Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Grain Belt Premium - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Educational use only; do not reuse.

186 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 186
Hads: 515
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 17.4%
Wants: 21
Gots: 63 | 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.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 186 | Hads: 515
Photo of seeswo
3.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can poured into my Capital Brewery tulip, just cuz. Pours a clear, light straw yellow with a nice big white head. Looked very classically like BEER. The nose is very bland, just a touch of sweetness and maybe the slightest suggestion of exposure to a hop or two. The taste is really nice for the style, drinks crisp with just the tinniest hint of blueberry, which really works for me. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, leaving just a bit of sweetness in the mouth. Overall, this is one of my preferred options for the AAL style. Can't call it a fantastic beer in any capacity, but that little hint of blueberry helps a ton. (621 characters)

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce clear bottle (which always worries me) poured into a mug.

A: Premium pours a golden color with a foamy white head that quickly settles to almost nothing. Carbonation consists of big bubbles, almost resembling that of soda. Darker in hue than most beers of this style.

S: Not much on the nose. Sweet, grainy malt, and that's about it. Some sweet pear aroma lies in the background.

T: Sweet at first, with some fruity notes, along with a slight hint of honey. Hops don't lend a lot in the taste, except for a slightly grassy flavor. Finish is clean and short-lived.

Notes: Premium is a decent beer with a little more body and flavor than others of the style have to offer. A bit too sweet for me, but sometimes it's just what's called for. (750 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.38/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wizz colored yellow, like you've been working out heavily or smoking 2 packs a day. Good head, large bubbles. Aroma was of a grain belt or elevator, or maybe I'm just projecting that out of the name. Smelled kinda like old beer.

Taste, pretty bland, mild sweetness, almost nonexistant hopping or malt character. Fractional bitterness. When I think 'grain' I don't think corn, but that seems what its all about. Mild, inoffensive.

I think a lot of people just dig this beer for the old school, retroness of it, its like PBR, but for the working man who doesn't smell and dress like hipster shit. My homie from MN swore by this stuff in school. Wasn't bad. Wouldn't be buying it anytime soon other, but it does belong in that cool class of adjunct beer like Blatz, Schlitz, Rhinelander etc. . . (796 characters)

Photo of evanlarkin
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have been meaning to review this beer for a LONG time. It's not my favorite beer in the world, but it's a Minnesota staple.

Very little head, and the clearest golden yellow. Bubbles everywhere in there. It's definitely a darker yellow than most AALs.

Light with a very slight malt smell, which is really like most other beers of this style. And yet, there's something else there. Almost a banana kind of scent.

Lightly malty, and like the scent, just the slightest hint of banana. Very smooth, with no bitterness whatsoever

Mouthfeel? Not much to speak of. Doesn't coat the mouth... medium-high carbonation.

As far as the American Adjunct Lager goes, this is the best I've had. It's smooth, inexpensive, and actually tastes fairly decent. If you're a BMC kind of guy that wants a real treat, I'd say check this one out. (873 characters)

Photo of birchstick
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours a faint filtered yellow with a 1/2 finger head on it

S - sweet grainy malts and little fruity

T - unfortunately the nose didn't transalt as well as I would have liked it to. The grainy malts are there and fade to a bit of spicy hop. Nothing crazy, but for the style, average.

M - goes down pretty smoothly...

D - I was expecting some sort of BMC product with this but was pleasantly surprised. More flavorful and better drinking than its counterparts. Thanks to KeefD for the chance! (497 characters)

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hello Brain Melt! This is my go to swill when I chugging beer with my friends.

Looks like your typical american lagger, yellow, fizzy, and powdery white carbonated head.

Smells of a bit of hops but also very sweet

Taste is a little hop bitterness and then the sweet grain really ads some almost fruity tastes. A lot better then most laggers.

Mouthfeel is light and has a nice carbonation not to much like most American Laggers.

Overall this is my favorite adjunct lagger and it also bring back a lot of memories of growing up here in Minnesota. Great beer for the style but low on the complexity. (601 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow with lots of bubbles. Decent white head and good retention. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet corn and grain up front followed by a hint of lemon. Slight hint of hops in the background.

Taste: Sweet grains and wheat followed by a hint of lemon zest. Finishes with a slight hint of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A very tasty beer for an adjunct lager. By far my favorite for the style and a great tradition here in Minnesota. (576 characters)

Photo of tito42
2.55/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Decent white head, average lacing.

S: Grainy, grassy, faintly sweet.

T: Corn syrup, way too much sweetness comes through from the adjuncts for my taste.

M: Decent body for an AAL, and a nice touch of hoppiness for this style at the end.

D: The sweetness...some have reviewed it as honey but it was more corn syrup to me, is just too much for my palate. There are several other adjuncts (such as PBR) that I would rather drink. (434 characters)

Photo of grannun
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In fairness, it is difficult to review american lagers like this in the same way I review craft beers.

Living in the Minneapolis area, this beer is available either on-tap or in a bottle at almost every bar near me, and it is my go-to beer if they don't have anything really good. That being said, I find it a very nice, refreshing beer to drink, with far more flavor than most BMC beers.

There seems to be a slight sweetness in the flavor, along with some pronounced grains. I can actually taste some of the malts, although no hops. Overall, very drinkable, and always my choice over BMC. (591 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- golden and yellow in color. A bit murky with a bit of white hed

Smell- light hoppy aroma with some sweetness on the nose. And a smell i can't quit place.

Taste- some wheaty sweetness. Much sweeter than i was expecting. Really not a bad taste at all

Mouthfeel- not too thin, not too thick. But the carbonation is a bit too absent

Drinkability- very drinkable but pales in comparison to Schlitz! (409 characters)

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grain Belt Premium was the first beer I every drank--many years ago. The label has moved to a different brewery since then and I have moved on to other beers as well. As nostalgia goes, you can't beat this one for me. These days, though, the flavor doesn't live up to my memory.

The clear bottle presents a yellow clear brew with a white cap of foam. After pouring the beer into a shaker pint, the foam had excellent retention. The aroma is soft with sweet corn and pale malts. More sweet corn on the palate, fairly sweet. Some malt, but mostly juicy corn. As the beer moves back a hint of metallic before it vanishes with a whimper of bitterness.

The corn puts the adjunct into this American Adjunct Lager, and they brewers are not being shy about it. In the end, a drinkable version of the style--better than many others I have had in this category. (854 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.52/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of John_M
2.04/5  rDev -39.8%
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... (1,415 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of nrmiller
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of nkersten
3.96/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (1,000 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.34/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (987 characters)

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.62/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of dberthia
3.7/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (343 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.11/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (841 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (440 characters)

Photo of Misfit138
2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
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. (310 characters)

Photo of Ottertude
3.71/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (652 characters)

Photo of dbossman
3.01/5  rDev -11.2%
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 (297 characters)

Photo of smanders
4.08/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Enjoy! (554 characters)

Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.