Beer Q&A: What’s the best-tasting bargain beer?

Q. What’s the best-tasting bargain beer?

A. About five years ago, Deadspin ranked 36 cheap American beers. The winner — Grain Belt Premium — was occasionally available in my Normal Heights market maybe 10 years ago, but these days it doesn’t venture far from its Midwestern roots.

Two not-bad alternatives: Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon. PBR loses points for being the Ironic Hipster beer of choice, but it’s clean and inoffensive. Miller High Life — please, not Miller Genuine Draft, a bottled-and-canned contradiction in terms — is your standard fizzy yellow beer, but you can almost hear the dying gasps of the decent pilsner that was watered down to make “the champagne of bottled beers.”

Sidenote: MillerCoors is the contract brewer of Pabst.

Read more of Peter Rowe's Brewery Rowe here.

Finally, think outside the case and consider Yuengling Lager. The oldest continually operating brewery in America, established in 1829, Yuengling makes a range of beers that offer craft-like flavor at less than craft-like prices.

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