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Grain Belt Nordeast - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt NordeastGrain Belt Nordeast

Educational use only; do not reuse.

93 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 93
Hads: 427
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 33.52%
Wants: 13
Gots: 75 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jjanega08 on 04-07-2010

Grain Belt Nordeast is an American Amber lager and is the newest member to the Grain Belt Family. It has a light maltiness and hop aroma with a mild bitterness. Smooth taste with an excellent drinkability.
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Reviews: 93 | Hads: 427
Photo of emerge077
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, it has a coppery color with bright clarity, completely transparent, with saturated color. A finger or two of foam rises and falls, leaving an ample skim and irregular lacing on the opposite side of the glass.

Sweet malty smell, maple syrup and caramel, a touch grainy and sugary. Flavors are similar, sweet and malty, caramel and husky toasted grains blend with an odd fruity "Hawaiian Punch" note. Not too far off from cereals like Froot Loops or Fruity Pebbles, for what it's worth. Watery but fairly malty, it's merely average. Not terrible, sort of a macro version of a craft lager. Something I wouldn't refuse if offered, but probably wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of zeff80
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a bottle at the hotel bar. The bartender said they don't list it on their menu because it was always selling out.

A - Poured a clear amber color with red highlights. It had a small, khaki-colored head of thin foam that left no lace.

S - It smelled malty sweet. Mild floral notes. Not much else. Fairly typical for an amber lager - never big aromas.

T - Sweet maltiness and caramel. Very slight bitterness.

M - It was light bodied, fizzy and crisp which is to be expected for the style.

D - This is an okay lager. I understand the historical love/nostalgia for Grain Belt and the Nordeast neighborhood of the TC, but this isn't something I'll be stocking up on during my annual trips to MN.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Named after the hardworking neighborhood where the original Grain Belt Brewery established its roots back in 1893. 'Nordeast' is an endearing term which comes from the Northern and Eastern European immigrants and their language, which helped shape Northeast Minneapolis."

--August Schell website

Tangerine orange with honey hued edges... which can be appreciated on the store shelf thanks to the clear glass bottle. The head is small and is midway between eggshell and ecru. Lace is scarce, though I suspect that most of these will never see a glass.

The nose is actually pretty good. It has a mildly toasted-earthy quality and a decent amount of floral hoppiness. Here's hoping the flavor profile is a pleasant surprise too.

Nordeast may not be craft beer heaven, but it's a pretty good example of how old school and new school can come together to produce something tasty and drinkable. This might have been how some beer was brewed back in the day. Still, I suspect most of it wasn't this toasted malty or this hoppy.

Flavors include well-toasted bread, iced tea and more fruitiness than should be present in a lager. Sweetness and bitterness, both at a low ebb, balance one another beautifully. The finish is clean, crisp and refreshing. This stuff is growing on me with each passing ounce.

The mouthfeel is at least medium for the ABV and maybe even a fraction bigger. The bubbles feel slightly too large and harsh, at least initially, but it works well in the end.

Grain Belt Nordeast is surprisingly good. In fact, I'd choose it over every pale or amber lager of the old school sort... except for the outstanding Schlitz Gusto. When's the next cookout?

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

amber in color with some garnet highlights that showed off the sides of the glass quite nicely. Small white head was short lived and left behind a broken crown and only minimal lacing. Aroma of bready malts, hints of caramel, candied sugar, a touch of spicy apple at times, but seemed to be a little light to me. Warming brought out a touch of a roasted note for me now as well. Clean feel, nicely carbonated albeit a touch thin for the style. Flavor did not hold up as well as the aroma did to be honest. I was really expecting a bit more from this one.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from cpolking, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light copper color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, lager yeast, some honey, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out a little sweet with flavors of fruit and honey followed by some breadiness from the lager yeast and a thin malt character. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while, but there are better beers in the style.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At last a bottle of Grain Belt Nordeast to call my very own! Rarer than unicorn droppings, harder to find than a leprechaun's taint. At long last, it is mine.

Now, to drink! But, first, to open...

Clear, rich amber color, very thin, tight head, just a lean ring of whitish foam round the edges.

Aroma: sweet and malty, caramel tone, thoroughly pleasant. Nuff said.

Taste: more of the same. No complexity, none expected, exactly as advertised, a clean, slightly sweet, malty lager. There's flavor, and it rolls around the mouth, and exits politely. Drinks like crazy. Only offended parties should be those who insist on their beers being yellow, glum, and harshly fizzy. This ain't none of that. It lacks body, but I don't think anyone expected it to be big-boned. Nordeast is what it is and does what it does.

I'll give it high praise from a Minnesotan: "Not bad!"

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Photo of jwc215
3.14/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottled 03/06/15:

Pours caramel-colored, as seen through the clear bottle. A foamy white head hangs around for most of the drink, leaving a bit of lacing.

The smell is of slightly toasted grain.

The taste is sweet-leaning - some balancing taste and a subtle hop touch. Sweetened tea-like finish.

It is pretty watery and thin.

A rather bland brew, but easy enough to drink. A basic sweet-leaning amber lager.

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Photo of mothman
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into glass mug.

Pours an amber bronze color. About 1/2 finger of khaki head.

Aroma/Taste: Pretty similar to each other. Pretty much all malts. Some caramel and bready flavors. There isn't a whole lot here. It is pretty simple, but in a way I don't mind.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing. Light bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends somewhat clean.

Overall, there isn't a lot to say about this beer, but I kind of like it. It is really easy to drink and something I wouldn't mind having a few of in an evening.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow-orange color with a white head. The aroma doesn't have much going on other than a heavy dose of grain and sweet malt. The flavor is very similar, with grain and a little bit of fruit, which I can't really identify. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Fairly straightforward and not offensive, but something I cared too much for.

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Photo of tempest
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a few bottles with friends and I have to say, this isn't much more that Grain Belt Amber. It had the same sweet roasted corn taste and grainy background, but with a touch more caramel malt and a little more hop bitterness. I guess it's still an improvement over Grain Belt (which isn't that bad), but for a cold and simple lager I'll stick to Full Sail Session.

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Photo of Duff27
3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Half inch white head. The beer itself is an amber/light red color. A few dozen streams of effervescence. Unexpected patches of lacing...a plus.

S- Smells on the sweet side with some grassy notes.

T- Taste follows the smell. Sweet, almost artifically tasting aftertaste...not too bad or cloyingly though. Grassy.

M- Smooth in the mouth area. Adequate carbonation.

D/O- I liked this one overall. Very easy drinking and smooth. May have liked it a tad more than Grain Belt Premium, slightly more flavorful. Would be a great one to share with a BMC person

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Photo of John_M
2.43/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Was in town for Thanksgiving. Not being a local, I guess I don't understand the appeal with this basically crappy beer.

The beer pours an amber gold color with fairly good head retention and lacing. The nose is OK, showcasing some light honey and brown sugar. On the palate, one is quickly reminded that this is macro swill, no matter where it's made. Although the flavors replicate the nose, what there is in this case is very light and weak. Mouthfeel is light and watery, with a light, slightly sour, flavorless finish. Drinkability is OK in a macro swill kind of way, but this is really a pretty weak effort. Anyone have a lawnmower handy?

There are worse adjunct lagers out there, but regardless, this is a pretty unimpressive effort. Seeing a BA score of B for this beer gives me a much better understanding of the score Masala Mama gets on BA as well.

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Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big shout out to cpolking for sending this beer. Poured from a clear 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, caramel. Taste is very refreshing, crisp, bready, some malts and caramel, just a touch of hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfectly clear amber body. Thin and bubbly beige head. Lacing comes in sporadic rings. Sweet malty aroma. Clean and crisp lagered flavor. Malty and smooth. Not too overly sweet. Caramel maltiness forms the base of this beer. And the substance. Medium full body. Actively carbonated. This'll be a nice drinker this summer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. 092910 on the neck.

Thanks to bnieman for giving me this bottle at his place last night.

A - Clear and bronzy brown, Grain Belt has a frothy off-white head with moderate retention and light clingy lacing.

S - Slightly toasted grains have a hint of toffee and caramel but otherwise smell fairly husky. No real hop aroma is noticeable. Crisp and light but rather plain.

T - Much better tasting than smelling, Nordeast has a crisp and clean malt flavor of pale and caramel that is off-set decently by light hops that don't really come though in the flavor so much as balance it.

M - Medium-light bodied and smooth with a crisp and refreshing body that finishes a touch dry with a little carbonation tickle.

D - Very drinkable and refreshing for an amber beer. It goes down very well and refreshing. A solid late summer, early fall brew.

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Photo of drpimento
2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I looked at the website description before sampling. It was served with a nice cream colored to very light tan, fine head, that slowly subsided to a ring around the top, a tiny bit of lace, some bubble streams. Color was a nice clear medium amber. Aroma was beery and a bit of malt. Flavor was mainly sweet with a little malt thrown in. Body and carbonation were ok. Finish was like flavor. Fairly shallow overall. The darker color, I think, predisposes one to think there's more malt in here than there is. Didn't really pick up on the advertised bitterness. Not planning on having more.

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Photo of ZAP
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff is all the rage these days. Kudus to Schells for hitting big on this. A great crossover fad beer for the macro crowd and also one micro drinkers like me can enjoy.

Great looking burnt orange color...looks great in the bottle...drinks great out of the bottle too but for this I poured into a glass...big frothy white head of about 1/3 inch on top...perfect..

The aroma smells like Premium...whatever that floral hop/sweetish maltiness element that Premium has...also some hard water/minerally characteristics..

The taste has some Premium like notes to it too (floral) but also a very nice subtle caramel/worty maltiness...also for some reason I get some iced tea impressions.

Carbonation is about perfect....body is on the on the light side of medium or high side of light depending on how you look at it.

This is a good beer. As always with things the hype is probably bigger than the beer but I could see drinking a lot of this in the summer. The price point is very reasonable and like I mentioned before this is one of the few beers I think tastes just as good straight from the bottle.

A winner and great addition to the lineup.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Found this one in the bottle drawer of my doppelganger's fridge. Figured why not; a tick is a tick afterall... Served from bottle into a Greenville Beer Exchange shaker. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head to none quickly. There was no lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, nutmeg, and subtle caramel. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, grain, wheat, and subtle caramel hop. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Nothing really too exciting going on here at all. I can tell that they were aiming for an Amber, but they fell short with the hop profiles on this one. Better than most adjunct lagers, but that isn't saying too much.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The color reflects the highlights of brown beer bottle orange when held up to a strong light. But looks like a light rusty brown in most light. Clear in body with some slight carb bubbles moderately active. Small dusty bone white cap of foam stands on top briefly before escaping to a solid skim and collar with nicely etched lacing branched across in tree-like strings.

Dull if not nonexistent clean aroma of soggy cereal grains that faintly resembles some kind of grainy/bready sweetness. With that it does come across with a more natural scent then some adjunct macro as the breadyness it does carry on the nose is pleasing, just light.

Taste is firm and super smooth of a simple malt profile that simplifies a nice tender sweetened breadyness, somewhat doughy, slight tinge of heavier cooked caramel and a super small pinch of grassy hops allowed to add some interest in the finish. Stays mostly malty with the bready grain flavors and is smoothly settling to swim down the Ol' gullet.

Delicate light/medium body of super clean, semi crisp, malty smoothness that has a simple yet fulfillingly rich roundness to it that's quite acceptable to the palate and even more so to its drinkability, which is nearly exceptional to the point of only needing a bit more body and likeness of complexity in its flavor profile to up its overall character for me to perhaps enjoy it more.

As is, this is one heck of a sessionable brew to have a bunch of when in the need of a good outside/grilling, BBQing, lawn mowing, fishing, yard working, sit back and enjoy the day away kind of beer.

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Photo of mynie
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sure is a classic looking brew, but the website says it's just done up in that style; it's actually really new, it only tastes and looks really old.

The bottle is awesome but the pour is even prettier. It's like a tangerine rind and the head is fluffy white wonderful.

Smells and tastes medium toasty, big biscuit and bread, with a surprising dose of floral hops. Basically, like an amber. Only the aftertaste is the same as regular Grain Belt, which is to say it is like baby aspirin, which is to say that it is amazing and really ties the beer together.

Probably the best of the new retro-themed beers, aside from maybe the new/old Schlitz. It's an amazing session and for its price I really don't think it can be beaten. It's like Yuengling only better.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear light amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into nice lacing. The aroma is of spicy hops with a solid caramel backbone. This beer smells a lot hoppier than I thought it would, and I like that. The taste is similar to the aroma. There are some nice hops up front than a bit of caramel and even toffee on the back end. The flavor disappears very quickly though leaving absolutely no aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also disappointing thin, and a little too highly carbonated. Overall, there are a number of good things going on in this beer. Unfortunately, there are a few bad things going on too, and they stand in the way of the good things becoming really good things. Such as shame. If only the taste and mouthfeel stood up to the aroma I would really be impressed. As is I'd rather be drinking Grain Belt Premium.

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Photo of jera1350
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a bar with a very limited selection for our fantasy football draft.

Caramel brown in color with a fair sized light tan head of foam.

Light caramel malt scent with some good sweetness.

Caramel malt is very abundant, but it has a light roast to it as well. Lightly crisp with a pretty good dose of sweetness.

Very smooth. I would call this medium bodied. Nicely carbonated.

Put down three of these with ease. A very nice session beer with a good amount of taste. If Premium and Schell's Dark had a child, this would be the outcome. Glad I finally tried it.

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Photo of morimech
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a clear bottle. Clear amber color with one inch of white head that has very good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Quite a bit of lacing is left on the glass. Smells like a grain mill. Slightly musty and spoilled grain aroma. Also pick up some grass and mint. Just not crazy about the flavor. Too grainy for me. Some earthy and grassy hop flavor. Bitterness is very low. Much more substantial body than most lagers. Definately more than adjunct lagers which is the point. Not as drinkable as regular Grain Belt and combined with a flavor I was not crazy about, keeps drinkability around average.

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Photo of alexgash
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle.

Clear, clean, medium copper body. Pinkie finger of dirty off-white head. Some lacing. Sweetish honey malts mix with caramel and very mild grassy hops. Lightly toasted malts up front. Sweetish graham crackers and honeyed biscuit malts unfold. Doughy and clean, with a hint of adjunct-ness. Mostly clean finish with some residual sweetness. Moderate body with a crisp feel. Tasty and very easy drinking. I don't know if this beats the original though!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a long winter and a crappy spring Memorial Day 2011 brings hot and humid weather to bring on the summer. Garden work lead to the need for a lawn mower beer and this one fits the bill.
Damn clear glass bottles - slight skunky aroma with a yeast background and slightly sweet malt. No hops to speak of - maybe just a faint light grass aroma.
Very attractive in my pilsner glass. Dense off-white head settles slowly and covers a brilliantly clear amber body (brown/orange copper).
First time I drank this I didn't catch much adjunct, but it was a social situation and that contributed. More noticeable today, but not too heavy. It blends with the soft malt - that holds a tasty caramel flavor that is the touch of sweetness up front and moves through the drink later. Slight yeast quality. Very mild hop flavor and finishes with a kiss of bitterness, a little yeast and the tickling to sharper carbonation. Very soft feels from the bubbles - which are appropriately ample and filling (burp). There is a little body to this so it doesn't feel like water going down.
This is a good lawn mower beer. Hot day, in the sun, lighter drinker with some flavor. Drink cold though that adjunct begins to show with time.

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Grain Belt Nordeast from August Schell Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.