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We Asked 11 Beer Pros: What’s the Most Underrated Macro Beer?

While it seems like every state in the U.S. now has a selection of local microbreweries, there are still moments that call for a good old macro beer. You might find yourself in a dive bar or at a sports arena without a wide selection of craft brews, or you could end up at a party or tailgate where the hosts have opted to lean into a more affordable beer lineup. And sometimes, you just know you’ll be drinking for a long time, and something simple and low-ABV is the only option for coming out the other side intact.

In those moments, having a strategy for which beer to reach for makes a difference. That’s why we asked brewers, bartenders, and beverage experts which macro beers they consider as underrated. These are bottles and cans you’ll find almost anywhere, are usually affordably priced, and are easy to drink. And since they may not be the most popular option, you might have the cooler or bar’s selection mostly to yourself.

The Most Underrated Macro Beers, according to experts:

Modelo Especial
Samuel Adams Seasonals
Big Wave from Kona Brewing Company
Miller High Life
Stella Artois
Coors Banquet
Kronenbourg 1664
Narragansett Lager

“I think the most underrated macro beer is easily Czechvar. Perfect balance between the unique complexity found in European lagers like Stella and Heineken, with the easy-going attitude of Bud Light. Crushable.” —Jacob Johnson, beverage director, Tavistock Restaurant Collection, Lake Nona, Fla.

“One of my favorite underrated beers is a Modelo Especial. This pilsner-style Mexican lager is brewed with high-quality ingredients. It delivers a velvety balance of rich, citrusy honey, and bold herbal flavors. It blesses the taste buds with a crispy yet smooth taste that quenches your thirst. This makes it the perfect beer to kick back and enjoy any day of the week!” —Malia Knight, bartender, Revivalist at 106 Jefferson, Huntsville, Ala.

“Two beers that rarely get their flowers are Narragansett Lager and Tecate. While Narragansett is somewhat recognized, its availability doesn’t quite match its quality and reputation. Tecate, often dismissed as a Mexican Budweiser, deserves more credit! It’s an ideal companion for Margaritas or tequila chasers, and its crispness makes it perfect for a refreshing beach day or any occasion where you need something effortlessly enjoyable.” —Ryan Sapienza, bartender, W Aspen, Aspen, Colo.

“Personally, I don’t drink many macro beers. If a restaurant or venue doesn’t carry a craft beer or an IPA, I typically opt for a cocktail or a water. However, I think the most underrated macro brewery is Yuengling. Their Traditional Lager is super smooth and refreshing. It’s on the lighter side, so it’s perfect on a hot day.” —Justin Foster, general manager, The Harpeth, Franklin, Tenn.

“Although many people would probably disagree, Samuel Adams Seasonals are it for me. The seasonal expressions, from Summer Wheat to Oktoberfest, are consistently impressive. In a land filled with microbreweries, I appreciate the accessibility of Mr. Sam’s offerings being distributed nationwide.” —Madeline Kaye, bartender and retail spirits specialist, Haven, Tampa, Fla.

“Miller High Life seems to be the industry standard, but I think Moosehead Lager is far underrated. The flavor-to-price ratio is unmatched.” —Luke Kingsley, beverage manager, Sampan, Philadelphia

“The most underrated macro beer has got to be Kona Brewing Company’s Big Wave: a beer that crashes over the palate with tropical notes of mango and pineapple while still maintaining structure through a slight hoppiness. Marketed as ‘liquid aloha,’ Kona Big Wave fulfills its promise by presenting a refreshing summertime brew that can be found rushing from the taps of most restaurants and bars.” —Steven Penaranda, bar manager, Union New American, Tampa, Fla.

“Stella Artois is a classic macro beer that can be underrated. It has a light, crisp taste that is easy to drink year-round.” —Ryan Deitz, beverage operations manager, Live! Casino & Hotel, Philadelphia

“Löwenbräu is an underappreciated favorite of mine. This was the beer I would first sneak from my German-American father’s refrigerator. One of the six classic Munich brewers. [While they’re] now owned by AB In Bev, it’s still a classic Munich lager. I was surprised that my colleagues have never even sampled it. For me, it’s a comfort food.” —George Hummel, grain master, My Local Brew Works, Philadelphia

“When I was a brewer, the favorite beer amongst the other brewers and myself was Coors Banquet. It is delicious and simple, plus the stubby bottles are just fun. I will always have a special place in my heart for the ‘yellow bellies.’” —Tom Brander, beverage manager, Wilder, Philadelphia

“There are a handful of macro brewers that are top of mind to most consumers, one of the largest in the world being Carlsberg, which includes brands like its namesake Carlsberg and Kronenbourg 1664. For me, Kronenbourg is one of the most underrated of the big brands dominating the market and my personal favorite. It’s a beautifully made French beer, bottled in an eye-catching, cobalt-blue bottle. This beer [will satisfy] the palate of beer and wine drinkers alike!” —Nikki McCutcheon, senior director of beverage, Sake No Hana and Cathedrale, NYC

The article We Asked 11 Beer Pros: What’s the Most Underrated Macro Beer? appeared first on VinePair.

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