Best Cheap American Beers

30 Best Cheap Beers In America

Posted in BEER, GEAR GUIDES By

Just because you aren’t currently in possession of extra funds, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy yourself a beer. Your inner brew snob can sit quiet while you plunk down less than a dollar (or thereabouts) in exchange for a can of well-deserved domestic suds. Our list of the 30 best cheap beers in America might not contain any micro-brewmaster’s limited edition dry-hopped seasonal specialties, but our list does contain beer. Because sometimes that’s all you need.

We consulted a few sources to find going rates for giant cases of domestic beer cans (as that tends to offer the most bang for your budget beer bucks). Of course prices will vary like crazy depending where you go and who you know, but you’ll get a general feel for how little coin you need to fill your evening with the cold satisfaction of American beer.

Genesee Beer

Genesee Beer

140 years ago, Genesee Brewery began satisfying the thirst of upstate NY beer drinkers. Today you can find a can of Genny in most states of the Union, where it inspires a peculiar devotion in its fans. Grab the white can with the red label and experience the allure of its cheap beer magic. – Learn More

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pabst Blue Ribbon

It’s the beer that made drinking cheap beer cool again and you might want to enjoy it while you can. The lawsuit filed this month against MillerCoors — the company that brews beer for Pabst — contends that the big guys might not continue their Pabst brewing contract. A shame. Among the cheap beers, it ranks among the tastiest. – Learn More

Stroh's American Lager

Stroh’s American Lager

Founded in Detroit and brewed in Milwaukee, Stroh’s beer is a lighter easy-drinking lager with a decent amount of hop flavor and clean finish. Mow your lawn with a can in your hand or take a case to a barbecue, the little gold lion on the red crest is ready to roll when you are. – Learn More

Keystone Light

Keystone Light

One of Molson-Coors’ younger beers, Keystone was born in 1989 and prides itself on being the opposite of bitter — hop hounds, look elsewhere. Anyone else who’s looking for an inoffensive, smooth beer that tilts just this side of sweet, grab a ‘Stone. – Learn More

Natural Ice

Natural Ice

Natty Ice, king of illegal high school parties — aka the first beer you ever drank — is still here. Pick up an icy blue can and remember a time before the full-time job, the mortgage, the 401k, a time when its fizzy yellow burn was all you knew of beer, and all you needed to know. – Learn More

Milwaukee's Best Premium

Milwaukee’s Best Premium

Named for Beer Town, USA itself, the 1895 date on the side of the can refers to a time before Miller’s takeover when the beer was called Gettelman’s Milwaukee’s Best. Today’s slogan for Milwaukee’s Best is “Highly drinkable. Highly affordable.” Enough said. – Learn More

Busch Light

Busch Light

A 30 pack of Busch Light, a few friends, a campfire, dubious tales of heroism and grandeur, that’s the charm of Anheuser-Busch’s second most popular beer brand (after Bud). And while you don’t have to say “Buschhhhh” every time you open one, it’s never not fun. – Learn More

Extra Gold Lager

Extra Gold Lager

Brewed by Coors though not heavily promoted by them, Extra Gold is for some a well kept secret. Almost always cheaper than the Banquet beer and offering a better depth of flavor than many down market brews, EGL hits that sweet spot when your beer money is what’s between the couch cushions. – Learn More

Trader Joe's Simpler Times Lager

Trader Joe’s Simpler Times Lager

Now that TJ’s has made it to 42 states we feel comfortable suggesting something that used to be an East or West Coast only kind of a thing. Their store-exclusive brand of budget lager is brewed in Wisconsin by Simpler Times Brewery and sports a healthy 6%+ ABV. Get a 6-pack and a box of Joe Joe’s while you’re at it. – Learn More

Rainier Beer

Rainier Beer

If you’ve ever lived in the Pacific Northwest the words “Rainier Beer” will forever play in your head sounding like a passing motorcycle’s shifting gears. Older than the state of Washington itself, this Pabst brand has since left the state of its birth but is still loved by beer fans in the PNW and beyond. – Learn More

Rolling Rock

Rolling Rock

Though no longer brewed from mountain spring water in glass-lined tanks at the Old Latrobe brew house, the pledge on the back of the bottle is still 33 words long followed by the mysterious number 33. Maybe that’s a coincidence, and the 33 stands for the year Prohibition ended, or the ideal serving temp, either way, Rolling Rock remains an affordable green can (or bottle) of classic lager satisfaction. – Learn More

Hamm's Beer

Hamm’s Beer

You may be finding it easier than ever to grab a can of Hamm’s. After a push by MillerCoors to up the classic beer’s distribution, people outside Minnesota (where it was originally brewed) and the PNW (where it’s long had a foothold) are starting to add this flavorful, light bodied, clean finishing brew to their rotation. – Learn More

Budweiser

Budweiser

It’s called the king of beers for a reason. That reason is sales. Budweiser’s light version — Bud Light — is the number one selling beer in the US and the red labeled original is number three. So it’s doing something right. Brewed with rice in addition to barley, you get a crisp refreshing lager that drinks very easily. – Learn More

Coors Banquet

Coors Banquet

What began in 1873 as a small operation in Golden, Colorado is now the site of the largest single brewery facility in the world. All Banquet beer is still brewed in Colorado, and when you consider just how much Coors goes down the gullet of the beer drinking public, that’s one busy brewery we’re talking about. – Learn More

Narragansett Lager

Narragansett Lager

Another New England legend, ‘Gansett is what you drink while watching the Red Sox. After a long life of massive popularity followed by a twenty plus year hiatus, the rights to Narragansett was bought back by Rhode Islanders and brewed once again. It’s gaining back its former popularity, due in equal parts to heritage, taste, and price. – Learn More

Miller High Life

Miller High Life

Walk into a dive bar and ask for champagne, they’ll know what you mean. And when the barkeep ends his/her shift, they may very well join you. High Life seems to hold a special place in the hearts of suds slingers. One of the better ways to enjoy the high life with low funds. – Learn More

Yuengling Premium

Yuengling Premium

Claiming the badge of oldest brewery in America, Yuengling has been family-owned and operated since 1829, with an actual Yuengling still at the helm. While the beer only makes it to the lower east half of the country, those in its distribution area get to enjoy a refreshing pilsner for cheap. – Learn More

Session Lager

Session Lager

Proudly proclaiming itself neither a macro, micro, nor import beer, this somewhere in the middle lager comes with a built-in game of rock, paper, scissors under each cap and the stubby bottle just feel good in the hand. Brewed by one of Oregon’s first micro-breweries, Session is a pre-Prohibition style brew with a good amount of flavor that goes down smooth. – Learn More

Honey Brown Lager

Honey Brown Lager

Brought to you by the same brewing business that brings you Genesee Beer, and also hailing from Rochester, NY, Honey Brown Lager is beer brewed with Manitoba white clover honey (plus barley, hops, water and some yeast). It’s a little fuller bodied than some other budget beers, with a touch of sweetness (being made with honey and all). – Learn More

Old Milwaukee

Old Milwaukee

Apparently Will Ferrell liked this one so much that he asked parent company Pabst if he could shoot a few local TV spots promoting the brand — reportedly for free. First brewed by Schlitz, then bought by Stroh then sold to Pabst, Old Milwaukee is another hundred-and-something years old brand that’s still churning out the suds on the cheap. – Learn More

Schlitz

Schlitz

Some of you are asking, “Schlitz is still around?” It is. The original formula for the beer — one that made Schlitz and the King of Beers neck-and-neck rivals in the middle of the last century — was lost, failing to survive multiple changing of hands from Schlitz to Stroh to Pabst. But after careful reconstruction, the beer that once dominated Bud (off and on) is available from a growing number of budget beer purveyors. – Learn More

Lone Star Beer

Lone Star Beer

Founded by one of the guys who started Anheuser-Busch and currently owned by Pabst, Lone Star Beer proudly bears the title of the “National Beer of Texas.” That’s because the brand has been continually brewing in Texas since 1884 — and because Texas was once its own country (and, to some, it still is, at least in spirit). – Learn More

Blue Moon

Blue Moon

With its craft-brew packaging and penchant for a sliced orange garnish, Blue Moon doesn’t quite feel like a cheap beer. But the price point (especially those on-sale price points) make this Belgian style wheat beer a worthy contender for those days when your thirst is bigger than your bank account. – Learn More

Alaskan Amber Ale

Alaskan Amber Ale

The recipe for Alaskan Brewing Company’s flagship beer, Alaskan Amber, comes from a recipe unearthed by the brewery’s co-founder and it dates back to Alaska’s gold rush days. While not always the cheapest, we’ve seen this one just a hair over a buck a bottle enough times to declare it a bargain… if you know where to look. – Learn More

Shiner Bock

Shiner Bock

Spoetzl Brewing, the oldest independent brewery in the great state of Texas, got its start in 1909. Since then, every drop of their dark lager Shiner bock is brewed by them in Shiner, Texas. With satisfying caramelized notes from the roasted malt but still very easy to drink, this Texas hero would be worth it even at far higher prices. – Learn More

Michelob Ultra Pure Gold

Michelob Ultra Pure Gold

The only beer on our list made with organic grains, we thought we’d offer it up in the event that organic is something you look for in a beer. Ultra Pure Gold is also one of Michelob’s light offerings (just 85 calories a bottle) so you can enjoy its crisp clean flavor without filling up. – Learn More

Leinenkugel's Original Beer

Leinenkugel’s Original Beer

Word is, walk into any bar and say Leinenkugel five times fast, you get a bottle of it for free. We just made that up. But if any bars are looking for a fun promo, there’s an idea. Still brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin (and Milwaukee) this classic American pilsner keeps true to its hundred and fifty year roots. – Learn More

Dale's Pale Ale

Dale’s Pale Ale

One of the first craft breweries to go can-only, Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado started a positive trend for economy drinkers in love with craft. Bottles are more likely to break, heavier to ship, and let in skunk-inducing air and light. All those faults are solved by cans, which usually makes the aluminum clad suds cheaper than its bottled brethren. Thanks Dale. – Learn More

Michelob Amber Bock

Michelob Amber Bock

One of Anheuser-Busch’s original brands, Michelob was thought up by Herr Busch himself in an attempt to make an up-market brand for his brewing company. Michelob Amber Bock benefits from deep roasted malt flavors and German-style hops. Pricier than a Bud, but cheap enough for a brand that was made to be fancy. – Learn More

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Sam Adams is one of the more accessible (both in terms of taste and wallet friendliness) adjunct-free traditional American lagers out there. Their Boston Lager comes from a recipe dating from the 1800s that the founder of the company discovered in his parent’s attic back in the 1980s. Consider it a gateway beer, one that has lead many a beer drinker down the path towards craftier (aka pricier) beers. – Learn More

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