10 Best Cheap Beer Brands

Today’s brew market may be saturated with more craft suds than you know where to look, but some of the most time-honored, tried-and-tested beer brands also happen to be among the best cheap beer you could find.

For $10 or less you can still score a six pack of some of the best tasting beer varieties available, from America’s oldest Prohibition-style lagers to fruity IPAs, along with darker porters and foamy stouts that pack a punch in a can.
This “10 Under $10” guide to the best cheap beer brands will help you get the most out of your money without sacrificing taste or quality. (Prices per 6pack are approximate, based on standard online and retail-reported sales listings.)

10. Butternuts Moo Thunder Milk Stout
Can of Moo Thunder Stout Farmhouse Ale

($10 per 12oz 6pack)

Surprisingly balanced and extremely drinkable, this flagship stout-in-a-can was a pleasant surprise when the former dairy introduced it to the market. With all the familiar notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, and a smooth creamy feel followed by a frothy finish, the stout sets itself apart by keeping the overall taste on the lighter side (as far as stouts go), putting it on par with more readily consumed everyday beers.

9. Deschutes Black Butte Porter

Bottle of Black Butte Porter with Dark Glass.

($8.99 per 12oz 6pack)

Among the rare breweries that produce a porter as their flagship beer, the Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery has made a name for itself with their Black Butte Porter. A richly dark beers that keeps it on the lighter side where porters are concerned, this porter carries a smooth, chocolate taste with a satisfyingly bitter hop finish.

8. Lagunitas Pils

Bottle of Lagunita Pills.

($8.99 per 12oz 6pack)

A Czech-style pilsner from the recently Heineken-purchased Lagunitas Brewing Company, this is a light beer that doesn’t skimp on flavor. The perfect balance of yeast and fruity pineapple notes, the slightly sweet maltiness supports the hops without overpowering them, resulting in a refreshingly clean taste.

7. Founders All Day IPA

Founder's All Day IPA Complete Beer Kit

($8.99 per 12oz 6pack)

A golden IPA on the craft side of brews, the Founders All Day is packed with tropical tasting hops and fruit essences, with a crisp finale that pairs well with almost any beer palette. Notes of kaffir lime, flora, and pine make for a subtly earthy taste, while sweet caramel and bread yeast undertones keep the IPA from getting too “grassy.”

6. Shiner Bock

Bottle of Shiner Bock and glass.

($8.49 for a 12oz 6pack)

Distributed in nearly all US states, this Texas-based craft beer dates back to 1909, with the Spoetzl Brewery’s flagship bock still a nationwide bestseller. A dark amber lager with a refreshing bite and smooth finish, the bock beer is a good in-between route for those who prefer a richer IPA without going the porter or stout route.

5. Full Sail Session Lager

Two bottle of Full Sail Session Lager and Glass.

($7.99 per 11oz 6pack)

One of the cheapest authentic craft beers available for sale, this session lager has cleaned up a variety of awards at the World Beer Awards, Great American Beer Festival, and the World Beer Championship. Brewed in Pacific Northwest Oregon, a region known for its passion for craft brewing, Full Sail has quickly grown in both popularity and accessibility, with over 28 states stocking the brand and more to come. Each stubby 11oz bottle carries only 130 calories, but makes up for it with a clean, golden flavor similar to that of other Pre-Prohibition style lagers.

4. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Glass.

($7.99 per 12oz 6pack)

Arguably one of the most delicious and enduring budget beers on the market, favored by both dive bar frequenters and beer snobs alike, Sierra Nevada has often been called “the brewer’s beer” by its contemporaries. Unfussy enough for (responsible) daily consumption but complex enough to pique the interest of craft devotees, this pale ale carries a slightly floral, citrusy crispness with just enough of a spicy kick to even out the potential sweetness.

3. Yuengling

Bottle of Yuengling Traditional Lager.

($7.99 per 12oz 6pack)

The oldest legacy brewery in the country, the family-owned Yuengling brand has survived wars and prohibition to become a Pennsylvania tradition and point of regional pride, with a cross country loyalty that shows no signs of slowing down. This lager packs a bold but clean flavor, with an impossibly refreshing crispness that is a hallmark of the Prohibition brewing style, making it an all-around best cheap beer bet for those looking for a consistently reputable brand.

2. Schaefer Beer

Can of Schaefer beer.

($5.99 per 12oz 6pack)

First produced in New York City in 1842 by the German Schaefer brothers, the Schaefer logo is one of the oldest and most recognizable beer brands in America. Though the brand itself has passed through many hands over the years, most recently acquired by Pabst Brewing Company, this lager style beer has stood the test of time as one of the most dependable “on the cheap” choices. Light and crisp, with a slightly sweet corn hop finish, Schaefer has been the no-nonsense best cheap beer choice of consumers for well over 150 years.

1. Narragansett Lager

Metal can of Narrangansett Lager.

($5.89 per 16oz 6pack)

Ringing in at just over $5 a 6pack, this is definitely the best of the best cheap beer options. While Narragansett lager may not carry as much ooomph in flavor components as some of the craftier brews listed here, it’s a cut above most budget lagers, with a refreshingly bitter crispness that keeps it from being too mild or watered down in taste. Even better, the brand is typically sold in 16oz cans, meaning more product for your buck.
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One response to “10 Best Cheap Beer Brands”

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