1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

411 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 411
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 21 | 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)
View: Beers (42) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 411 | Reviews: 167 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emmasdad


3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
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 +13.5%
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 +4.3%
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 -7.1%
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 +32.8%
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 +2.1%
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 +31.9%
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 +2.1%
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 -6.4%
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 +5.2%
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 +31.9%
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
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one as part of a trade and honestly thought it was a joke, but I had never ad it so that was enough for me to give it a whirl. Served as cold as possible and poured into a pint glass this one was consumed on 10/20/2009.
The pour was bout what I would have expected, bright golden hey colored with a huge white fizzy head on top that quickly faded leaving behind nearly nothing in its wake. Aroma of grain, light notes of corn and bready malts then proceeded to take over. Not terrible really, did not have that musky and cardboard like aroma I have come to see from a few. Crisp and clean flavor for sure, I actually found myself enjoying a touch of this one. Clean taste of grain and bready malts. Light corn aftertaste and only the slightest bit of hops coming through enough to dry off the palate and ready it for the next go round.
Overall I actually really liked this, for the style I thought it held up quite well and I would not mind having it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2009 21:49:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of BierFan


3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce clear bottle into a Duvel tulip because my pint glasses are dirty.

Appearance: Snow-white head. Clear yellow body. Carbonation is a little low.

Smell: Grains. Sugary breakfast cereal sweetness.

Taste: Much like the smell. The sweetness reminds me of a malt liquor. For what it is, it's pretty decent.

In my opinion this is one of the better examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 21:16:02 | More by BierFan
Photo of jera1350


3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow color with smaller head. Smells of sweet grain. Sweeter than normal for this style. Taste is the same as the nose. Not getting anything but the sweet grain/malt. Not complex, but still pretty satisfying. Top end of light bodied, but not quite medium. Smooth. Very drinkable. It's easy to session and easy to find. I could do a day of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 05:27:58 | More by jera1350
Photo of Rooney107


3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Serving type: can

08-12-2009 01:35:05 | More by Rooney107
Photo of pmccallum86


3.9/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

While I typically avoid adjunct lagers, this one I make an exception for as it is a local favorite.

Nice smooth golden color with a scent of corn malt. The taste is very good for an adjunct lager, almost like a malty popsickle, strange way to define it I know, but very true. Smooth mouthfeel with a pronounced corn malt flavor and very little hop profile. This beer is way too drinkable. This may be the best example of a lawnmower beer out there.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 18:10:31 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of Ragingbull


3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am obviously judging this to style as its not the typical beer I drink. Living in the Twin Cities I figured I had to review it sometime and finally was at a restaurant where it was one of the few beers on tap.

Pale gold with very little lacing on the surface and a light rim of foam around the edges. Pretty still with just some light prickle popping up through the center of the glass. Mild nose of malt and some touches of grain. The attack is pretty simple and doesn't really surprise you. The finish is pretty smooth and much maltier than I expected, I am pleasantly surprised. Low presence of grains and hops. Pretty smooth and clean and if I am ever stuck choosing between it and other mass produced beers, I will go this way.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2009 04:26:10 | More by Ragingbull
Photo of LordAdmNelson


3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A- Nothing special here. Slightly darker than your average adjunct lager, small head that recedes quickly.

S- Not much here. Some sweet malt but nothing too strong. Slightly metallic.

T- Sweet malt, some blueberry notes (wheat?), lightly toasted malts. Not bad as far as these go, but not so distinct from BMC, IMO.

M- Soda, just like the rest... too much carbonation, not enough body.

D- Good stuff here, I like this beer as a summer BBQ-type brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2009 03:12:27 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of CHSLBrew


2.85/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Crystal-clear watery-golden-straw beer. Pale white head rises a bit off the pour, receding eventually to nearly nothing.

S-Sweet bready/grainy malts, much sweeter than most macro-esque lagers.

T-Sweet bready malt, just like in the aroma. Bitterness is nearly non-existent, adding just the slightest semblance of balance.

M-Medium-high, slightly harsh carbonation. Regardless, this ligh-bodied beer still drinks very smoothly.

D-VERY DRINKABLE. I may have a slight bias, as this was the beer we drank in college to drink "the good stuff." I once bought three casees of it and smuggled it into my dorm in a suitcase. Oh, the days. As a result of my history with this beer, it will forever be one of the most drinkable session brews around, regardless of its less-than-great taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2009 21:12:14 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of jlb307


2.42/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

Serving type: can

06-25-2009 23:19:07 | More by jlb307
Photo of Kemmerlin


3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: thin head quickly diminishes with a light light amber gold color.
S: has a fruity yeast aroma with some mellow malts creaping in.
T: the taste is quite off. It has a mix of fruity yeast bitter and sour hops and malts with the Malts taking over much of the flavor. It melds together in a weird way that leaves your tongue guess what just happened to it.
M/D: the feel is hard and rough but without a full body character. The drinkability is tough as well with the weird taste and the rough feel.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 22:11:38 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of Chaz


3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant golden-straw in color, and a slow pour yields a domed head one finger in height. The head recedes to a half-finger after a minute, and there's plenty of tenacious lace here.

The nose is evenly split between malty sweet and sour-bitter, but I'm having a hard time identifying the exact hop used -- I would guess a Noble hop variety, but it's a very subtle "kiss of the hops" to be sure!

Carbonation appears quite good, with a steady stream of medium-sized bubbles flowing upwards.

Back to the nose -- it's just a touch metallic, but not "coppery", a very clean sort of metal (but maybe I'm nuts and they ferment glass-lined tanks, eh?) As for malts I'd guess that there's a small portion of Pilsner malt in here, along with six-row barley and corn syrup. And while there's not any corny DMS going on here there is a definite vegetal quality, and it comes out in the drink.

Smooth and satisfying on the first sip, with a touch of bitterness and a big rush of sweet malts dominating from the mid-palate onwards. There's minimal residual/lingering bitterness here, but there is a not-quite cloying, almost treacle-y sweetness that gets me in the back of the throat (note: I am not a big fan of creamed corn, sweet corn, or cooked corn). Mild vegetal notes also.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, and this leans towards medium-bodied. As I continue drinking there's more malt than hop in the aromatics, and just the lightest hint of alcohol.

Overall this is a good-looking beer and a fine all-around go-to lager. It doesn't hurt that it has great packaging, excellent market presence, and a history that most breweries can only dream of. People love this one and I'm happy it's still around!!

While I don't find myself enjoying it as often as I used to, it's always nice to re-acquaint myself with Grain Belt Premium.

Served chilled in a Libbey pint.
Best by date of 8/05/09; logo-embossed clear glass bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 16:55:41 | More by Chaz
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 21:59:53 | More by bsp77
Photo of HardTarget


2.48/5  rDev -23.9%
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

Serving type: can

04-24-2009 19:00:22 | More by HardTarget
Photo of xqed


4.15/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A Minnesota classic, my dad used to stock his fridge with this stuff (and Hamms and PBR). It has survived a few brewery closings but thankfully Schell's picked up the recipe and launched a great marketing campaign to re-introduce this beer to another generation. Not going to win any beer awards, but as other reviewers have noted, it's a great beer with food - most excellent to wash down brats and burgers in the summertime.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 15:02:54 | More by xqed
Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 411 ratings.