mouth feel. Almost a sour after taste. It's not offensive or over powering skunkiness like most cheap lagers that come in clear bottles. If you are in some small midwestern town bar and are looking to get drunk. I think this is the best you are going to find.

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Photo of harrymel
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11SEP13

Thanks Jace Marti!

Light, light yellow with a loose fitting cap of bone white foam. Absolute clarity. Smells super light, some grain, some maize, some grass clippings and a hint of bread. Taste is also really light with some light malt, a touch of cornbread with sweetness some slight bitterness and a overture of steel. Thin, real thin with moderate carb and an off dry finish. Could slam this all day on a hot one.

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Photo of Ilafan
3.52/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I'm biased because I am from Minnesota, but I have always liked this beer. What I really like is the balance of the taste. The initial flavor is sweeter and somewhat fruitier than most American Lagers. But the after taste is a bit malty and grain-filled. I like that. It also has a fullness to the mouthful that I enjoy. The coloring is a beautiful gold, and although the smell is faint, it is inviting (especially on warm days).

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Photo of MikeAAL
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a pretty average beer.

Light, pale, straw color. Fizzy. Quite a bit of carbonation. Average head.

I smell some grains, corn and a hint of malts.

It tastes like a lot of corn, with more corn, some grains and a tiny bit of malt at the end. A lot of bitters.

Very carbonated and goes down a little rough.

Overall, it's okay. Nothing special.

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Photo of jsisko01
4.5/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with a centimeter thick head that dissipates instantly. Has nice lacing.

Smell - Malty with wheat and grains.

Taste - Very malty, semi-sweet, grains, and wheat. Has a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - This beer is delicious. Simple but delicious. I love the malts.

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Photo of soju6
2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light yellow color with a fair head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of grain, mild malt sweetness and clean.

T: Mild taste of malt sweetness with a crisp bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp and refreshing.

O: Decent beer for the style. Goes down easy on a hot summer day and can't beat the price.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
3.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought home from Iowa by a friend. Known in my group of friends simply as "The Belt".
Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A- Pours an amazingly clear, bright yellow color with 3 fingers of fizzy white head that's not hanging around very long, and is leaving mild lacing on the glass.

S- Very grainy, with a mild sourness to it. Sweet maltiness in the back. Smells clean. Not too much to write about here.

T- Again, not too much to talk about here, but the taste is different than your widely available macro lagers. It tastes like there isn't as much adjuncts in there. Finishes clean and crisp.

M- Easy drinker here. Light body, fizzy carbonation. Refreshing on hot days.

O- Well..."The Belt" passes muster in my group of friends. We would rather drink this than other widely available macro lagers.
An cheap, easy drinker.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, lager yeast, grain and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain, lager yeast and adjuncts. Then some light malt sweetness follows. The hops presence is very mild but decent for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent poundable beer if you’re looking for a better version of a macro.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.74/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz can - "The Big Friendly"

Enjoyed out of a can but I'm familiar with this beer enough to know it's a pale piss-yellow with a thin, sudsy head. Looks like the average adjunct. Smell is sweet malt, skunk, and a tiny bit of hop in the background. Weak smell but not offensive. A little bite at first, some corn at the end, otherwise it's sweet malt all the way. Suprisingly creamy for how thin it feels.

Maybe my favorite lager, definitely one of my go to session brews. I like keeping a couple Big Friendlies around in case of emergency.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type: 16-ounce “Big Friendly” can. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is clean and clear straw. Three fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly to leave a rocky cap and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Cereal grain and very sweet green apples. It smells a lot like the green Jolly Rancher, and also the watermelon one mixed in.

Taste: Very sweet and fruity with a touch of light cereal grain. The green Jolly Rancher has been replaced with salon hairspray, which is a staple of lighter Schell brews.

Drinkability: It is decent enough, but the sweetness is very off-putting for a lawn mower lager. I’ll drink it regardless.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very light and clear sunny gold color. Big, puffy, light, pillowy, bright white head. Good retention with a sticky layer of lace.

S - Very grainy and slightly sweet. A faint mineral aroma too. That's about it. Nothing really exciting.

T - Similar to the nose. Very grainy, not really heavy corn or vegetable graininess though. A subtle sweetness but not a bready sweetness I expected. Touch of apple on the finish. Not much else.

M - Light body with average carbonation. Thin, crisp, and watery. The usual.

D - Goes down easy without much aftertaste. Really just goes down easy and is refreshing but nothing special.

Notes: Grab a 16 oz can for a dollar figuring it was worth a try. It's really what I expected. Light, crisp, refreshing but mostly devoid of any complex flavor. It has it's time and place, but it's nothing special (even for the style).

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Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.