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)
518 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 518 |  Reviews: 275
Photo of justinjj1280
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
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 -5.6%
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 +13%
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 +7.9%
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 +4%
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 +5.6%
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 +1.1%
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 +17.8%
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 +1.1%
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 +16.4%
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 +18.6%
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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Photo of DrewSnyc667
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6 pack at the local market...after stumbling around on ba one day and saw some of the positive reviews I figured I'd try it. And at $6.99/6pack in nyc, why the hell not...Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a .3l flute

A - Really nothing here, small head that recedes to nothing after one sip. Pale, yellow color with no activity.

S - Ok, starting to get better here nice malty nose, light caramel and honey. bit of acidity in the back

T - Pretty Good, Full malty body and a light bitter finish. Fairly sweet finish, low hop bitterness

M - Pretty smooth, low carbonation, could use a bit more

O - Not too bad really, a basic beer for the summertime. A step up from the plain BMC, good for just watching the game

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Photo of jjmont61
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a case of this at my local PA beer purveyor. It was dated June 11, 2011 and cost almost $20 for a 24 pack of cans. Needless to say I had misgivings, but any 1960's reformulation is worth a shot.

Look to other's reviews for color, head and aroma and average them. Bottom line - this is not bad beer and is reminiscent of what I remember (as a sub-10 year old kid with a pretty good nose and kid's distaste for beer) a sixties beer tasted like. Decent body with a light, and pleasant enough industrial-strength hops (Clusters?) flavor.

A fitting tribute to our manufacturing past and the beer that almost beat Budweiser.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.92/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of the 16 oz Tall Boy into a pint glass

A) It is a clean looking yellow with a frothy inch of white head. The head dissipated pretty quickly, not much lacing.

S) Very fresh, earthy and grassy. There is an aroma of grain, malt, some corn an light hops.

T) It is much like the smell, and it is quite a flavorful experience for an adjunct lager. The mild hops leads to a pleasant finish as well.

M) This is well put together, medium body and good carbonation for the style.

O) This is a good beer. In an era where mass produced lagers dominated the market, it's easy to see how this is the beer that made Milwaukee famous. It kind of transports me to some extent. I think if I would have had the opportunity to enjoy a beer with my grandfather and great grandfather in the garage or maybe the boathouse. Well, it might have been an ice cold Schlitz.

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very excited to pick up this 6 pack today—I didn't know this was available in Maine. It was purchased at the best place in the Portland area to by Schlitz, Fresh Aproach market. The bottle is dated best by Aug. 22, 2011. It went from the store's fridge, to my car and then right into my fridge. It's poured into a pint glass.

It has a pretty, golden straw colored body and finger of pure white foam for a head. There is a good amount of rising carbonation within the glass. No real lacing to speak of.

The aroma is of rice and pale grains. There is a bit of sweetness as well. It is rounded out by a tiny bit of grassy hops.

For an adjunct lager, this beer is very tasty. It is composed of mildly sweet malts with a generic bitter essence. It finishes mostly clean, with a little bit of the off-putting adjunct flavor that lingers on. Better to take another sip than focus on the after taste.

The Schlitz Gusto has a heavier body than most beers of this style, although I'd still classify it as medium. Carbonation is average. A slight film is left behind that is a bit sticky on my lips.

Having now tried this classic recipe, I can see why this beer was once so popular. It does feel like a true throwback; that I'm tasting what all the guys in my grandfather's tavern were enjoying back in the day. Anyone who writes this off simply because of the style is missing out on a fun beverage. It won't knock your socks off, but it is worth your attention.

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Photo of monza
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : pours yellow with a fluffy head of that dissipates quickly but leaves some lacing behind.

S : corn and grassy hop aroma

T : slightly sweet with a light czech-ey / grassy style hop. Not much in the IBU department, but perfect for this style

M : Smooth with a medium mouthfeel. Not nearly as watery as others of the style.

So, while not a perfect beer, this is a great one for an every day or session beer. Replacing PBR as the go-to for warm weather use. This is hands down so far superior to the ilk from Budweiser or Coors.

Keep in mind when reviewing this beer that its not competing with a craft brew, but other AALs. When you consider that 90% of the beer sold at the corner shop is crap, those are the beers that you need to compare this one to. In that context, it excels.

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Photo of adams82
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a thin white film. Defiantly more bold in color than your typical BMC offerings; it's actually golden in color rather than pale-straw-yellow.

Smells bold as well for what we may be used to in this style. Slight malt sweetness, with an overwhelmingly floral hop nose. Very present and inviting rather than effervescent rice scented yellow fizzy water.

I have no shame in admitting that this is a very tasty brew, again, for the style... it stands out. Light grainy sweetness, decent malt back bone but fairly dry, and clean which a nice earthly and floral hop flavor. Bitterness is fairly mellow, but defiantly present and detectable.

I hate to use this word again, but this is quite the bold offering in the muddled world of American Adjunct Lagers. It smells very nice and I can actually taste the ingredients in this beer! "Original 60's formula" huh? Is this what the BMC world really offered 50 years ago? If so, why'd they stop making tasty, flavorful beer?

I'm not going to call this beer cheap, because to me, that just resonates "garbage in, garbage out". Instead, this beer is a terrific value; you're really getting a lot for your money:

A quality macro that has discernible aroma and flavor characteristics at a very attractive price point.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

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Photo of BeardedRiker
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Since my friends and I are already obsessed with Schlitz, because all of the greatest actors seem to drink it in movies, when I heard that it would be brewed with the original recipe I was automatically excited for the classic Schlitz.

Schlitz Gusto, the TRUE beer that made Milwaukee famous, pours a clear yellow-golden and forms a foamy-bubbly white head. Not much to look at but when it's a 100 degree Texas summer she sure looks tasty.

It smells a bit grainy, with some corn in there as well. Slightly sweet but mostly grainy. There's a sort the words of Andrew Zimmern, "tinny," smell in there too. Not that that's bizarre (if you don't get that reference then watch his show, damnit!).

Unlike most adjunct lagers, the classic Schlitz actually has some decent flavor and doesn't taste like malty/grainy water. It has a sort of cracker-like or biscuity flavor and some sweetness, probably from the corn. Hops don't really stand out here but they are there and add a tad of bitterness. The malt flavors are stronger in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very light. Gusto is very drinkable and not watery at all. Carbonation is just right, adding some bite.

Of all the adjunct lagers out there, this is the one of the best you'll find. It's not complex and doesn't have too much flavor but it's a cheap(er) lager that you won't regret trying. And for the beer god's sake it's the original freaking Schlitz! So, pay the extra couple or few dollars for that 12 pack and get a lager that you actually won't regret drinking.


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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $3.25 at Taco Mac in Woodstock, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, bright, light yellow body with a ¼-inch head of white fizz fed by constant streams of effervescence.

Smell: A light hint of malt, a light hint of spice, and a light hint of lemon.

Taste: Lightly grainy, sweet accented cereal maltiness trailed by an even-handed pinch of lemon zest. Mildly spicy hops with bitterness aplenty to provide balance. Crisp, well-balance finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: A good lager at a good price. If only all cheap American beer tasted like this!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sixer of tall-boy cans picked up at Whole Foods in DC. Thanks to Rhettroactive for the tip on where to score these. Served in a tulip.

Pours a clear yellow-golden color with a pretty good white head and some slight lacing. The nose brings a bit of bread and some light corn character. Nothing cooked or DMS-like, but the use of adjuncts is noticeable. Flavor falls along the same lines. Nothing offensive. It's fairly bland, but does have a bit of malt flavor. Light body and slightly chewy. Average carbonation. I wouldn't complain about drinking this again.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.2/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Gold color, slightly darker than the typical straw color associated with the style. There is a two finger, thick, billowy, white head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

S-Faint nose and typical of the style. It consists of grains, mustiness, and sweet malts. However, it is not as musty as others of the style.

T-Crisp and clean. While the malts dominate there are some actual grassy hops present. Most hops I've noticed for the style and the best tasting of the style as well.

M-Thick for the style with not much carbonation, very nice.

D-I could drink this regularly. It is the best of the style I've encountered.

Overall, my go to American Adjunct Lager. I had been waiting for this to come to NC and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 16oz tallboy can to nonic pint glass on 6/19/11
*From notes

A: Brilliant filtered light pale golden. A good pour yields a really healthy, frothy 2.5 finger head that actually sticks around for a while. Here's another surprise: lacing! A good bit of sticky lacing rims the glass.

S: Sweet cereal grains, lemongrass with an earthy kick to boot.

T: Rich and bold for an AAL. It's a bit sweet, though it's robust and hearty. There's a tiny acidic kick to it, that adds a layer to the flavor profile which others within the style can't come close to matching. Wow, what a tasty AAL.

M: Creamy as a mother. It's perfectly carbonated, and it doesn't feel like oily horse piss. No - instead, it's smooth and easy to put back. Regardless of style, it's one of the most pleasant feeling brews I've had in a while.

O: Schlitz Gusto is hands down the best AAL on the market. Nothing even comes close. This brew is a game changer, and absolutely deserves the high marks it receives. Seek this out, regardless of style. This is a wonderful beer.

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Photo of Dodt
4.41/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

on my last 6 pack run couldn't find the beer i wanted , this caught my eye decide to give it a whirl.
appearance golden color
smell grainy but enjoyable
taste bit of malty and i was surprised with the hop presents.
a quiet enjoyable beer it is a shame this isn't the top seller in the country.

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Photo of Groenebeor
4.08/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from the can, poured a bit to see the color. Surprisingly dark!

Smelled very grainy, husky, with a kiss of hops. Surprising for this style.

Taste was something else! Very malty, little adjunct flavor, and slightly hoppy. Makes me wonder if the big boys tasted like this at one point.

Mouthfeel was nice and thick.

Overall a very good lager, the best adjunct lager I've ever had.

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Photo of Offa
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold, medium-big white head steadily shrinking to ring and some wisps.

Aroma: nice, strong fruity grain, apple, perfumy leafy-grassiness, hint of mineral. It’s a very good, solid American lager aroma.

Taste is a firm, lightly fruity grain, lightly sweet malty body with light apple, and a balancing light but very firm, zesty hop bitterness that in character is grassy with light herbal element that is almost minty. It is a simple, straightforward traditional American lager but with unusually good malty and hoppy body and character, with the hop flavour and bitterness really standing out complared to others in the style. This is better than the “regular” modern Schlitz and really stands out in the class. After drinking this, and comparing it to several other such American lagers at the time, the others are utterly bland and rough by comparison.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 518 ratings