Schlitz | JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
767 Ratings

Brewed by:
JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Illinois, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed under contract for Pabst by Miller Brewing Co.

Entry for 12 oz. cans and draft only.

"Classic 1960's formula" Schlitz reintroduced in 2008 is known as "Schlitz Gusto". Available in 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft:

Added by BeerAngel on 05-29-2000

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 767 |  Reviews: 331
Photo of yuenglingfan101
1/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

had to try this because its legendary status. Only could find in 24 packs. Color is pale, Smells strong taste awful, mouthful is awful drinkability is never ever again. Absolutely the worst i have ever had. One should try this beer due to its status, but that's it

 264 characters

Photo of MTNboy
2.97/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It has an overall very faint smell. There are some tones of grass and adjunct sweetness. There was no head or lace really. The body is ok there are a lot of bubbles to this brass hay colored beer. It is a bit grassy but will say there are some sharp hop tones. The mouth feel is thin.

 284 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.34/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is straw yellow. Two fingers of white head dissipated quickly to leave a thin lacing and ring of foam around the edge.

Smell: I can smell the corn adjunct at an arm’s length. Upon closer inspection, though, there is an unexpected maltiness to it. Perhaps the grains, if there are any in there, were given the lightest toasting ever. There is also a scent of grassy hops and a little lemon zest, but the overpowering effect is of the classic American adjunct — with flavor, that is.

Taste: Surprisingly good. Crisp grassy hops, which offer a nice bitterness, lemon zest, corn adjunct, and very lightly toasted grains. Not bad at all.

Drinkability: This one certainly has gusto, and I would not be adverse to making this a regular in my fridge alongside PBR.

 818 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.68/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Needed some less expensive and easy drinking beer for the masses for the 4th of July, wound up with various summery brews, including classic Schltz in brown 12oz bottles.

Poured light yellow with tan overtures and completely clear. The head was foamy and a solid two fingers and lasted a little before dissipating. Tons of big and small bubbles rose and stuck to the glass a little. Some sticky lacing was present.

The aroma is clean and light, with grains and corn meeting a touch of hops. Slightly sweet smelling too.

For an adjunct lager this one tastes very nice. It's clean and sweet, lightly so, with a blending of grains, corn and crispy, tangy hops. There's no shortage of flavor at all, this is not like many of the near tasteless beers in this category.

Feel wise it's light, crisp, well carbonated, easy to drink, and leaves a lightly sweet, slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall this is a very nice inexpensive summer beer that I don't mind providing for my less discerning friends who just want to drink lagers. I'll happily drink it myself as well.

 1,067 characters

Photo of thegodfather1076
3.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served out of a 12oz. bottle dispensed into a glass....

Presentation - Classic old style label. Love it!

Appearance - Pours out a crystal clear golden yellow with a white airy 1 finger foam head that dissipates very quickly into a slight foam ring. Lots of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - Smells heavy on the corn malt and maybe floral hops.

Taste - Tastes of bitter hops and slight corn malt. A grainy malt taste also. Has a bite to it.

Mouthfeel - High in carbonation and medium bodied.

Drinkability - Very drinkable and refresing. Very crisp and smooth.

I was very surpised to find myself enjoying this beer tremendously. Wasnt sure what to expect because of my preconcieved notions of American mass-produced lagers. This one had a great mouthfeel and good flavor that I really liked. One of the better mass-produced American lagers that Ive had.

 905 characters

Photo of MJL360
2.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

See the pic of Schlitz? Notice it brags about the "kiss of the hops"....what Schlitz was once known for...When the re-introduced it in 2008, it HAD hop flavor...and I became a HUGE fan of it.
Flash forward to today...No more mention of hops on the packaging...and bye bye to hop flavor!
Yes, boys and girls, the brain trust re-re-formulated good ole Schlitz twice in the last 3 years!
I'm sure others out there have spotted this.
Now it's the swill of the '80's and '90's that they were getting away from...a very sad case.
Why they did it? I sure don't know===but would love to find out why!
Maybe somebody out there has the answer!

 633 characters

Photo of vandemonian
2.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Schlitz is an extra corny Adjunct Lager.

A: Pale straw colour and a good 1 cm head that fades to crappy lacing. 3.5

S: Not much there, maybe some corn. 2.5

T: Corn and hay. Muddy aftertaste. 2

M: Fizzy and reasonably foamy. 3.5

O: Adjunct Lager with extra corn. 2.5

 270 characters

Photo of wcudwight
3.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear golden color. White head rushes to the top and just as quickly recedes. Faint lacing. Grainy husky aroma with hints of grass. Good malt flavors with a very noticiable grainy flavor. Faint hint of grassy hops. Wow a macro with flavor. Very smooth and carbonation is spot on. Good beer for a hot day and it's super cheap to boot. 7$ for a 12 pack of cans.

 367 characters

Photo of BeanBone
2.27/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A crystal-clear golden body capped by two fingers of fluffy white head that feature good retention and patchy lacing. Looking good so far.

Aroma: Faint grains and equally faint lemony hops. Rather standard.

Flavor: The flavor profile is a balance of sweet, grainy malt and lemony and grassy hops. There’s also a metallic flavor lurking around the edges. It’s balanced well, but still rather weak. Just a bare whiff of husky grains in the clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation and a crisp finish.

Drinkability: Average for the style. That is to say, for fans of the flavor, this is an exceedingly easy drinker.

Verdict: While I held some hope that perhaps Schlitz was something more than the offerings of the big three (and that hope seemed vindicated upon seeing the beer in the glass), alas, it’s just the same old crap. Still, I hold lots of hope for the 60’s formula version that’s starting to show up across the country.

 982 characters

Photo of mnrider
3.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. Brown bottle--->Pint Glass. Twist off with freshness date.

A: Pours a clear golden yellow. Large fluffy white head that does not last and leaves little lacing. Carbonation is ample.

S: Semi-sweet with a bunch of corn and some hints of floral hops.

T/M: Light bodied and crisp. Watery as expected with a small hop presence as the grains are most prevalent. Malt? Finishes clean and corny.

O: For the style it is actually above average. Even though its a cheap beer that is small on taste, it's better than most of this style and worth a try if you're on a budget.


 585 characters

Photo of prosit13
2.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The way macro brews used to taste. Smell and taste both are ripe with corn and a slight vegetal note but still much cleaner than a Miller Lite or other adjunct. What sets beers like Schlitz, PBR, and Lone Star apart are the fact that they still have some flavor. Albeit just a "kiss of the hops", Schlitz is still a satisfying beer with a decent but not particularly flavorful lager. But you know what they say, if you run out of Schlitz, you run out of beer.

 459 characters

Photo of ManuelHerrera
2.11/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

If Schlitz is "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous," then that whole state needs to have its liquor license promptly removed.

Pours transparent yellow with a decent white head and lacing that disappears like dish soap. The aroma isn't offensive, mild corn and grains that doesn't linger more than a half-second. At this point my expectations are right where they were when I first saw the label.

The flavor is mild, like the label proclaims it has a "kiss" of hops with just a mild sense of malt to make this the true chugging type of beer. It's the kind of beer a politician would drink on the campaign trail and regard the taxpayers around him as "salt of the earth."

The beer is inoffensive, but no where near anything resembling good. I feel like I should be around working class men in the midwest drinking a Shlitz at the bar for $2 a pint.

But instead I'm in L.A. drinking Trader Joe's chicken potstickers, so I'm really just a hipster.

 949 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.1/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a 12 pack of this one the last time I was in Boston, against the advice of everyone I was with. Not horrible, but not as good as many of the other retro canned beers. Light yellow color with a fizzy white head. Aromas of corn, straw and light malt. Light bodied and fizzy, with corn and a light malt sweetness.

 320 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
3.16/5  rDev +9%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have had hundreds of beers and never schlitz! I've even had other schlitz products but never a good old regular schlitz. It looks awful. Overly carbonated, yellowy, not much head. Tastes good though. A decent enough malt, no hops to speak of, and quite easy to drink. No worse than any other macro. Kind of a sweet aftertaste! I enjoyed it and may make it the "honey, did you see how much money you spent on beer last month", beer!

 433 characters

Photo of bigrzman
3.08/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a darker straw color, zero head retention, and uneven carbonation (tiny bubbles little bubbles).

Smells metallic and corny. I guess they used a crap ton of corn back in the 1960's too.

Tastes pretty standard for this style. It tastes of corn, freshly mown grass from pale barley but has a little more hop assertiveness for a macro which is still pretty low on the IBU scale, kinda has a Heineken hop taste.

Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy and thirst quenching. Drinkability would be high because there is nothing hateful about it.

Basically, you people got fooled. Beer in the 1960's was probably just as bad as it was before the micro-brew revolution. It is your standard Joe Average lawn mower beer and nothing else but something that hearkens back the days of old and onion skin nostalgia.

 802 characters

Photo of schlitzophrenia
3.98/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A=Small white head, nice golden color which looks like a regular beer should

S=Lager yeast, corn, hops

T=This is the enjoyable part of the brew..You taste a mixture of bitter hops, fresh grain, pale malts, and corn. There is no artificial aftertaste and it is not a heavy beer. This is what a classic American Adjunct Lager should taste like.

M=Schlitz is carbonated and soda-like but runs flat when you get towards the end of the beer. You will always get a nice surge of hop and grain with each sip.

D=Schlitz is highly drinkable and aesthetically pleasing to the eye due to its retro design and classic taste. They do not sell Schlitz Gusto in South Carolina (I've requested it from various beverage stores and was unable to get any). The canned Schlitz is sold in South Carolina and costs $7.00 for a 12 pack.
Schlitz is a sessionable beer and easy to drink. It really does have more of a "classic" beer taste than other AAL's.

I do not recommend drinking any wine or other beers when drinking Schlitz however because you will end up with a nauseous headache the next morning.

 1,088 characters

Photo of foogerd
4.3/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pale yellow body with a nice sized white head.

S- Grainy sweet corn malty biscuits.

T- Very tasty Adjunct Lager all around, great sweet malts with a touch of bitter hops.

M- Clean with a nice burst of refreshing carbonation.

D- This redeems the whole category of American Adjunct Lagers, you can session this drinking can after can watching the game and never get bored of the flavor.

 391 characters

Photo of PapillonJohn
4.25/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Consumed from a can on 2/27/2010
Pittsburgh, PA

Poured from can into pilsener glass.

Appearance: Pale, amber color. The head lasts only about a minute...or two if you're lucky. The color, though itself is pretty regal.

Smell: I am not getting to much from the smell. A little bit of a "hoppy", "soapy", "corny" taste.

Taste: Wow Wow We Wa...yeah. Hey, it's way more than what I thought. A blatant; "F YOU!" to the people who aren't tasting the hops. It's right there, really? What I am not tasting is a shitty, false, malty flavor.

Mouthfeel: very light, with a bubbly carbonation.

Drinkabiliity: I can see why this was so popular "back in the day." Also, I am so glad it's offered today. Sure, I am ONLY judging this off of what it is, not compared to other styles or beers.

Get it, try it, love it.


 841 characters

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.38/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice clear, golden color. The head did not stick around long, but there was some nice lacing.

Crisp and refreshing with some bitterness.
Good carbonation and goes down easy.

A real nioe beer at a good price.

If you are feeling nostalgic, and want something cheap, pick up some Schlitz!

 299 characters

Photo of jwhancher
3.31/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a case of Shlitz a few weeks back. Have actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

A: A very clear light golden color with good carbonation and finger width white head that slowly fades.

S: "Just the kiss of the Hops". Well, not really. More like sweet smelling corn syrup, but it's pretty non-offensive. Mostly clean.

T: Pretty bland by all standards. No hops. Again, some sweet syrup like quality that is likely from extract or corn starch or some other adjunct. It's pretty average at best.

M: Really a light, somewhat clean tasting lager. Carbonation is good.

D: A very drinkable beer. Very light and average tasting. Can see why the masses drank this in loads back in the day. Not a beer I can really turn to because it is so bland, but I find it rather non-offensive and not bad as a session beer if you're really not after taste. I like a beer like this every now & again. It also doesn't hurt the wallet at $10.99 per case.

 933 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.13/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A classic beer that continues to go strong in the cheap beer category! From random notes straight from the can: Clear yellow pour with a fizzy white head. Looks like a beer. Aroma is your standard beer smel of some grassy hops, dried corn, stale malts, and some of the can it was in. Flavor isn't that bad. Pretty balanced with a slight corn flavor mixed with some grass and a light touch of malts. Mostly bitter and grassy hops. Watery and drinkable.

 451 characters

Photo of obrendano
3.81/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a classic brew not to be discounted because of its cheap nature. embrace it instead, for sure

A - average pale straw color in the beer, decent head, but when it comes to the can, I am a true sucker for the classic American lager art look. off white and red coloring to make it look "old", and the ever present "the beer that made Milwaukee famous" on the side. how can you go wrong?

S - grain and metallic tones, nothing special here, the true art lies within

T - HUGE surge of grain and malt flavor, rather indescribable and unique, and the promise of "a kiss of hops" delivers, not too much, but present enough to make you wonder if most other pale lagers couldn't benefit with just a little more bite and complexity

M - smooth and rich, a little bigger bodied than most cheap lagers

D - won't have any trouble killing off the 12 pack I bought. I give it a week, tops. just like band Uriah Heep, true underground classics never die

EDIT - goes very well with some Cooper Sharp cheese, which is also from Wisconsin. what a state

 1,035 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.86/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TALL BOY!!! I saw a six of tall boys standing amongst 12-packs of micro specialty brews and I said...OH Yeah! I gotta have that! Take me back to the 60s BABY....YEAH! Alright I must confess...was born in the 70s....but hey this is not a bad beer. The color was clear golded with a white head. There was no smell other than...SCHILTZ!!!! Taste...c'mon its a standard US macro pilsner/lager type. SESSION....SESSION...You bet your ass. Can drink the F' out of this. A great Saturday or Sunday would be a six of Schiltz and a side of Brats! Stay thirsty my friends!

 562 characters

Photo of psugrad98
3.53/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light straw, though slightly darker than other macro beers. Slight sweet malt aroma and light adjunct aroma. So slight though. An ever whisp of hops.

Tastes fizzy with well balanced malt and corn adjunct. Corn sweetness works well with this brew as it is neither over sweet or or cloying but adds enough body to appropriately work in this style.

Grain sweetness evolves as brew warms. Lace clings nicely to side of glass, finishes smooth and not too filling.

This is a classic american macro lager. A true throwback. When we are stuck with the common and well known tastes of Budweiser and Miller lite, it's good to have a different take on the American Maco Lager, a much maligned but still wonderful beer.

 711 characters

Photo of dizknee24
2.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - To be honest i did not pour this one out of the can.

s - Very limited hops and maybe some stale hops. Very faint though.

t - Malty. really if i say something tastes like beer, this would be what i am describing

m - thin and doesnt last long. no aftertaste at all.

o - Overall for an american adjunct, Ill take one anytime if its between this and Bud or corona etc

I am no hipster but this is not all that bad.

 419 characters

Schlitz from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Beer rating: 2.9 out of 5 with 767 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.