36 Cheap American Beers, Ranked

36 Cheap American Beers, Ranked


I realize you’re going to spend Independence Day happily drinking whatever cold adult beverage you’re served, because you’re polite and you’re an alcoholic. And I trust you’ll have a fine old time no matter what you drink. But that doesn’t mean America’s shitbrews are all the same. The list below breaks down 36 of them, from worst to least-worst.

36. Keystone. This is the worst beer currently sold on American soil. It sits behind chilled glass in a convenience-store fridge like a dumb rebuke to the explosion of American beer variety all around it. In 1978 there were 89 breweries in the U.S.; today there are more than 2,400, and most of the new ones are better than most of the old ones. In 2013 craft beer is no longer the exclusive domain of West Coast weirdos and psychotic woodsmen. These fine days you can score Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada at the least ambitious of convenience stores and Dogfish Head 90 Minute on the least reliable of trains. And then there is Keystone, which first appeared to the world in 1989, in Chico, Calif., home of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Keystone separates itself from the rest of the crap pack by augmenting the typical stale/sour flavor profile with notes of brown bananas and green armpits. Keystone is worse than Heineken and murder.

35. Bud Light Lime. When Anheuser-Busch spit this one out a few years ago it seemed like a pretty good idea, as terrible ideas go. The world never needs more flavors of Bud Light, but the popularity of the otherwise worthless Corona proves that folks love to limen up their beers. Barroom fruit is repulsive—ever think about where your lime’s been before it lands in your drink? Nowhere nice—so if Bud Light Lime were any good at all, it would be a little leap forward. But alas, the alleged lime flavoring in no way resembles people food. Bud Light Lime tastes like green Fruit Loops soaked in thigh sweat.

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