The Most Popular Beers in the US

The US beer market has undergone some significant changes in recent years. Most notably, the rise of craft beers and their impact on the major beer producers has certainly had an effect on what beers you'll find on offer with your local stores. However, what are the most popular beers in the US today? Interestingly, you'll find some familiar names on the bestseller list.

Major Brand Offerings

First, you have to understand that no matter how popular craft brews become, they simply cannot overtake the sheer volume of brews sold by major brands. For instance, Bud Light remains the most popular beer in America, despite its significant lack of body or flavor. Coming in second, you will find Budweiser, followed immediately by Miller Light. The number four and five slots are filled by Coors Light and Corona Extra, respectively.

If you were to base your decision purely off the volume of beer sold, it might be easy to think that America had no real beer offerings. However, a glance at the top craft beers in the nation reveals a wealth of options that cannot be matched by the big boys.

One of the top rated craft brews in the US is Pliny the Elder from Russian River. Bell's Two Hearted Ale is also very popular. Stone Arrogant Bastard and Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA also top the list of most popular craft brews in the nation. If your tastes lie in a different direction, you might want to try Bear Republic Racer 5 or some North Coast Old Rasputin. Other options include Rahr Iron Thistle, Saison Dupont, Rahr Storm Cloud and New Belgium Fat Tire.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown, Rogue Dead Guy, Victory Prima Pils and Surly Furious are also worthy options here, and offer an assortment of flavors, characteristics and food pairings.

If you take a look at things on a global scale, you'll find a familiar landscape, though. By sheer volume, Snow takes first place, thanks in large part to the enormous population in China. Bud Light is the second most popular beverage in the world, followed by Budweiser, Skol, Corona and Heineken. 

Of course, those standings are only by volume, rather than based on actual preferences. As more and more craft brewers develop the ability to sell larger quantities, you should expect to see some of those names in the top echelons of brewing in the near future.

Posted on March 17, 2011 and filed under Beer Styles and Trends.