Schlitz | JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

760 Ratings
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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.

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Ratings: 760 |  Reviews: 329
Photo of jadpsu
3.47/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

40 some years ago this was my Dad's choice of beer. He would buy it in quart bottles, and he might go through 2-3 of those a week. Often an open bottle would be in the frige and @15-16 years old, I took to regularly helping myself to a 4 oz. juice glass, so it was probably my first beer. My mom figured out my scheme which limited me to only a swig!

Back then this was a popular American Lager but somewhere around 1971 they changed the formula and ruined the beer (why would they do that).

Anyway, a generation later the original formula was alledgedly brought back.

This beer poured a pale straw yellow with a fine head with decent lacing but with little head retention.
It smell was of corn, grain with some hops coming through.
Tate was crisp and light with just a slight hop bitterness, all of wich exceeded my expectations.
The price of this beer (in Pa.) was $9.99 for a case of 24 -12 oz. cans makes it IMO a true value.
Wish I could find that value here in Georgia.

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Photo of lawman834
3.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My father was over visiting, and he told me that he had read that the original formula of Schlitz was coming back. He is no beer advocate by any stretch, but most of the oldtimers aren't. He has been a hardcore Bud drinker his whole life.

Anyway, he told me that from drinking age to early adulthood, he was a Schlitz guy, then in the 70's he started to dislike the taste. It was only just recently that he found out that this is when the formula changed. Needless to say, he was stoked that the brew of his youth was coming back.

To surprise him, I picked up a 12 pack. I don't know for sure if it is the 1960's stuff or the modern formula. I fear that it is the new stuff because it is in can's. I don't know, but I think maybe the classic formula only comes in bottles. None the less, Dad made like it was a familiar taste. Maybe it's just been too long. Anyway, here's the review:

A - Unremarkable. Straw colored. Thin head that goes away fast. No lacing. Looks like any ol' macro.

S - Surprising. Pretty simple, but I can smell floral hops! It doesn't smell like a normal macro. No craft brew for sure, but impressive none the less.

T - Wow. Not bad at all. Nicely balanced. Has a decent little puch of floral hops. Something in the finish is just a little offputting...almost soapy.

D - A very drinkable macro. It's crisp, smooth, flavorful, low ABV...and it's cheap to boot, What's not to like?

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Photo of drpimento
3.47/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ha! the return of the King! this is the new incarnation! Just picked up in Milwaukee. Label doesn't say who's really brewing it. Reminds me of the last version of about 8 or 9 years ago. Has a floral hop character with significant malt. Good for kickin back. It's the Schlitz! I'll drink more.

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Photo of jlh8643
2.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one for nostalgia sake. Bright, straw yellow with plenty of carbonation bubbles rushing up to the top. An egg white cap sits on top. Not much of any hops in the aroma but I do smell some corn. This is a fairly thin body. Kinda crisp but I get a fair amount of sweetness left over at the end. It is quite drinkable and probably one of my top choices when it comes to macro swill.

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Photo of becktone
3.88/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye: As the head forms, the carbonation bubbles looks like a tornado as they fly to the top. Color is extremely pale yellow, almost looks like someone put 1-2 drops of yellow food coloring in tonic water. The beer's clarity is that of glass. Head formation and retention are good, probably one of the best I've seen from a starts out nice then falls to ½ a finger and holds there. Lacing is pretty good, sheets, albeit a bit thin, cling to the sides of the glass forming rings inside the sheet formed by the lacing.

Nose: Pretty potent aroma for a macro, the aroma of very lightly malted barley and rice reach my nose before it is even close to the glass. Closer to the glass I find some sweet malt, and as the can suggests, "just the kiss of hops." Hops are real low key, are well rounded and seem to be noble, some spicy notes, hard to tell because they are faint, but are definitely in more abundance than the majority of macros.

Tongue: Light in general flavor. Wow, bitterness is actually perceived in the finish/aftertaste, haven't got that from a macro before, I mean it is actually bitter (even though the general bitterness is low). Malt sweetness up-front which fades to some slight hop flavor, then it dries out and finishes with some bitterness and more dryness. Again one of the better macros in my opinion.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Light on the palate with more delicate, less and cleaner carbonation than I expected. The beer has a dry finish. This beer is easy to drink...there are times when you just want a crappy macro style beer, something without any taste, and this is what I'll reach for. It is by far the best of the macros I've had to date.

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Photo of KeefD
3.72/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old 60's recipe. Pours a golden yellow color with a small amount of foam that disappeared quickly. Smell is slightly sweet and grainy. Taste is much the same. It doesn't have the corn-water flavor of most macros, but actually has some solid malt and nice, floral hoppiness that only pokes it's head out on the finish, and then washes away. A very fine American Macro, and I enjoyed my sixer over the course of a few days..

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Photo of chilidog
3.38/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As beer prices climb along with everything else, I find myself looking at some cheeper brews, some from days of old.
"Go For the Gusto" as I look at the web site, brings back some memories, I was just a kid in the sixties as this beer was in its hay-day. I remember the adds, some you can look at on the Schlitz site.

It pours clear to slight haze of gold. I think the colder the more chance of haze. A nice white head with good classic lace.

The aroma, light corn sweetness.

The taste, again light sweet malted corn. A touch of hop, more like a light tap, crisps things up.

The mouth is left slightly sweet, yet alittle dry. Best part, No metalic aftertaste, even in the can.

Drinkability easy. Especially cold. The can does not hinder, good from the can. Load the cozy!
And at $5.79 a 12, it pays to stock up on alittle beer history.

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Photo of foles75
3.9/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is a great beer on a 90 degree hot ass day. Our local bar has these 5 for 5 bucket cans (12oz), you can't beat that.
Pours golden yellow, quick head which doesn't last too long. 90% of the time these get slammed right out the can. I'm on a tight beer buget and the brew works. Down here its always 90 degrees and humid, so during my softball games,, it really keeps you going. Its not the best by far but if your gonna try it, keep a open mind because you might be surprised...

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.43/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear pale yellow with a couple of fingers of head that dies away quickly to a thin film, some lacing.

S - Metal and grain, with a touch of sweetness.

T - A simple faint sweetness dominates followed by a dry, grain husk flavor. Some hops pull through late palate with some bitterness and a slight earthy/citrus flavor.

M - More body and lower carbonation than most of this style. Very lucious in the mouth for a macro.

D - This is often compared to PBR, and while overall I think PBR is a better beer, this doesn't disappoint. Looking forward to knocking a few more of these back this evening.

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Photo of srrn
3.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Ok, the economy has got me trying some other beers, I may some day buy a cheap beer I don't like to review, but I thought I'd give Schlitz a try as I hadn't had one in many years (since about 79?) and it's reviews were pretty good. Also it's the cheapest in the store. Pours a very clear yellow with a two finger head that quickly disappears to nothing. Smells of malt and a pleasant bit of just 'beer', not much going on though. Taste is where the brew shines, most beers in this category I simply cannot drink, period, even some really expensive beers. It is light, you do get some adjunct and the mouthfeel is crisp but thin. You do get a pleasant malt taste with barely a hint of hops and believe it or not, a pleasant aftertaste. There are no skunked tastes or smells, no metallic tinny tastes or anything off at all.

Like PBR and to me Coors, it's a good solid simple pleasuarable beer to drink.

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Photo of bort11
2.88/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz can poured into an over-sized pils glass. Tall foamy head that leaves some spotty lacing, but not much. Color is a clear golden yellow.

Smell is a thin biscuity malt. Faint peppery essence. Taste is grainy with just like the can says, "A kiss of the hops".

Thin body, very easy to drink. This is one you can really pound down. Perfect for the 4th of July.

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Photo of ghostmech007
3.2/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into a pint. No freshness date. But who really cares with this stuff. FYI, my grandma's favorite, my she rest in peace.

Not a bad looking beer. Decent lacing after all the foam dies down.

Smells of corn and hops. Nothing much more.

Very light crisp body. Very harsh hops with a nice grain palate to take off the edge. Very alcoholic if you ask me. But still the best tasting macro out there.

It's a tough choice for cheap beers for me. I love Schlitz but Olde English 800 is a good choice as well. Not much else out there that you can get a 30 case for less then 15 bucks, but still good.

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Photo of budgood1
3.8/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1960's formula review from bottle.

pours out of the longneck bottle a bubbly dirty gold colour with a eggshell white head supported by some active carbonation. a bit of lace. nice aroma bready malts, a hint of corn and some discernible hop presence. nice nose for a macro lager. this beer tastes quite different from it previous canned version. it's much better...tasty pale maltiness, with a slight adjunct flair combined with a rather pronounced hop bitterness makes for a crisp and refreshing experience. crispness is amplified by a quite carbonated mouthfeel. body is typical macro fare; thin, but slightly fuller than others in it's class.

overall, a better, tastier, more rewarding version than it's cheap canned prior cousin.

a nice changeup in my macro lager rotation. will revisit and recommended to try.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.53/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was the somewhat advertised "1960s forumula" Schlitz I tried, and while the marketing hype left me a bit disappointed with the contents of the bottle, I didn't feel this was bad. In fact, I've had craft beers that are far, far, far (Falls Brewing, can you hear me?), worse. There just isn't a lot there to taste, but you are still aware that what you're drinking is beer. Color is faint, head is abundant, smell is slightly sweet without being corny, and taste was very clean, although there wasn't much taste. Mouthfeel was oddly not watery. Not bad, but not much to hate. In terms of beers to compare it with, I would say it's better than a Bud, but I would've preferred a High Life. While that statement may not whet anyone's thirst on this site, I think it is a fair statement.

I won't be having this again, but it was not unpleasant. I did appreciate the fancy logo-ed footed pilsener glass that this was served with at Burnhart's in Bayview, WI.

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Photo of oneeye
3.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a case of cans for $9.00.

A good tasting light beer with good carbonation with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Easy to drink and a nice crisp taste.My brother and I both gave this beer two thumbs up.I prefer PBR or Straubs but a bargain at $9.00.It's great you can still buy a case of beer for under ten dollars.Recommended!

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Photo of blackie
3.6/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

figured I would have rated this at some point, but apparently not

a: pours a low white head with light retention, the beer is a clear golden in color

s: pale grain aromas, white bread, some metallic hops, a little musky

m: medium carbonation, light, but not thin, body

t: not bad at all, good even, bready, clean pale grains with a papery hop flavor, finishes clean with a light bitterness

d: a decent, easy drinking beer, comparable to PBR or Old Style

12 oz. at the old man's house, into a Michelob hour-glass

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.77/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with a little bit of head that lingers for awhile before dissipating. Beer itself is a bright yellow color that seems to actually have some body.

Smell- Rather a sweet smell, yeasty bread.

Taste- Very bready, a little chompy, not bitter at all and with some sweet doughy taste.

Mouthfeel- Actually fills up the palate keeps a nice taste on the palate for some time.

Drinkability- Very good, this is a great game day beer or post workout beer or just in general gotta get out there and drink beer.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I couldn't believe I never reviewed this before. Maybe it's Schmidt's I reviewed, I get them confused sometimes. In addition to it's hot weather, lawnmower friendly qualities, Schlitz also feels good on the wallet. In this day where $8.99 is a reasonable price for six pack of decent beer, this sixer of cans cost a cool $2.89. This would have to be worse than Coors for that not to be great value.

Full golden color, reasonable large bubbled head that dissipates to cap status within a minute, grassy, sweet, inoffensive nose. Not too shabby.

That kiss of the hops is like the peck you used to get in greeting from your older cousin's hot girlfriend at family gatherings when you were twelve: barely even a brush of the lips and then totally ignored. Still, moderately sweet all the way through and quite drinkable. I can see more of this in my future this summer.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.72/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce can of the beer that made Milwaukee famous, poured into a weizen glass yields clear pale gold body with an active trickle of carbonation topped with a couple fingers of white foam that reduces quickly to a sheet that leaves better-than-average lacing.

Smells lightly malty and earthy...with just the funkily-resinous kiss of the hops...

Tastes lightly sweet and malty with a little dry corn...with the funkily-resinous kiss of the hops...citrusy.

Really surprisingly good for the style; crisp, hoppy, lightly malty and refreshing.

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Photo of botham
3.62/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pilsener glass. pours pale straw with two fingers of tight white head. decent retention (about four minutes) and light lacings.

aroma is lightly malty with a base of floral hops. a touch of citrus and light grain round out the profile.

taste is more of the same, with the pale malts and floral hops mainly, along with light notes of citrus and grain. a standard macro, with a light sweetness.

mouthfeel is light bodied and watery. finishes crisp with soft CO2.

drinkability is good. this is a nicely crafted macro, with a fresh profile and no stale quality from the grain. refreshing and simple, like a good macro should be.

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

A: I don't know, I didn't bother pouring it. Joking, of course.
Pours a crystal clear straw color with a bubbly white head that quickly falls to nothing and leaves spotty lacing at best.
A: Slightly sweet, definitely grainy.
T: Dry, hint of bitterness, balanced sweetness, mild DMS.
M: Sharp carbonation, to style.
D: Can this be anything but a 5?

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Photo of morimech
3.6/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a straw yellow color with a brilliant white head that unfortunately disapears rather rapidly. Some lacing left on the glass.

Has a bit of a grassy hop aroma but mostly has a sweet malt smell. Not offensive at all.

Has a sweet malt flavor as well. Just a hint of hops. I somehow expected more from this new "old" recipe. Has a nice clean finish.

Light and fizzy body as expected.

Very refreshing and easy drinking macro. Doesn't rank up there for me with a couple of other macros in terms of flavor, but overall it scores better than average marks. A good cheap macro lager.

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Photo of Donnie2112
2.76/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: crystal clear, pale yellow, good carbonation and decent head retention.

smell: light, a bit of corny malt, a typical "beery" sharpness

taste: really light on flavor, a bit of malt there's allegedly a touch of hops in there. I don't really notice it except for a light bittering, definately inoffensive

mouthfeel: light bodied and fizzy. Just as it should be

drinkability: it's not nasty but it's not anything special either. It's decently refreshing

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Photo of Jaguar
3.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

With the prices of beer going through the roof I went in search of a cheap summer "lawnmower Beer", to keep on hand as a way to stretch the beer budget. I tried a number of cheap macro's, and was properly disgusted by most. (numerous horrible reviews to follow.) This was not the Schlitz of old by any means, but it wasn't all that bad, either. not that the schlitz of old was all that great to start with, but I will still grab a six pack of the new old schlitz if it ever gets here, just for nostalgia sake.

This is your typical fizzy yellow macro lager with one, and to me one very important, exception: it doesn't have that nasty funky after taste that most of them have. even when it warms, the taste is clean. that in and of itself makes it worth a try. it also gives them a high "poundability factor". They go down way too easy. and at $7.50 a twelve pack, the budget is stretched considerably.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.12/5  rDev -30%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - I dig the old-school looks like it would be at home in any bowling alley or dive bar, and it sort of reminds me of those light trucker jackets that Teamsters wear. This one is pale gold and crystal clear with a two finger head of white bubbles that dissipate rather quickly, but shows pretty good retention considering the style and the cost. Surveying the room through a glass of Schlitz is like wearing Blu-Blocker aviator glasses, and adds a bit of sunshine to your day. How perky.

S - Sweet corn with a touch of butter. A hint of green plant life really adds to the Midwest cornfield aroma, and I think the greenness is a result of a light "kiss of hops."

T - Again, emphasis on the sweet canned corn and butter. This is really putting me in the mood to attend one of the numerous summertime "sweetcorn festivals" that every little town in Central Illinois holds each summer.

M - Light bodied and blissfully moderately carbonated (most other macro lagers are WAY overcarbonated), the finish is neutral with a light buttered popcorn aftertaste. Not like butter-dripping movie popcorn, but like healthy butter flavored microwave stuff.

D - A damn drinkable, if a bit underflavored beer. I like the corn and butter combo, but the neutral finish is damn near flavorless (a bad thing IMO). After finishing the glass, I can detect a slight soapiness that just drove the score down a notch or two. Not bad for what it is.

I needed something to wash my mouth out after trying Sprecher's drain-pour darling "Mbege African Fire Brewed Ale," and I though that this would do the job nicely. It has succeeded with aplomb, and then some!

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Schlitz from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
3.03 out of 5 based on 760 ratings.
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