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: 267 | Ratings: 501
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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Photo of davey101
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This magnificent creature was born on December 24, 2012. A Christmas Eve beer, what a delight!! 12 oz bottle into a SA perfect pint.

A - Pours a dark yellow/light golden body. Crystal clear with rising carbonation. Half a finger of white head sticks around for a bit eventually residing in a thin cap. Decent lacing.

S - Sweet corn, grain, and a touch of something pleasant. Smells nice and inviting.

T - Sweet corn and some chewy malts. Borderline cereal grain but with some toastiness. Faint floral hops. Ya, this is damn tasty stuff. Crisp and lively carbonation.

O - Full discretion, I actually LIKE AAL's. This one is right up there in the top of the tops. Probably better than 'gansett. The light toasted element gives it a nice splash of flavor while remaining light and drinkable.

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Photo of browndog1
5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank gallons of this before the great Frank Sellinger "Improvement" of the late 1970's which rightfully put the company out of business. The new reformulated brew tastes just like the Schlitz of old. Was the best mass produced beer then and still is with this formula. Just make sure you get the new reformulated stuff and not the bargain basement stuff usually found in the 12 oz cans at the Quickie Marts. Better than Bud, better than Coors and better than Miller. Cannot top the microbrews but it never was intended to compete with this market. Hope they keep producing this.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 6-pack of tall boys for $4.99 at the local beer store. 60's formula? I guess that's good. I wasn't alive during the 60's, so I cannot compare it to the real thing. Poured into a pint glass

A: Pale, fizzy yellow with a pretty thick white head.

S: Smells of grass and grains. Pretty run of the mill AAL.

T: The taste is much improved over the smell. Bit watery and tasteless up front, but *gasp* all of a sudden, a dose of hops pops up. There's a nice bitter, lemony, grassy taste along with a rustic grain malt bill. This beer ends pleasantly bitter and slightly sweet.

M: Slightly creamy and less carbonated than some of its other AAL brethren. Easy to drink.

O: As far as AALs go, this is definitely one of the better ones out there. Look past the Miller Lites, Budweisers, and Coors out there and grab some of this. There's a lot more depth to this beer for the same price and same ABV. In my opinion, there is absolutely ZERO reason to buy any of the BMC beers over this (unless, of course, you cannot find it, which is definitely possible because only one beer store in my area carries it.)

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Photo of kojevergas
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16 fl oz aluminum can served into an Odell 90 Shilling pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average. I have nothing against the style, but I've yet to have a truly remarkable beer within it.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured gently as overcarbonation is expected.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and decent retention - though its ABV is rather modest. No lacing. Body colour is a pale bland yellow. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looking at the bubbles, it doesn't appear as direly over-carbonated as something like Budweiser or Coors.

Sm: Plain barley. Some clean malts. Adjunct presence is obvious - corn I'd guess. Not as stale as many other beers in the style. Not metallic. Surprisingly fresh for a canned beer of purportedly low quality. An average strength aroma.

T: Fresh clean barley, limited clean pale malts, hints of buried corn or rice adjunct, and thin depleted grains. Well balanced for what it is. Not as abrasive or stale as many other adjunct lagers I've had. I'd stop short of refreshing, but it does scratch the auld beer itch. No alcohol comes through. Certainly simple, but I'd hazard to say it's well-executed for an adjunct lager. Lacks the straw body of many poor beers in the style. When I strain to find them, I do pick up some very hidden light floral hops - a notable feature when compared to other adjunct lagers.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit creamy. Well carbonated - certainly a bit overdone, but not to the extent of many other adjunct lagers. It's a bit sharp, but that's to be expected I suppose. Palate presence could be better. It's even slightly buttery in the body.

Dr: Drinkable and affordable. A pretty decently executed example of the style. I'd sooner reach for Simpler Times on a budget, but this is drinkable enough and would be a good neutral beer to pair with food or barbecue. I'd stop short of sessionable given the carbonation, but I think some reviewers may be coming down a bit too hard on it merely because of the style it's in.

High C-

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Photo of YeastWrangler88
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz "tall boy" can into a Sam Adams Pint glass:

Appearance: pale straw, crystal clear, lots of carbonation is seem, thin head, soda like head.

Aroma: light grains, no distinguishable malts are found, maybe pilsner, alcohol smell seems to be more aromatic than the hops.

Flavor: actually not too bad.. For a american adjunct pale lager, tastes of pilsner malt come to mind but along with some cane sugar-like sweetness that somehow works hops are not very dostinguishable, but they have to be there right?? Because it IS slightly bitter, so its not unhopped! Lol

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated, not a lot of body, finishes dry, but the flavor doesnt disipate.

Overall: for a adjunct pale lager, its really not bad, id reach for this at a bbq over any other in its class.. But definetly not a craft pilsner style beer.

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Photo of rpilk
4.09/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a "Tall Boy" and not easy to get around RI. As compared to PBR, Gansett, Rolling Rock or Coors Banquet (adjuncts with old school cache) this my favorite of the retro lagers. Enjoyable and drinkable. The Tall Boy presentation was nice but I'd prefer a 12 oz. The color was unknown as I drink from the can, the nose was real beer, taste was full and crisp beer taste, clean after taste ...

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Photo of robertdrinks
1.5/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This was not good. I think i received a real can from the 60's.
It had a slight cloudy yellow appearance to which should be clear golden. no head to speak of.

smelled of basement

taste was bad and sour. no skunk, just flat and awful.

i would like to try this again because i think i received a bad can. i will update my review if i find it better in the future.

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Photo of cityofFestivals
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed straight from 12oz can. As is the trend with most 'old school' American Adjunct Brewers, Schlitz is making an attempt to re-brand themselves to a younger audience, but with mixed reviews. They've increased the prices of their cases by 2-3 dollars (at least in this part of the country), and it's turned some people off. IMO, this is a highly drinkable and very quality sessionable beer.

(A) As mentioned, had straight from the can, so appearance wasn't something I was that interested in. Pouring a can out for this review, it appears a pale yellow as you would expect any beer of this class.

(T) Honestly, this is the strongest attribute of this beer. Schlitz Gusto starts clean, finishes clean. In between is a mix of maltiness, a hint of sweetness and a touch of hops. Not too overpowering, done just right. Refreshing. Some in this class leave a weird, pasty aftertaste in your mouth, not this one. Excellent drinker.

(O) Again, probably my favorite of the re-branded American Adjunct beers. I gave it an overall score of 4 because I believe it to be above average in that it delivered everything I was looking for in this particular beer. Flavorful, refreshing and an all around solid beer. Super underrated, and very well done. Most likely won't appeal to fans of 'big' beers, but this beer certainly has it's place. For whatever reason, here in central PA Schlitz has become almost impossible to get. I picked this up at a distro in Chester County, and will make it a point to stock up.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into a pils glass. 'The Classic 1960's Formula' perhaps mimics the old man's beer of choice back in the day? Pours your typical mass produced clear medium straw in color. Head retention does seem a bit better than average.

Nice aroma actually as a subtle noble hop presence is muddled with some light grainy malt and a hint of yeast. No adjunct evidence really. Creamy lemon bread though very light and balanced.

Pleasant attributes do indeed carry forward to the taste. Slightly creamy with a subtle carbonation, bit of lemon again and some subdued grain. Not as coarse as you'd expect from a pilsner but surely leaning in that direction. Feel is full and lingers much longer than your big three lagers. A touch of sweetness is present to make that happen but yet hardly there. I guess it has a slight malt body vs. near zero in a Bud for example.

Overall a very light German Pils with a hint of Saaz hops I would guess. Quite pleasant given its competition.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear pale golden in color, with a large white head, which dissipates rather quickly. Three is a steady stream of small slow-rising bubbles. The lacing is glass-coating, thin, and very fine beaded.

Aroma: Light corn and white bread notes, and a little steeliness.

Taste: Opens with a moderate hop flourish, a bit more than typical for the style. This carries throughout the taste, and rises a bit towards the close. The malt is light, with notes of subtle caramel and toastiness. Finishes with a lingering metallic and medicinal hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: This was my Dad's beer of choice and the first beer i ever tried. Based on that very distant memory, the present version seems a lot like the original.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass longneck bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a Chimay chalice.

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Photo of wedge
3.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear pale yellow color with a fluffy, big-bubbled head that slips down to a little ring. Clean, lager-y aroma - there's actually a nice, spicy hop note, which is surprising. A bit of lemon, sweet cereal grain, and a touch of sulfur. Chuggable, inoffensive flavor - crisp, spicy hop and grain. Not bad at all. I could drink a hell of a lot of these on a hot day (or anytime for that matter). This just might be my go-to cheap beer of choice from now on...

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Photo of iSip
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Schlitz: I usually drink wheat beers during the summer, but thought I would work through the classic mass produced US beers as a change of pace. The Schlitz has a darker golden color, light carbonation, and a decent head. The aroma is very mild. The malt flavor is up front, and finishes with some bitter. The only drawback to this beer is an abrasive aftertaste, which takes it off of my list. PBR still holds the lead. Stay tuned.

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Photo of rangerred
3.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz tall boy into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium gold with a fluffy but shorted lived 1.5 finger head.

Smell definitely has some hops buried within. Some citrus and earth sneaks through. Can pick up corn and just a little bit of grain.

The flavor is quite malty. Some adjunct that I believe is corn sneaks through but does not overpower. A tiny bit of citrus followed by a light, drying bitterness that finishes clean.

A very well done and refreshing AAL. One of the better ones out there. The greatest thing about this beer is the price. I picked up a 6 pack of tall boys on sale for $4.

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Photo of 12stepCornelius
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first had this beer after spotting it in the beer isle of my hometown grocery store. I already knew about it, knowing that it was huge in the 60s, but has since puttered out in popularity. Well I'll say, this is one adjunct lager that surprised me quite a bit.

I poured it from a 12 oz. can into a typical pint glass. The head frothed up bubbly and pure white, diminishing quickly as most adjuncts do. However, before it diminished I gave it a whiff and noticed much more malt and hop nose coming through. This is something I don't quite get with say budweiser or pbr. I also was unaware until I was about halfway through the 12 pack I bought that this was the re-issued classic 60s formula. I had heard that Schlitz was no longer as good as it was before they changed how they brewed it, but that it now tasted like a Schlitz should. This beer also has a higher carbonation than most adjuncts I drink. More on par with the carb of High Life.

This beer tastes spicy and bitter to me. Which is right up my alley when it comes to a cold one. You can taste a good bit of hops with some sweetening malts about halfway through a swig. Your left with the bitter aftertaste of the hops, giving a satisfying taste each time you take a drink.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and sharp, hence the high carbonation. But because of this, makes it that much more refreshing.

All in all, I'd say this has become my new favorite American adjunct I've had so far. I usually pick up Budweiser, High Life, and Pabst; but I'd say this tops them all in my opinion. Not sure I could say the same if they hadn't re-introduced the classic formula before I hit 21, but oh well, lucky me! However, if you like more malt and less bitter hops, I'd go with something else. The only downside about this beer is that I can't get it where I currently live. I'll have to pick up a couple 12 packs each time I'm home from college. Anyway, a refreshing, satisfying adjunct to quench your thirst and catch a buzz on a hot summer day. Now all I need is a wife with a beehive and a '64 Chevy in the driveway.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this at the PAMdemonium Mensa gathering. Aroma is weak but one does get a hint of malt. It pours a typical clear yellow with an unremarkable white head. Flavor, though, is better than I expected - strong, malty and just a little fruity. Body leaves something to be desired, but not the fizz. Overall, not bad for an industrial lager.

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

A- poured from can to pilsner glass - poured fast to produce a good 2" head. Bright golden color, lots of bubbles. Lots of lacing left behind as the beer warms in your glass.

S- Rich bread aroma and slightly sweet. Malt.

T- Slightly sweet - touch of malt. Not bitter.

M- soft and creamy, doesn't sting

O- $3.99 in NY - date on bottom of can was 3 months out (fresh)

Tip: pour fast, build up a good 2-3 inch head and let it settle an inch before enjoying. Vent some of the carbonation - that's how these were made to be enjoyed.

Better at 45F rather than right from a 37F fridge.

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Photo of Etan
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint can.

A: Pours a clear gold with a large white head.

S: Sweet corny grain with some light and clean phenols.

T: Brief wave of slight hop bitterness, followed by mildly sweet bready malt. Pleasing grain taste in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Not quite as dry as most AALs, which allows a bit of the sweet malt character to come out. Pretty nice (for the style).

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlitz was the first beer I ever tasted. That was way back in 1973, and I drank it straight out of the can. Over the years I've thought about that beer. In fact, I thought about it a lot. I thought I could remember how it tasted. The beers (of a similar style) that I was tasting in, say, the 80's or so, were just lacking. But at the same time I thought I was imagining it. How could I possibly remember?

So, upon finding Schlitz Gusto in the "classic 1960's formula", I had to try it. I bought a case of cans and I can't complain. It was $16.99 for 24 / 12 oz. cans, so it's still cheap beer. In any case, with my very first sip I thought "yes, this is as I remember it". Of course, I might be imagining that as well but I don't think so. It's the hops that I remember. It had some bitterness and some hop flavor to it (a little bit herbal, a little bit floral) - not that I knew what hops were back then. But I did know in the 80's that the beers I was drinking then lacked any bite, and even malt. The 'new' beer that reminded me most of that first beer I'd had was Yuengling's Lord Chesterfield Ale, but that had a bit more bite and body, and the hops weren't quite right. I know they're using all Cascade now, but I wonder what they were back in 1985. And I'm only guessing, but Schlitz was probably using Cluster hops back then. I wonder if they're Cluster hops now.

In conclusion, after such a long story, it's nice to have an American adjunct lager on the market that's got some hops to it, and a bit of malt flavor as well.

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Photo of regionrat37
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- typical AAL, thin head some lacing
Smell- nothing offensive, a little bit of hops with corn
Taste-Honestly the best tasting macro brew on the market, sweetness up front with a clean and slightly hoppy finish
Mouth feel- Incredibly smooth, it is not fizzy beer water like alot of other macros are.
Drinkabillity- This is incredibly drinkable. One can easily knock back a six pack.

This is by far the best macro brew that you can get. Granted it is not in the same league as the micro brew stuff. However, I was surprised about how good this is.

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Photo of adjunctjonez
4.68/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Schlitz 60s recipe is hands down the best AAL available. I buy it often as it is one of my favorite all time beers. The appearance is rich golden hue and the head actually laces/clumps. The smell is grainy, yeasty and hoppy. The taste is malt forward with the adjunct adding prickly crispness while the noticeable hops finishes very cleanly. Mouthfeel is very smooth and the beer is highly drinkable @ 4.7abv. I believe this to be one of the best beers available anywhere esp relative to pricing.

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

On a recent adventure to Millwaukee, I was offered a "Tall Boy" of Schlitz, the classic '60s formula. It poured light golden with sticky white foam. A sweet bready aroma wafted above the glass. This trend continued onto the palate, was a tad hollow in the center before being whisked away with the lightest dash of hops. I highly drinkable and gentle brew. Not bad, really.

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

Bought at a roadside dive bar last night in Noblestown, PA...damn this beer was drinking smooth for a beer that just drinks like a classic. This is the beer that made Milwaukee famous. Pours a sparkling pale light golden color with a bright white head forming thick, actually holds onto the head quite a bit. Fine speckled lacing layers arounds the sides of my glass. Aroma has abright cereal grain sweetness, seems a bit mineral in the middle but overall a nice sweetness meant to be drank by the masses especially during the industrial revolution. This neck label states that this is the classic 1960s formula. Drinks so nicely semie sweet cereal notes goes down smooth it's actually chuggable and likeable and sessionable. Amazing that an old retro beer can come back and actually be drinkable for someone like me who has tried almost 2500 different beers. Happy to see this brew in a dive bar, I actually took a six pack home and cleared them out of their Schlitz supply.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured out as a clear looking yellow color. Not much to really say here. It had a small white head on top for a little while but faded quickly. The smell of the beer was of corn and other grains. The taste of the beer was light, clean and simple. No levels of complexity at all. The mouthfeel of the beer was drinkable, I drank it rather quickly just to finish it. Overall I bought a bottle with the only intention of saying I had it. I wasn't expecting anything from it or even expecting to like it. It's a beer, That wraps it up pretty well I think.

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Photo of Bierwolf
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsener.

Appearance: Light to medium yellow; Snow white head of about 1-1/2 fingers; The head reduces to a thin layer leaving some lacing; Good carbonation.

Smell: Malt with hops in the background; Some grain; Alcohol.

Taste: Mild and evenly balanced. Very mild hop bitterness.

Mouth Feel: Light to medium body; Smooth all the way through to the finish.

Overall: In my opinion this is a decent beer for this style. It was refreshing and just sitting back and drinking one is a pleasant experience.

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Schlitz Gusto (Classic 1960's Formula) from JOS. Schlitz Brewing Co. (Pabst)
3.58 out of 5 based on 501 ratings.
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