Grain Belt Premium | August Schell Brewing Company

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Grain Belt PremiumGrain Belt Premium

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Although the Grain Belt Premium recipe has changed hands over the years, one thing has remained the same–its legendary unique taste. And now that Premium is in the capable hands of a brewery with an even longer tradition than Grain Belt–the August Schell Brewery–may you rest assured that the flavor and heritage of Premium will live on forever.

Added by TastyTaste on 07-04-2003

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Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 562
Photo of libgotti
5/5  rDev +52.4%

This is my go-to, favorite beer. Same for my grandfather and his grandfathers. Goes down smooth and easy, and tastes soo good. Beats Bud Light, Coors light, etc. for me on every level.

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Photo of Kww900l
5/5  rDev +52.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say. This is the greatest beer in the world for the price. Where else can you get a case of tasty suds for so little. I know you beer snobs will turn your noses up at this awesome Midwest treat that's been passed from father to son for over a hundred years. Clean,smooth and sweet. I love it goes great at the ball game,deer camp,or avoiding the wife. Take my recomendation and pick up a six pack of this you won't regret it. All hail to the big friendly!

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Photo of CincyScot
4.74/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

With all the IPAs out there today Grain Belt is probably one of the maltiest out there...what a relief!! Unique taste. Everytime I come to MN I have to have one!

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Photo of schellsguy
4.71/5  rDev +43.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The aroma has a malty sweetness with a hint of corn and very faint hop aroma. The appearance is exception for a beer of this style with a nice golden color and a nice white head that shrinks to a thin lacy top that leaves some lace on the glass. The smell is not intense but that seems true of most American Lagers. It is a pleasant aroma but not very strong. Taste is crisp and somewhat malty in the begining and the finish has an unusal sweetness to it that I find intriguing and refreshing. Mouthfeel is as it should be for this style and it is one of the most drinkable beers around. I keep a half barrel on tap in my basement bar and when people come over all they can talk about is how surprisingly good this beer is. It is the perfect beer with BBQ and pizza and lots of other good food. A great all around beer in this style category.

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Photo of GrainBelt101
4.63/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been a consumer of the "Premium" since the 70's when my attempt to keep the old Northeast Minneapolis Grain Belt Brewery in business failed. I am an avid collector of Grain Belt memorabia. Even though my tastes have branched out into the ale world, I still keep a case of Premium on hand. I believe that the currrent Premium is very close to the original recipe. It will always be my favorite lager. Kudos to Schell's for keeping the Premium alive for future generations to enjoy.

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Photo of Foyle
4.5/5  rDev +37.2%

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: pours a 2" sudsy white head that slowly falls with plenty of lacing left behind. Color is clear light golden with plenty of streaming carbonation.

Aroma: nice aroma of light barley, a bit of corn, some grassy hops.

Mouthfeel: light and crisp, slightly sticky, with a pleasant and refreshing finish.

Flavor: yeasty white bread, some corn sweetness, a bit of hop bite for balance.

Overall: well balanced and outstanding in the adjunct lager style. Perhaps the best I have had thus far.

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Photo of jsisko01
4.5/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a clear golden color with a centimeter thick head that dissipates instantly. Has nice lacing.

Smell - Malty with wheat and grains.

Taste - Very malty, semi-sweet, grains, and wheat. Has a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - This beer is delicious. Simple but delicious. I love the malts.

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Photo of LordofTime25
4.4/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have had it in a can, bottle, and on tap.

Has a light amber almost straw apperance with a white foamy head that will last for a few drinks.

Smell is fruity with a hint corn.

Has a sweet fruity finish with a tangy corn taste.

Very light taste in your mouth with a full flavor.

I would drink this often. One of the beers I keep on hand. Found that women who like a casual beer like this.

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Photo of rdkottke
4.35/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm typically a Brown Ale or Pale Ale drinker, but for summertime refreshment you can't beat this offering from August Shell Brewing, I would recommend this to any beer lover out fishing or after playing a summertime sport. It does have a sweeter tatse than most beers, but also it does posess a clean finish.

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Photo of barleypopmaker
4.34/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, I think its quite obvious from reading some the reviews that some people had their minds made up before drinking it. Every beer has it's place and you really shouldn't slam it simply because of the style. American lagers may not be my go-to styles either, but they are what they are and the ones that are good put any Bud, Miller, or Coors beer to shame. This beer does that easily.

First I want to comment on the bottle, a clear bottle is not a good thing for a beer and I'm surprised they chose clear bottles. I am just glad I bought this in a 12 pack that was in a fully enclosed box. But off the pour the beer is a nice light gold and crystal clear. There is a lot of carbonation and the beer appears very effervescent. There is a stiff mousy head that is very white. As the beer sat, the head remained as a solid 1/8" cap on the beer. That's quite impressive and that alone sets this beer apart from probably 95% of its competitors.

The aroma actually has some spicy hop flair. There is some sweet malt as well as some corn in the nose. What is most impressive is that the hop character is in no way hidden. It is quite evident right off the first sniff. I am quite impressed so far. From some of the reviews, either they had a bad bottle, or are not used to finding any hop aroma in Premium American Lagers at all.

The flavor is a touch sweet and corny. Very easy drinking with a nice spicy hop flavor through the middle with a soft and subtle bitter finish that fades quickly. Although the carbonation in the beer offers a crisp feel while drinking, that part fades quickly with the sweetness. The sweetness lingers quite a while and to me is obviously from corn as an adjunct (which is OK per style). The style guidelines state that this beer should be even, and it is. A great balance between malt and hops, I just wish it would finish a bit dryer.

The mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is high, as it should be per style. There is no astringency and overall very nice.

Overall for what this beer is, it is excellent. The sweetness is just slightly off-putting, but all in all this is a very easy drinking lawnmower beer I can live with. I can honestly say that I will buy this beer again and possibly stock it for my family that drinks what they call "Light Beer". It may not be my personal flavor of choice, but the obvious hop presence and malt flavor makes this beer a winning choice for my go to American Lager without a doubt. And coming from an IPA fan, this beer should be about as out of my range as they can get, but it wasn't.

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Photo of brewanddrink
4.32/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

When I was growing up my dad collected old beer bottles, cans and glasses. So being from Minnesota he had a lot of Grain Belt stuff. So when i was old enough to buy my own beer, the image of the red diamond on top of a silver cap was engraved in my mind. My first taste was light on hops and had a nice refreshing almost sweet taste with a kind of banana taste. I was hooked and it is my number one beer for daily drinking.

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Photo of GuyfromGB
4.32/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic beer, with rich flavor, and an unpretentious reputation originating in Northeast Minneapolis. I rate it so highly based on its simplicity, full flavor, and also quite if bit of nostalgia.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.3/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very light and pours a bright white head. In the glass, the beer is a very light yellow, brilliant clarity. The head stays an explosively bubbly white. Great active carbonation as well. Hmm, with a little bit of motion, the head falls apart pretty easily.

S: Aroma is very mild, but not displeasing. Malty/grainy but not at all bitter. No hops. Pretty dry as well, I don't get much for the sweetness found in some adjunct lagers.

T: Again, a very mild taste, similar to the aroma but not as dry. There's very little to describe, but that's a good thing here, there's no off flavors.

M: Maybe a little under carbed? For the style, but good for me!

D: Extremely drinkable, but the taste might get a little bland after a while.

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Photo of hardy008
4.3/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale golden color with a bright white head with nice retention and lacing. Smell is sweet malt balanced by somewhat bitter hops. Nicely balanced lager. The taste is more of the same. Sweet malt, balanced by bitter hops. Very nicely made.

Properly carbonated, light bodied, slightly sweet aftertaste. Refreshing to drink. If only all American Adjunct lagers were this good...

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Photo of alexgash
4.28/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my all-time favorite beers. Granted, a lot of my love for this beer comes from the fact that it is what my Dad drank when I was younger and I distinctly remember fetching these beers for him and sometimes getting a sip. In addition, this was my staple session/party beer in college. I was and still am proud to drink this and I am very happy that Schell's revived it (smart profit move on their part too!). Anyway, pours a very clear, light yellow straw with a cottony fluff of cloud-white head that sticks around and even laces the glass. Aroma is mild, but nice; lightly sweet, crisp, honeyish malts, and some lemony hop notes. Smells refreshing! Crisp, light malty sweetness up front with whiffs of corn--good corn (fine, I'm obviously biased about this beer, but I don't care). Light hop bitterness has a hint of citrus in it and takes it into the finish. Light bodied and refreshing. A great summer party beer. Takes me back to my college days everytime! Thank you Grainbelt!

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Photo of B-Stad
4.24/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My go to beer when I'm out at the bar, or really anywhere for that matter. This is my answer to a domestic boring American lager. Price point matches your Buds, Coors, & Millers. The taste blows said beers out of the water. This is one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. I've been drinking GBP for 10 years, and it's my overall favorite beer. It's definitely sessionable, as I know all too well. If you're looking for an affordable beer that isn't too sophisticated yet actually tastes like beer, you've found your match with Grain Belt Premium.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.18/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Old Chicago in Eden Prarie, Minnesota.

Poured a nice, perfectly clear golden yellow, with a surprisingly large and long lasting head.

Aroma is grainy, as would be expected. It's clean on the nose, though , with no hints of corn-like DMS or nasty sweetness that can plague beers of this style. Smells pretty good to be honest.

Taste is remarkably clean, with good 6-row barley grainy flavors. Hop bittering is just sufficient to keep this from being overly sweet, but the hops make their presence known in no other way. Exactly as it should be. There's just a touch of sweetness here. This one also doesn't suffer the carbonic "bite" of an overcarbonated macro. As stated before, it's clean.

This is an American style lager, so one expects a thin mouthfeel. It comes through there, too. Not watered down, but insubstantial enough to stay out of its own way.

This is a surprising beer. If you pop a cap expecting a BMC, you'll be shocked. Real flavor exists here. Try it, and see what American lagers can be.

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.18/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a staple in the summer as it is inexpensive and a great beer to have on a hot day working in the yard.
This is definately based on style, but this one really misses no marks.
Appearance is a clear dark golden color with a nice white head that sticks around.
Aroma is faint, but what to expect from a Macro style lager, bready and malty to the nose.
Flavor is good there is a touch of hops on this one that come out and play, but this one is definately a malty brew, nice light crystal flavors around a nice base malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel is good almost perfect for this style, high, but not to high levels of carbonation and thin but what did you expect with this beer. Easy drinking, good tasting macro lager? I'll have a few.

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Photo of TeamSeinfeld
4.16/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Grain Belt Premium has a lot of history in the twin cities, too bad it is not made here anymore. Schell's took over but they still do a good job. The old Premium had one of the most distinctive tastes ever, very very sweet. It was great out of a bottle but when out of a can it tasted like the can. I've only had the new premium out of a bottle and it is much more watered down. Even with the new watered down taste, this beer is not a mass consumption beer even though countless of us students at the U of M think it will be. Take my advice don't get plowed off it or you will spend the night in the bathroom.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.15/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my fallback when not drinking craft brews. It doesnt taste like water like most macrobrews, easy drinking when you plan on having more than one. I also like that it is brewed in my home state of MN.

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Photo of xqed
4.14/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A Minnesota classic, my dad used to stock his fridge with this stuff (and Hamms and PBR). It has survived a few brewery closings but thankfully Schell's picked up the recipe and launched a great marketing campaign to re-introduce this beer to another generation. Not going to win any beer awards, but as other reviewers have noted, it's a great beer with food - most excellent to wash down brats and burgers in the summertime.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.13/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Minnesota Brewing Company version was a beer that i drank gallons of, so when that stock ran out, I got this. (You can tell the difference by the bottle caps, the MBC had an "M" surounded by stylized hops and grain, the new one is the classic Grain Belt Logo). The beer has definitely changed since I last had it. It is more balanced, and less sweet than it's predecessor. It still has it's crystal clear gold color, and small white head. My favorite beer of the low cost, American lager sub-category.

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Photo of smanders
4.08/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a week of canoeing in the BWCA, there aren't a lot of things more satisfying than a Premium and a burger.

For anyone who's been to Germany, this beer will bring back memories of lazy days on the Rhine, biergartens, and exceptionally smooth drinking (pils style) beer. GB Premium is the "everyman's" beer in MN, and it gained that reputation for a reason; 100 years of brewing and nothing changing. Same great taste, same inexpensive price. I haven't been able to find this outside of the great state of MN, but when if I do, I will imbibe.


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Photo of icefisherman
4.05/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

this beer is a little hard to find in bars but fairly easy to get at booze stores all over the city it looks like beer always a plus in my book it smells like any other mass produced beer but with a small difference not sure what it is but i like it taste like beer once again a plus still it is sweeter then most other beers and it is verry drinkable i could drink it all day long

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Photo of mjwoolley33
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Couldn't resist throwing in my 2-cents on this one. Grain Belt has become my go to grilling, boating, America-loving, hot-day beer. Strong but smooth carbonation balanced with a light and corn-driven taste. Pours with a big, 1/2 - 1 inch head but goes down smoother straight from the bottle.

Is it fantastic? Not really. It's cheap, tastes decent, and really beats the heat. Thumbs up.

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Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
3.28 out of 5 based on 562 ratings.
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