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.

466 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 18.96%
Wants: 12
Gots: 38 | 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:
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 (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Durge
3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

This poured from the tap as a pale yellow gold lager with sparse white head and so-so lacing. I get a fairly classic weak wheat aroma but it's OK, a bit of lemony citrus overtone. More malt presence in the flavor, still very thin with a fair carbonation present. A bit of tang on the tongue. Pretty watery but really not bad tasting, OK for a refreshing guzzler. Nothing to go out of your way for. This will do nicely to wash down most anything. A good picnic beer I guess.

Photo of Buebie
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap from my kegerator

Pours a transparent golden color with a 1 finger white head. The head lingers for a bit, leaving a mm of coverage on the top layer of liquid. Medium to little laceing.

Smell was a bit metalic, corn, faint cry of grain. Biscuits?

Tastes of a Minerally metalic, in a good way.
Wisp of flavor from the mashed grain and sweet malt. some hoppy flavor after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was evenly carbonated, thin and watery, but thick with sweatness.

Drinkability: Great lawnmower chugging beer.
I bought an 8 gallon keg of this for my kegerator. It lasted me and my buddies 2 months. Longer then usual. I like more hops, but it was inexpensive. $40 for 8 gallons. I'd buy another keg in a money pinch.
This is my favorite summertime chugger up at the cabin.

Photo of Offa
3.98/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an extremely nice, basic American lager and one of my absolute favourites for the type.

It is bright straw-gold with a medium white head that slowly shrinks to a thin top.

The aroma is very pleasant, clean grain and apples with hints of honey and flowers.

The taste is similar, with a definite, crisp apple/apple-peel quality along with aromatic grain, honey and flowers in the finish. It's smooth, very crisp yet flavourful, and has clean taste and feel.

Photo of emerge077
3.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at Captain Mike's in Kenosha, WI.

Pours a clear gold, with steady streams of visible carbonation. About one finger of white foam, that settles to a thin ring.

Aroma didn't grab me, it was a little bland and adjuncty. Raw grains, corn, a touch of sulfur that blows off after a minute.

Surprisingly tasty flavors of apple and bready malt, with a little honey on the back end. A dry and clean aftertaste is what sets it apart from other lawnmower beers. Carbonation is steady and even, and gives it a light feeling. The clean finish makes it palatable and easy to session, no doubt.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.18/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Old Chicago in Eden Prarie, Minnesota.

Poured a nice, perfectly clear golden yellow, with a surprisingly large and long lasting head.

Aroma is grainy, as would be expected. It's clean on the nose, though , with no hints of corn-like DMS or nasty sweetness that can plague beers of this style. Smells pretty good to be honest.

Taste is remarkably clean, with good 6-row barley grainy flavors. Hop bittering is just sufficient to keep this from being overly sweet, but the hops make their presence known in no other way. Exactly as it should be. There's just a touch of sweetness here. This one also doesn't suffer the carbonic "bite" of an overcarbonated macro. As stated before, it's clean.

This is an American style lager, so one expects a thin mouthfeel. It comes through there, too. Not watered down, but insubstantial enough to stay out of its own way.

This is a surprising beer. If you pop a cap expecting a BMC, you'll be shocked. Real flavor exists here. Try it, and see what American lagers can be.

Photo of mnstorm99
4.22/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a staple in the summer as it is inexpensive and a great beer to have on a hot day working in the yard.
This is definately based on style, but this one really misses no marks.
Appearance is a clear dark golden color with a nice white head that sticks around.
Aroma is faint, but what to expect from a Macro style lager, bready and malty to the nose.
Flavor is good there is a touch of hops on this one that come out and play, but this one is definately a malty brew, nice light crystal flavors around a nice base malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is good almost perfect for this style, high, but not to high levels of carbonation and thin but what did you expect with this beer. Easy drinking, good tasting macro lager? I'll have a few.

Photo of KarlHungus
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear light golden color. The head is small, and recedes quickly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel malt, with a nice spicy hop edge. The taste is of light biscuity malt with a faint hop spiciness. The mouthfeel is light bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, if I had to drink an adjunct lager this would be it. It has more malt and hop flavor than any other macro lager I have had, and the carbonation isn't annoyingly high.

Photo of Gehrig
2.33/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Photo of reillybeer
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, light amber color.

S- Fruity and moderately hoppy.

T- Lots of carbonation initially, then the fruity hops and wheaty aftertaste.

M- Perfect carbonation for me... mostly just a nice refreshing beer!

D- This is the first beer I ever tried that I liked (a few years ago, prior to advancing to the fancier stuff), so it's nostalgic for me. Aside from that, this beer is quite tasty and easy to drink, so I would say that it's extremely "drinkable" !!

Photo of GrainBelt101
4.63/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been a consumer of the "Premium" since the 70's when my attempt to keep the old Northeast Minneapolis Grain Belt Brewery in business failed. I am an avid collector of Grain Belt memorabia. Even though my tastes have branched out into the ale world, I still keep a case of Premium on hand. I believe that the currrent Premium is very close to the original recipe. It will always be my favorite lager. Kudos to Schell's for keeping the Premium alive for future generations to enjoy.

Photo of SargeC
3.78/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A Minneapolis classic, but I still long for the tougher and better tasting Grain Belt Golden. August Schell has done a good job bringing the brand back to relevance. The Premium brand has a semi-sweet macro taste and pale yellow appearance. It is a good example of an everyday, Midwestern beer. This beer tastes very good alongside a roast beef sandwich at Mayslack's in Nordeast.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Darkerthebetter for spreading the Midwest love around.

Pours a pale golden hue with exceptional clarity. There was a burst of white bubbles forming about a inch of head,but it was short lived.

Aroma is of sweet grains and some zippy pils type hops. Amazingly I am not getting really any skunky scents out of this one...I was afraid I might since it is in a clear bottle.

The flavor is in line with the smell. Sweet graininess followed by leafy hops. Lightly fruity and a bit metallic at the finish.

Thinner medium body, good carbonation. A bit drying in the aftertaste. This is surprisingly decent. If this was available in my area I may even keep a sixer of it in the fridge for my macro buddies (and me occasionally). Thanks, Ed.

Photo of bminus
3.83/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

keep in mind that this is my first review, but I am in college so there is plenty more where this came from...

pours out of the 12ozer a clear yellow with a decent head... fades to a film quickly. pretty active carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass.

smells malty and very fruity sweet

tastes is malty that finshes kinda grainy and sweet

very drinkable, can sit around and drink a 12 pack if you really want to... pretty cheap and enjoyable. also, being that i'm in mankato, this is brewed about a half hour down the road.

Photo of dogger6253
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear, settling into a light yellow color, fairly clear. The head is nothing too special, white color and about 1/4 inch thick, lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The head fades after a minute, staying on as a thin film.

The smell is mostly consisting of a sort of corn-style malt with a little extra sweetness tossed in, sort of wheaty too. There's a faint corriander smell going on here, not really any sort of hops presence I can detect.

Taste is definitely sweet, kind of a malty, corn sweetness with a hint of wheat. There is also the slightest bit banana and clove with some corriander even.

Light and crisp, very refreshing, moderately carbonated. This is a good beer, great for social occasions.

Photo of surlyseth
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellow, like urine.

S: Faint grain and rice.

T: Somewhat pleasant. Kind of sweet.

M: Highly carbonated. Soda-like without the syrup. Thin.

D: The best feature of this macro is that it is very drinkable. No need to slam it.

I prefer this macro over almost any other.

Photo of ianrca19
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
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
3.53/5  rDev +8%
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 happygnome
3.13/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: a pale golden color with about a quarter inch of head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing
s: corn adjunct grains, slight hint of hops, fairly average macro lager aroma
t: thecorn malts make it a sweet brew very slight hints ofhops in tast, the funky macro after taste really isnt as pronounced
m: light to medium bodied beer with a lot of carbonation

Overall this regional 'classic' isnt too bad but nothing that ill order again

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grain Belt Premium Quality 12 oz'er with a bunch of numbers on the bottom of the bottle.

Pours with a solid golden hue topped with a rather impressive bright ivory inch thick head cap leaving sticky splotchy lac in the glass.

Straight up lager scents of leaf and pilsner Earth.

First swigs: Pilsner smooth easy leafy with a snappy dose of German hops. This is quite the refreshing sipper. No muss, no fuss. Slight copper penny twinge with linger of metallic aftertaste.

Thin yet refreshing feel. Nothing off to offend. Benign.

Last swigs: Reviewed as an agreement with fellow BA DarkerTheBetter. He sad to me "you can have this if you agree to review it." So it goes. If this were sold around here, ya might find a six pack in my fridge.

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

Thanks much to DarkerTheBetter for hooking me up with this Minnesota beer. I may not have had the opportunity to try this one. Thank you my friend.

Appearance: Pours a perfectly transparent pale yellow. a big white soapy head 3 fingers high rises quickly and fades slowly in my glass. It leaves behind a sticky ring of lace and as the beer drops several new rings of lace are formed. The carbonation bubbles stand out in the clarity of the body and seem to fuel and sustain the white cap that last the duration of the beer.

Smell: It is a light aroma. Which I expect from an American Macro Lager. A sweetness and an indistinct rice water and grain aroma, but pleasantly fresh with out the distracting stale bitterness in many of this style.

Taste: It starts with soft grains and a pale cracker malt base with some sweetness that is not quite fruity followed by a distinctly floral attribute. The bitterness is low although there is a touch of hops [Saaz maybe] and a nice dryness in the finish. It then has a somewhat perfumey sweetness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light in the mouth and soft. The mouthfeel is nothing special but for the style it is above average. There is a smoothness with the light touch of dry that is worlds above others.

Drinkability: There is little flavor in any beer in this style but at least this one seems fresh and there are no offensive or annoying cling to you flavors that limit drinkability. This is a beer for sessioning and if I were going to drink a fizzy yellow lager, I would choose this over many others any day of the week.

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of schellsguy
4.75/5  rDev +45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The aroma has a malty sweetness with a hint of corn and very faint hop aroma. The appearance is exception for a beer of this style with a nice golden color and a nice white head that shrinks to a thin lacy top that leaves some lace on the glass. The smell is not intense but that seems true of most American Lagers. It is a pleasant aroma but not very strong. Taste is crisp and somewhat malty in the begining and the finish has an unusal sweetness to it that I find intriguing and refreshing. Mouthfeel is as it should be for this style and it is one of the most drinkable beers around. I keep a half barrel on tap in my basement bar and when people come over all they can talk about is how surprisingly good this beer is. It is the perfect beer with BBQ and pizza and lots of other good food. A great all around beer in this style category.

Photo of plaid75
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very light, almost clear, straw hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a very clean grain, a very mild and benign sweetness and a gentle flowery hop.

The taste was light and unoffensive. No overly sweet notes that are detectable in many, if not most, macro lagers. A crisp grain and balancing hop made for a suprisingly good character.

The mouthfeel was light with some nice soft edges.

Overall a very drinkable and enjoyable macro lager. I was very suprised by this beer, considering the classic generic beer packaging. I only wish I could get these in NY. Thanks to mac56 for the sample.

Photo of budgood1
3.78/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

can't believe i haven't yet reviewed the version of this minnesota original now being brewed with love by schell in new ulm....

pours out of the clear 12 oz. twist off bottle a clear light golden colour, with an ample rocky head and lots of carbonation holding it together. heavy rings of lace, too. aroma is unlike any other lager beer i've ever had...flowery, like rose petals...plenty of corniness and some sweet maltiness. it's a very aromatic lager. the taste can best be described as incredibly sweet for the style. ample maltiness and a definite corn adjunct flavour. no doubt about the corn, but it's tasty in a good way. as for the hop profile, i get very little bitterness to try to balance out the sweet aspect, but i suspect the some of the flowery aspects come from the use of some sort of hops. anyway, the body is definitely above medium, with a mouthfeel that is a bit slick and syrupy, but certainly silky smooth. the antithesis of the crisp and clean lager. finishes with a sweet aftertaste.

drinkability is a bit of an enigma...in the summertime it quenches like no other and i refer to it as liquid candy in a bottle. otherwise, it can get a bit cloying after a few due to the fact that this just an overly sweet and sugary lager. but it tastes damn good.

for those who like to order a beer with their spicy bloody mary, i've found that this is a perfect compliment.

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

Had to have a pint of the local lager while enjoying a burger at Tom Reid's Sports Bar in St. Paul.
Typical yellow / gold color. Impressive white head with foam that had good retention, left a thin sheet of lace. Served quite cold, so not much smell other than a bit of corn. Taste is quite sweet, reminded me of clover. Other Bud Light drinkers in our group picked out this as well. Clean and dry finish. Mouthfeel is thin but crisp, proper amount of carbonation. My pick over the other macro-type drafts.

Note to Self: Ranked the #9 top American Adjuct Lager when I tried it.
Not the highest marks, but still impressive.

Photo of zeff80
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a pale gold color with a one-finger head. Highly carbonated and leaves no lacing.

S - It smelled of corn and grains.

T - It tastes of corn. It also has a bready quality and some hints of clove. Somewhat sweet, too.

M - It is crisp and dry. A light-bodied beer.

D - It doesn't look very good but the taste is just good. Also, the classic look is great.

Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.