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 superspak
3.56/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with The-Adjunct-Hippie. 12 ounce clear bottle into lager glass, bottled on 12/21/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear pale golden/straw color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of lemon, cracker, corn, and white bread; with light pear, apple, pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, corn, and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. A bit fruity/estery, but not overwhelming. Taste of lemon, cracker, corn, and white bread; with light pear, apple, pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, cracker, corn, white bread, light pepper, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice robustness and balance of pale malt, corn, and light earthy hop flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Fairly clean on lager flavors; a bit fruity/yeasty, but not overwhelming. Medium carbonation and light body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, dry, grainy, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 4.6%. Overall this is a good Adjunct lager style. All around good robustness and balance of pale malt, corn, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and refreshing to drink. Absolutely no skunky flavors from the clear bottle; which was surprising, because this had a solid hop presence considering the style. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Carter__ND
3.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this beer was quite good. It is a lighter beer that is more of a thirst quencher. On bros night it fits in just like a bud light but you never are compromising taste for price. It is much better than most, if not all, of the bigger macro brews you'll find. Definitely my go-to thirst quencher.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.46/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a shaker pint at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis.

Presented with a golden straw body color, a bit of cola carbonation, and a faint fleeting bleach white head with a very small collar. Decent looking for an AAL, but not that great either.

Aroma is a bit better than the average bear. Small sense of corn sweet character, but with tinges of honey a bit as well if ever so slightly. Good crispness to match.

Palate makes a solid impression for what it is. Soft grain feel, but also a bit of hinting buttery slickness, perhaps a touch of diacetyl but not very large at least. Sweet mix of popcorn like quality. Even an interesting possibly fruity ester like finish that makes the beer quite interesting in the aftertaste.

A very different AAL in the vein out there. Certainly memorable too and drinkable.

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Photo of Schlitz74
2.5/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer is neither good or bad, just an average macro lager, that isn't available to most of the country. It is better than most of the familiar macro lagers.

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Photo of dhannes
3.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a Perfect Pint--nice golden color, but smell of corn syrup. Moderate flavor that was more sweet than dry--reminded me of a hard cider, with low maltiness and little flavor from hops. Modest body and low carbonation, but too thick to be a session beer. I probably would try again if offered to me, but not likely to buy.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.43/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ugly beer colored yellow in a clear bottle. Aroma was stale grain.

Taste had some corn sweetness but was otherwise run of the mill adjunct lager stuff. Lots of carbonation, some grittiness. Can't believe the hipsters haven't pushed this more. Its the same vein as PBR or whatnot.

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Photo of Raime
1.87/5  rDev -43%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Grain Belt Premium

So this is what all the cool kids in the grain belt drink huh?. Single bottle left at my house. I mean...the name even sounds as boring as can be. Adjuncts in general really aren't as bad as most people least some of them aren't. Anyway, cooking a frozen Za and reading newbie reviews bashing advocates for being too snobbish. Lets do it.

Look - From the twist off sixteen ounce bottle into a random sixteen ounce glass I grabbed out of my cabinet. This brew pours a Crystal clear straw golden hue with a two finger head that dies as quickly as it makes its appearance like a lowly paid rockstar who only needed enough for the next crack rock. Carbonation appears to be dead as a door nail.

Smell - Alcohol. Wow it is truly sad when a beer of such a lowly calibre can't even hide the alcohol content. Literally smells like corn alcohol the hillbillies would drink. Corn and alcohol, incase I didn't already get my point across.

Taste - Almost sickly sweet with the aforementioned alcohol and corn along side of weird generic syrupy flavor that doesn't fit at all. Even as far as adjuncts go, this is not a good one. Whewwww. Nothing else to say here.

Feel - The feel on this beer is actually somehow moderate with an exceptional level of carbonation. Flavors retain the same with more of that syrup like aspect coming through as it sits around.

Overall - And this is considered a GOOD adjunct? I could walk into a run down liquor store in the bad part of town, throw a rock and find you a better adjunct than this. Reminded me of Bud Light to be quite honest. Maybe a bad batch? Maybe sad out for too long? Thus stuff sucks harder than a Chinese whore.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.12/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Typical Minnesotans. It's not very good, but it's from Minnesota so we have to support it anyway.

The taste gets to me. That blueberry note just seems odd for this beer.

Unless there's nothing else, I'd still take pass on this one.

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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 MikeKnauf
3.56/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good 'ole clear yellow in a clear bottle... looks actually kind of nice. This is a beer I drink right out of the bottle - It's not special enough to dirty a glass and it probably tastes better this way.

Smell is nothing great, nor is it offensive. Slightly sweet, malt/white bread kind of smell. Keep it in the bottle.

Taste is a twang of carbonation, almost like a hefe, then sweet then slightly sour in the finish. I get almost no bitterness from this beer. I'm not even sure I can detect a hop flavor. But still, it's tasty and refreshing.

Feel is not bad. A bit thin and really carbonated. Adds a lot of bite to the sip.

Overall it works. I wouldn't drink it every day but for an adjuct it's not half bad. I liked it before I started drinking worldly beers, and I still like it. Too bad it isn't available where I live.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.87/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

even as an adjunct lager, this isnt all that great, despite the devoted loyalty of the folks who live where its made, which is apparently now wisconsin? anyway, the folks of the twin cities insisted i put a few of these back before i went off on a craft beer diversion, so i obliged them. clear bottle is never a good sign, but its got a nice bone white head on it, and obviously a lot of carbonation, i have no problem with anything so far really. the nose is sweet for what it is, corny and rich, oddly stale, and a little beany and off putting. smells almost fruity, like warmer fermented than it should have been, but this is a lager, so i dont get it. the flavor is straight fake blueberry. its way out of place, and a definite off flavor in a beer like this, but for whatever reason, i dont hate it. its better than metallic, its better than skunked, and its a lot better than flavorless. i see the appeal i suppose, but it sits weird in the gut and is still cheap swill by any standard. interesting this is made by schell, i had no idea they did this kind of thing. i thought those heady berliners were their only game. looks like this is a lot like ac golden inside of coors, maybe they have a craft division or something, but the schell berliner beers are landmarks in experimenting with the style, and i absolutely love them all. this is a let down, even more so in that context, but i suppose with some pond hockey i could knock back a few of these...

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Being a native Minnesotan, I've had more of these over they years than I wish to admit. Figured it was time to review this midwest classic.
Clear straw color and it would have probably a moderate head if poured into a glass but this is Grain Belt, dammit. Drink it out of the bottle. Or can.
Aroma is sweet and grainy with, perhaps, a hint of hops hiding in there somewhere. And, thanks to the clear bottle, there's also the piquant bouquet of odeur de skunk lurking beneath the sweetness.
Taste is sweet and malty and there is a hint of bitterness in there from the hops as well. Finishes clean and refreshing. The slight skunkiness in the nose isn't really showing up in the taste. A hint of sweet fruit as well, almost berry-like.
Mouthfeel is light and bubbly.
Hey, it is what it is. A well-done AAL. Crisp and refreshing and about perfect for a hot summer day. Seems to be it tastes better than it did, say, 30 years ago...

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Photo of Beer-vortex
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Qualifier; this is a lawn-mower beer, not Heady Topper.

16oz can.

After very good smoke it pours a light yellow with a persistent 2 finger head that slowly dissipates. Smells of wheat and a grainy grassiness. The aroma is actually pretty decent.

The taste mirrors the nose; wheat, grainy-grassiness. This is a standard adjunct lager. I catch no alcohol and I shouldn’t at just 4.6% ABV. Lots of carbonation but that’s to be expected. Poor lacing.

This is a very good lawn mower beer; nothing more, nothing less. It is not a high-end DIPA! However, on a hot Summer day I find myself still drawn to this beer, and it remains a decent offering. I’d much rather have this than almost ALL of the other macro-brews. I will purchase this beer again for a lawn-mower beer.

The can had a best before date on the bottom. It doesn't say "BEST BEFORE", it just has the date, which in this case, was 11-11-15.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grain Belt Premium Beer has a very thick, frothy, spongy, white head (somewhat like whipped cream, at the crown), a mostly clear, straw appearance, but with noticeably more white sediment chunks than what one will see with macro-lagers. Lacing is pretty heavy. Aroma is of surprisingly strong northwest hops, and the flavor is of white bread, white bread crust, mainline hop bitterness, and a touch of sweetness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Grain Belt Premium Beer finishes crisp and refreshing.


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Photo of BobbersDown
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A go to beer for a Minnesota native. Consider it skewed if you like, but considering the price point, it's tough to beat. Taste is light, and perhaps on the sweet side, but not in an unpleasant way. Just an easy beer to reach for if you want something that goes down smooth on either a hot day or spending some time in the ice shack. If you have a chance, try may not be your favorite, and it isn't mine, but it does hit the spot.

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Photo of jwc215
3.34/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours straw yellow as seen through the glass. A fizzy white head leaves lacing.

The smell is clean. Smells like a typical adjunct lager - perhaps even a bit cleaner.

The taste is clean overall...there is a hint of blueberry for some reason. Finishes crisp and clean.

An easy-drinking, inexpensive "lawn mower" beer.

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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 pat61
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brilliantly clear straw to yellow, off-white quickly dissipating head leaves some delicate lacing.
S: grainy, no hops, a little apple, some corn sweetness, no appreciable malt aroma.
T: Tastes thin, grainy with corn-grain sweetness, no hops, and slight apple, faintly malty. Low hops make it lean to the malt, a light white bread or white flour tortilla after taste.
F: less highly carbonated than some, no carbonation bight, smooth, a little slickness on the tongue, refreshing and dull.
O: bland, low flavor, lower carbonation makes it less interesting than better standard American lagers.

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Photo of SenorElRaz
3.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This is my favorite adjunct lager. It has a very unique taste, and it looks great. Pours a nice, foamy head. Also gets points for being brewed in my home state of MN.

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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 Jim_Benz
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is what I drank before before the craft beer explosion. Well, this and Summit Pale Ale. It's got a whole lot more flavor than Bud, which isn't saying much, and I still buy it for making beer brats--then save the leftovers for guests who don't appreciate the "good stuff." Overall? It's okay. But if I want to really enjoy a lager, I'll pick up some Brooklyn.

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Photo of Goodspeed83
3.34/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

As a Minnesotan, this is what I "grew up" with, as far as my early beer-drinking days went. It's better than your typical American lager, and is sometimes what I'll buy when I need a break from my beloved stouts and other heavier beers, especially in the summer. Is it a world-class beer? No, but it's a quality, easy-drinking beer that's a good value. It's like a friend you occasionally hook up with, but don't feel awkward or ashamed about afterwards.

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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 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 Wer34truh
3.4/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

A calm golden color, with a smallish head. Limited carbonation. Quite a fine looking beer.

Smells of sweet malts. Taste takes the backseat, but is generally sweet and malty - as one would expect from the smell. I got quite a bit of apple in the flavor.

Carbonation is light, and the feel in general is great. This is definitely not a beer deserving of too much praise. Yet, it remains a very drinkable and enjoyable lager. I could see myself downing a six-pack of this with ease on a warm Minnesotan summer day.

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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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