F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.

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Lager - Adjunct
Ranked #383
Ranked #49,459
2.63 | pDev: 28.52%
F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States
View: Beers
Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 288 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

2.53/5  rDev -3.8%
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
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rvisual from Texas

3.22/5  rDev +22.4%
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
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1009 from Massachusetts

1.45/5  rDev -44.9%
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
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Tantonys from Maine

2.75/5  rDev +4.6%
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
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

2.86/5  rDev +8.7%
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
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Buckeye55 from North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -14.4%
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
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Qtaug from Massachusetts

1.45/5  rDev -44.9%
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
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +52.1%
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
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OldSchoolMike from North Carolina

3.47/5  rDev +31.9%
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
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daliandragon from Maryland

2.56/5  rDev -2.7%
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
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feuematt from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +14.1%
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
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kojevergas from Louisiana

2.16/5  rDev -17.9%
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
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A brief perusal of youtube comments tells me that septuagenarians who use the term "new age" derisively think this beer is awesome. To me, it joins the ranks of Natty Boh, Strohs, and Stag as Beers that Are Probably Just PBR in a Different Can.

Which is to say, it's not flavorless or bad so much as it just doesn't have any distinguishing characteristics. It might be a bit creamier than those other beers, but the grain and hop profile is basically identical.

And, please, spare me: this brewed by Pabst. It might not be listed in their official brand portfolio, but its website is identical to all the other acquired and neglected pabst retro brands. It's also brewed in the same facility. So... yeah, same okay product, different container.

Aug 18, 2016
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connecticutpoet from Connecticut

3.21/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Rating this against other examples of the STYLE, not trying to compare it to a Guinness or Westvleteren.

Appearance is pretty good, nice three finger rocky head on a light yellow body. Fine streams of bubbles rising. Head dies to a thin layer but never disappears.

Aroma is of corn and grains, but there is a hint of lager yeast. I'm looking for skunky hops and if I search I can find them but they are not prominent. Not too offensive at all.

Taste was of grains and adjuncts but what else do you expect? It's lightly bitter but not skunky in the slightest. A bit sweet as well. Not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is average, light carbonation on the tongue. Not oily or sticky as some corn adjuncts can do.

Overall, not my favorite style of beer by a long shot. But compared to Busch, Bud, and PBR, this one is better than most. If all that you have available are adjunct lagers, this one would be a good choice.

Apr 27, 2016
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vwbus7 from North Carolina

5/5  rDev +90.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As for me this is what beer has always been. When I was young this was beer. Of course I drank the imports and the micros when they came out and always said wow! Nope, it's not a trendy beer that the new age people think is great. If I was in a bar in the 70's or 80's and had tried an IPA I would of said wow that's different and interesting. I'll have another Schaefer please.

Feb 24, 2016
Photo of Pete9094
Pete9094 from Pennsylvania

2.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

It's the one beer when you're having more than one. At least that's the jingle I remember from my childhood. My old man used to buy quarts of this stuff many moons ago.

Not a bad choice. On par w PBR IMHO. Can easily see this as a good beach or tailgate beer.

Happy New Year to All!

Jan 01, 2016
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tillmac62 from South Carolina

2.88/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of the better variants of the style. Nothing offensive, nothing great either. Just a very well priced adjunct lager designed for mass consumption. If the Coneheads drank beer, this one would be it.

Sep 24, 2015
Photo of MishRodz
MishRodz from Puerto Rico

4.24/5  rDev +61.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm impressed with the renew version of this beer. I taste the version made at the brewery in Puerto. It's been like 30 years that this beer disappeared from the market.

Sep 10, 2015
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VABA from Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a straw color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has slight malt hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a slight malt flavor
M-A lifht bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent lager

Aug 16, 2015
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RonJensen from New York

1.45/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

From a can, poured into a glass. Aroma is kind of repulsive, it smells like something chemical or medicinal, combined with corn adjuncts.
Taste: A little too sweet, and again, you can taste something sour and medicinal, combined with corn and some hops, also, a little too carbonated.

Apr 21, 2015
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Urk1127 from New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

like the carbonation. left a grainy filmy feeling though. sweet from adjuncts. Corn. but not a terrible beer. pretty good. Would not buy again though.

Apr 08, 2015
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Philly_Dave from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +53.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Been drinking sch. for 40 years. Love the craft beers, but to me it's like mothers milk. Mommy!!!! What I like best is the wheaty taste. Unique among the macro beers. Also, at 16 I drank 2 six pax on a dare one nite...and I think that burned it into my taste buds

Mar 05, 2015
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ThomasMetal75 from Massachusetts

2.36/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

*Not going to go into too much detail here. It's 2015 now, and my beer is getting hard to drink.

A- If you've seen Pabst Blue Ribbon in a glass, that's what it looks like. Super clear and golden. Head dies quickly.

S- Smell has the standard beer smell. Wet papery, sweet, corn husk. Light pale malt. Nothing to write home about. Smells a lot like Pabst Blue Ribbon.

T- Same as smell. Standard beer type flavors. Sweet and corny. Very grainy, with the lightest touch of pale malt. There is a very, and I mean very, slight hint of hops that attempts to balance out the sweet flavor. The hops do not do their job very well if you ask me. Again, this is a standard beer flavor that is on the sweet side.

M- It drinks like a lager would drink. It's light. It's crisp, clean, and I could see how it refreshes. If you've been drinking during your New Years celebrations all night and then go to this, it probably won't taste all that great. That's the boat I'm in right now.

Overall, this beer isn't all that stellar. It's a middle of the road beer that struggles to be just an average lager. Nothing stands out here. It's on the sweet side, which is what I really dislike about it. I can only seem to find this beer in 40 ounce bottles in my area, so not too good if I don't want to drink that much (like right now). I'd say pass on Schaefer, unless you're into the American adjunct lager style.

Jan 01, 2015
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rev_jimmy from New York

2.47/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Schaefer Beer is an old, old lager. If you are on a budget, then this might be the beer for you. Schaefer's is cheap, which if you are living in the NYC area, finding a bargain is a treat.

Appearance - Schaefer's look like your standard American lager. Nothing fancy. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The Smell is not overpowering.

Taste - Slight bitterness. No overpowering corn taste or smell. Not sweet.

Overall - For a cheap, old school American Lager, Schaefer's is an unspectacular, but unoffensive beer. It is a reasonable choice if your have a day of lawn work. You can spend more and do better, but for what it is, Schaerfer's is ok.

Jul 20, 2014
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

1.95/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

LOOK: As the can tipped, the beer poured a mostly clear yellow with a large fizzy, quickly dissipating foam. Some lace is left behind. The clarity is poor, as there is some sediment that just doesn't belong in a AAL.

SMELL: Corn, hops, must, bread. It smells grainy which is a perfect precursor to all the flavor.

TASTE: In the taste, grain and processed stewed hops, a bit of corn, but not terribly offensive to those not easily offended. Has a fair amount of bitterness for the style, so hey, at least there's that.

FEEL: Light bodied with a stinging carbonation and dry cardboard in the finish.

OVERALL: This is fishing beer if you like drinking cheap beer whilst you fish. Possibly even a beer pong candidate. Anything else is not recommended.

Jun 11, 2014
Schaefer from F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 63 out of 100 with 288 ratings