Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Grain Belt Nordeast - August Schell Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grain Belt NordeastGrain Belt Nordeast

Educational use only; do not reuse.

92 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 92
Hads: 422
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.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 92 | Hads: 422
Photo of pmccallum86
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head.

Smell is of light malts, not much else.

Taste is very light, small malts and a light crisp hop finish. Not too bad.

Mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation, pretty good.

Good drinkability, solid beer. Nothing special at all, but pretty solid.

 300 characters

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.

 702 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- from a 12 oz clear bottle it poured a light brown/copper color with an adequate head it was mostly clear with a 1 finger head

S-hops ,malt, and grain

T- taste was that of an adjunct..it had malts and caramel followed by some hops

M- was medium carbonated wit a malty taste that stayed in the back of my mouth

D-its drinkable with a lower ABV..its great to knock back some of these while bowling in the winter..its really just average

 441 characters

Photo of MinnesotaRIS
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grain Belt Nordeast is a great beer from a company that is typically known for making beer on par with Budweiser and Miller. This beer is far more robust and flavorful and I enjoy it.

A - typical for a red amber lager

S - complex and not overpowering in too many of its characteristics. Hops are there.

T - Very pleasant and a bit watery but compared to its peers of amber lagers, it gives a bit more flavor and depth. Hops are apparent but not overwhelming. Aftertaste is pleasant.

M - No complaints. Average with a bit of bitterness.

D - Very drinkable. Smooth with just a touch of roughness

This is a substantial improvement over Grain Belt Premium because it has more flavor and character. It is not a craft beer so don't expect the crafted experience. My take is that if you want a routine "drinkin' beer", this is better than the rest.

 849 characters

Photo of plfahey
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance-Amber in color, brilliantly clear. Moderate white head with fine bubbles and poor retention.

Aroma-Light caramel malt complements the grainy aromas typical of lighter american lagers. Very light hops here, and also a low buttery (almost diacetyl) aroma. Somewhat sweet, with not much else going on.

Flavor-Mmmm, adjuncts. Light corny sweetness with a hint of caramel. Barely perceptible grassy hop flavor and low hop bitterness. Aftertaste has a little bit of buttery diacetyl, but just light enough to be perceptible, not a terrible butter-bomb by any stretch of the imagination. That said, it's still not very good.

Mouthfeel-Thin, light body with moderately high carbonation. It's not my idea of a good mouthfeel, but it is appropriate for the style.

I never understood why this beer is popular, though I suppose I'll drink it in preference to other, shittier macro lagers. The low flavor, light body, and high carbonation make it easy to drink, but I have to knock it a bit on drinkability for that buttery aroma/aftertaste-it certainly does not make me want to drink more of it.

 1,146 characters

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!

 465 characters

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.

 860 characters

Photo of mrpoizun
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a six pack which fell onto its side on the way home. Every bottle leaked. I contacted Grain Belt and supplied them with all the information on the bottles and carton. Received no response. So right off the bat I have to report that this beer is very poorly bottled, which might have something to do with some of the poor reviews.

However, I did drink one right away, just so I'd have an idea what a (semi?) fresh one might taste like. Frankly, I liked it. A nice American lager with a bit more malt to it. Very refreshing.

But given the substandard bottling and the lack of response from Grain Belt about it, I will not be buying it again.

 652 characters

Photo of adrock7309
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Grainbelt Nordeast was surprisingly good for sucha mainstream brew.

A = bit murky amber kind of like dirty dishwater. Light white head fills the top of my pint glass.

S = a bit stale aroma of must and malt.

T = very average. Didnt care for the cakiness and moldy bread flavors coming through.

Overall drinkability was fine. A decent beer to drink at a tailgating party but nothing I would seek out or probably drink again.

 426 characters

Photo of Slygato
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance- Dark amber beer, with a little head

Smell- Very little smell to the beer, has a light caramel smell to it

Taste- Has a sweet taste to it with a light caramel taste

Mouthfeel- Has a light mouthfeel goes down smooth

Drinkability- Very drinkable would drink this again, and is relatively inexpensive

 311 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into Pint glass.

Appearance: Burnished amber with just a light head and not much lacing.

Smell: Light caramel malts - not much else.

Taste: Just barely sweet caramel grainy malts are the highlight, with a very, very light hop finish. Not much complexity, but appreciate the lower sweetness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, surprisingly ample smooth body for a low abv lager.

Drinkability: Maybe not much going on, but it is well constructed and easy to kick back. Better than the standard Grain Belt.

 532 characters

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.

 571 characters

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.

 761 characters

Photo of katan
3.91/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very clear, transparent brown color. Head formation is strong, 2-3mm, just short of bright white. Breaks down to a film. Carbonation appears light.

S - Light caramel malt note, lightly sweet. Hopping is non-existent. Malt forward.

T - Starts off lightly sweet, some caramel and nutty malt notes. Mid-stream gets bitter, but still with a malt lean. A yeast spicy note comes in towards the end, with a hair of grainy finish.

M - Light mouth feel, light body. Carbonation massages the tongue, giving the beer a stinging feel.

D - Easy drinking. ABV is very manageable. Light sweetness is present, smooth, not overwhelming. Avoiding bitter flavors will appeal to the masses.

 705 characters

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.

 365 characters

Photo of JackieTH
3.24/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had my fair share of Grain Belt Premium at our local ballparks, so I was more than little excited to see the Nordeast on the shelves.

Appearance was as appearances go, perfectly adequate. Head was just right, color was an inviting amber hue. It looked tasty. Smell was...not that great, just a hint skunky or metallic?

On the palate the beer was quenching, carbonation was just right, and the initial slightly off-putting nose was quickly forgotten. This is a drinking beer for summer afternoons.

The good folks in New Ulm definitely took the 'belt of grain' out of this Grain Belt Nordeast release. Eventually another six pack of bottles will find their way into my fridge, after I get over the sticker shock, that is.

 728 characters

Photo of KBomb
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep bronze/amber colors a crystal clear body, capped by foamy white head that dissipates to some light, bubbly lacing. Smell has a little bit of grassiness and something just a tiny tiny bit skunky, but supported by a lot of sweet caramel malt smell. Taste is smooth and very sweet, a sweetness like pure cane sugar. Yet, its not overly sweet and has a clean enough finish that the beer still has a bit of refreshing taste. Medium body and weight, moderately smooth mouthfeel. Easy drinking, unique tasting lager that's slightly sweeter than a Vienna style.

 558 characters

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

12oz clear bottle into a SA Perfect Pint. Nice extra, ballz50401!

With a name like Grain Belt, I could feel my collar turning blue the second this beer was poured. Thankfully, the liquid's color remained true to its style--bright copper with a glowing orange core. It's clear, but I can detect a hint of yeasty haze. Above, a paper-white head builds impressively, but retreats to a ring of dense foam within minutes. The aroma isn't great, but it's par for the course given the style. A hint of skunky hops here, some pale malt and amber sweetness there that suggests caramel and toasted cereal grains.

Nordeast brings a nice dose of hops and a grainy fizziness that suggests toffee candy and bubblegum for a millisecond before the flavor dissipates into near-nothingness. Some might say that's a plus, and I tend to agree: I've had many lagers whose aftertaste is bordering on putrid (lookin' at you, Natty Light!). Mouthfeel is crisp and medium-thin. Big bubbles of carbonation roll across the tongue and crackle with each sip. If this were twice as sweet, I could see myself confusing it with a soda. Albeit a good soda, but that's not what we're all here for...

Still, Nordeast is at least worth a try. I'd have it again.

 1,228 characters

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.

 856 characters

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.

 879 characters

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.

 322 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 2.5 finger off white head with a very nice texture up top. Pretty clear deep golden amber with lots of active carbonation. Could be a little....redder? Head isn't sticking around very long though.

S: Smell isn't much different from a pale lager IMO. Little grainy, little sweet. Not terribly strong, which also means not terribly offensive. Not what I would consider pleasant, but alright for the style.

T: Again, grainy, but actually quite refreshing. I could see this becoming a summer favorite for after working. A craft drinkers lawnmower beer. There's notes of caramel, but I could use more. Maybe a slight bitterness, weather that's from hops or not I am unsure.

M: Lighter, but not Lite, good carbonation, very refreshing. Maybe a hair too light for an Amber Lager, but overall, very nice.

D: This is right up there with the most "drinkable" American Adjunct Lagers, even though as far as I know it's all malt. I would say to me it's quite a bit more drinkable, but even regular Joe Six-pack BMC drinker should find it so.

 1,036 characters

Photo of Merchant46
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 1-finger white head that dissipates at a fairly rapid pace. Moderate bubbles. Color: light amber, much like many EPA's or IPA's.

S: Very faint, malty aroma. Not much in the way of hops signature. Smells like a typical American Lager.

T: A considerable amount of solid, standard-tasting hops flavor, considerably more than the aroma would tip you off to. The malt adds a good degree of sweetness, but short of the same extreme degree of Grain Belt Premium. Minimal aftertaste. What there is, is more sweet than hoppy.

M: Very similar to most beers like it, but a little smoother. Thicker than the average domestic lager, thinner than something like Killian's Red.

D: Very sessionable.

How much you like this beer really depends on context. If you're expecting a unique flavor experience, this won't deliver that. Compared to most domestic lagers at its price point, however, it offers more and better flavor, is refreshing, and very drinkable. As a guy who used to work in Nordeast Mpls and still drives by the old Grain Belt sign every day on the way home from work, it's good to see that August Schells has done the old neighborhood right by this beer.

To answer the ultimate question, "Do I want to have second one?" Absolutely!

 1,279 characters

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.

 1,150 characters

Photo of budgood1
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out of the clear 12 oz. bottle a clear amber colour with a thin collar of foam. head reduces quickly and leaves just the most minimal of lace. sweet grainy aroma, some buttered toast and a hint of floral hopping. the taste is more of the same...sweet with some slightly toasted graininess...a bit of corn and a hint of green apple. a touch of flowery hoppiness in the flavour with an ever so slight yet assertive bitterness on the back end. tastes very nice and really is quite different from regular GB premium but shares some of the base qualities. lagerish type body with a slick yet crisp mouthfeel. this is where is differs from premium also in that this has a bit of bite on the tongue rather than the slippery slickness GBP. great drinkability. a full flavoured lager that is tasty and quenching with some quality characteristics.

definitely recommended. good stuff.

 881 characters

Grain Belt Nordeast from August Schell Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.