Top 9 America's Best and Common Beers Today
Top 9 America's Best and Common Beers Today
Table of Content

Everybody knows Americans love beer. It’s ubiquitous in everything from day-to-day life to pop culture, where you’d be hard-pressed to find a show or movie that doesn’t depict a rugged main character ending the workday with a slug of an ice-cold brew. But which beer is America’s favorite?

While you may expect this to be a polarizing and impossible-to-answer query, it turns out that may not be the case. Here are the 9 beers Americans love the most. Check it now!

Which Countries Drink the Most Beer?

When it comes to total beer consumption, China ranks number one.

In 2020, the country’s consumption reached 36 million kiloliters—that’s enough beer to fill more than 14,000 Olympic-sized pools. The country accounts for a whopping one-fifth of total beer consumption worldwide. Archaeological evidence also suggests that China has a beer producing history that goes back thousands of years.

China is the most populous country in the world, accounting for about 18% of the global population. Of course, a large population doesn’t necessarily translate to high beer consumption at the individual level. For instance, India, which has the second highest population in the world, ranks 23rd on the list for beer consumption, and only accounts for 1% of what foamy liquid gets guzzled down each year.

The U.S. comes second on the list, with more than 24 million kiloliters of beer consumed throughout the country in 2020. Americans don’t just drink a lot of beer—they brew a lot of beer, too. The U.S. is the second-largest beer producer worldwide (after China).

American Beer Consumption By State

So which states drank the most beer, and what was their preferred brand?

The annual consumption stats come from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac report, while the preferred beer of choice was compiled by Data Agency’s 2021 Beer Rankings report, which is based on a combination of surveys combined with Google search analysis from all over the country.

New Hampshire took the top spot in 2020, outdrinking other states with 41.5 gallons of beer consumed annually per capita. In contrast, the lowest consuming state was Maryland which only consumed 19.7 gallons per capita, about half as much.

The most popular beer?

Despite the growing trend of craft breweries in some states, the most popular beer across the country was Budweiser of Anheuser-Busch, which took the top spot in 23 states.

Which State Has The Most Breweries?

Each state also has varying numbers of breweries operating within, and there are many different types.

Larger breweries, including those run by some of the world’s largest companies, are also called microbreweries. They are usually defined as having an annual production greater than 6 million barrels of beer, compared to craft breweries and other types of microbreweries which have a lower annual production.

Craft breweries are also usually independently owned, and through both positioning and general perception, have come to be associated with specialties and originality, adding unique and interesting ingredients to traditional brews.

California has the highest number of breweries in the country, more than double any other state, at 1,466.

On the flip side, Mississippi has the fewest breweries, with the most recent Beer Institute’s 2021 almanac only listing 26 in the entire state.

Top 9 America's Best and Common Beers Today

1. Sam Adams

Photo: a2oshop
Photo: a2oshop

The #1 beer of the moment is Sam Adams. This beer, which hails from Boston, is the beer of the quarter. This could be because of a huge marketing campaign pushing the seasonal Summer Ale that revolves around a much-beloved work tradition called Summer Fridays. Sam Adams is encouraging people to leave work early, between 2-5 pm on Fridays in June and July, and post an image enjoying their Sam Adams to Twitter with the hashtag #SamSummerFridays and a Cash app Cash Tag. If you're one of the first 500 for the day, you'll receive $10 for your Sam Adams. Cheers to summer!

2. Blue Moon

Photo: douongnhapkhau
Photo: douongnhapkhau

Blue Moon Belgian White is a Belgian-style wheat ale, a genre characterized by a cloudy appearance (it's unfiltered), an orange-peel citrusy tang, and a bit of spice, often coriander. The beer has been the subject of controversy and even a lawsuit because it's marketed as if it were a craft beer when in fact it's mass-produced by Molson Coors, the world's third largest brewing company.

3. Heineken

Photo: Heineken
Photo: Heineken

Brewed in the Netherlands, Heineken is one of the most popular imported beers in the United States. With sales exceeding $840 million in 2020, the beer managed to increase its sales nearly six percent from the year prior.

This popularity could be due to a new marketing campaign that is teasing a revolutionary bottle opener called "The Closer" that shuts down your work computer when you open a fresh Heineken.

4. Guinness

Photo: Guinness
Photo: Guinness

While Americans typically prefer domestic beers, this Irish brew sells well. The brewer shipped over 1 million barrels of Guinness in the U.S. market in 2017 — including the Guinness Stout, which made the brewery famous. Americans also tend to prefer lighter lagers, but Guinness is best known for its dark draught, described by Guinness as "perfect balance of bitter and sweet."

Most of the top-selling imported beers in America are Mexican in origin, but this iconic Irish brand is an exception – and you can count on sales to particular soar around this time every year, in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Though the brewery now markets a range of different beers, its reputation rests above all on its rich, dark, original stout.

5. Corona

Photo: dienmayxanh
Photo: dienmayxanh

Famously enjoyed with a lime stuffed into its longneck bottle, Corona is a Mexican beer that has consistently been one of the most popular beers in the U.S. The refreshing brew is owned by Constellation Brands, a wine, beer, and spirits producer that also owns the No. 3 best-selling beer on this list.

Corona consistently ranks as one of the most popular beers in America and it only becomes more popular in the warmer months. This lime-adorned beer will forever be associated with the beach and drinking one feels like a beach break even when you're miles from one.

6. Budweiser

Photo: vinmart
Photo: vinmart

With a market share of 5.14, Bud is America’s most popular full-strength beer.

Budweiser is carbonated with actively fermenting beer – a process called kraeusening. This technique shortens the carbonation process and removes all the bad flavors. Through this process, brewers attract yeast by adding strips of beechwood treated with baking soda, which is where the famous slogan “beechwood aging” comes from.

In recent years, Budweiser has struggled to grow its sales in the US, and, unfortunately, the company failed to grow its market share. As a result, the company decided to focus on nonalcoholic beverages, which make up 10% of the company’s volume. According to an article published on Business Insider, AB InBev is also focusing on premium beers that are lighter and have more interesting flavors such as the Budweiser Reserve Series and Bud Light Orange.

7. Coors Light

Photo: canmaker
Photo: canmaker

According to Zippia, Coors was created by the Molson Coors Beverage Company in the 1940s and is the best-selling of all the brewer's beer brands, which include Miller Lite, Keystone Lite, and Miller High Life, and a host of others.

For many years, Coors beer was only available in parts of the western United States, giving it a mystique that other major beer brewers couldn't match. That mystique has since faded, as Coors Light and other products from the brewery became available in larger swaths of the country in the 1980s before becoming nationally available in 1991. Now, Coors Light is the second most popular beer in the country, though it comes nowhere close to number one.

8. Miller Lite

Photo: mashed
Photo: mashed

Another very popular beer is Miller Lite, a low-calorie beer produced by Molson Coors Brewing Company. The company shipped 1.6% fewer barrels in 2019 than it did in 2018, but the total number of shipped barrels is still very high – 12.4 million. As a result, this beer has a market share of 6.02 and is the third most popular American beer.

Having just 96 calories, Miller Lite is often referred to as “the original light beer” by the folks at Molson Coors. This is owed to the fact that its recipe was first developed by Rheingold Brewing Company 53 years ago, in 1967. In 1972, this brand was bought by Miller. The original name of the beer – Gablinger’s Diet Beer was changed to Miller Light and a new and attractive TV campaign featuring celebrities and sports figures was launched. The beer’s iconic motto “Tastes Great! Less filling!” was extremely catchy and the beer saw a huge increase in popularity.

In the ongoing shift from mainstream beers to craft beers, Miller Lite was lucky enough not to be hit as hard as Coors Light or Bud Light. Because it has a perfect balance between taste and lightness, this beer is performing well, and, for the last 15 quarters, Molson Coors has reported a growth in shares.

9. Bud Light

Photo: kinhdoanhnhahang
Photo: kinhdoanhnhahang

With 27.2 million barrels shipped in 2019 and a market share of 13.24, this light lager is America’s best-selling beer. Although Bud Light has a score of just 45/100 on Beer Advocate and an “Awful” rating, this beer is much more popular than its competitors.

But despite its apparent popularity, things aren’t going so well for Bud Light. Between 2013 and 2018, the sales were down 20.7% and in 2019 they dropped another 7.3%. Additionally, by introducing its “no corn syrup” campaign in its 2019 Super Bowl Ads, the brand stirred quite a lot of controversy. Its rivals, Coors Light and Miller Light didn’t take the insinuations too well and a judge issued a court order that prohibited Anheuser-Busch from making any more corn syrup claims.

Bud Light is the number 1 most popular beer on our list. But with millennials ditching mainstream beer for craft beer, wine, or nonalcoholic drinks, things will probably change soon. The most important thing, however, is to drink responsibly and to choose the beverage that suits your taste. Whether it’s a fancy craft beer or a light mass-produced one, make sure it’s served colder than 44 degrees.

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