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Best Cheap Beers

Next time you drink on a budget, get the best cheap beers money can buy.

By Ossiana TepfenhartPublished 6 years ago 6 min read

There are many cheap beers out there on store shelves, but let's just be real about this: cheap booze doesn't always taste good. Natural Ice, for example, has rightfully earned its reputation for being one of the worst beers money can buy.

For many college kids, Natural Ice kind of ruined their opinion on beer. Or, rather, it has made many of us believe that cheap beer means the beer will taste bad. That being said, not all cheap beer has to be bad beer.

Some of the cheap beers ranked by experts actually rival (or even exceed) high-end, small batch brewed beers enjoyed at gastropubs. Here's what experts say are the best cheap beers on the market - and why you'll love them.

Guinness Draught

Yes, at around $8 for a six pack, Guinness Draught is a cheap beer. At least, it's cheap if you buy a pack and aren't trying for a glass at the pub. As far as cheap beers go, it's one of the best cheap beers currently being produced in the world.

Guinness Draught is known for an intensely rich, creamy pour that tastes incredible chilled. Even if you aren't a fan of chocolate beers, it's hard to deny that Guinness has a pretty refreshing taste. It's been a favorite beer for over 150 years, and both Americans and Irish folks love it. Once you try it, you'll understand why.

Straight up, it's one of the best cheap beers you can buy - especially on Saint Patrick's Day.

Rolling Rock Extra Pale

A favorite among working class Americans, Rolling Rock Extra is a domestic beer that you either think is good or terrible; there's no in between. Most people would say it's a bad, cheap beer.

The reason most people hate on Rolling Rock is because this beer has corn and rice included in its fermentation. The end result is a very light, almost "cereal-like" taste to it, with just a slightly tinny aroma on top.

This beer is not supposed to be rich or complex. It's mean to be crisp, simple, and ultra-light in flavor. When you take Rolling Rock for what it's supposed to be, it's one of the best cheap beers currently being sold on the market.

That being said, most people would agree that Rolling Rock Extra Pale used to be a lot better - and we'd be inclined to agree. (Thanks a lot, Anheuser-Busch.)

Narragansett Lager

This entry regularly comes up as the number one position on lists of best cheap beers, and we can't really argue with the people who made that decision. The reason Narragansett manages to top all the other cheap beers ranked via taste is because it tastes good.

It's light, it's got that perfect level of fizz, it's hoppy (but not too hoppy), and has that slightly bitter taste that really signals its lager status. Simply put, it's a cheap beer that tastes expensive - and most of us can approve of that good bargain.

Narragansett's been around since the year 1890, and we can definitely see why it's survived all these years. It rocks.

Miller High Life

Cheekily nicknamed "the Champagne of Beers," Miller High Life is one of those ultra-light beers that isn't meant to get you drunk. The alcohol content is way too low to give you a buzz in a single bottle.

However, this is one of those light beers that was designed for people who want to drink beers for flavor rather than alcohol content. If you're looking for a beer flavor with just a hint of buzz, knocking back two of these light ones will do the trick.

As a result of the good, smooth-but-light taste, we can't help but rank it as one of the best cheap beers to buy.

Coors Original

If you go online and look at lists of the best cheap beers, you might notice that Coors will always end up ranking highly. In fact, most beer critics will rank it higher than Budweiser or Busch. Frankly, it's totally understandable why this phenomenon happens.

Budweiser tends to be very heavy, and tends to be overpowering. Busch is just very controversial in its flavor profile. Meanwhile, most Coors brand beers tend to be pretty decent in terms of flavor. Most of us, whether we'd admit it or not, would be somewhat relieved to find Coors in a cooler at a family barbecue.

Coors Original tends to be one of the better brews made by the company, but realistically, they're all pretty decent as a whole. Most Coors brews are crisp, refreshing, slightly malty, and just plain tasty.

The big caveat with Coors is that the company might have additives that smaller breweries would be against. However, those additives tend to be rice and corn, so it's not like it's dangerous. What's the problem?

Lagunitas Pils

This Czech-style pilsner is a craft beer that really packs a powerful punch of flavor. It's got the hops that people crave without being overpowering, it's bitter yet not too bitter, and, it's perfect when it comes to the amount of carbonation you feel.

Additionally, it has a 6.2 percent ABV, so it's also a lot stronger than many other beers. You don't need to drink beers upon beers to get tipsy from this brew. Better still? It's only $9 for a six pack, making it one of the best cheap beers for people who love a tasty, craft-style beer with a little bit of a harder kick.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Whether people want to admit it or not, PBR is a good beer. It's been a favorite among working class people in the Midwest, and then hipsters began guzzling it. Why? Because hipsters realized it was cheap beer that tasted decent.

When you're trying to put together a party and want to have a beer that gives you a buzz with a flavor that works well with a wider variety of foods, then it's hard not to say that a PBR is one of the best cheap beers to choose. Heck, even the Great American Beer Festival applauded it as recently as 2015 - so it's not like it's a bad beer.

It's easy to find, easy to drink, and also goes with Sriracha fries. Hipster approved. Need we say anymore?

Red Stripe Lager

This Jamaican favorite is incredibly cheap, and surprisingly good. Red Stripe is one of those beers that you quickly develop a taste for, particularly if you're a fan of high carbonation.

Unlike other beers in the "super cheap" aisle, Red Stripe doesn't have the watery, bland taste. It gives you a pop of flavor that pairs ridiculously well with spicy food. We'll even go so far as to say that it's one of the best cheer beers to drink with a spicy platter.

However, if you're looking for a seriously thick beer with a potent punch of hops, you might want to look elsewhere.

Schlitz Gusto

For up until 1970, Schlitz was the number one beer brewery in the nation – with much of that title being earned from the light, slightly sweet brew that was Schlitz Gusto. Though this beer is a lot rarer than it used to be, it's still cheap, still good, and still for sale if you know where to get it.

In some cases, you might actually have to order it to get it shipped directly to your door. It may cost extra, but it's still such a good beer that it's absolutely worth it. Also, it goes incredibly well with a light dessert during the summer. Fruit salad and Schlitz? Definitely worth a shot!


About the Creator

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of New Jersey. This is her work account. She loves gifts and tips, so if you like something, tip her!

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