Schaefer | F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.

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271 Ratings

Brewed by:
F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 08-21-2001

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Ratings: 271 |  Reviews: 130
Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.58/5  rDev +37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.17/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of brewnme
2.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of ShepardCommander
2.75/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of OldSchoolMike
3.47/5  rDev +33%
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.

 253 characters

Photo of daliandragon
2.56/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 760 characters

Photo of feuematt
3/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 168 characters

Photo of fthegiants
1.5/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Photo of Johncnh
3.39/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kojevergas
2.16/5  rDev -17.2%
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:


 3,606 characters

Photo of bigred89
2.5/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of JLK7299
1/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of mikr
1/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of golfjs12
4.58/5  rDev +75.5%
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.

103 characters

Photo of mynie
3/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

 752 characters

Photo of wejohnsn
1.99/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Photo of cavilier24
3.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light, easy drinking, affordable, perfect for a hot day, or all day drinking.

78 characters

Photo of Squire
2.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.21/5  rDev +23%
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.

 921 characters

Photo of tpeters
3.28/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheSaint728
1.7/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Brew_ski
1.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of vwbus7
5/5  rDev +91.6%
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.

 378 characters

Photo of Pete9094
2.74/5  rDev +5%
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!

 287 characters

Photo of Zylod
2.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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Schaefer from F & M Schaefer Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 2.61 out of 5 with 271 ratings