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Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Educational use only; do not reuse.

482 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 482
Reviews: 179
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.71%
Wants: 15
Gots: 45 | 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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Ratings: 482 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GrainBelt101
4.63/5  rDev +42%
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
3.73/5  rDev +14.4%
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 +10.4%
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
3.8/5  rDev +16.6%
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
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
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
3/5  rDev -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
2.95/5  rDev -9.5%
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
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
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
3.56/5  rDev +9.2%
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 +11.3%
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
4.71/5  rDev +44.5%
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 +12%
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 +16%
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
3.41/5  rDev +4.6%
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
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of rdkottke
4.35/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm typically a Brown Ale or Pale Ale drinker, but for summertime refreshment you can't beat this offering from August Shell Brewing, I would recommend this to any beer lover out fishing or after playing a summertime sport. It does have a sweeter tatse than most beers, but also it does posess a clean finish.

Photo of umustdrink
3.56/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Yellow/orange color. Head fades to a film. Good lacing.

S - Smell is mostly corn, a very sweet wheat note there as well.

T - Taste is a sweet maltiness with some nice wheat flavors there as well.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp but a little on the thin side.

D - A Minnesota staple that I'll never stop drinking.

Photo of zjungleist
2.53/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.36/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

Photo of supercolter
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok so this is one of those beers you can drink all night and not be full. Appearance is decent for the style 1.5 finger head and some decent lacing. Taste and smell are very similar, malt and some dark fruit, possibley plum. Mouthfeel is above average, some nice carbonation that doesn't inhibit your drinking ability.

Photo of jdhilt
1.91/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes taken on 05/26/06 visit to The Cove and Gander's Club, Devils Lake, North Dakota.

Poured into the glass a crystal clear, almost glowing, pale golden color. Head was a finger of white sudsy foam that quickly faded to a halo. Lacing was spotty.

The smell was sweet adjuncts, raw grains, grassy, lightly hopped and faintly skunky (sulphur).

Taste was sweet (corn), grainy and semi-metallic.

Light bodied. Fairly active carbonation. Light thin mouthfeel.

Like most macros, I found this one to be very easy to drink, despite the inherent sweetness.

A little research taught me that this stuff had been brewed for a lot of years in Minnesota. Several years ago the brewery shut down. Recently a new owner began production again much to the joy of many of the folks in Minnesota.
Call it an icon, call it tradition. It's a Minnesota staple. Who am I to argue?

Photo of russpowell
2.78/5  rDev -14.7%
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

Photo of MeLikeBeer
2.4/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 482 ratings.