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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 WYVYRN527
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Figured I would give this one a try with all of the hype it has had the last few weeks. 12 oz. clear bottle.
The beer pours a clear amber hue with a thick white head that settles quickly. Carbonation consists of large bubbles.
Smell is a bit sweet, almost cloying with some bready malt notes, but mainly corn and sugar shine through. There are some hop aromas, but nothing enough to pick out. Taste is a bit better. Caramel and some fruity hints make up the malt backbone, while hops balance out the flavor with some mild bitterness and floral tones.
Light to medium bodied, has some lingering flavor. It's a drinkable beer, and good for a hot summer day while mowing the lawn. Not something I would drink on a daily basis, but overall decent.

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Photo of Mistofminn
2.71/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried this one last week while landscaping at my girlfriends parents house.

Poured into a pint glass. It looks like you would expect it to, clear and brown, only reddish when held into the sun. A soft, half finger of off white colored head sits on top with terrible retention and leaves behind no lacing. A lively carbonation keeps things moving.

The aroma is...Grain Belt? I swear, in a blind smelling test I don't know if I could tell the difference. Ok, maybe this one is slightly more malty, and slightly sweeter? I was expecting some more hops or something, but meh.

The taste is the same as Grain Belt also. I get corn and other adjuncts. Sweet and malty, just a little maltier than Grain Belt.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp, with a high carbonation. Drinkability is probably it's best quality, as this was rather refreshing and easy drinking on a hot, spring day filled with lots of heavy lifting and manual labor.

Was expecting something a little different at first, but the more I thought about it, this is pretty much what I should have expected. Not bad, but nothing special.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Translucent brown/caramel color.

Aroma: Almost no smell detectable. Just a tiny bit of malt. It gets marked down for this only because there is nothing to grade it on in this department. There are no bad smells either.

Taste: A little bready, a little malty. No hop presence. Basically no bitterness. However, it is real easy to swig down with no bad flavors to speak of.

Mouthfeel: Exceptional. Great carbonation level and one of the easiest drinking beers I've ever had. It could use a little more body but overall not much to complain about.

Final Thoughts: I've had this beer before and didn't really think much of it. It's one of those beers that you have on hand once in a while but doesn't deserve to be on a regular rotation in your fridge. However, for the novice beer drinker Nordeast is a good starting point if you want to get into darker beers but fear that they might be overwhelming.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

August Schell Grain Belt Nordeast pours a finger of creamy foam over a clear deep amber brew. Carbonation is strong and steady, and the nose is adjunct lager all the way- sweet corn, lager yeast, maybe a little fruitiness. Flavor is more of that corn sweetness, that fruit note again (apple skin maybe), and just a little bit of some kind of herbal hops off the back. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. This actually seems a lot like a darker version of another Schell product, their Lakemaid beer. They're both corn lagers with a taste of real hops, something like training wheels, almost...

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Photo of Greggy
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice 2 finger very light tan head with decent lacing over an amber body. The head has decent retention, staying around for a minute or two.

S- Very malty and bready. Almost in the ballpark of an octoberfest. Sweet breads, caramel, standard grainbelt sweetness note.

T- Starts out with bits of caramel biscuitiness with candied sweetness on the end. The more I think about this, it seems like an extremly light version of the now-discontinued caramel bock. The finish is smooth and clean with only residual caramel and breadiness remaining.

M- Just a bit of spritzy carbonation at the beginning and otherwise extremely malty.

D- Easily drinkable. Great brew.

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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.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: 16-ounce can. There are smudged batch codes printed on the bottom of the can but no discernable freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a becker glass. The color is dirty amber. Two fingers of dense, fluffy, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly, leaving trails along the glass, a thin lacing, and a ring of buttery foam.

Smell: Like Minnesota. (It reminds me of a trip to the Twin Cities in January.) Or at least like a Schell lager. Caramel covered apple, musty grain, a little toffee, and that distinct Schell hairspray. It smells like it wants to be an ale but is still coming to terms with the fact it is just lager. It is a beer that needs some talk therapy.

Taste: Like Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. Toasted caramel and toasted grains. Honey, toffee, a little hop bitterness (it is like a beefed up macro with taste). It has a mouthfeel much like Coca-Cola, covering my teeth in some kind of dentist contrived corn syrup conspiracy.

Drinkability: You know… I, um… Probably won’t be buying this again unless I find myself at one of those frozen lake fishing contests where a handful of people fish and everyone else gets drunk. I love Minnesota, but Schell lagers are just not my thing.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Nonic Pint. Best by 7-31-12.
Brought back by a friend that went on a trip to Iowa.

Known simply as "The Belt" in my circle of friends, Grain Belt has proven to be a cheap easy drinker most of us enjoy when we can get our hands on it.

A- Pours a clear burnt orange color with 1 finger of sudsy off white head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin cap on top and leaving no lacing on the glass.

S- Not too much there to smell, faint scents of caramelized malts, almost no hop aroma.

T- A tad sweet. The major flavor here is a toasted grain taste.

M- Light Medium body. Medium amount of carbonation.

O- Like I said before, "The Belt" is an easy drinking, cheap alternative to all the macro choices out there. This is one for people who don't want to be like every body else. By far, not the best beer out there, but definitely worth a try sometime.

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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.

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Photo of Foyle
2.6/5  rDev -25.5%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 1"+ off white head that slowly falls leaving some nice lacing on the glass. Color is a clear amber with mild streaming carbonation.

Aroma: toasted barley malt dominates the aroma, other than that, it is fairly mild.

Mouthfeel: light and frothy with a somewhat dry finish.

Flavor: toasted bread crust, some corn, raisin, maybe a hint of hops in the finish.

Overall: decent but pedestrian.

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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.

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Photo of cervezango
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nordeast is better than grain belt but for the money it is not a great deal. Sort of a cool beer to drink at parties because its likely most will be Familiar with it, but be drinking something less unique. Nordeast is a fun change from the normal session beers i drink Like pbr or leinenkugals Original "chipewas Pride" . It has an almost fishy smell, which is the worse part about it. it tastes good, not much to say about its flavor except that it is not lacking in flavor.
for the money i would generally choose somthing else.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed a 12-pack at Surdyk's today (4/7/2010), the first day this beer was released in Northeast Minneapolis only (will be everywhere else soon).

Poured from clear bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear deep amber color with a two-finger beige foamy head. Left some nice sticky lacing behind as it receded. Recdeded quickly to a frothy cap.

Smell: Not much to the smell but subtle sweet malts and just a faint hint of hops behind all the malt. Smells like a mild and maltier Adjunct Lager.

Taste: Better than it smells, more flavor than a Grain Belt Premium. This one hits you up front with sweet malts and just a hint of subtle bitterness, followed by a smooth finish with a faint taste of hops. Low ABV (4.7) and very little alcohol in the taste. This one is better cold and starts to taste a little medicinal as it warms, so keep it cold and drink it cold!

Mouth Feel: Crisp and a good carbonation to it. I liked it better with less carbonation out of a glass than I did when I drank it straight from the bottle.

Drinkability: A good simple American Amber beer that will appeal to the casual beer drinker and to some craft beer drinkers as well. It probably won't win many awards (other than clever targeted marketing), but it's a decent beer that is a nice homage to my little NE Minneapolis neighborhood. I know I will probably be drinking plenty more of this in the future at local watering holes.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.58/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a deep copper color with great carbonation. Head is foamy and rich-looking, with excellent retention and heavy lacing as it recedes.

Smell: Woody hops, sweet malt flavor, and an elusive fruity scent (is it berries or citrus or a little of both). Awesome.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is simply beautiful. Beer is of a light- to medium-heaviness, but there's a great balance with the carbonation which fools you into thinking you've got a thick beer here. Bitterness up front, but as the bubbles form, there's a real apple-like tartness which is not unpleasant matched by a gentle ester vibe. Beer finishes mostly wet, and goes down smoothly.

Overall: A surprise winner! I got this from a neighbor who works at a distributor...he told me his favorite beer was Bud Light, and I was a bit concerned when he recommended the Grain Belt Nordeast...but man, I definitely trust him now!

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Photo of TTAmod
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's impossible to get this beer around these parts. My friend Brian was in MN and picked me up a 12 pack. Thanks a lot, Brian!

A: Orange/amber clear with a pretty thick white head.

S: Slightly hoppier and maltier than a typical macro lager.

T: Taste steps it up a bit more. It has a clean malty and hoppy taste. There's a nice caramel maltiness, grass, and a nice bit of fruit. It ends pleasantly bitter.

M: Good mouthfeel. Extremely smooth and easy to drink.

O: Yum. Love this beer. Every time one of my friends to MN, I always tell them to get me some of this. It's in the same league as other macros, but the taste is far superior.

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Photo of keeganfrank
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a thin head that sticks around for less than a minute. Almost no discernible odor, what I can pick up is grassy or vegetable-like. The taste of toasted malts and sweet caramel is very pleasant...and very prominent, considering that it doesn't smell like anything. Nordeast seems thick for its style, it's not something I would feel like drinking quickly- it's more like a beer one would nurse.

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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.

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Photo of BeerNutz324
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Ap- this beer actually looks pretty damn good sititing in the glass. A light amber color with nice head (inch or so) that holds on to retention fairly well. Leaves good lacing on the glass too.

Ar- the beer starts to go downhill from here. Smells of malt and lager yeast. Smells sweet and grainy.

T- sweet roasted like malts hit you up front and then the lager yeast towards the end. Not the best finish to a beer.

M- thin and watery and lots of carbonation

O- Depends on how you look at it. It isn't even close to as good as most craft brews. But when you compare it to the BMCs of the world, it ain't so bad.

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Photo of sauron681
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thank God for originally being from Minnesota, and my mother still living there. I got a 12 pack of this, and heard from many that it is very difficult to get a hold of.

Pours a ruby amber color, with good head and average lacing throughout in a pint glass. Carbonation is present throughout the session. Very small amount of malty aroma.
Smooth and very light, what else would you expect? Very very light in the mouth
Hints of caramel sweetness and perhaps some crystal as well.
Not a whole lot else going on with this beer, but more appreciative than a beer from the big 3. or is it big 2 now????

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Photo of ANiklaus
4.55/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a glass. Nordeast isn't the best tasting beer in the market, but for the price it is very difficult to find beers that can compare in drinkability and refreshness. It's my go to beer both in the winter and summer and will continue to be my first choice for reasonable priced beer. Look is what one expects from amber lager. Smell is a good balance of malt and wheat and a sample of honey. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. This beer can be drank all day and should be the go to beer for any trip to Minnesota; especially on a budget.

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Photo of PokerGod
4.03/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a seidel mug.

Color- dark reddish brown tint. color is beautiful, but leaves little to no head, which vanishes quickly. Also leaves absolutely none of that beautiful lacework around the glass like a love to see.

smell- not much impressive going on here. Some bready scents that are pleasing but not very strong. I really feel this beer is lacking in this department as I really do believe that half of the taste is in the smell.

taste- now this is where the Nordeast makes up some ground. Deliciously smooth beer, with a very sweet caramel finish to it. Almost like candy, it's so good. No real hop presence here, all malts and yeasts. But it is spot on.

Mouthfeel- Not an overly carbonated beer, leaves a light bite noted to the sides of the tongue.

Overall, this is without a doubt one of the easiest beers to pound one after the other. Also, very affordable. If I could give an award for the best taste for your money to a local Minnesota beer it would be Nordeast. It may not be as complex as some of it's competitors, but I think it's a great tasting beer, and really that's the most important factor of all.


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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.

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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.

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Photo of workingclassbrew
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can poured into a lager mug.

Beautiful dark amber, looks like last years Leinenkugel Oktoberfest., head is nice, dark cream lingers awhile. Just a nice looking beer.

Aroma, classic Grainbelt, but heavy floral, grain, sweet, very smooth on the nose.

Very easy drinkin, slick lager, sweetness is upfront with the malt. Hops if any gives you a bite, and disappears quickly. Leaves a little dryness. I like this brew. I first bought this a few years ago at a convenience store in Prescott, Wi. We took it to friends in Minnesota, they said they couldnt get it, it was selling out too fast. Taking a big quaff, and you get smooth, sweet, grain, dry all in that order. Dang this is good stuff. Right now a top 5 "go to beer". Too sweet for IPA lovers, but those still into lagers should appreciate this amber.

Left behind is a nice laced mug from top to bottom. Nice Minnesota beer!

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Photo of bullwinkle88
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Grain Belt Nordeast has been a popular seller in Minnesota and I am giving it a try here.

A- Cool amber color not unlike Negro Modelo with some pretty lacing in the bottle. Cool "Grain Belt" detailing on the glass bottle.

S- Clean smell, smells slightly astringent but nothing off putting. a tad of caramel.

T- Very clean and sweet but not too overdone. Grainy (duh) and a bit sweet with a nice aftertaste that doesnt dry out like many beers of this price point. Taste reminds me of a lighter Yuengling, which is not a bad thing.

M- Very juicy and satisfying. A nice level of carbonation.

O- Easily one of the best domestic beers of this style that I've ever had. This is not one of those craft beers so I see why people would not go nuts over something like this but at the same time I can see why it is so successful. Its a beer that can be enjoyed by all, no off putting flavors or bad aftertastes or anything like this. I've been told this is a beer that is indicative of the Schell lagers and if that is the case I will have to try some. This beer would satisfy most drinkers in my opinion but would be a real treat for someone like myself who typically drinks domestic beers like Miller or Yuengling. A terrific beer.

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