Old Style | Pabst Brewing Company

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Old StyleOld Style

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.72%

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: 195 | Ratings: 663
Photo of CraftPro
2.99/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Old Style derives its named from the original brewing process of this classic beer. Heileman's, the creator of Old Style, took an "old style" manufacturing approach to their beer, a process that took 30 days and used natural "krausening." Under Stroh's (and later Pabst), Heileman's pulled out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Old Style became a contracted beer. Krausening and much of the "old style" process was tossed aside in the interest of cost-cutting.

To add insult to injury, the current owners of Pabst, taunted Old Style drinkers by announcing that they were going to return Old Style to a more flavorful brew in line with the earlier recipe utilized by Heileman's, and in the process move the brand more up market. They kept good on the promise of moving the brand up market (only in terms of pricing!), but there was no change to the product other than some revised, moderately retro packaging.

Today Old Style is not krausened and has an oddly stale, faintly chemical taste to the brew. It's aroma and overall taste, however, still conjure up images of classic brews and times gone by. It's a trip down memory lane and for Chicago Cubs fans, it will always be a staple!

The good news is that Pabst has been recently floated on the market (March 2014) and it is hoped that a new buyer will bring better stewardship to Old Style and the dozens of other brands that fall under the Pabst banner.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.48/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I have had this one several times. The first time was majestic due to the milieu in which I found myself in. It was hot and music was playing in myriad directions of all genres. This beer fit the surroundings perfectly. It has been nearly a decade since that first discovery of this Chicago staple and that memory has never left. I tried it again a few years later but it wasn't the same experience. I tell you today that this experience has had somewhat of a renaissance, when should I find in a local store a 12 pack of this tasty stuff. It is nothing spectacular but the memories that come with it were, so I give it points just for that. However, it is tasty and very enjoyable for what it is. I am a bit disappointed in that the store may have kept this stuff a bit too long. I think it may have an expiration date rather than a born on date and if that is the case this one went in the waning days of summer 2013. Nevertheless, it still tasted pretty damn good. This is a perfect beer for outside on warm days and I hope this place gets a refreshed batch soon, so that I can compare. But for what it is its a great beer. Better than many of the "legacy" brews I have tried and I wish it was more readily available in my area.

The color was the standard pale straw, the smell was pretty standard as well, it didn't smell bad, it just smelled like your granddad's beer he kept out in the garage. Grainy, malty, ah, brings me back on so many levels. The taste was great, I like this style of beer and I wish that other companies could get this down. It tastes like a beer should taste like. This is beer, not an ale. I know we can discuss semantics all you want, but this is what reminds me of what I was introduced to as "beer".

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.42/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can into pint glass.

Very clear and golden.

Clean and grassy.

Good flavor. Light malts and cereal flavor. Not sweet and syrupy.

Exceptionally crisp. Refreshing finish that doesn't coat.

This is a good beer. Much better than Highlife and beers like that. For the price tho would rather drink Yuengling.

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Photo of Blahster
5/5  rDev +68.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yep the best beer to me is Old Style beer. I keep it in the family, my grandfather on my moms side use to drink Old Style when I was growing up.My uncles to.Then as I got old enough to drink beer I've always new I would be drinking this great beer. It's funny when I started hanging out with new friends when I moved to my grandparents neighborhood, those friends were drinking Old Style to.Reach for The best beer old style beer, I was mainly brewed in La Cross, Wisconsin and then Semi loads to Chicago and the Suburbs outside Chicago. Old Style every where back then! And now I live in Southern Illinois right outside of St . Louis, Missouri and it's very hard to find it anywhere. And then when you do find it, your paying an arm an a leg,, crazyly high price! Is there any where in the St. Louis area I can by it cheapter then Dierbergs grocery store in Edwardsville, Illinois? So damn high there for a 12 pack of bottle's. They higherd the 12 pack price 3x this year??

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Photo of Walter12590
3.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

im a big fan of craft beers, wheat beers are my favorite and like to grab an IPA on occasion. when im on a tight budget i turn to old style or rolling rock, only macro beers i remotely respect. lot of my friends like coors lite bud lite busch lite, idk how they enjoy them. anyway old style is smooth crisp far from unpleasant and the only beer i can drink out a can, it smell and appearence are nothing special but it got a smooth mouthfeel n nice taste, ur ever low on finances check it out, not bad and it gives u your money's worth.

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Photo of metter98
2.61/5  rDev -12.1%
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 buschbeer
3.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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 RaulMondesi
2.79/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Well, hell. Raulsky was up at Wrigley and he just had to have an Old Style (or 3). And that is not because he liked them, it was just to make the Cubs watchable.

It was bad, but it wasn't "that" bad. Kind of like this floozy Raul once dated; the first two times were nice, but after the third go around, Raul knew that he should stop before all hell would break loose.

And Old Style is just that: one or two is ok, but beware of three and beyond.

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Photo of SerialTicker
2.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

At a Cubs game, there was a certain obligation to try this beer.

Appearance: AAL all the way. Yellow. Pretty large head. Surprisingly nice lacing, though. Actually, this looks a bit better than some AALs.

Smell: Vanilla and corn. How does that work? Traces of grain in there as well, but sweet/buttered/corn with vanilla are the main notes.

Taste: Like the smell. Truthfully, this tastes like a super sweetened Budweiser. Massive corn, and then vanilla. Sort of like a Gennessee Cream Ale might taste when blended with a Bud.

This actually doesn't suck. The problem I have with this is that it may be *too* sweet for my tastes... I could see me not wanting much more after a few of these.

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Photo of EagleTalon
2.46/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours to a thin white head that lasts and straw yellow color. Aroma is stale popcorn. Flavor is pale malt, corn, muddy water and a touch of grassy hops. Mouthfeel light, salty and fizzy. Overall, it is easy to quaff but not too special. Give me me a 312.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.38/5  rDev -19.9%
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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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.28/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clean, golden-yellow. Filtered. Not a whole lot of head. What little bit there is sticks around for just about 15-30 secs before dissipating. Great lacing

S- not a lot going on here. Typical of an AAL. Grainy aroma comes through. Some corn possibly. Some light malt.

T- Grain comes through much better on the taste than the smell. A medium amount of bitterness that doesn't last too long. A slightly dry, but smooth finish. No harsh tones like you normally have with adjunct lagers. Crisp and flavorful.

M- Very drinkable and refreshing. Light bodied.

O- One of the best macro brews on the market. Another good one by Pabst. There is a reason this is a classic "ballpark" beer. I guess they recently implemented a krausening process the last few years that helps the flavor. I can't speak for that since i did not try this beer prior to that process, but others seem to think it has made a big difference. Very enjoyable beer on a warm day. If you like adjunct american lagers (not my style but they serve their purpose), don't waste your time with bud, miller, or coors. Go with this bad boy.

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Photo of MikeAAL
4.62/5  rDev +55.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was my grandpa's favorite beer and now it's my favorite beer.

Poured into a mug, it has a pale, yellow, straw color. Light carbonation, mostly natural carbonation. A short head, that appears for about 15 seconds.

Not a lot of smell, but has a grainy smell and a little bit metallic. The alcohol kind of burns your nose, which I love.

You can taste grains, hops and some malt. A nice bitterness at the end.

Light Carbonation, one of the heavier American Adjunct Lagers in my opinion.

Very drinkable and it's my favorite. Tastes great and there's a lot of history behind this beer. I am definately bias when it comes to where the beer is made, because all the best beer is made in Wisconsin. "Think local. Drink local."

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Photo of michiganminer
4.05/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was "dad's Beer" when I was growing up. I tried it in 08 I think, and Preferred Blatz it was crap. I recently started watching the show "Shameless" on Showtime where the family Drinks Old Style and researched it. Apparently Pabst is now "Krausening" the beer so I wanted to try it again.

I picked up a 6 pack of 12 oz. cans for $3.59 the first drink I knew this was something different. I am a Budweiser drinker and this instantly reminded me of Bud. it has great mouthfeel and no nasty aftertaste like the old cheap beer did. the cost has increased (18 pack was $7.99 in 08 and now it's $10) but still a good price for a good beer!

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.62/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving type: 12-ounce can. Freshness date printed on the bottom is “SEPT 1712.”

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is light straw. Two fingers of fluffy, buttery, white head, dissipated quickly to leave a thin skim and ring around the edge.

Smell: Sake-like rice and maybe a little corn. There is light grassiness, husky funk, and some lemon zest. It is an adjunct — no doubt about that.

Taste: Not as sweet as I was expecting. It also lacks a lot of bite. (I should probably be drinking it out of the can, actually. I bet that would help a lot.) Frankly, it is very watered down and tastes a lot like a light adjunct. Rice, a little grass, and a tiny bit of lemon. As it warms it starts to pucker the cheeks with a little sweetness.

Drinkability: Instead of being cursed by a goat, I think the Cubs are cursed by Old Style. I am pretty disappointed. It does the job, but it lacks a lot of the bite and flavor I associate with classic beers like this.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
2.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pint Glass. Seeing as how this beer is found on every corner in Chicago, I took it upon myself to try it.

Appearance - Clear pale gold with surprisingly little carbonation. Pours a 2 finger head that quickly fizzes away.

Smell - Barley, Slight Hops, Cereal Grains, Malts, and a faint Veggie scent. For this style of lager, it's not half bad.

Taste - Grains, Over-Cooked Veggies, Yeasts, Malts with a bitter hoppy finish

Mouthfeel - Light Bodied with a strong carbonated feel to it. The best thing I can say about it is that it feels very crisp.

Overall - About what I was expecting for the $1.70 I got for this, and it's fairly non-offensive for this style of beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.46/5  rDev +16.5%
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 KTCamm
3.18/5  rDev +7.1%
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 rangerred
3.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear medium yellow with a fizzy white head. Actually some lacing with this one which surprised me.

Aroma has some corn but also some bready grain and grassy hops faintly resembling a german pilsner. Pretty good.

The flavor starts off with some light cooked vegetable and corn and is unfortunately not as good as the smell. Some faint hop flavor and a light bitterness coming forward about halfway through. Mouthfeel is watery.

Overall, this is a pretty good AAL. A lot more flavor than BMC and a nice, cheap option.

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Photo of Arsenal11
1.18/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thought I would give this a try bscause I like PBR, big mistake this stuff is undrinkable I couldnt even make one bottle. Those saying this beer has no off flavors, I am not sure what they didnt taste bc this beer tastes like stale moldy corn and urine it is one of the most unpleasant beers I have ever tasted.

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Photo of Etan
3.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint can: "Authentically kraeusened."

A: I'm drinking it out of the can for this review but the last can I had I poured into a pint glass. Very pale yellow with a slight, bone-white head.

S: Relatively unpleasant grain. Slight alcohol.

T: Much better than the smell. Perfumy, sweet grain. The sweetness is a little corny. Ghost of hops, barely there. The grain taste is pleasant and big enough to escape wateriness.

M: Very low carbonation, but the body is slightly thicker than most AALs. Slightly. No alcohol.

O: Pabst makes some of the most tolerable AALs, including Old Style. The grain taste is just enough to make it worth it when it's very cold. Not that bad.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
2.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

$5 pitcher at Harry's in West Lafayette.

This is the Cubs' beer, so as a Reds fan, it's everything I despise. That being said, if you're looking for an adjunct lager to drink, it's not bad. Appearance is typical AAL....light golden, little head retention, and little lacing. Smell is all rice and other adjunct grains. Taste is pretty smooth, light, and all adjuncts. Nothing terrific here as far as cheap, shitty beers go, but better than Coors or Miller.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.42/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz. can poured into pint glass.

This one is a midwest classic!

A: Clear yellow liquid and a thick, white head. Plenty of carbonation.

S: Honestly hard to get much of a smell out of it. A bit of grain and cereal.

T: Taste is thankfully better. Not offensive at all. Some cereal, grain husks, little bit of hop bite and some malts. When I'm drinking AALs, I'm looking for beers that are not offensive rather than groundbreaking, amazing taste. Many macros are just horrible, so the further away from horrible, the better.

M: Mouthfeel is actually thicker than you'd think.

O: There's something about this beer that makes it better than many other macros. Maybe it's the mouthfeel? Maybe it's the pleasant taste?

Go into any small town pub and you'll find Old Style in every one. A classic to have while chilling out and watching a football game or while at the ball park enjoying a hot dog.

One of the better macros out there.

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Photo of Shibbykaiyai
3.33/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nothing says summer baseball more than a can of Old Style. The beer is horrible on tap...and that is because that isn't the way that this beer is supposed to be served.

And for a non craft beer, it actually isn not all that bad. Taste is decent, goes down well, and is an easy beer to drink.

A very good summer beer. I would imagine most persons who are consulting beeradvocate might choose to go with a more expensive or refined beer, but for an American Style lager, it's pretty good.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.35/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, clean pale yellow in my glass, with a sizeable head of foam and only a hint of lace.

Nose is creamed corn with yeast. Mostly sweet and adjunct in feel.

Taste is creamy and sweetly malty, with a definite lack of hops presence. Really, a typical adjunct, though with much more flavor and character than it's big brother, PBR, or the bigger boys. A step above the aforementioned, but not outstanding.

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Old Style from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.
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