Old Style
Pabst Brewing Company

Old StyleOld Style
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American Adjunct Lager
Ranked #214
Ranked #48,714
2.85 | pDev: 25.96%
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States
Old StyleOld Style
Notes: 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.
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Reviews: 230 | Ratings: 772 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of backintime
3.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Once deemed as 'Chicagoland's finest beer' Old Style was the beer of the Chicago Cubs for many years. This beer can be found in different places throughout the Midwest in 30 packs or less. I've only had this in cans and have never seen a bottle. Would love to try it on tap. I've noticed in some cans you will get a heavier bready/yeast smell than others. I do like the bready smell which makes me think of a bakery. The lacing is mid to none, but the taste will be basically the same which is corn, malt, and just a little morsel of hop. Overall, Old Style is very easy to go down and a good choice if available.

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Photo of ASKasten
1.12/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

If you want cheap, bottom of the barrel, and/or something to drink when you’ve lost your tastebuds then this is for you.

FYI this beer’s origin is Chicago, not California. So drink it for nostalgic purposes, not for taste.

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Photo of Sip_n_Slam
3.82/5  rDev +34%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

God, what a beer. For much less than the price of your run of the mill AALs, this over delivers with a creamy mid-palate (due to double fermentation), doughy adjunct character, and just the perfect amount of hops to keep it refreshing and inviting of another or three. Only have access to cans where I am but can't wait to try from glass and tap. Cheers.

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Photo of RichardWeed
2.39/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This is the beer we drank as kids in Maryland in the late 70's. You got thirty six bottles for the price of 24. It was netter than Red, White and Blue. Barel, but it did what we needed it to do. You and two friends could get in trouble with your parent or parents depending on your home life for less than $10.00. What is better than that when you are twelve?

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RichardWeed from Illinois, Sep 22, 2019
Photo of Brook82
2.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I didn't want to like this beer, but truth be known, I have worse. Little aroma, quick vanishing head, high carbonation. A bit watery feel, taste was shallow, unoffensive, perfect for slamming one after another on a hot day. Lacks any hop character or aftertaste. It's your run of the mill AAL, nothing more, nothing less.

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Photo of mngermanshepherd
3.61/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growing up in northern Wisconsin (just off Lake Superior), I saw Old Style bar signs as well as at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

Found this on a whim, never tasted it before. Cracked a can open, first smell was a very doughy/yeasty aroma. Delicious. Flavor was light, not filling but tasty. 30 pack for $17, will buy again.

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Photo of defunksta
3.09/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a typical golden lager color
Aroma: Aroma of classic bread malts, but mostly corn.
Taste: Mostly corn and bread malts. Minimal hop and malt flavor. A typical American lager.
Feel: Light and crisp. No astringency.

Overall: This is your average American lager. Lots of corn adjuncts. Little flavor. Nothing remarkable.

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defunksta from Illinois, Apr 27, 2019
Photo of Buck89
3.36/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear pale straw color with a modest white head that promptly departed. Aroma was mostly modest notes of bread and corn. Clean tasting with a modest bready malt flavor that was balanced by a floral hop presence. Nothing earth shattering, but IMO better than most cheap AALs out there.

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Buck89 from Tennessee, Mar 27, 2019
Photo of Buckeye55
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Midwest staple back in the day. I do recall liking this one a good bit. Spent some time around Chicago and remember watching plenty of Cubs games in bars, that always seemed to have this one on special. A good average rated beer. GO CUBS, not really I'm a Bronx Bomber fan.

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Buckeye55 from North Carolina, Jan 24, 2019
Photo of brent516
4.18/5  rDev +46.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Love Old Style. Loved it for 45 years in fact. First heard about it in college from WLS 89 in Chicago.
I like lots of diffrrent beers, but there's nothing like slammin' a few OS's over summer barbecues or just shootin' the bull on a hot, humid August night.
Crisp, balanced, and brewed in God's country.
What more could you ask for?

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brent516 from Colorado, Jan 18, 2019
Photo of beersampler6
3.35/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is not too shabby at all! A nice easy drinking AAL which goes down very clean and crisp. Enjoyed a pint on draft at a local gastropub. Clean clear golden color with a little white head and no lacing. Smells of corn, grain, a little hoppiness and a good hit of malt. Taste follows the nose, but much cleaner than the usual AAL offerings. No skunkiness and no bitter aftertaste. Smooth thin mild mouthfeel, good carbonation. Definitely sessionable and would be great in the backyard during a BBQ or hot summer day. Reminds me a lot of PBR, which is no surprise.

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beersampler6 from Michigan, Jan 09, 2019
Photo of darkfalz
3.04/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I like cheap beers. While not the greatest it's not so terrible that I won't ever buy it again.

A light yellow color. Smell has a hint of skunkiness. However it is very easy to drink. Not overly carbonated and the taste is very light.

This is a good backyard cookout or after mowing the lawn beer. Also works great as a chaser.

While not my favorite, it has earned a spot in my regular beer fridge stock rotation.

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darkfalz from Kentucky, Sep 29, 2018
Photo of Alchemistbbc
4.25/5  rDev +49.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a darn thing out of place with this. EASY drinking (yes, boring) beer. Smmovvvve. I mean, there’s not really a “nuanced” balance of flavors here, but who wants to struggle through a bunch of weird flavors? It doesn’t taste “bad” it tastes like an AAL. Will definitely drink again. Looks like this is physically brewed in LaCrosse, WI, although the P/O Box is Milwaukee & the name is owned by Pabst. Whatever, doesn’t really matter. Will drink the 12 just purchased, will purchase again.

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Alchemistbbc from Wisconsin, Sep 01, 2018
Photo of gatornation
3.55/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had a pour of this today at soon to be closed Vadnais Inn, pours are only $1 here Typical AAL clear yellow color with corn and barley. mouth fell had slight crispness . For the style it good its an AAL would have again for sure.

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gatornation from Minnesota, Jun 03, 2018
Photo of cardfan212
4.28/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 ounce can. Scores based on the style.

Look - I love the Old Style crest, it just looks great. Also, unlike other AALs, the can isn't cluttered with a bunch of words. Instead, some nice etching drawing things are spread across the can and look really nice. I love this can.

Smell - A strong malt sweetness with some resiny hops hidden in there. For once, an AAL doesn't just smell like the adjuncts.

Taste - Sweet malts with a bit of corn bolstering in the beginning, a nicely bitter finish. Doesn't stick around too long, it's a quick taste. Rather balanced and enjoyable.

Feel - The usual thin body with an appropriately moderate carbonation. Drinks nice and easily.

Overall - My personal favorite macro lager. It's just a well-rounded beer that really has no bad aspects. Can sometimes be tough to find, but when you do find it, it is usually pretty cheap.

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cardfan212 from Minnesota, May 20, 2018
Photo of losthusker
3.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sick of the Bud miller coors bs, but not in the craft mood either? This stuff right here is the antidote. Smells and tastes like the end of a long day, and a dimly lit neighborhood dive bar. Thankfully, this does not have the sickly sweet taste of PBR (which is kind of a concern because they do brew this) but rather leans toward bitter which is sort of how beer should be in my world anyway. Oh and it's savor-able cold, and poundable before it gets to warm. The quintessential working mans libation. Cheers!

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losthusker from Nebraska, Mar 03, 2018
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.87/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

16 ounce can - Charlie's Beer & Wine in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, light yellow-hued body with a fizzy, white head that steadily recedes to near nil.

Smell: Lightly grainy cereal nose with some scattered corny hints. With some warmth, a faroff hint of loose change retrieved from a car cupholder.

Taste: A light lingering graininess throughout, it never gets particularly sweet, though there's a slight corny muskiness about it. Minute bitterness. As it warms, it picks up some metallic, industrial-type tastes, so don't fiddle around with drinking this thing, people - cold and fast - don't do what I did and lose focus, goofing around with Spotify, playing with (Ohio) the dog and scoping out online recipes to determine the viability of making your own pickles. Again, cold and fast! Thinning, watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: All told, it's pretty bland (and once it warms, starts to become a bit bleagh), it does not beat my cheap-o beep-o option, Hamm's.

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Photo of WickedBeer
1.81/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Had to seize this opportunity, my first and maybe my only chance to drink like Frank Gallagher.

A wonderful carbonated piss yellow with frothy white head and thin lace. So far so good.

Typical light lager aromas of pale malts, slight bitterness, and corn. Super mellow, grainy.. I’m not even sure I know how to rate beers so 1-dimensional. But I love it. Not the beer, the experience.

Ahhh, yes. Imagine you ordered a club soda from the bar. You walk back to your table and don’t notice the drunken fellow walking toward you with a bottle of Natural Ice. He bumps into you, spilling a little bit of his beer into your glass. Unknowingly, you apologize and take a sip of your beer. Voila! You just tasted Old style! Sweet, corny, pale malts present, slightly tinny... delish.

The one consistently redeeming quality of light lagers. They’re crushable. Crisp, light, overly carbonated. Nothing more to add.

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WickedBeer from Alabama, Jan 24, 2018
Photo of OldSchoolMike
3.58/5  rDev +25.6%
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

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OldSchoolMike from North Carolina, Dec 13, 2017
Photo of NorthernMichiganLogan
3.43/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.76/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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PatrickCT from Connecticut, Nov 21, 2017
Photo of daliandragon
2.91/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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daliandragon from Maryland, Aug 16, 2017
Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -15.4%
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.


'Nother can:


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kojevergas from Colorado, Aug 04, 2017
Photo of Prager62
3.35/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Prager62 from Colorado, Jun 04, 2017
Old Style from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 67 out of 100 with 772 ratings