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: 561
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

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

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, lager yeast, grain and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain, lager yeast and adjuncts. Then some light malt sweetness follows. The hops presence is very mild but decent for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

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

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent poundable beer if you’re looking for a better version of a macro.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.74/5  rDev +14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz can - "The Big Friendly"

Enjoyed out of a can but I'm familiar with this beer enough to know it's a pale piss-yellow with a thin, sudsy head. Looks like the average adjunct. Smell is sweet malt, skunk, and a tiny bit of hop in the background. Weak smell but not offensive. A little bite at first, some corn at the end, otherwise it's sweet malt all the way. Suprisingly creamy for how thin it feels.

Maybe my favorite lager, definitely one of my go to session brews. I like keeping a couple Big Friendlies around in case of emergency.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving type: 16-ounce “Big Friendly” can. No freshness date.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is clean and clear straw. Three fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly to leave a rocky cap and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Cereal grain and very sweet green apples. It smells a lot like the green Jolly Rancher, and also the watermelon one mixed in.

Taste: Very sweet and fruity with a touch of light cereal grain. The green Jolly Rancher has been replaced with salon hairspray, which is a staple of lighter Schell brews.

Drinkability: It is decent enough, but the sweetness is very off-putting for a lawn mower lager. I’ll drink it regardless.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.06/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very light and clear sunny gold color. Big, puffy, light, pillowy, bright white head. Good retention with a sticky layer of lace.

S - Very grainy and slightly sweet. A faint mineral aroma too. That's about it. Nothing really exciting.

T - Similar to the nose. Very grainy, not really heavy corn or vegetable graininess though. A subtle sweetness but not a bready sweetness I expected. Touch of apple on the finish. Not much else.

M - Light body with average carbonation. Thin, crisp, and watery. The usual.

D - Goes down easy without much aftertaste. Really just goes down easy and is refreshing but nothing special.

Notes: Grab a 16 oz can for a dollar figuring it was worth a try. It's really what I expected. Light, crisp, refreshing but mostly devoid of any complex flavor. It has it's time and place, but it's nothing special (even for the style).

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A buddy brought a 12pck of cans back with him from a recent trip to Minnesota. Beer poured a golden clear with thin white head. The smell and taste were a nice balance of malt, grain, and hop. The mouthfeel was light in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a good beer.

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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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Photo of Lauthaha
3.17/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer is a dull (but completely transparent) golden color, with very ample carbonation. Head is initially somewhat frothy, but as it recedes, it leaves a half-assed meringue lacing on the edges of the glass. I know it's an adjunct...but it just looks a little thin to call it "good."

Smell: Ever kissed a girl who's just smoked a half-pack of Marlboros and guzzled down a six-pack of Green Apple wine coolers? It's not nearly as bad as that. Just a touch of apple or pear sourness, some gentle grains and a mellow smoothness. Medium level of bitterness to the nose, although it's not all pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer has a good body! Actually very creamy, the carbonation is evenly balanced. After the beer warms on the tongue, then (and only then) can you taste the corn-husk flavor. Sour malt, rough hops, but somewhat watered down flavor. Aftertaste is...not great.

Overall: Above average in its category, but definitely in the bottom 10% of my favorite beers ever.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a clear golden. Head is thick and foamy. Fades quickly, but there is something left after a while, so compared to most in the style, good work.
S- Smell is relatively clean with some slight adjuncty character. About as good as most of the style, but there's nothing particularly appealing.
T- A bit more adjuncty than the nose indicated. Slightly sweet, but other than the light adjunct flavor, there's not much.
M- Light body, fizzy, but less so than most in style.
O- It's not that good of a beer, but you know what? There's something enjoyable about these. Maybe it's just that it's an Adjunct Lager that is slightly better than some of the pack. Has worth at the baseball game.

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Photo of DaCheesehead
2.37/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a pale yellow with a light head that faded to lace quickly. Aroma was slightly sweet and was of malts and grains - slighltly fruity as well. Taste was unique - malt and corn with an interesting finish of light hoppiness. Tasted like High Life with an extra dash of corn just for good measure. That said, it was pleasantly different than other mass produced lagers in that corn flavor was not as bitter and unpleasant as many of them. Palate was acceptable but nothing special. Overall, not too bad for a cheaper pale lager.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.05/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A clear, yellow colored beer with a lot of foam that coated the sides of the plastic cup. Had some decent retention, basically about what you would expect from an adjunct lager.

S - Smell is of sweet grainy malts and adjuncts, corn, bready malts and grainy malts.

T - The beer has a sweet corn syrup taste that is a little bit grainy. It is quite smooth and unoffensive, although the flavor itself seems watered down. No complaints, it's fairly unnoticable.

M - Superisingly creamy with nice carbonation for this beer.

O - It's good as far as adjuncts go, I'd prefer it over most BMC stuff. Can drink all day, it's smooth and light.

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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 KJay1408
3.63/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this for what it is, a crappy Beer.

A: Pours a nice light yellow with about a half a finger worth of head.

S: Not a whole lot going on here, some malt and grain aromas and what I think may be corn. Thank the good Lord on that account I'll take corn over rice as an adjunct any day.

T: It starts with a bit of malt, that is followed by a sweet grain flavor. The flavor lingers for a moment and is followed by a nice crispness that keeps it from being painfully smooth. Something I actually appreciate in an adjunct lager

M: It's a crappy beer, so the feel is rather thin and watery. It is worth noting that the feel of grain is evident after you let it warm up for a bit.

O: When I'm in the mood for crappy beer this is a personal favorite, it has a fair amount of taste and aroma for an adjunct lager. Far from a great beer, but it's not terrible either. It's a good beer for when you're in the mood for crappy. To quote a co-worker of mine "It's like Budweiser, but good."

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of malts, some corn, slightly sweet. Taste is crisp, malty, a touch of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good beer to have on a hot day.

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Photo of seeswo
3.54/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can poured into my Capital Brewery tulip, just cuz. Pours a clear, light straw yellow with a nice big white head. Looked very classically like BEER. The nose is very bland, just a touch of sweetness and maybe the slightest suggestion of exposure to a hop or two. The taste is really nice for the style, drinks crisp with just the tinniest hint of blueberry, which really works for me. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, leaving just a bit of sweetness in the mouth. Overall, this is one of my preferred options for the AAL style. Can't call it a fantastic beer in any capacity, but that little hint of blueberry helps a ton.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce clear bottle (which always worries me) poured into a mug.

A: Premium pours a golden color with a foamy white head that quickly settles to almost nothing. Carbonation consists of big bubbles, almost resembling that of soda. Darker in hue than most beers of this style.

S: Not much on the nose. Sweet, grainy malt, and that's about it. Some sweet pear aroma lies in the background.

T: Sweet at first, with some fruity notes, along with a slight hint of honey. Hops don't lend a lot in the taste, except for a slightly grassy flavor. Finish is clean and short-lived.

Notes: Premium is a decent beer with a little more body and flavor than others of the style have to offer. A bit too sweet for me, but sometimes it's just what's called for.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.38/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wizz colored yellow, like you've been working out heavily or smoking 2 packs a day. Good head, large bubbles. Aroma was of a grain belt or elevator, or maybe I'm just projecting that out of the name. Smelled kinda like old beer.

Taste, pretty bland, mild sweetness, almost nonexistant hopping or malt character. Fractional bitterness. When I think 'grain' I don't think corn, but that seems what its all about. Mild, inoffensive.

I think a lot of people just dig this beer for the old school, retroness of it, its like PBR, but for the working man who doesn't smell and dress like hipster shit. My homie from MN swore by this stuff in school. Wasn't bad. Wouldn't be buying it anytime soon other, but it does belong in that cool class of adjunct beer like Blatz, Schlitz, Rhinelander etc. . .

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.38/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have been meaning to review this beer for a LONG time. It's not my favorite beer in the world, but it's a Minnesota staple.

Very little head, and the clearest golden yellow. Bubbles everywhere in there. It's definitely a darker yellow than most AALs.

Light with a very slight malt smell, which is really like most other beers of this style. And yet, there's something else there. Almost a banana kind of scent.

Lightly malty, and like the scent, just the slightest hint of banana. Very smooth, with no bitterness whatsoever

Mouthfeel? Not much to speak of. Doesn't coat the mouth... medium-high carbonation.

As far as the American Adjunct Lager goes, this is the best I've had. It's smooth, inexpensive, and actually tastes fairly decent. If you're a BMC kind of guy that wants a real treat, I'd say check this one out.

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Photo of birchstick
3.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - pours a faint filtered yellow with a 1/2 finger head on it

S - sweet grainy malts and little fruity

T - unfortunately the nose didn't transalt as well as I would have liked it to. The grainy malts are there and fade to a bit of spicy hop. Nothing crazy, but for the style, average.

M - goes down pretty smoothly...

D - I was expecting some sort of BMC product with this but was pleasantly surprised. More flavorful and better drinking than its counterparts. Thanks to KeefD for the chance!

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

Hello Brain Melt! This is my go to swill when I chugging beer with my friends.

Looks like your typical american lagger, yellow, fizzy, and powdery white carbonated head.

Smells of a bit of hops but also very sweet

Taste is a little hop bitterness and then the sweet grain really ads some almost fruity tastes. A lot better then most laggers.

Mouthfeel is light and has a nice carbonation not to much like most American Laggers.

Overall this is my favorite adjunct lagger and it also bring back a lot of memories of growing up here in Minnesota. Great beer for the style but low on the complexity.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.95/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow with lots of bubbles. Decent white head and good retention. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet corn and grain up front followed by a hint of lemon. Slight hint of hops in the background.

Taste: Sweet grains and wheat followed by a hint of lemon zest. Finishes with a slight hint of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A very tasty beer for an adjunct lager. By far my favorite for the style and a great tradition here in Minnesota.

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Photo of tito42
2.55/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Decent white head, average lacing.

S: Grainy, grassy, faintly sweet.

T: Corn syrup, way too much sweetness comes through from the adjuncts for my taste.

M: Decent body for an AAL, and a nice touch of hoppiness for this style at the end.

D: The sweetness...some have reviewed it as honey but it was more corn syrup to me, is just too much for my palate. There are several other adjuncts (such as PBR) that I would rather drink.

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Photo of grannun
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In fairness, it is difficult to review american lagers like this in the same way I review craft beers.

Living in the Minneapolis area, this beer is available either on-tap or in a bottle at almost every bar near me, and it is my go-to beer if they don't have anything really good. That being said, I find it a very nice, refreshing beer to drink, with far more flavor than most BMC beers.

There seems to be a slight sweetness in the flavor, along with some pronounced grains. I can actually taste some of the malts, although no hops. Overall, very drinkable, and always my choice over BMC.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- golden and yellow in color. A bit murky with a bit of white hed

Smell- light hoppy aroma with some sweetness on the nose. And a smell i can't quit place.

Taste- some wheaty sweetness. Much sweeter than i was expecting. Really not a bad taste at all

Mouthfeel- not too thin, not too thick. But the carbonation is a bit too absent

Drinkability- very drinkable but pales in comparison to Schlitz!

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.26/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grain Belt Premium was the first beer I every drank--many years ago. The label has moved to a different brewery since then and I have moved on to other beers as well. As nostalgia goes, you can't beat this one for me. These days, though, the flavor doesn't live up to my memory.

The clear bottle presents a yellow clear brew with a white cap of foam. After pouring the beer into a shaker pint, the foam had excellent retention. The aroma is soft with sweet corn and pale malts. More sweet corn on the palate, fairly sweet. Some malt, but mostly juicy corn. As the beer moves back a hint of metallic before it vanishes with a whimper of bitterness.

The corn puts the adjunct into this American Adjunct Lager, and they brewers are not being shy about it. In the end, a drinkable version of the style--better than many others I have had in this category.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.52/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got this beer from arvjunk. Thanks Ankur!

12oz can served in a pilsner glass.

L - clear yellow color with a small white head that eventually went away.

S - grainy but that's how it's supposed to smell, right?

T - it actually has some flavor, grainy malt with extemely light bitterness on the finish.

F - light/medium body with ok carbonation.

D - way easy to drink.

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Grain Belt Premium from August Schell Brewing Company
3.28 out of 5 based on 561 ratings.
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