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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) | JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula)

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

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

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

"Classic 1960's Formula" Schlitz Gusto reintroduced in 2008. 12 oz. bottles, 16 oz. "tallboy" cans, and draft.

Original Schlitz in 12 oz. cans and draft:

Added by Pauly2X on 08-13-2008

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Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 499
Photo of ordybill
4.69/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- A hint of hay and grass, a much cleaner smell than many other adjunct lagers Appearance- golden yellow hue, had a one inch white head. Taste- A much preferred taste for me, I could taste hay, corn and hops Palate- Pretty heavily carbonated but it works with this beer. I would consider this a full bodied beer on the palate for a lager Overall- A really good adjunct lager.

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Photo of Premo88
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. can poured into pilsener

L: gold ... it's definitely darker than lemon yellow; hard pour gives up a thick fluffy white head of foam that sticks at the top; keeps a perfect thick white collar and bubbly skin; TONS of bubbles fly up the column the entire time, and the show is nice with the brew being crystal clear; if this beer laced, it's be a 5. as is, super nice.

S: musty at first ... some grain but not much ... a bit of sour grain later; maybe some corn, and as it warms, it's kind of sweet. very subtle and "small" but it's not offensive

T: sweet ... honestly, if you put this in a container that claimed kolsch or marzen or maybe dortmunder from Germany, I'd buy it -- it's got some very nice sweet malt notes that maintain throughout the 12 ounces. little hop profile, almost none, but there's a pinch of earthy/pepper in there. mostly this is just a nice sweet malt/grain brew with the malt being mostly cracker and something giving it some nice sweetness.

F: solid all around, great carbonation, just a bit heavier than lightweight.

O: pretty fantastic, really, considering the low expectations and cheap price of the adjunct. it's really sweet, and while the malt doesn't hit the sweet biscuits/bread malt range, it's doing something to give it plenty of taste. and the grain here isn't turning the whole thing into a liquid tortilla chip. again, it's just giving it some nice sweet taste.

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Photo of Beerwolf666
4.79/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Quite Simply THE Single Best American Mass Produced Macro Lager There Is...Bar None~smooth,zesty hop spice,easy drinking,wonderful Brew,Full Flavored...Amazing Beer!
I am not going to go on and on about it's merits...however if you can find this awesome Nectar of the Gods...TRY IT! WOW! What a GR8 Brew~best of the American Macro Brews hands down,cheers ;)

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Photo of FrozenJoe
4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Large foamy head. Retention is very good. Frothy. Sticks around. Moderate lacing. Clear light golden body. Tiny but active carbonation bubbles.

Mild corn and malt. Pleasant. Not harsh. Very mild hops.

Good malt and corn body. Perfect balance between being sweet and dry. Detectable, mild hop background. One of the best adjunct lagers.

Somewhere between light and medium bodied. Perfect carbonation. Satisfying.

Old school American lager beer done right. This is one of the best corn adjunct beers out there. It has character. Very drinkable. Clean and not harsh. Balanced malt sweetness, mild corn dryness, and mild floral and bitter hop backbone. I see why this was the best selling beer in America for a long time.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

I assume this is what I drank. The 12 pack I bought did not specify, and since the regular Schlitz is "retired" according to Beer Advocate, let's say I drank this.

A- Golden appearance. Fluffy head that died to a rim around the glass that stuck around. Better than most beers of the style.

S- Sweet, pale malts. Grain and light corny aromas. No cooked veggies at all. Nice for the style.

T- Outstanding for an American Adjunct Lager. Pale malts and sweetness. It is grainy and corny like most adjunct lagers are, but it's all very minimal. If that's not your thing or you can take those flavors, don't drink American lagers. It also has a light spiciness from the hops at the back of the mouth, but it's light! Overall very mild adjunct flavors with a nice sweet pale malty flavor.

M- Crisp, very clean, and very refreshing. It is a thin and watery mouthfeel, but there's a slight creaminess as well. Finish is pretty dry as expected. It has a light spiciness to round out the finish.

*Overall, Schlitz is a great example of an adjunct lager. Glad to see Pabst hasn't totally thrown this one down the crapper. I paid $12.49 for the 12 pack, and according to some folks from across the country, I got ripped off. But it's still a great little lager that I'd buy again no problem!

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Photo of timfelix
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is the beer that introduced me to beer, in 1965.
It tasted good then, and tastes pretty good still. This has some traditional american beer flavor, with less sweetness than Bud, and more flavor than Pabst. After many years of drinking craft beers, I have to say that Schlitz is not great, but it is pretty good. Considering a price per ounce to taste analysis, Schlitz would be very tough to beat if price is an equal factor to taste.
I don't get this often because I only see it in suitcases of 30, but if it sold in six packs I'[d get it occasionally. It is a decent, yet cheap beer. It is better than some of the craft beers out there. I am amazed that it tastes the same as I recall from 1965.

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Photo of Bis4beer70
4.02/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

- medium to big carbonation. Two fingers of head,fast dissipation. Even some decent lacing. Appears clear-golden as the philosophers stone.

S: smells crisp and somewhat beyond refreshing. Some faint herbal hop presence, malt...no kidding!

T: the taste/finish is very nice. There is a very mild hop bitterness on the end. herbal.

M: full bodied for the most part. Comes off very refreshing...might get some foam stuck in yer full-hipster beard if not careful...by the way,this beats PBR beer by a long shot...sorry.

- Very flavorful. Cheap in price but not in taste.

I found it at one store in my town & it was around $6 for a 6-pack of bottles and i even missed it at first glance through the "looking-glass"...went up to the counter and asked a man (probably in his early 70's) if they plan on gettin' it in anytime soon? he surprised me and said it should be back there and he knew right where it was, as if he pulled 'em down for himself more often than not before leaving work at the end of the day...
-more of these "Classic" Recipes should come back...vintage repro-guitars & vintage repro-beers are fine by me as long as they do it right..just like this beer.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Guru brought this over for me to give it a go. Not much to look at, weak head and not much to it, looks like tinted water with minimal head. Decent smell though has me more optimistic. Not bad flavor. Weak and not much to it but certainly not bad and easy to drink. Would not buy but would not turn down.

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Photo of Retroman40
2.94/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear yellow with a rich but fleeting head that retreated to a thin lace.

S - Grains with a slight hint of hops.

T - Cereal grains with some bitterness.

M - Thin body with decent carbonation and a neutral finish.

O - I was looking forward to this and frankly was disappointed. A typical AAL that is priced way too high for what you get. Since I wasn't quite of beer drinking age in the 60s (other than the occasional sip) I have to take their word this was the 60s formula. If so, I have to wonder how Schlitz ever challenged for number one (other than the fact their competition was another non-descript AAL).

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Photo of McStagger
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gusto! So, apparently all Schlitz is now Gusto according to their facebook.

A: Pale golden with lively carbonation. Two fingers of head with rapid/moderate dissipation. Nice lacing on the glass. Looks like the commericals.

S: Smells crisp and refreshing. Some herbal hop presence, good crackery malt and a mild hint of adjuncts. You can tell that corn is involved, but it's more subdued than your average AAL.

T: Adjuncts come out more in the taste, especially in the finish. Still, it's far less than you get from Pabst, Old Style, Olympia, etc. There is a mild hop bitterness on the end. Mostly herbal. but with a very mild spiciness intermingled as well.

M: More full bodied than its counterparts. Fairly mild carbonation, but still lively enough to be refreshing.

O: Very flavorful representation of the style. I'd like to see more of these "Classic" Recipes come back. It'd be interesting to see what my grandfather drank in his thirties.

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Photo of KentT
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A great AAL style beer. Has a great, rich flavor with good hop/malt balance, smooth finish with slightly sweet, grain overtones, and rich bready notes. Smooth and easy to drink. No watered down character at all. Tastes like older style Milwaukee beers used to. The perfect lawnmower beer, session lager, or summer thirst quencher. Paid $5.99 for a six pack in bottles in Vonore, Tennessee. Beats Budweiser, Coors, and Miller for only a slight premium in price. Worth trying at least once. A pleasant surprise for macro lager. Does nothing wrong. Just good plain beer.

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Photo of cs1992
4.57/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer: Schlitz (Gusto)
Purchased: Farmers Foods in Richmond VA

I have great memories of my grandfather drinking this beer (among other greats from the 60s like Schaefer, PBR & Piels) and after tasting it, I understand why it was once so popular. I have drunk my fair share of macros and this is honestly my favorite. Whoever formulated this beer deserves a medal. In fact, I find it so tasteful that I am not even going to break it down by category such as appearance, aroma, etc. If you ever taste this beer, its genuine goodness speaks for itself.

What I will comment on is the complete disrespect that so many macro makers in the industry must have for this class of beers. If Joseph Schlitz could figure out how to produce a tasty, high quality beer, then BMC have no excuse for some of the lower quality products they offer. Coors Banquet, an exception IMHO, is good, but Schlitz (Gusto) is great.

The owners of Pabst have no idea what a gem they have on their hands with this beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
2.86/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Had at Company Burger New Orleans. Bottom of can says FEB1714

A- Pours a very clean light golden color with a 1/4 in h white head that almost immediately dissipates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and various specs of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Light smell of corn and alcohol.

T- Flavor carries much of the same as the nose. Watery corn flavor with just a kiss of alcohol. Trace amount of hop bitterness. Too drinkable.

M- Thin and watery with a slightly oily feel. Medium-low carbonation and a super light body.

O- The least offensive of all macro lagers but it's still no fun to drink.

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Photo of USAF77
3.62/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My Dad drank Schlitz Beer exclusively. Once sometime in the mid-60s he gave me my first sip of Beer. It may shock some now but back then it was common to give your young son a sip of Beer. Dads even took their sons to neighborhood taverns, which were more like neighborhood meeting places then taverns. We drank orange pop, played the pinball and bowling games, and watched the Cubs and Sox with our dads. It was a different world.

Then they ruined it. Both Schlitz and Old Style. They turned them to crap to make more profit and I bet the old time German brewers rolled in their graves. The American Beer genocide of the '70s and '80s was on.

But I remember that first sip and without doubt this classic Schlitz is the real deal. While not as good looking as many micro lagers its pleasant with good head retention and good lacing. The smell is of old neighborhood taverns in Chicago. I love the easy malt and sweet Hops.

Its not as bitter as I usually like my Lagers but who cares. Its so damn tasty you want to gulp it. Sweet corny Hops that refreshes and balances nicely. A sweet after taste with just a hint of bitter. This is a well balanced beer.

This is the Schlitz that owned Chicago for many decades. At $6.99 a 6 pack its a bargain. Im going to buy a case tomorrow. Memories of those Old Chicago neighborhood taverns, mostly gone now, and that sweet beer, orange soda, peanut, old wooden bars, come back to my nose and my memory. Im loving it.

This is the Schlitz of my youth and early manhood. Enjoy.

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Photo of klimoja
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok What is it now that its not gusto but taste like gusto but not in a gusto can? anyway....Glad to see they are producing this a little more after its summer disappearance. Beer has a light look, feel, pours with a two finger head into a Schlitz goblet.The sip is clean, good balance like a Macanudo cigar. Nothing at all unpleasant and most certainly a go to beer for all occasions. This isn't a craft but its easily still one of the most balanced drinkable adjuncts I've ever had. Feel the nostalgia to back when the gods at Schlitz ruled the earth.

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Photo of Theheroguy
2.92/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Much better head formation and retention that one would expect for an adjunct lager. Corn cereal notes very present in the aroma. Overpowering the barley. When tasting the corn is there but it isn't so prominent. Hop flavor is mild but present. Even a mild hop presence is much more than your average American macro lager. This beer would benefit from more bitterness. I think too much corn is used in the mash bill also but it isn't terrible.

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Photo of BlkHawkFan01
2.67/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

So I thought I'd give this a go based on some of the above average reviews for an American Lager. Well maybe slightly beeter, hard to say. I personally didn't taste any hops as some had noted. It's maybe an above average lawn mowing beer. Good 4:00 PM beer after the yard works done. Nuff said.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.3/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The beer is a clear light golden color. A fizzy white head sits on top until it recedes to a light wisp. Little or no lacing.

The aroma is dominated by a metallic smell. It covers up any grains or malts that may be present.

The taste is even more metallic, with some sourness coming through. Otherwise I can't detect a lot of taste.

Mouthfeel is very light but a little harsh due to carbonation.

Overall, not very good to me. Too sour and metallic.

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Photo of dnoahg
2.84/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I was there in the 60's, and I drank Schlitz. It was also my go to beer in the early 70's, especially when in college, and the local stores were having "beer wars". You could get a keg (15 gallons) of Schlitz or Bud for $10! (Yeah, believe me, I know, money went further then. But come on, $10? Even students could keep the whole dorm in beer for a week). But the Bud would would always give me a headache. Not so the Schlitz.

Is what they're offering today the same Schlitz as back then? Hell, I can't tell for sure. My taste buds have changed so much over the years that it would be impossible to determine. All I can say is this beer tastes a little too sweet for every day drinking if you ask me. They used to advertise that it had just a kiss of the hops. Well that's for sure. There's hardly any noticeable in this beer. To me it's fizzy and not as satisfying as it once was. (It's hard to go back after you've tasted Heady Topper)

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Photo of ROOFDOG
2.12/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This has been my daily beer for some time now and on occasion the batches have varied a bit in flavor. No problem. Now with the the latest repackaging I noticed a distinct flavor and feel.
Crap!!! They changed the beer!? Or did a poor job of quality control!? I will wait for the next
batch and try again, hopefully I do not need to switch and Pabst brewing gets it right. This may
not be greatest beer in the world but I dig it and I think the Schlitz brand can't take another hit
like it did years ago!

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Photo of Kestrel452
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For an adjunct lager, I'll take this one WAY before the vast majority of the others in its class. It doesn't have the corn-brewed taste slapped over the flavor like you would with Miller, nor the overly crisp profile of Budweiser. It's what an adjunct lager should be.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, who woulda thunk it -- Schlitz as a beer I sought out. Pours pale yellow with a decent foam head, with decent retention.

Some floral notes, and some corn sweetness, and light malt in the nose. Not macro nose.

Pale malt, a little corn, but not enough to get in a twist over. Nice balance of hops and malt, with a clean layer of bitterness. Finishes lightly malty and bitter. Look out PBR, you've got some competition.

Lighter bodied, good solid carbonation.

Surprise -- I liked this. The ultimate lawnmower beer. Clean, drinkable, and not filling. Snagged a single, could easily do a six on a warm day like today. I hope the brewers pay attention to reviews here. The 60's formula works -- don't revert back to the shit that made your brand a laughingstock. This is nice solid beer.

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Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

King of BEER take WAY FROM bUD call it SHLITZ . iT TASTE LIKE A germany beer. I bought a six pack of tall ball for little over six pack. Best american lager out there!

Appearance- Nice,carbonation on this beer.

Smell- iT IS THE MOST refreshing beer out there.

Taste- A corn, very light hop, bread, spice, and honey. It is very well balance which makes it a great beer. The finish is ver clean and full. Can drank it all day long!

Mouthfeel-It is very clean. The mouthful is best!

Overall-This is is 5. I have drank the standard american lagers Bud , (High Life, PBR, Red Stripe) and this is the best of t hem all . I will take this over any craft beers s any day.This will s a true staple beer. .

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served in a can at The Lower Depths in Boston, MA

A: Pours a clear medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy off-white head that reduces to a couple of small thin patches, a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of cereal grains with a little bit of added corn along with some lighter grassy hop notes.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of cereal grains with a light amount of added corn sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of grassy hops which impart light to moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Probably the most enjoyable AAL that I have had the opportunity to try - it is a darn shame that they stopped using this as the main recipe sometime in the 1970s. Easy to drink and enjoyable - nicely balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the hops without leaving out their flavors.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 6/10/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus zest, and floral hops. Taste is much the same with malt and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice hop aromas and flavors for the style.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
3.58 out of 5 based on 499 ratings.
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