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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Ratings: 507 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of Wally1912
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of tgbljb
2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Saw some hype about a return to to the classic formula. I was not impressed. Seems to be the same old macro lager taste that is acceptable when very cold, but nothing great. Good for a hot summer day.Acceptable as a spacer, but not much else. Very dissapointing.

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Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of hncowden50
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schlitz was the first beer I ever drank....a kid sneaking it out if Dad's cooler after he comes home from fishing in the early 70's. Also they used to Brew it close to home...Winston-Salem...I believe that's where they ruined the formula and made it cheaper...not long after that first beer of mine. Anyway, I would still buy it from time to time until it disappeared a few years back.

In the fall of 2010 I came across it in Memphis Tn, in cans. Immediately bought a 12 pack, trying to rekindle something from my teenage years. It worked. When we left Memphis, I took a couple of cases home. None of my friends were impressed. Schlitz was something their fathers/grandfathers drank, the butt of jokes.

Anyway, saw it in bottles here in NC just a few days back...heard it was coming. Immediately bought a case and iced it down in a cooler on the deck...went back to the summer of '75....

Honestly it is what it is...a good beer for drinking watching the ballgame or while grilling some burgers. Certainly a lot of more spectacular beers out there but I'm glad to see it back and I hope it stays!

I have a vintage Schlitz pilsner glass from the 50's a good friend and mentor gave me a few years back. I used that for my review.

Appearance...good golden color, poured with a nice head, lasted longer than I thought. Smell wad kind of bready...toast like ...better than store brand white bread ...more Roman Meal....taste was good...better than the average AAL for sure! Gives a little bite of carbonation...leaves a taste on the back of the tongue ...again takes me back to my youth. Mouthfeel, good and clean, drinks smooth. Like someone else described, without the bloat of the average AAL.

Overall, pretty old friend returns.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, I always wanted to try this. So I am having a party and need some regular beers that others might drink, but this has always intrigued me. Let's see what the 60s can bring?!

Poured from the can into a simple nonic pint glass, that shall do.

A real surprising and nice body color for an adjunct, a very shiny lemon gold with slow rising carbonation. Head is classic styrofoam white but forms nicely and has some good staying power. The carbonation had a mix of small slow rising bubbles, and fast rising cola bubbles. Never seen that before.

Nose is surprising. Holly molly it's white toasty bread, and a little bit of white sugar.

Taste is .. lacking? Ironically not getting much going on here, however all of the taste is in the finish. Very light breaded malts on the end, not much, some very small hop presence. Texture is a little creamy actually, particularly when chomping down on the head. No big sense of gaseous carbonation either, or bloat like most adjuncts.

Overall, this is pretty inoffensive, lacks a little bit of flavor, isn't noticeably faulty, but it doesn't taste like most 'adjuncts' I've had. It's pretty easy I must say, but I think that's part of its charm which makes it nice. I could have several of these and enjoy myself no problem. Perhaps the 60s were better for beer after all in America? Uh... probably not all things considering.

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Photo of Dools9
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"Tall Boy" into a pint glass.

A: Light golden color with a two finger soapy white head, leaves nice patchy lace and retains well for the style.

S: Sweet white bread, light metallic undertones, cereal grains,a noticeable grassy/floral hop presence, clean.

T: Surprisingly pretty good. Slight bready sweetness, cereal grains, touch of minerality. Very clean. Actually detect a subtle herbal hop bitterness.

M: Medium, smooth lagered body, very crisp, clean, refreshing.

O: Wow, very good for the style. I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised by this one. Lacks many of the off flavors associated with others in the style. Only downside to this one is its a little pricey for what it is and hard to find in my area.

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Photo of pixieskid
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this for some time and see if it really was better than your typical AAL. Surprisingly enough it is.

I drank the first half out of the bottle so that I could get the typical vibe that an AAL would have. Surprisingly I think it is actually a bit better out of the bottle (more bitter). Poured the second half so I could review it properly.

On occasion I will drink a PBR, Olympia, or what have you in this fashion: BBQ's, camping, hanging out in trailer parks, etc.

So yeah, this thing is pretty rad. This is what "beer" should taste like. It's easy drinking, crisp, clean, notes of grain and a bit of malt sweetness, finishing in a mild bitterness.

This is definitely all the AAL can be...

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Photo of BierStein711
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into 10 oz mug

This is an American Adjunct Lager? Wow!

I had this, and I swore it was something else. For the style it is very nice, drinkable for certain. I caught a whiff of hops, but mainly the typical adjunct effects. The taste though was grand. I knew I was drinking something a little more upscale than what's marketed nowadays. The only true downside to this beer is its appearance. This is a lawnmower beer, that I probably would only drink in the summer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.08/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light malts, adjuncts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with some breadiness from the adjuncts and light malts followed by a little bit of malt sweetness. The hops presence is very mild, but about where it should be for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Not very flavorful, goes down ok, likewise not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, there are other beers in the style that I would pick first.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can pours a crystal clear gold color with a decent cap of white head. Retention not bad for the style. No lace.

Nose is light and grainy with a sweet, dried corn aroma. Not much here, a bit better than the regular Schlitz, perhaps?

Taste is light and airy, cleaner than regular schlitz it seems like, although the differences are not too wide. Not bad, seems to be a little bit of a leafy hop bitterness on the end, which is nice. I got this as a single, but I saw sixers of this selling for as much as Coors or Bud. Schlitz has always been a decent bargain beer, but at 'premium' prices, I dont think I would buy much. For an AAL this falls right on the better side of middling.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is still one of my Dads'favorites!
This is being reviewed with the "Macro-mass brew" basics in mind.

Pours light gold yellow with a decent white head that lingers fairly well. Scent is typical baseball stadium beer. Taste is ricy with a tin twang to it, but crisp and clean. One of the better adjuncts.

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Photo of UnsungBeero
3.42/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into 16 oz. glass.

A- Pale, urine-esque yellow with a thin, white, foamy head that actually holds up pretty well in my glass. Plenty of carbonation.

S- Smells like your standard, cheap, adjunct lager. A bit of a metallic aroma, over some hops and alcohol, but crisp and clean. Nothing real special, a bit like "dad's beer" that you remember smelling as a kid before you knew anything about it.

T- Here's where things get good, definitely some "kiss of the hops" like it advertises, some delicious cereal grain is thrown in there as well. A bit watery initially, but flavor hits you after you give it a second. Very, very, ever so slight metallic after taste, much more hidden than you find with most other adjuncts.

M- Light, once again plenty of carbonation, watery. Certainly not as bold as the taste, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

O- Overall, though I'm sure my judging on the appearance and smell will probably bring my overall "grade" down, I honestly think this is a fantastic every day beer, especially if price is a factor. If this were more prevalent in liquor stores in my area, it would be my regular "go to" beer, too bad the only place I've seen that sells it around these parts is forty five minutes away from me.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.82/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty standard fare, straw yellow, but nice clarity. Don't even ask about lace or retention.
Smell, watery corn and alcohol, factory smell, not like a new car either.

Standard american adjunct fare, without the big advertising campaign, so its relatively cheap. Hint of hops. Hint of barley, but mostly corn or rice or something else super light that doesn't impart much flavor. Always highly carbonated. A good palate cleanser.

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

A - a little darker than most mass produced lagers

S - Pick up a little floral and citrus

T - Smoother, deeper and more complex than you would expect. The hops add a nice unexpected flavor. A nice touch of sweetness at the end.

M - light to medium body

O - It's not a half bad beer! A lot more taste than most of its big competitors (and cheaper).

This beer works on any hot day inwhich you want a cheap decent beer. At $5.99/six pack it's pretty solid.

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Photo of justinjj1280
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking this straight from the bottle, though I have poured it into a pint glass before. This is just one of those beers you need to kick back and drink straight from the bottle or can sometimes.

Sweet adjunct taste upfront, with a tiny hint of bitterness that is nice. It really does have some flavor.

Mouthfeel is light, pleasant, and smooth. About as drinkable as any beer I have had.

This has replaced PBR as my cheap American Lager of choice. Goes great with football games.

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Photo of Monk0383
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Can

Just to start off this is my first review. So I thought let me start with something that is new to me. Being I was to young to try the original schlitz, but on to the Gusto.

A: Was a golden yellow, darker then most macros. Head retention was good

S: Smell was of faint corn, and a kiss of the hops. Not much of a smell really.

T: My exspectations were high for this one reading all the rave reviews. Not the great beer I was exspecting, but very very solid! Will be in my fridge from time to time now, and my new macro of choice for summer cook outs.

M: Sweet sticky, then cleaned away by bubbles, Ahhh summertime

O: Not bad at all

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Photo of ChiTownHustler
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to find a 6 of TallBoy's came home with a case Gusto 24/12oz cans. I have drank this beer many times before in the bottle at the local pub. Wanted to see if the can version od Gusto was the same

poured 12 oz can into glass

1. Head stayed around for awhile
2. Taste, better than the average swill
3. Smell, I don't know, nothing offensive

Just looking for something light to have during the week, paid 12.99 plus tax for this case.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. I didn’t review this the first time I had it, but it didn’t really seem any different from regular Schlitz, so I figured I’d do a side-by-side comparison and reference my review of the regular version here.

Regular: An extremely pale gold body with a fizzy white head that doesn't stick around long, but manages to leave some lacing.
Gusto: Negligible difference, a collar of foam, perhaps a touch better lacing.

Regular: Aromas are neutral, with some light grain, some corn, and a hint of hops(??).
Gusto: Perhaps a touch more grain, once again, the difference is negligible.

Regular: Yup, honest to goodness hops. Decent little punch of bitterness in a light-bodied, grainy, very lightly sweet package. The hop presence builds and lingers for a second after the swallow, along with a bit of chalkiness. The finish is dry with light graininess. Not too bad at all!
Gusto: Again, maybe a bit more grain, but largely the same. Oddly there’s a hint of booziness, even at this modest ABV. Lightly floral.

Overall impression Regular: I know "fizzy yellow beer is for wussies", but this one is pretty enjoyable. *My favorite example of the style to date. Bonus points: I paid $2.89 for a sixer.

Overall impression Gusto: I ~think~ I slightly prefer the regular version, but the differences are so small that I wondered for a moment why they even bother with 2 separate variations. Then I recalled that Pabst is in the midst of ‘repositioning’ the brand. I suppose that explains the comparatively ‘hefty’ price tag- I think I paid $4.79 for the Gusto sixer, on sale. Not destined to be a repeat purchase.

*That date has come and gone. I just recently had Fort George 1811 Pre-Prohibition Lager, which blows Schlitz and every other AAL I’ve had out of the water.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First sip was like, "whatever - I can't even taste anything." Then I noticed that for a macro/adjunct lager, it was pretty smooth without the usual macro aftertaste of corn. Then I noticed that faint breath of hops. Still, it was pretty watered down.

But as I worked my way through a 12 pack over some days I came to appreciate how even after a few beers it still stayed light and clean on the palette - it didn't get sour or corny like bum breath macros do when you've had more than two (or one if it's a Miller product).

I wish it had more body and barley flavor, but this is pretty darn good for U.S. macro. I get more too.

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Photo of Gordito
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank a 6 pack of bottles without pouring into a glass. Beer did not seem over-carbonated and smelled very fresh when I popped the cap. The balance of malt, corn and light hops was pleasing and the floral notes from the "kiss 'o hops" (sorry, had to do it) made this classic both interesting and drinkable. The Pabst stable is really putting out some great beers these days and this is one of them. I would put this up against many of Canadian or Euro-Macros any day. Go for the Gusto!

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Photo of BigMike
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden yellow, lot's of carbonation bubbles streaming up the glass. A thin but somewhat fluffy eggshell colored head fizzles away quickly.

S: Doesn't stray far away from your typical adjuct smell. Grainy with a tiny hop aroma in there.

T: Impressive to say the least. (at least for an adjuct lager) Sweet with a definite hop presence. Not your typical adjunct.

M: Light and refreshing. SUPER easy to drink. When outside grilling this beer is perfect.

Overall: By far the best adjucnt i've ever had.
When funds are tight you can't go wrong with $18 a case for this.

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Photo of bump8628
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of two beers in this style that are worth drinking, the other being Olympia 95% malt.

Typical appearance for the style: gold, filtered, thin head, but this one leaves a splatter of lacing on the glass.

Where Olympia 95% outpaces other AALs by upping the malt presence, Gusto seems to go the hop route. Surprising amounts of earth, noble spice, and even some lemon zest are present. Malt is clean and mild as expected, albeit much fuller than anything the Big 3 produces. Exceptional for the style.

I'd rather have any number of craft beers over this, but at least it proves that it's possible to brew a relatively flavorful and satisfying beer in the style. Exceptional for the style.

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Photo of rudzud
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6 pack of these at Austin Liquors in Shrewsbury. Oddly enough, I've been wanting one of these for a while. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Crystal clear straw yellow with a creamy one finger head that fades to leave a nice halo and good wisping.

S - Adjunct smells, fair amount of corn, and light grassy hops.

T - Nice grains and biscuity/bread,light grassy/floral hops. Very much like the smell, quite pleasant.

M - Crisp carbonation, very drinkable and sessionable. Medium body.

O - Surprisingly enjoyable adjunct lager. Why the hell did they change the formula anyways. More adjuncts should have legitimate flavors like this.

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Photo of CamuMahubah
4.12/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! A true blast from the past...

Why don't all Macros taste like this...quite sure America would get tons more respect and the dollar would be worth more...

Alas..creamy swilling goodness has been dumbed down...

Thank Goodness for this beer.

I will drink this until they stop making it...I'm sure it costs too much...but wait I paid more gladly! Even if I drink it less..what a concept...

This beer is a lesson to American big brewers! Put away the new el cheapo swill recipes brew us a beer!

Congrats Schlitz! Quality vs Quantity FTW

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

Well I know a lot of peeps are PBR fans. But It think the original Schlitz has it beat! Much Love to PRB though!

The appearance was constant with a light yellow carbonated look. Head retention was very good for an American adjunct lager.

Smells is grassy, hoppy. and some sweet malt!!

The Taste is classic!! Medium/light mouth feel. Decent carbonation but not over done. Sweet malt, grassy hops with an easy finish!

What can I say this is American beer at it's best! That is if you are talking adjunct lagers. I just like to call it an American lager. Goes down to easy! Great year around beer if you are broke. You cannot go wrong!

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
3.58 out of 5 based on 507 ratings.
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