Old Style | Pabst Brewing Company

203 Reviews
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Old StyleOld Style

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 684
Photo of metter98
2.61/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle at ORD Terminal C, Chicago, IL

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short bright white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light to moderate aromas of adjunct malts are present in the nose—corn seems to stand out in particular.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has flavors of corn adjuncts but there is no associated sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down easily and seems to be a slight cut above the common adjunct lagers.

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Photo of emerge077
2.92/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

20 oz. plastic cup at Wrigley, thanks Aaron!

Pale gold, thin skim of foam and some lacing as it's sipped.
Aroma is swilly, wet grains with that unmistakeable lager yeast tang.
Taste has a light bite, fairly tasteless with wisps of cereal grain.
Crisp finish, somewhat watery feel. Overall it's average to below average.
Still a classic staple of Chicago nostalgia, memories of dive bars, backyard bbq's, Cubs games etc.

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Photo of zeff80
2.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a clear, fizzy, bright yellow color with a fizzy, bubbly, small, white head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of grains and adjuncts. Not much else there.

T - It tasted fairly sweet and of corn and grains. Not offensive, but not great either.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A smooth easy drinking lager.

D - This is an okay lager. I could see it being very good at a Cubs game.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Old Style. It takes me back to Chicago when I was going to Siebel in '95. I was more interested in trying all of the different stouts from Bell's myself, but my friends back-home wanted this so I bought a case. I got some Huber Bock in returnable bottles as well, but I digress...

Old Style is an average brew at best, possibly 'better-then-than-now' - but also possibly 'better-now-than-then' - it's hard to say as it's a fairly straightforward American adjunct lager.

It pours the typical golden body beneath a short head of short-lived bright white foam. Lacing is average at best. Generic beer nose with a hint of apple thrown in. Light-medium in body. Crisp with bristling bubbles. Bitterness that just bumps the malt. A smear of leafy hop flavor. Generic beer finish.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.1/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if it's possible to get more 'old school' than the combatants in Macro Smackdown XIV. In spite of its name, Old Style Beer is a relative newcomer (1902) compared to Hamm's (1865). I've been looking for Old Style for a while now and finally found a can in a roadside convenience store in Illinois. Little did I know that it's available in Des Moines. Lucky me.

Pale maize with an impressive number of fine bubbles leading up to a barely off-white head that isn't great and isn't lousy. It's amazing how similar these two look. Other than a slightly better head texture and minimally more lace with this one, they're identical.

The noses are pretty close as well. Old Style is pleasant in its own way. It's pure, simple and freshly grain-like with a whiff of hops. Unlike the appearance, I think the difference is enough in this case to warrant different scores.

These are both pretty good macro lagers. Unlike just about everything coming from BMC, there's no hint of nastiness to my palate. To be safe, though, I'd still drink them on the cold side. The flavor profile follows the nose directly. Untoasted grain with a light sweetness, floral hops with a light spiciness.

The mouthfeel in both cases is exactly as it should be. I'm pleased to see that, despite their lightness, they don't descend into wateriness on the finish. A spirited amount of carbonation keeps the mouth party humming and keeps the grain-flavored burps coming fast and furious.

Against all odds, I like both Old Style and Hamm's. I know, I know, they can't hold a candle to just about anything coming out of Belgium, but then it's unfair to judge them alongside beer that is so vastly different in construction and purpose. Old Style Beer is the winner of Macro Smackdown XIV by a nose (literally). Hamm's, however, has nothing to be ashamed of. Well done Pabst.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.46/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for the tick, Bobby.

A: The pour is an extremely light yellow color with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S: An incredibly sweet and sugary nose, much more so than most adjunct lagers. Lots of metallic notes though, almost like a faceful of coins.

T: Not quite as metallic flavor-wise, but still there. Very sugary and sweet with a moderate amount of corn. Not really any hop flavor to speak of, but I'm not at all surprised.

M: The body is incredibly light, but not really watery. The carbonation is moderate.

D: Too metallic on the nose and really, really sweet. But the flavor isn't as offensive as it could have been. Score one in the moral victory column.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.63/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Michael Shea's shaker pint glass.

If I hear one more commercial about how kraeusening makes things better, I'm gonna freak out. Deep breath. This bit pours a clear jaundice topped by a quickly-dying half-finger of white foam. The nose comprises light flowers, grass, fake coriander, and what may or may not be wheat. (I honestly can't tell...) The taste holds notes of mild wheat and hops, lemon zest, and a lot of rather hard water. The body is very light, with a fizzy carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, a fizzy weakling of a beer, but very easy to down quickly (if one so desires).

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Photo of woodychandler
3.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

CANtastic! I scored a sixer of the 2009 Cubs/Vines CANs during a layover in CHI at the beginning of the week. Today, I have WGN on, watching the Cubbies whomp up on my Buccos, so Old Style is definitely a fitting beer.

It began with a finger of bone-white head, but quickly fell to mere wisps. Color was a sunshine yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was somewhat sweetish with the standard cereal quality. Mouthfeel was effervescent and mildly sweet. Finish was moderately sweet, but tasty. I like this for its nostalgic quality. I would routinely drink it at Union Station in CHI when passing through and on a couple of trips, made a case a carry-on prior to 9/11. Yeah, it's Stone's "fizzy yellow beer" but of some of the American Adjunct Lagers that I have drank in a CAN, this was passable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.46/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There's a lot of malty sweetness on this one. And even though it reminds me of Harar (from Ethiopia), I still feel like it's a bit too much when it comes down to it, but it's a just barely kinda thing. But still it's smooth, overall. Very little grain tones hit you, and when they do, it's much later on. For an adjunct, this isn't all that bad really. I mean, I doubt I'm going to run out and make it my standard, but for the experience and price, it's not too shabby.

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Photo of Tone
2.75/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale yellow. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and poor lacing throughout. Smells of adjunct, yeast, and pale malt. Fits the style of an american adjunct lager. Smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes mostly of adjunct, then yeast, and slight pale malt. Not a real great beer but better than other american adjunct's I've had.

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Photo of tempest
3.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a plastic cup from a 16 oz. can.

Damn, this is the best macro I've ever had. If you're into the style, this beer has a great balance of flavors. Now we're talking about sour barley, a bit of corn, and a hint of hops, but nothing stands out as offensive and the flavors work together, along with a lemon flavor, to make a decent beer.

You know, I think I actually might have enjoyed this beer. And I don't know if I've ever said that about a macro before.

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Photo of tone77
3.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to woodychandler for yet another canned beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a very pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains and corn. Taste is rather mild, some grains and malts are present. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick fizzy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light, pale malt and adjunct scent along with a dry lager yeast aroma. It's crisp and clean. The taste is average. It has a dry pale malt taste. It's very light and easy drinking, but lacks the flavor that an all malt lager has. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an above average macro lager. I like the aroma and taste. There's nothing exceptional about it, but it drinks well anyway.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.68/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can, best by January 2nd 2017.

Typical straw yellow colour? Minimal head of foam, short lasting

Corny grainy smell

Same for the taste but hells, I appreciate it for its simplicity and quaffability.

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Photo of TX-Badger
2/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden color with white head. Cereal grains on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with more cereal grains. One dimensional.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.23/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It's the color of cider. Fizzy white head. Carbonation bubbles rise quickly. Aroma is faintly sweet and corny. A little grainy, but nothing that's hardly even noticeable. Pretty fizzy in the mouth. Body is about medium or so. Not bad for a macro. The taste is just plain ass bland. Not a lot about it. Sweetness is really subdued. Dry, grainy notes are barely perceptible. And the aftertaste, what there is of it, is none too pleasing. I've had better macoswill in my day.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16oz can into an awesome plastic cup at the Cubs game...The beer pours a super clear medium straw. Good light white head with decent retention...The aroma is light with a hint of skunk...The taste gets rid of the skunk mostly replaced by malt. A surprising malty start for a marco, sweet caramel, but a light skunk finish. Easy drink mbetter than most macros.

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Photo of ZAP
2.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Straw colored with a little white lace sitting on top...Corn adjunct on the nose...easy drinking with a smooth, creamy texture...flavor is subdued grains with just a kiss of hops...really not a bad beer..a tich below my top Macro's of High Life, Point, Pabst, and Grain Belt Premium, but in the next rung with Coors, Schlitz, and Hamms(another underrated old label), and Stroh's...

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Photo of dirtylou
3.15/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz can, from an 18 pack bought for 8.99 at woodmans

Its a shame the BA photo is that of a 40...I prefer it out of the annual "cubs can" myself

appearance: pours a pale golden-straw color, fluffy white head with very little lacing on the rim...very clear and shining

smell: thin malt, corn, light sweetness, very familiar aroma

taste: Old Style and Pabst are really the only 2 american macros's I would ever purchase these days and I give the edge to old style. Went down to chicago to watch the cubs lose last weekend and had to get a 'teener of old style to fill the gaps between bars. the flavour is thin, and has a big corn presence, nice sweetness... a good macro lager

mouthfeel: thin, watery...but for the style pretty defined

drinkability: all day long

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
1.99/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz can in a pilsner glass. May0310 printed on the bottom. No info.

I got this can from my friend Damon after sharing a bottle of Inferno Ale with him. His response to my "thank you" was, "Seriously? This is the worst trade you've ever done." He's right.

A - The tall pour into the pilsner glass lets off a tall white head of about three fingers. Loosely packed but retained pretty well, the head leaves some serious lace on the glass. Like a typical adjunct the beer is a clear light pale yellow.

S - Plain husky straw and corn graininess with minimal malt presence and no hops at all. Yep, a typical adjunct lager aroma.

T - Water, grainy pale malts barely even make an appearance through the dry straw and lame corn.

M - Thin and almost completely watered down, Old Style is bland, over-carbonated, and slick on the palate.

D - The only excuse to ever consume Old Style is when you must, with no exceptions, have a beer at a Chicago Cubs game. Sure, But is available but who would chose that?

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Photo of morimech
3.77/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very pale straw color with a small white head that quickly disapears. A little lacing is evident.

Smell is heavy adjuncts. A little sweet malt is also detected. It does not have a horrible smell like some macro lagers, just low key.

Things get better with the taste. Well balanced by not having a sweet corn or rice taste. Finishes crisp and clean.

Light bodied and fizzy carbonation but it is nice and not harsh.

A very clean tasting macro. Easy drinking and refreshing. Not as hoppy as some of the retro beers that are making a comeback but it is very even. I use to drink a lot of this 20 years ago and I can see myself buying more and making this my macro standard. I just won't bother pouring it into a glass again.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from twenty four ounce tallboy can into a pint glass.

Pours a brilliantly clear golden yellow with a puffy white head of foam. Said head is short lived, and there is eventually nothing. See through. Smell is corn adjunct. Nothing special.

Taste is clean crisp easy drinking lager. Goes down smooth and creamy. Nice buzz in the mouthfeel. Tasty enough for a clean lager.

Hey, it's not remarkable - but it's easy drinking and good enough. Better than bmc for sure.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This poured a light, pretty yellow in color with a good white head that actually showed some retention.

Smell - The grain is huge at the nose. This is probably the biggest AL aroma that I've had on an American macro. It's a bit on the stale side but not at all rotten like many examples I've had. The traditional Pabst sweetness is also absent which works well here.

Taste - The grain flavor is very even at the taste helping this one go down nicely. I can't really find anything offensive in it which is an accomplishment for the style. And again there is no putrid sweetness which makes this a standout.

Mouthfeel - This light-bodied lager is very smooth in the mouth with some soft carbonation. The carbs in particular are well done. They are soft with terrific texture and not at all fizzy.

Drinkability - I was impressed with this effort from Pabst. It has a nice flavor, nothing offensive, but the feel in the mouth is what makes this a stand out.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.2/5  rDev +7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - This beer is straw colored and crystal clear. It is topped with an inch of white head.

S - I get malt aroma. It's kind of like milled grain.

T - The taste has a boiled corn flavor.

M - Thin

O - The one good thing about the rust belt breweries is that they actually have a little flavor. This one didn't taste as good as the last one, but my last one was at Wrigley watching the Reds shutout the Cubs. That one tasted sweet!

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.38/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle, with a best by date of May 27, 2013. "New and improved" or the "original recipe" I don't know and I guess I don't really care. Shameful that I wasn't around to try this beer when it was first released, when it was probably brewed with some heart, soul, and better quality ingredients. Either way, I needed to break a ten dollar bill, so I was united with a $5.39 six pack of Pabst Old Style. The biggest revelation to me was probably that Old Style is actually a Pabst product, which I didn't know until last night. Without further ado...

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a half finger of quickly dissipating white fizz. Clear, pale, golden lager color. Pretty typical of the style. No lacing, but tons of thin streams of bubbles rushing to the top.

S - Smell is grainy. Corn. Wheat. Straw. Yeast. Some alcohol astringency.

T - Corn. Cereal grains. Kind of a corn syrupy sweetness, I guess it would be. Very crisp, clean, and light bodied. Light carbonation.

M - Feel is light, crisp, and clean. Slight sweetness lingering, but it doesn't taste offensive or harsh in any way.

Overall, a cheap, light bodied, easy sipping beer with a low 4.72% abv. Nothing remarkable, but nowhere near as offensive as some lesser examples of this style like Bud Light and Miller Lite. Haven't drank a Pabst Blue Ribbon in a while (waiting until I can buy it in bottles to review it) so I can't say how it compares, but I imagine they are around the same, Pabst Old Style being less hipster and less likely to be chosen as the alcohol delivery vehicle. Probably one of the more inoffensive of the cheap American adjunct lagers.

Pabst Old Style ---2.5/5

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Old Style from Pabst Brewing Company
2.99 out of 5 based on 684 ratings.
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