Monday, November 7, 2022

Cheap pale lager tier list

Food and beverages websites do love listacles. Every so often you see a prominent website put out a ranking of American lagers or cheap beers. The first one I remember was Deadspin's ranking of 36 Cheap American Beers

In a recent Vinepair article I shared on my Facebook page, my friend Randy from Twin Barns Brewing was among numerous professional brewers who were asked what their favorite macro light beer was. Craft beer drinkers probably don't realize how much pale lager professional brewers drink. When I was at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville the bars were running out of Pabst and High Life. 

There are a few reasons for this. Brewing is a physically demanding job. At the end of a shift something light and refreshing hits the spot. Brewers also like to be able to drink something without having to think too much about it. When you think about and critically taste the beer you make all day, it feels nice to shut off that part of your brain. A lot of brewers are also bored of IPA

Reading the Vinepair article got my wheels spinning a bit. I have my preferences when it comes to macro lagers, but like most things I struggle to name one favorite. 

One thing I don't struggle with is jumping on dead trends. One such dead trend is making tier lists. Instead of trying to pick one favorite and telling everyone why I think it is the best, putting macro lagers into tiers is a more manageable task.

What is interesting about macro lager is that there is more regional variation than some people realize. There are regional brands with a strong local following like Natural Bohemian in Baltimore. At the same time multi-national brewers like Anheuser-Busch will push some brands in some areas more than others. I was shocked to see Busch Light on tap recently in Iowa. Earlier this year when I was in Texas there weren't a lot of places that had Budweiser.