Schell's Deer Brand | August Schell Brewing Company

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Schell's Deer BrandSchell's Deer Brand

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Schell's Deer Brand was developed prior to Prohibition and has been Schell's flagship beer ever since. Brewed from 70 percent barley malt, 30 percent corn, and our unique 'Schell' yeast, Deer Brand is full flavored American Lager.

Added by Bitterbill on 07-10-2002

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Reviews: 60 | Ratings: 145
Photo of brewdub17
3.45/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear light brass body sits below a quickly disappearing head. Well carbonated with an abundance of bubbles shooting to the top.

Smell: Like most adjunct lagers, smells corny with dry carbonated hints.

Taste: A crisp clean taste finishes the onslaught of corny adjunct flavors. The malts give that well known sweetness but not many flavors that are off putting.

Mouthfeel: Not as overly carbonated as most adjunct lagers are. Crisp and clean but flavorful.

Drinkability: This brew has a nice balance of flavor for its style. Not many characteristics are overpowering and is pretty mild in personality. It all comes together for easy drinking.

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Photo of Chaz
3.32/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-hazey golden yellow in color and quite clear (nearly brilliant), topped with a shock white head of good duration. Plenty of clingy lace is left behind as the head subsides.

Nose here is better than average with a hint of citric hop leading the way to enough biscuit-malt goodness that I'm wondering why this beer isn't in my fridge more often! There's a bit of corn (grits or syrup?) in here, but not enough to scare me off.

Clean, crisp, and a bit tangy on the first sip, with a nice dry quality and just a bit of bitterness toward the end of the palate. Citric hop bite lingers a little, but this isn't quite a Pils, although I can see some accepting this as a Classic American Pilsener or some such term that I often hear bandied-about ('Cream Ale' is another . . .) As far as the corn-as-adjunct use, it tastes very clean and well-balanced here, although there is a bit or residual sweetness that lingers here, and some off-notes of DMS that only a BJCP-educated palate such as my own could detect. Ahem.

Mouthfeel is better than average, but this style of beer seems to trump it's own system of averages, so I am not pushing it to actually mark it down as 'better than average'. Drinkability on the other hand is off the charts, so I'm gonna average out these last two review characteristics . . .

Note: distribution of Deer Brand has been pretty hit or miss over the years and cans are even harder to find -- I picked up this fresh example in New Ulm : )

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Photo of morimech
3.53/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Even for an adjunct lager, this thing is pale. Almost no color at all. Looks like Seven $ 7 where there was just a few drops of whiskey and the rest of the glass was filled with soda. This thing developed a massive head that had very good retention. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. This would score higher in appearance if it had some color. Very weak aroma. A little graininess and sweet malt. No hops detected. The taste is also weak but somehow it tastes better than the big 3. Slightly sweet with some real malt flavor. No bitterness or hop flavor. The mouthfeel is where this beer really stands apart from other adjunct lagers. Smooth and creamy with a nice texture. Carbonation is kept in check. Easy to drink but not as good as Lakemaid, Grain Belt, or Dave's Brewfarm Select, but this is a lot cheaper than those other three.

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Photo of katan
3.54/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a light straw to golden color. Incredibly clear. Light bubbling. Head formation is light, only a film left.

S - A light pilsner malt note comes off the beer. Overall, nothing potent of note.

T - Starts off with a light pilsner malt note. Gets a bit bitter, dry, balanced through the mid-stream. Somewhat grainy. Finishes with a smooth pilsner malt note - almost sweet. Seems more pils like than a macro lager.

M - Somewhat light beer body. Carbonation sting is present, not overwhelming. Finishes clean. Can be a bit empty at times.

D - Very easy drinking. Well hidden abv, which is manageable. Not filling. Clearly designed for sessioning.

Nothing very distinctive about this beer - but that may be the point. It pulls off a smooth drinking beer with light easy flavors.

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Photo of mothman
3.49/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh... good ole deer brand. This is the only beer at the parent's house so I had to get used to it unless I bring my own beer.

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a 1 finger of fizzy white head that lasts seconds. Lots of carbonation bubbles in the glass. Color is a golden straw color.

Aroma: It is odd, because I seem to get banana flavors from the aroma. This isn't the first time this has happened (different beers) and I think it is odd. Besides that, I get grain, corn, and a low level of hops.

Taste: Again, I get some fruity banana flavors mixed in with the grain and corn. I find this to be very odd and not something I would expect from the style. However, I do seem to enjoy it. The beer is fairly malty with a low amount of grassy hops present.

Mouthfeel: Dry and dry. Yep, that is about it. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends malty and very dry.

Overall, it is a decenmt beer for the style. It is a home town beer of mine, but I prefer there other offerings. However, I am glad I get to drink this over the BMC crap. This actually has some flavors. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got 2 bottles handed to me by a fellow trivia player at our Old Chicago. Thanks Dave!

It pours a clear and very bubbly straw gold qith a small head of foam that seems to want to hang around for a spell. The lacing is slightly better than what I've seen for most of this tyle.

The smell is slightly...grainy, malty, and hoppy. Slightly across the board but acceptable to my nose.

The taste is largely grainy with some corn noticeable giving it a sweetish note. also has a decent flavour of some bittering going on about mid palate to balance things out. The finish returns to more of the grainy taste and if the bitterness could have held out in the finish, I'd score it higher. Still, not a bad tasting brew by any means.

Typical light body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability? An easy to quaff brew of the style...what more can I say? I'd buy it on occasion if it was an available to me beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.39/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Meh, not the greatest effort. Pours a little darker than your average yellow adjunct stuff, but the smell is not enjoyable. Call it "old farm". Why do I have horse blanket in an AAL?

Taste has a decent amount of malt backbone. But no hops. What is this, like 23 ibus? Hangs out on the palate without being obtrusive or ditching you, but it wasn't much to begin with, just simply isn't likeable enough in the other attributes to warrant any drinkability points.

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Photo of gmfessen
2.78/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess they're calling this one "Deer Brand" now rather than "Original". Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass, beer is a very light straw color, completely clear and has a thin cap of fizzy white carbonation on top. Bubbles slowly rise from the depths of the glass; looks like your typical American Macro Lager. The nose is almost indiscernible, again like most American Macro Lagers, and what is there are brief hints of sweet malt and grainy corn. The taste follows suit, not much going on here, slightly sweet graininess that lingers on the palate, bittered just to balance - not much to say. The mouthfeel is light in body and has a moderate, mouth-burning carbonation. Overall, like most other beers in its category - definitely nothing that stands out about this one. Probably easy to pound down and refreshing when it's hot out... those are probably the best traits of this beer.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.42/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pale yellow with pretty big white head that fades rapidly. Spotty lace.

S- Corn, slight biscuit, touch of hops. Nothing too strong, but better than your average macro.

T- Corn, biscuit, fades into a rather nice grassy hoppiness. Slight orange zest. Finishes with a little green apple. I might be reaching for these flavors though.

M- Light bodied, fizzy.

D- Pretty high, drinks like a macro, but with more flavor. Not a bad brew, but I want some more flavor.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A) Bright yellow body with a white cap that leaves spotty lace

S) A richer, deeper aroma than expected, mild orange rind gives some complexity

T) Some fruit in the taste, some hops that are citric (the orange rind and grapefruit), fairly balanced

M) Medium light body, medium carbonation

O) A very nice flavor lends drinkability. The citric notes along with some honey aspects make for an easy session beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, auburn color with a bubbly, foamy, white, two-finger head. It left minor trails of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel malt, grains and barley. It had a very subtle floral aroma.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel malt. It wasn't overly sweet but it was good. It had a slight bitter hop kick.

M - It was crisp, sharp and a little fizzy. A light bodied lager.

D - This is a nice solid, sessionable lager.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A= a darker than macro fizzy yellow color with a pretty decent head
S= corn and rice
T= sweeter than I expected. Really tastes like minnesota grown bi color sweetcorn. Pretty good I must say
M= average all around
D= high. I like the sweetcorn taste. Good summer beer I think. Not bad at all

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Photo of Greggy
3.84/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've got to get this off my chest. Straight from the Schells website it puts this at 70 grain/30 corn. Therefor, shouldn't be a munich helles... whew... ok

A- Pours a clear yellow with faint sediment dancing around. The head is 1 finger in height, white, and short lived as it recedes down to a micro cap in about a minute.

S- Not a bad nose at all. I get notes of some hops, some graininess, a bit of nutmeg,caramel, some breadiness and sweet malt.

T- Starts out rather malty but a hoppy edge comes in to balance out the caramel and biscuit notes. The finish retains a bit of the caramel and grainy bread notes. I can't help but to gather bits of green apple skins on the finish.

M- Medium carbonation scrubs the palette in a delicate manner. The finish is long and actually has CHARACTER!

D- What a great beer. I tended to shy away from this beer as the deer just screamed macro, however, this turned out to be a nice sessionable beer with ample character for what it is.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.47/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear pale straw color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into nothing. The bready malt with soft hints of caramel. The taste is like the aroma. Malty and straight forward. The bodied is a little fuller than light bodied with appropriately high carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty good American Lager. I could drink this again on a hot day.

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Photo of hardy008
3.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pale in color much like a mass produced beer.

Smell - Presence of hops, not overpowering.

Taste - Hops and some sweetness are present.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and clean.

Drinkability - It would be easy to drink several of these in one session. Very drinkable.

Serving type - 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

August Schell Original pours a stiff white head over a clear yellow brew. Carbonation
is extremely active- those clouds of bubbles maintain a finger of head all through the
session. The nose is your basic macro brew corn and rice. The flavor is surprisingly
good- sure there's sweet corn up front, but there's also a bit of herbal hop in the finish,
and a little grain flavor in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, of course, but there's something
of the hop here, otherwise there would be no lacing at all. There's nothing special here, but
it's still a bit better than your run of the mill macros, and really, that's what counts. If you're gonna
get some swill for lawnmowing, stick with the fresh local stuff. Cheap, slammable, sessionable,
and for what it is, surprisingly good.

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Photo of daledeee
3.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has been my choice of "regular" beer. Not quite a macro. This is easy to drink.

The beer pours typical medium head and straw colored. Not much nose. Taste is a little hoppy any malty. Clean tasting, good cheap session beer. I was able to get this for $9.99 a case of cold bottles . It has fallen from favor recently in our area. Still able to get this at my old reliable great beer store. I still like this to drink when I am not in the mood to be critical.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.57/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle to a light yellow with thin white head that dissipated quickly and left little lacing. Aroma was grassy, grainy hops and the flavor followed suit, with just a touch of malty sweetness toward the end. Mouthfeel was thin and the finish was short and stale.

Not much better than the BMC’s and if this is the "flagship beer", I’m afraid this ship might sink.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Helles" indeed, pouring a bright and clear yellow, capped with a two-finger head that settles too quickly and leaves no lace.

Flowery hops and lemon in the nose, a little fruity...a very clean, uncomplicated aroma.

Flavors are flowery, lightly sweet, mild citrus fruit (esp. lemon), mild grains, a slight honey-ish stick to the finish.

Extremely light in the mouth without being thin or watery...pretty crisp...raised up by healthy carbonation.

It would be easy to knock this if you're looking for a big beer...but this isn't even trying to be a tastebud-ripper. This is good, solid and enjoyable for the's completely hitting the spot on this hot final day of August...and it's the best of the August Schell stuff I've had so far.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pilsner glass, the beer pours a pale gold with a very small white head. It smells like sweet malt, corn and citrusy hops. The taste isn't too strong, but it tastes mainly like malt and corn, with a slight bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light, but the beer is crisp and goes down easy. Overall, it's an OK beer. Nothing great, nothing awful.

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Photo of hanco005
3.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, marked 06158 and 00024676, poured into a pilsner glass

A—clear pale yellow with a ¾ inch fizzy white head that quickly dissolves to a thin sheet, no lacing produced by this one

S—sweet grains, some lemon notes, a bit sour as well

T—not as sweet as the smell, mild grains overall, not much in distinct flavor really, just a bunch of mild grain flavors blended together

M—a bit thin, light bodied, mild carbonation

D—not bad, but nothing outstanding. Easily drinkable in mass quantities if you are going for that.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.03/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat sweet malt aroma with some adjunct. Simple. Bit of sourness noted too.
Water clear. Straw yellow-gold. Big white noisy head that settles in moderate amount of time.
Simple malt character, not very sweet, but nicely flavored. It does show metallic qualities, which seems to come and go, but doesn't taste very good. Very mild bitterness from mid to finish, which also notes a somewhat more than mild dryness.
Nicely and appropriately carbonated, but somewhat filling. Appropriately thin, but not water like.
Goes down simple and easy. Doesn't warm up to badly. Rather give the money to Schells than others.

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Photo of hylton44
2.15/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow-whatever it is most others are seeing & tasting in this beer, I'm not. I'm halfway through a six-pack I got, and my opinion has not changed from the first one. It's a weak, pale straw color with a fizzy head. Smells "can-like" even after poured from a bottle into my pint glass. Grassy, grainy (adjunct-like), rather thin taste for what I was expecting. I would have preferred a little more substance and sweetness from the malts, and a bit more character from the hops. Aside from slightly more presence in my mouth, it was really hard to tell I'm not just drinking a Budweiser.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.57/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color, quite clear, with little head or lacing. I smell some malty sweetness, corn, ... and thats about all. Not at all very strong aroma, but still decently pleasant. Taste is nothing special or complicated, but I expect that out of lagers. Indeed, it is one of my least favorite styles of beer, but I can still tell that this is a decent lager. Bright, clisp and clean is how I'd discribe this beer. A good lager taste that fades quickly, which isn't so bad. When I first saw this when I poured it, I thought it'd be somewhat tasteless, flat, thin, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. Good taste, good body, good carbonation. So this doesn't score too high, but still its a quality beer. Schell lived up to my expectations... yay!

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Photo of alexgash
3.09/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale straw body with a fluff of fizzy white head. Grainy malt aromas with hints of sweetbread balanced against spicy, floral hops. Slight adjunct-tinged malt up front. Dry, with increasing cereal sweetness. Light metallic taste leads to a mildly bitter, clean finish. Light bodied lager with a dryish feel. Thirst-quenching, but rather boring. I'll take Grain Belt over this.

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Schell's Deer Brand from August Schell Brewing Company
3.23 out of 5 based on 145 ratings.
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