Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Old Style | Pabst Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Old StyleOld Style
BA SCORE
2.82/5
Poor
709 Ratings
Old StyleOld Style
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States
pabstbrewingco.com

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.64%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally called Golden Leaf Lager in the 1890’s, Old Style first appeared in local stores in 1902 and quickly became one of the region’s most widely enjoyed beers. It’s heritage and popularity are proudly displayed throughout Wisconsin and Illinois — one can’t go far without seeing a historically protected Old Style sign hanging on the side of a barn or in a tavern window.

Old Style first crossed state lines into Illinois to capitalize nationwide bottlers strike and subsequent product rationing by the competition. It wasn’t long before Old Style became Chicago’s beer – served from the North Side to the South Side and everywhere in between. Being accepted as a true local, Old Style began sponsoring the Chicago Cubs in 1950. With Old Style still being served at Wrigley Field today, the partnership is one of longest standing in the country.

In 2009, Old Style revived the centuries-old German brewing tradition called “Kraeusening.” This double fermentation process increases carbonation and richness, ultimately leading to a better tasting beer that has since been won medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 09-11-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#44,647
Reviews:
211
Ratings:
709
pDev:
26.24%
Bros Score:
3.65
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
124
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 709 |  Reviews: 211
Photo of OldSchoolMike
3.58/5  rDev +27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one on draft, at a sandwich joint, while sniffing out graduate schools in the early 1990's in Illinois. Ended up going to Purdue, another story. But I wish this one, an Illinois favorite, was more widely distributed. Not as awful as some suggest. Good for what it is: a classic AAL

 298 characters

Photo of tvenne
4/5  rDev +41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Octoberist
3.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of NorthernMichiganLogan
3.43/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a canned 12 pack of this at my local grocery store in my quest to try all the "old school" beer brands that Pabst now owns. I'm a big fan of lagers, so I figured this was going to be at least drinkable. Poured into a pint style beer mug. Pours with a big thick soppy looking head. The beer itself is a dark yellow color. Maybe a little bit darker than most other lagers but still very typical. Left a little bit of lacing in the glass. The beer smells very very sweet. I can smell sweet fruit, corn, sugar, light hops, and mash. It's a very pleasant smell overall. The taste of the beer is nothing special. It's very typical of other lagers. Lots of corn, malt, bitterness with a light touch of hops. The first one I drank I thought the ending was a bit like a corn whisky taste. As I drank the second beer that feeling went away. I realized that the beer had a very sweet and smooth finish. Overall, this is an easy drinking beer that goes down very smooth. Very typical of these style of lagers. Nothing special, but very poundable on a hot summer day, and thats what it's all about.

 1,091 characters

Photo of DoctorRobert1969
3.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

One of the better old school macros. Tastes like Chicago to me. Goes just fine with a dog or burger or nachos.

111 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Woof. Pours a weak AAL/malt liquor like stale yellow appearance and creates a head around 1/4" that has no realistic retention. Aroma of like, not much. Some feint cereal corn pop.

Taste, woof again, not much here. Not a real off flavor, but just not a lot of flavor in the way of hops, malt or yeast. Its mostly watery and this is one of the lower carbonated ones. Corn is the big driver. Has a metallic edge to it that gets even more pronounced the warmer and flatter the beer gets. Drinking the end of these gets dare worthy. Some mild sweetness from the corn usage methinks.

Ultimately its the Midwest cheap option american adjunct lager. That's what it is, and that is what it does. I got no expectations, much like the Rolling Stones said. Let's drink one at a sporting event Dr. Carroll.

 813 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This has been on my list for a while. Thanks to Joe for making dreams come true. Old Style is exactly what one would expect. However, it is in the top tier of AAL's, right up there with Narragansett and Coors. Peace out, Grabowski's.

 234 characters

Photo of Krusader
2.89/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of LucMcD17
3.41/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Hackattack
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This is not that bad...what do you expect for an adjunct? It IS better than most in that class for sure.

105 characters

Photo of Ri0
2.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of acurtis
2.32/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Photo of godawgs
2.84/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Jack_H_91
3.59/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of daliandragon
2.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

I have drank this many times, always while slumming it through the midwest. It is classic macrononsense, and not very good, but somehow inoffensive (the pee yellow color is pitch perfect) and silly poundable. That is basically the word here.

 243 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Brief impressions from a can purchased as part of a sixer at a Mariano's supermarket in Chicago, IL for $4.99 USD:

Clear pale copper body with a thin white cap atop. Head retention is above average - ~3-4 minutes.

Aroma is grainy with a cheap bend, hitting on 6-row but also adjunct...corn not rice in this case methinks. A blip of grassy hop character brings a bit more balance to it judging by the aroma. I'm not getting any diacetyl, DMS, acetaldehyde, brettanomyces, or (even) metallic off-flavour. I dig the graininess and I'm looking forward to trying it. Aromatic intensity is average. Suggests a full-bodied beer with sufficient flavour.

Taste is simple and shallow, with a nice grainy emphasis helping to cover the obvious adjunct (corn, I'd say), malt extract, and cheap 6-row. Grassy hops (I'd wager Noble) bring a blip of balancing bitterness into the mix, but for the most part this is a sweet lager. Could be better attenuated, but it's inoffensive and approachable for what it is. Not the most intricate or balanced beer, but it boasts better (i.e. less worse) depth of flavour than many beers in the budget lager category.

Smooth, wet, unrefreshing, medium-bodied, crisp, overcarbonated. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. But it's overly thick on the palate, flirting with a syrupy feel but not quite committing.

Old Style is an inoffensive lager with more body/less of a watery feel than many American adjunct lagers. It doesn't suffer from the syrupy sweet flavour observed in many of the budget beers (including, especially, malt liquors) it competes with, nor is there any overt off-flavour (not even the metallic note often found in budget canned beers). Within the budget beer category, Pabst's own Ballantine XXX would be my go-to, but comparing it more rigidly to other beers in the adjunct lager style, it's pretty middle-of-the-road, offering more balance and body at the expense of refreshment and drinkability. Schlitz Gusto is certainly preferable, as might be even Trader Joe's Simpler Times, but this is - for better or for worse - your typical expression of the American adjunct lager and I'd take it over many expressions thereof.

Not a bad ballpark, barbecue, or spicy pizza night brew, but it won't interest discerning drinkers and I doubt I'd willingly buy it again unless it was the only affordable option when out on the town.

Low D+ (2.31) / NOT RECOMMENDED

***
'Nother can:

D+ / NOT RECOMMENDED

 2,478 characters

Photo of HabaJohn
2.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of NWHopinator
3.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of BellinghamBiker
2.49/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Prager62
3.35/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A twelve ounce can dated best by Jul 17/17 poured in a pint style glass.

Look- Pours a very transparent pale gold leaving a finger of soapy white foam behind. It settles in quick fashion yielding no lacing. Tiny carbonation bubbles can be seen surfacing through this uber clean liquid.

Smell- Wet corn flakes, grass, mild perfume and malt.

Taste- Grass, floral/perfume esters, malt and a pleasant hop bite in the finish.

Feel- Crisp, clean and light with a slightly bitter finish.

Overall- I haven't had one in years and I'm pleasantly surprised how good it is. It's clean and easy drinking feel is punctuated by a slight hop bitterness that offsets the malt. No overt corn flavor or sweetness. This reminds me more of Schlitz Gusto which I really enjoy. I may have to grab the occasional six pack when my palate is burned out from the heavy hitters.

 860 characters

Photo of braican
2.39/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Photo of MinerBob
3.63/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer of "Better Call Saul" so I had to give it a try it's the typical lager not much to say about it it's crisp and clean with the regular lager look and feel. Every bit as good as Bud.

 189 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
2.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Chuckdiesel24
2.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of hophead98
3.91/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

one of my go to beer over the years.

36 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Style from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.82 out of 5 with 709 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.