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Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

400 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 400
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 18.65%
Wants: 10
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
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:
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.

(Beer added by: TastyTaste on 07-04-2003)
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Ratings: 400 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got this beer from arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!

12oz can served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear yellow color with a small white head that eventually went away.

S - grainy but that's how it's supposed to smell, right?

T - it actually has some flavor, grainy malt with extemely light bitterness on the finish.

F - light/medium body with ok carbonation.

D - way easy to drink.

Serving type: can

12-19-2010 03:32:25 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of John_M


2.08/5  rDev -36.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 03:39:45 | More by John_M
Photo of Duff27


3.73/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours light golden with a one inch white head in my pint glass. Many carbonation bubbles streaming up from the pint floor. Some lacing present.

S- Grain, straw. Slight lemon zest.

T- See above. Add a speck of honey. Normally with this style of beer the after taste is just "off-putting" to me but this one isn't bad at all.

M- Carbonation is spot on.

D/O- My first experience with this beer was last night after hearing from a couple friends from MN how great of a drinkable beer it was. I'd have to agree. Drinkability is top notch. Perhaps the best adjunct lager I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 02:48:47 | More by Duff27
Photo of nrmiller


3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. A golden color, with a nice white head.

S: Has a fruity smell to it, maybe an apple? Almost a little unpleasant, though not quite.

T: Fruit flavor leads, almost a banana flavor you could say, along with some grains then it finishes with just a little bit of hops, just enough.

M: Light bodied, though just right id say, nice carbonation. Smooth going down.

D: Very drinkable, so easy to drink and it actually has some flavors. The rare times that i do want an adjunct, this is usually the one i go to.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 03:55:08 | More by nrmiller
Photo of nkersten


4/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

Serving type: can

11-15-2010 03:42:57 | More by nkersten
Photo of MasterSki


3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Sally's in Minneapolis while watching UFC with Jason and Mike. Served in a plastic cup (I guess things get rowdy).

A - Served with a finger of white foam that settles to a partial cap with some big bubbles, leaving behind glass-coating lace. Transparent golden straw color.

S - Grain, light metallic notes, maybe some faint lemony hops. Actually smells like something, which is a plus for the style, however it's not overly appealing.

T - Taste is better with some fruity notes, honey, grain, and less a faint hint of hop bitterness. It's not overly strong, even when it warmed up, and it doesn't have that yeasty aftertaste that many other adjunct lagers have.

M - Medium-high carbonation, but not harsh or burning. Smooth medium body, surprisingly creamy.

D - If I hadn't been so full of beer, various snacks and meals, and who knows what else, this would have been a little easier to drink. However, it was much better than the equivalently priced Miller Lite.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2010 14:40:18 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My dad mentioned to me that this was the only beer my grandpa would drink and at room temperature while smoking unfiltered Lucky Strike cigarettes. Awesome.

A- Pours the standard golden yellow with a fizzy head that dies down quickly and leaves no lacing. Completely transparent.

S- Big sweet malts, some grain and just a touch of honey. There seems to be a little more going on with this one than other adjunct lagers.

T- Pretty similar to the nose, nice sweet malt and some grains in there. I can't put my finger on it but there is more to this than your average lager.

M- Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. Goes down smooth like it should.

D- I remember now why I choose to drink this over other adjunct lagers. Pretty good flavor for the style. Reminds me a little of a lighter malt liquor. I can see why my grandpa used to drink this but not warm though.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 02:10:12 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of dberthia


3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I could drink this beer everyday all summer long. Everytime we go up to the cabin this is the beer we grab out of the fridge and have on the boat. It beats all of the Macro-brews lagers anyday and is brewed right here in Minnesota! I had this most recently on tap in my kegerator with a 15.5 gallon keg that I bought from Zipps in Minneapolis.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2010 21:24:48 | More by dberthia
Photo of woodychandler


3.1/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The CANQuest (TM) has wanted to glug this one off for a while. I CANnot tell you why I became fascinated by Grain Belt, but I was excited to try some on both occasions that I was in Minneapolis, but both times, it was in bottle form. CAN you dig it?

My pour produced two fingers' worth of rocky, bone-white head with decent retention which also produced a good bit of lacing as it fell. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Liquid sunshine in a glass! Nose was the standard for the style - a slight lager sweetness upstaged by odd scents, in this case including a grapiness. Mouthfeel was medium and it was not as bad in the mouth as I was girding myself for. It was a typical AAL with the usual lager sweetness accompanied by cereal flavors. Finish was likewise passable, but somehow my fascination may have also passed.

Serving type: can

08-17-2010 20:44:14 | More by woodychandler
Photo of u2carew


3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Clear bottle.
A) pours with a thin, wispy head. Clear body. Head settles quickly. Mellow upward carbonation. Lacing is not very sticky.
S) sugar candy aroma. Hints of lemon or a citrus fruit. Hints of grain.
T) pleasant malt flavor. Light caramel and slightly nutty. Finishes with a dry grain taste.
M) very fizzy up front. Light body. Dry finish. Slightly syrupy and candy sweet.
D) a decent lager. Good start to a beer session.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 23:48:48 | More by u2carew
Photo of Misfit138


2.63/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 04:28:48 | More by Misfit138
Photo of Ottertude


3.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 12 pack of Grain Belt on my recent trip to Minnesota. Perhaps I should have bought more.

This poured a pale lemony yellow into my glass with a very nice 1 inch white head that left some nice lacing. Nicely carbonated.

Not a lot of smell. A little grain and malt. I was more concerned about the taste and Grain Belt delivers. A nice balance of malt up front and a nice punch of hops on the back end make for a tasty lager. Not too bitter this goes down smooth and easy.

The mouthfeel was about medium for a lager. A good sumer session beer. And even better since this is sold at a price comparable to BMC but tastes better than the big boys.

Serving type: can

06-21-2010 22:15:48 | More by Ottertude
Photo of dbossman


3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 00:29:18 | More by dbossman
Photo of smanders


4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a week of canoeing in the BWCA, there aren't a lot of things more satisfying than a Premium and a burger.

For anyone who's been to Germany, this beer will bring back memories of lazy days on the Rhine, biergartens, and exceptionally smooth drinking (pils style) beer. GB Premium is the "everyman's" beer in MN, and it gained that reputation for a reason; 100 years of brewing and nothing changing. Same great taste, same inexpensive price. I haven't been able to find this outside of the great state of MN, but when if I do, I will imbibe.


Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 20:54:34 | More by smanders
Photo of emmasdad


3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought back from Minnesota and shared with me by a former Minnesota resident who raved about it nonstop. Pours from the can a light to medium gold color, seriously carbonated and topped with a decent amount of white foam. Smells a bit grainy, and a little bit sweet. Nothing unexpected on the palate, a somewhat sweet, grainy and well carbonated beer. Crisp, refreshing and very good, for what it is.

Serving type: can

05-01-2010 00:08:26 | More by emmasdad
Photo of AmberMan22


3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This came on a recommendation from a friend. Taking a look at it, I had my doubts, but it apparently won some award way back when.

Since I didn't pour it out of the bottle, that may have precluded any possible merit or demerit for smell and appearance, much beyond color -- as the bottle is clear.
I did take a whiff at the bottle, and nothing bad came to mind. Off to a good start.

Taking a sip, I am immediately and pleasantly surprised. I must say this is without a doubt the most passable Adjunct Lager I've had. Tastes of biscuity malt, a surprisingly springy undertone of hoppy goodness, and ... blueberries.

Another great thing is this doesn't feel like drinking some watery barley soup, like many AALs. Carbonation is held in check, and mouthfeel actually has some substance to it.

Great thing about this beer is that it's frequently discounted in minnesota (12pk usually), making it not only a very respectable American Adjunct, but a wallet-friendly one too.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 20:24:56 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of LightEnthusiast

South Dakota

3.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I opened up this beer from a sampler 6-pack that I hand chose to see what was good from the store's pick-and-choose case. Immediately I smelled it and it reeked of cat poop - I'm not even kidding... it's like a cat took a crap in the bottle and there's a hint of corn going on there.

I was scared to take a drink but when I did I was pleasantly surprised. Either I am ignorant or this cat crap beer tastes pretty good.

It was refreshing and cool, went down easy - I didn't really take the time to swish it around for a good mouthfeel, I was just thirsty.

If you get a chance to pick this up on sale, I'd say go for it. It's much better than most Buds, Miller, Coors, Busch, etc out there. Not quite as good as Rolling Rock but close.

***Update 4/15: I went out and purchased a 12 pack and there's no "cat poop" smell in these bottles. I may have gotten an old one before. At $8.99/12pk here in the midwest, it's not too bad. I like its smoothness. I possibly may get tired of it after 5-6 bottles over the course of a week or so. Still not as good as Rolling Rock (my current fav) but not a bad beer nonetheless.***

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 20:27:50 | More by LightEnthusiast
Photo of Tone


3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, yellow color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and good lacing. Smells of adjunct, yeast, and pale malt. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of yeast, pale malt, adjunct, and a hint of hops. Overall, a slightly better than average adjunct lager.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2010 21:38:20 | More by Tone
Photo of hardy008


4.33/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale golden color with a bright white head with nice retention and lacing. Smell is sweet malt balanced by somewhat bitter hops. Nicely balanced lager. The taste is more of the same. Sweet malt, balanced by bitter hops. Very nicely made.

Properly carbonated, light bodied, slightly sweet aftertaste. Refreshing to drink. If only all American Adjunct lagers were this good...

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 05:38:55 | More by hardy008
Photo of Chronofied

North Dakota

3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Chilled, poured in a pint glass.

Appearance - A very clear, very light golden color. Not a lot of head, little to no lacing. Carbonation visible.

Smell - Strong grain smell, a little like homemade bread; malts within. negligeable hop scent.

Taste - Light and somewhat refreshing, but a little thin. Smell of grain is actually stronger than the taste of the grain, but the taste has more hops than the nose reveals. Finish has a little bit of malt. Aftertaste of corn.

Mouthfeel - Thin, to be sure, but with a little bit of stick to it. Light carbonation.

Drinkability - Ha ha. Yeah, this beer is drinkable. A case goes by ridiculously fast. Easy and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 23:50:26 | More by Chronofied
Photo of brewanddrink


4.3/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I was growing up my dad collected old beer bottles, cans and glasses. So being from Minnesota he had a lot of Grain Belt stuff. So when i was old enough to buy my own beer, the image of the red diamond on top of a silver cap was engraved in my mind. My first taste was light on hops and had a nice refreshing almost sweet taste with a kind of banana taste. I was hooked and it is my number one beer for daily drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2009 01:41:52 | More by brewanddrink
Photo of exuma11


3.33/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Aside from Summit, Grain Belt is my go to beer in when I'm back home in the TC. Vaguely similar to High-Life, Grain Belt is a much more enjoyable beer, and while each individual aspect of the beer (excluding drinkability) is average I find it to be more than the sum of its parts.

A: Golden with a very thin head

S: Grainy, buttery almost, a sweet breakfast cereal

T: Watery, sweet with grainy flavors

M: Nonexistent, might as well be drinking water

D: If you live in the twin cities and want a excellently drinkable barbecue or party beer that you can down gallons of this is the one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2009 16:50:40 | More by exuma11
Photo of MisterTiat


3.05/5  rDev -6.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2009 02:00:13 | More by MisterTiat
Photo of smm


3.43/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The king of the "adjunct" I would say. My personal favorite in the 12 for $10 and under zone.

The beer itself tastes about as you would assume, a bit grainy with hints of corn. A bit sweet on the end. It is that graininess that seems to set it apart from other adjunct's.

Medium carbonation. Medium body.

A great beer to enjoy on a cheap tap or while listening to a twins game in the backyard with a burger. Something everyone in the state of Minnesota can agree upon.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 23:50:00 | More by smm
Photo of barleypopmaker


4.3/5  rDev +31.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 00:25:28 | More by barleypopmaker
Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.