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Top 10: The best beer available at major retailers produced in mass



First, know that this list reflects my personal opinion and is not based off of any official poll. However, I have quite a bit of experience in the subjects of beer tasting and beer drinking, so I definitely know my way around the beer section in the local supermarket. This list only covers beer which can be found at most major retailers across the U.S., AKA macro-brews, so no craft brews or odd imports. I've left off a lot of good macro-brews such as Lowenbrau and St. Pauli Girl because they are sometimes hard to find. I've also generally tried not to include more than one beer by the same company, though it can be hard to know who owns who anymore. One of the reasons I'm making this list is to hear what other people like via the poll and comments, so please put your two cents in at the bottom.

10. Corona   Squeezing in at the end of the list like a lime in the end of it's bottle, Corona has just enough quality to put it above the Budweisers and Coors of the world (fighting words, I know, but those beers are only for getting drunk) Corona is one of the best selling beers in the world, by far the most popular Mexican beer, though popular does not mean best...

9. Budweiser American Ale I know I just dissed Budweiser, but I was talking about the kind you can get in a case of 24 cans. This 2008 offering should be tried before it is knocked, just make sure to serve it cold.

8. Heineken This super popular import from Holland is pretty darn good even at room temp, earning the pale lager a spot on the list.

More beer

More beer

7. Modelo Especial This beer is the #3 import in the US, putting it behind Corona in sales but not in taste. Looking up that info I found out it is produced by the same company that makes Corona but i'm leaving them both on the list. A lot of people prefer it's "sister beer" Negra Modela, but Especial wins because it goes great with almost any food. As a matter of fact, there is no other beer I would rather have with food than this other than #1.

6. Becks This is the number one exported German beer and the beer that showed me that beer doesn't have to be refrigerated. Good stuff.

5. Guinness Draught A unique entry on the list, Guinness Draught is a dark, creamy beer with a frothy head, the kind in the supermarket has a "widget" in the can that adds nitrogen to make the beer frothy. Has to be served in a cup to be appreciated.

good beer

good beer

4. Stella Artois This tasty pilsner from Belgium can usually be found hiding in a six-pack of bottles being overshadowed by inferior beers with better shelf spaces. Worth taking to time to spot in the grocery store.

3. New Castle Brown Ale This is an excellent beer, though the price might be a little hard to swallow. I'ts worth shelling out the cash to try a six pack of it at least once in your life.(I'm exaggerating. It's only like $10)

2. Bass This delicious ale's logo, a red triangle, was the United Kingdom's first registered trademark. The beer's longevity should say something for it's quality. This is almost as good as mass-produced beer gets, and the price tag reflects it(about the same as Newcastle)

1. Sam Adam's Boston Lager No macrobrew (mass produced) beer comes close to this, and it's better than most craft-brews too. I've drank hundreds of types of beer, and if I had to pick only one to drink the rest of my life this would it without a doubt. It tastes great and goes great with any food (except maybe ice cream), and it doesn't really cost that much.( it's one of the cheapest on the list).This is THE best beer available in American supermarkets without a doubt. 

Disagree? Take the poll!


tastiger04 on July 17, 2013:

Great hub! I love all these beers....reading this made me thirsty! Cheers! :) voted up and useful!

Jimmy dean on April 08, 2013:

Cant agree with the Stella remark in England we call it wife beater, very chemically tasting, bud has become extremely popular here they have tight QA on their draught market, guinness is great though

rick combe (author) from USA on March 31, 2013:

Dish soap? Still better than budweiser.

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Rick Spanish on March 29, 2013:

The list is not bad. I have to disagree with Heineken. That beer tases like straight up dish soap.

rick combe (author) from USA on December 18, 2012:

Corona isn't great, but if you find yourself in a place that only sells Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Light, and Corona it gets a lot more appealing. Enjoy your European variety while it lasts- from what I've been hearing Budweiser and Miller are succeeding in their campaign to brainwash European pub-goers into thinking their beer is best in the world... just like they have here in the U.S.A.

Regimon on December 15, 2012:

Corona is really not worth the popularity it has achieved! I guess we are bit spoiled for choice in Europe, but I'd say stella is always a good shout (bottled).

Peter Allison from Alameda, CA on November 30, 2012:

I drink (and write about) microbrews and real-ale and the such, but nice seeing a list of the other side of the spectrum!

rick combe (author) from USA on November 30, 2012:

Yeah, that's what I had in mind with this hub- a list of good beer you can find anywhere. The second part of hecate-horus's comment sums it up perfectly. Thanks for the tip kittythedreamer. I've been meaning to check out that side of the peninsula on a vacation, now I have another reason.

rick combe (author) from USA on November 30, 2012:

Yeah, that's what I had in mind with this hub- a list of good beer you can find anywhere. The second part of hecate-horus's comment sums it up perfectly. Thanks for the tip kittythedreamer. I've been meaning to check out that side of the peninsula on a vacation, now I have another reason.

hecate-horus from Rowland Woods on November 29, 2012:

"I don't always drink beer, but when I do, it's none of these." LOL.

Seriously, though, it's a nice list for people who aren't huge beer snobs but their tastes have graduated from the old standards like Bud and Coors. Good hub!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on November 28, 2012:

Yep, I'm spoiled now with my husband's microbrews. Can't stand the water that most places sell as "beer". But your list here is a good list, given the crappy choices at supermarkets and such. If you're ever in Dunedin, FL check out the Dunedin Brewery. Awesome bar that makes their own microbrews. Voted up and awesome!

rick combe (author) from USA on November 09, 2012:

Blue Moon makes some good beers. Have you tried their Belgian style Pale Ale? It's available in the current (fall) sampler pack and worth checking out.

Josh on October 10, 2012:

I pretty much agree across the board, but where is blue moon? I'd say that's a pretty stiff competitor for Samuel Adams... At least my taste buds think so.

Brandon E Newman from North Texas on September 02, 2012:

They stopped making American ale. I haven't seen it in a couple of years. I downed a few sixpacks back in 08-09. It was ok just not quite as good as I had expected. The new Michelob line is to me a great leap in quality since 2005.

cfin from The World we live in on August 03, 2012:

Guinness all the way. Check out all the work that goes into pouring a pint draught

Great article. Enjoyed it. Voted up. I would like permission to put a link to it in my article?

rick combe (author) from USA on July 31, 2012:

Sierra Nevada makes good beer, but most stores don't carry it where I live so it doesn't make the list. I've never tried Pilsner Urquell, or even seen or heard of it, so obviously it's not on the list. I agree with Luna on the Yuengling, I didn't think of it while I was writing this. I feel like Yuengling Lager has the best price to quality ratio of any beer on the market. Finally, the truth is that I have never really thought too much of Dos Equis. It's not bad, but in my opinion it doesn't really have any character. And, of course, this list is just one guy's opinion.

Luna on July 29, 2012:

Not that I'm an expert in the matter or anything but I find it extremely curious you can put Corona over Dos Equis.

Sierra Nevada and Yuengling are some other mass produced favorites.

PLZEN CZECH on April 30, 2012:


dpu on March 25, 2012:

My husband brews beer. But he loves Sierra Nevada brewed out of Chico, ca. Anythought on that one

Ingenira on September 11, 2011:

I don't drink much beer too, but a glass of Heineken draft can make my day ! Great list !

rick combe (author) from USA on September 10, 2011:

Thanks for the comments! And MOImstead, I myself have knocked back quite a few Natty Lights cutting grass or working on the car and you are right, you cant beat it's value.

bizzymom from New York on September 10, 2011:

I answered the poll based on what my husband would pick. He likes to try different beers and while on vacation we try to visit the local brewery to try the beer. His favorite beers are: Asahi (Japanese), Sapporo (Japanese), various brands from the Unibroue (Quebec), Sam Adams, imports from Germany or Belgium and beers from the Moon River Brewing Co. in Savannah, Georgia.

MOlmstead on September 10, 2011:

In my experience if it's more of a reasonable price to quantity ratio I can manage to keep it down long enough for it to digest. I recommend Natural Ice, or perhaps Light. It costs about 7 per 12 pack, and has enough alcohol in it to do the job, and then some.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on September 10, 2011:

Interesting list. I do not drink very often but there is not much that is better on a 100 degree day then a cold beer. I am pretty spoiled to be surrounded by micro-breweries... here.. but the lagers are maybe one of my favorite beers to drink. Guinness... its like chocolate milk and that is great for a quiet evening at home...I thought becks beer was kinda water-down... the new castle brown ale is not bad.... but my favorite would be a hafeweisen's... Nice hub... thanks for sharing...

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