Skip to content

Old Milwaukee Lager

July 20, 2009


A Mediocre Classic

Anthony Says:

OM - can

Ah. Old Milwaukee. The spirit of the mid-west encapsulated in a can. The beer our fathers drank and their forefathers before them. The beer that soot laden coal miners and sweat sodden railway workers would reach for upon returning home after a grueling day of work. The preferred brew of the people who built America- there once was a day when Old Milwaukee was synonymous with beer. It is, after all, “a beer with history”. Or so the purveyors of this discount staple would have you believe. I’m not exactly sure about the standards that defined a good beer in 1849- when Old Milwaukee was apparently first brewed- but I can venture a guess that tastes have advanced slightly since Zachary Taylor occupied the White House and Alaska was still known as “Russian America”.

Old Milwaukee pours an uninspiring straw yellow with a limp lip of foam that dissipates rapidly. It looks rather like watery apple juice once settled. The nose is, without doubt, the worst quality of this beer: a faint aroma of raw sewage overlain with heavy corn sweetness. Mouthfeel really doesn’t merit discussion, and dominated by flavors of sweet corn adjunct, there wasn’t all that much redeeming in the taste either. To be certain, however, a cloying chemical after burn persists well after you’ve finished drinking one of these- perhaps as an alarming reminder of the laboratory concoction you’ve just deposited in your body.

I’d like to say something good about this beer, but probably the only thing that comes to mind is that it is cheap and won’t kill you (at least not immediately). It is drinkable, so it passes. Nevertheless, I couldn’t imagine a scenario in which I’d recommend drinking one. Old Milwaukee might be better off left to the annals of American history.



Gatlin Says:

OM - full

From what I’ve seen down at the liquor store, this beer is very popular with a certain crowd. Call them what you want, but at least they are not reaching for the Canadian sherry. May God have mercy on those who must drink this terrible garbage water.

Technical Rundown:

  • Container: 475 ml aluminum can
  • Alcohol: 5% by volume
  • Color: 2.4 SRM
  • Bitterness: 12 IBU

This beer generated a medium white head off the pour that faded extremely quickly to a very small ring. No lacing was visible. The body was a light, straw yellow with little to no visible carbonation. The smell of this beer was uber-displeasing. Hints of what only can be described as manure and urine are noticeable right off the bat. In the background lurks a sweet adjunct smell and a very subtle apple aroma. The taste is sweet corn upfront with a subtle tinge of perming solution. An overall chemical like flavour is omnipresent. The horrid tastes and smells of this beer make it virtually unpalatable.


Vintage 80’s commercial footage. We appreciate the shout-out at 0:11!


Some Final Thoughts

Anthony Thinks:

  • Cheap
  • Can double as paint stripper in a pinch
  • Apart from awful adjunct aftertaste, no really offensive flavors


  • Objectionable smell
  • Industrial aftertaste
  • Would be better in smaller cans


2 stars. American heritage and hipster cache aside, it is tough to validate drinking Old Milwaukee. While I’d give it another go in bottled form, I can’t foresee myself trying the canned variety again in the future

Gatlin Thinks:


  • Dirt cheap
  • An American icon


  • Taste and smell are both horrendous
  • Room temperature before you can finish a tall boy…..making the tastes all the more awful


Old Milwaukee is a 2 star cheap beer. This would literally have to be the best beer available at a time when drinking a beer was an absolute must

So, What’s On Your Mind?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2009 10:42 pm

    The commercial is great, wish they were still running! Regards!

  2. July 22, 2009 1:23 am

    I also agree, the Commerical is pretty good
    Great Review, I remember my Dad drinking that when i was a kid, indeed an American icon

  3. Anthony L permalink*
    July 22, 2009 7:11 am

    it really beats the contemporary “cascading suds” beer commercials 😉
    drafternoon- i’ve added you to our blogroll, cheers!

  4. June 20, 2010 4:39 pm

    I’ve always enjoy Old Milwaukee Beer. By the way, it debuted in 1955. But, Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company was established in 1849.

    Ronald Theriot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: