F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.

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F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
American Adjunct Lager
Ranked #224
Ranked #30,104
2.64 | pDev: 28.41%
Nov 30, 2022
Aug 21, 2001
Notes: None
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Photo of rojoes
Rated by rojoes from New York

2.86/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Your value priced lawn mowing beer.
Nov 30, 2022
Rated: 3.51 by Hazey92 from New York

May 21, 2022
Rated: 2.53 by Campodog from Spain

May 19, 2022
Photo of bigdeuce
Reviewed by bigdeuce from Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3
This isn’t bad for an adjunct lager. It looks like p*ss and smells similar. Has a corniness on the nose and a bright yellow color. It tastes good, though. Very smooth and not cloying. Can’t beat it for $17.49 a 30 pack!
Feb 12, 2022
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
310 ml can (10.5 oz). Label says "Puerto Rico" on it, not sure why as the label also indicates it was brewed in Milwaukee.

drank on the beach in St John USVI so all that mattered was that it was wet and cold. not much more to say, very mild pale malt flavor, thin and fizzy mouthfeel.
Jan 18, 2022
Rated: 2.31 by LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

Nov 27, 2021
Rated: 2.79 by Wilkolaczek94 from Connecticut

May 06, 2021
Photo of hankp59
Reviewed by hankp59 from New York

2.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25
Light refreshing, for tinted water, and very mild. This thing drinks quick, inoffensive, and utterly forgettable. There is nothing off here just simple light lager. If you’re hot and thirsty go for it.
Sep 26, 2020
Photo of JohnniEMc
Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

2.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5
A 12 oz. can poured into a clear pint glass shows a very pale straw colored, almost clear liquid. There's very little head, glass lacing, nor aroma. There is some taste, but it's mostly yeasty. Considering the category, at least there is some taste. This brand probably tasted better decades ago. The Puerto Rican version definitely was.
Sep 08, 2020
Photo of rvisual
Reviewed by rvisual from Texas

3.22/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
**Mandatory discussion based on trying a few 6-packs years in the past.

Schaefer was one of the brews available from regional brewers when I lived in Madison WI from 1973-78. IMO even that many years ago, Schaefer was not that popular b/c there were too many other options available and the taste and smell were for diehard fans only.

Around 1977 or so, Miller Lite came on the local scene and took a huge market away from the regional brews like Schaefers.
Aug 27, 2020
Photo of DCH
Rated by DCH from New York

4.47/5  rDev +69.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
The best AAL on the market.
Apr 02, 2020
Rated: 3.01 by nater919 from New York

Mar 23, 2020
Rated: 3.18 by Blogjackets from Ohio

Mar 20, 2020
Photo of 1009
Reviewed by 1009 from Massachusetts

1.45/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75
Tastes like the metal bleachers of the stadium that used to bear its name. Literally any other beer would be better than this. The one beer to have when you’re having more than one. No thanks. I’ll have none.
Feb 17, 2020
Rated: 3.45 by SargeC from California

Jan 20, 2020
Photo of Tantonys
Reviewed by Tantonys from Maine

2.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75
Drank a lot in college, stole a lot from my Dad. 4.6% great session brew! None of the floral I remember. Rather corny taste, decent bitter. Ok for cheap beer.
Nov 06, 2019
Photo of Kthorsland
Rated by Kthorsland from New Jersey

4.94/5  rDev +87.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I grew up in the ‘70s with all my family enjoying Schaefer and it is still the favorite beer of my extended family. Great beer!
Jun 13, 2019
Photo of jrc1093
Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

2.86/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
Best by 7/22/19

Pours a golden straw topped with an ample thick white foam; slowly receding retention leaves layers of splotchy lacing and a fading cap and collar.

Aromas show muddled grainy notes and some fresh straw with a minor corn sweetness almost overshadowed entirely by an oncoming presence of grassy hops; bouquet has a quiet pop to it.

Taste lots of grain and a light honeyed sweetness throughout the profile, while grassy hops come in late to give a rounded quality; finishes quickly with hints of a somewhat unpleasant metallic tone lingering.

Mouthfeel holds a light body that holds nicely until the back end, where it becomes a bit watery; smooth carbonation with a progressive prickle on the palate and a decent crispness overall; finish thins and fades quickly.

Solid, essentially inoffensive AAL with a developing grain character and reinforcing hoppy prickle; somewhat inconsistent overall to be a go-to, but I'd have no problem returning to this one if the situation called for it.
May 29, 2019
Photo of Buckeye55
Reviewed by Buckeye55 from North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25
Another high school and college era beer. Was never the first, second or even third choice. But it was readily available and cheap. Again, not the worst i've drank, but easily closer to the bottom than the top.
Apr 19, 2019
Photo of Qtaug
Reviewed by Qtaug from Massachusetts

1.45/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5
If I am looking to quench a thirst and only beer will do, I will drink it. My cheap brother in law keeps a few six packs in the garage fridge, so I am occasionally forced to drink it when me and the missus swing by...... If you want bland, this is YOUR beer!
Mar 10, 2019
Rated: 2.69 by hophead37 from Alabama

Jan 31, 2019
Rated: 3.32 by Corkykab from New Jersey

Jan 30, 2019
Rated: 2.5 by KMcGrath from Massachusetts

Dec 04, 2018
Photo of MoreBeer4me
Reviewed by MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Been drinking this on and off longer than I care to remember. It tastes like "BEER". And that's a good thing. Schaefer is one of those beers I'll have as my first beer of the day along with being one of my backyard beers. Can't beat $8.50 for a 12 pack. Get some!
Oct 02, 2018
Rated: 2.5 by Mississippi from Virginia

Sep 03, 2018
Rated: 3.65 by CrimeDog from New York

Aug 25, 2018
Rated: 3.58 by AZBeerDude72 from Arizona

Apr 14, 2018
Rated: 3.17 by VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

Jan 04, 2018
Rated: 2.49 by brewnme from Maine

Dec 29, 2017
Rated: 2.75 by ShepardCommander from Virginia

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of OldSchoolMike
Reviewed by OldSchoolMike from North Carolina

3.47/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Another beer that defined the look, taste, and smell of "beer" for me back in my twenties. I drank a lot of this in college, when it was the cheapest beer that tasted decent. Once again, can't find it anymore around here, but I would buy it if I could.
Dec 13, 2017
Photo of daliandragon
Reviewed by daliandragon from Maryland

2.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
So this is the famous Schaefer Beer, which my dad used to sell in his New York bar in the seventies but now is brewed in far off Wisconsin. Yay corporations?

Schaefer actually pours well and looks good, with legit head and lace, even for a non macro. Nose is corny and grainy.

Broad, grainy flavor with a touch of noble hops, but not much. Heavy texture, but not too carbonated. This is basic, blue collar beer, the kind of which working people have quaffed in this country and the old world for hundreds of years. It is also macro produced, corporate nonsense. Glad I tried a local legend but at eighty cents a twelver more than Natty Boh and almost a buck and a half more than PBR, probably not going to be gracing my fridge again anytime soon.
Oct 21, 2017
Photo of feuematt
Reviewed by feuematt from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
I know the macros are not a favorite on this site but I do enjoy going to one from time to time. I would say this your average macro nothing great but not awful either.
May 28, 2017
Rated: 1.5 by fthegiants from California

May 25, 2017
Rated: 3.39 by Johncnh from New Hampshire

May 06, 2017
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Reviewed by Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

2.16/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
How many beers currently on the market have as much history as Schaefer? Unfortunately, that rich history led to it being brewed by Pabst, ripping it from the Brooklyn beer scene. Still, some brands acquired by Pabst (e.g. Ballantine) remain impressive (at least for their price), so I'm optimistic going in.

A 12 pack cost me $10.49 plus tax and deposit at a beer distributor in NYC. The box is pretty nondescript, relying on its now diluted brand instead of playing up the retro vibe. Still, there's an old-timey straightforwardness to the (lack of) marketing that endears me to it, evoking a sort of "your grandfather's brand" vibe.

The can is just as nondescript, its only graphic design flourish the placement of the beer's name inside a red oval. "America's oldest lager beer" (I guess Yuengling's lawyers are looking the other way on this one). "Established in the United States 1842." 12 fl oz format. Standard pull-tab.

APPEARANCE: Clean depleted copper body. Off-white fizzy head. Retention is poor given the ABV - maybe 1 minute.

Dull and sad in appearance, lacking any vibrance or life. But it's filtered and yeast-free.

AROMA: Corn adjunct. Pils malts. 2-row barley. A hint of syrupy sweetness.

Corn dominates. Some grassy hop aromatics or some graininess would be nice; this bends a bit too sweet, suggesting an imbalanced brew. Still, the aroma suggests it has more body than your standard thin watery adjunct lager, so I guess....I'm hopeful?

Aromatic intensity is low. No off-notes are detectable, nor is any overt booze.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Syrupy sweet throughout, though it does hit on a blip of graininess right on the finish that's a little more dry. Elsewise, it's medium-bodied, syrupy, overly thick and lumpy for an adjunct lager, and unrefreshing. Smooth and wet until the finish. Overcarbonated, though not as egregiously so as many adjunct lagers.

It's inoffensive in terms of taste, but that requires you to get past the syrupy sticky mouthfeel (which is a tall order). Not grainy enough, with sweet corn adjunct leading the pack (and the rest of the dogs in that pack are all tired sick hounds: stale 2-row, generic pale malt). Water is minerally and seems a bit hard for an adjunct lager.

No real hop flavours whatsoever; I search for the usual blip of grassy hop flavour but it's absent.

I'll take a watery thin body over a syrupy sticky one like this 9 times out of 10. To say this is simple and shallow is an understatement; it's one of the most neutral beers on the market...and therein may lie (or have lay) its appeal. It's drinkable and dull, not demanding one's attention. I guess it wouldn't distract from food, and might pair well with spicy Mexican food that would blast your palate with chili heat anyway.

OVERALL: Giving credit where it's due, there are no off-flavours here; it's not metallic, I find no DMS/diacetyl/brettanomyces/acetaldehyde, and the alcohol isn't overt. In that sense, "inoffensive" may be the biggest compliment I can give it. But inasmuch as budget macrolagers go, I'd opine most drinkers are better off going with Rolling Rock, Miller High Life, or the like (assuming one wouldn't cross into budget ale territory with Ballantine, Gennesee, or the like). I'm impressed Pabst can brew this consistently on the scale they do, but it's far from amongst the best beers in the style.

I tip my hat to the brand's history, but this won't attract casual drinkers or discerning drinkers, and is best left on shelves to let the brand continue dying its slow death.


2nd impression:

May 04, 2017
Rated: 2.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Mar 27, 2017
Rated: 1 by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Dec 20, 2016
Rated: 1 by mikr from New Jersey

Nov 15, 2016
Photo of golfjs12
Rated by golfjs12 from New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +73.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
A smooth traditional American lager. Nice flavor with no harsh after taste. Slightly creamy but subtle.
Sep 15, 2016
Schaefer from F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 63 out of 100 with 296 ratings