#18 Coors Golden Banquet

Coors Banquet

#18 Coors Golden Banquet

Type: American Adjunct Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 5%
Sticker Price: $5.99/6-pack of bottles

I’m going to stop buying anything Coors. This one caught my eye with its retro label promising old-time craft-style flavor. Not a big fan of lagers, I was let down again. Maybe it has its place on a hot day but I’d prefer something with more bitterness and less syrupy sweetness. Or water.

  • Rating (5=best): 2
  • Nose: Yeast, tiny bit of grain, corn, bubblegum.
  • Flavor: Sickly sweet, corn, very watery body. Quite bland.
  • Finish: Tiniest bit of hoppy bitterness that vanishes quickly.
  • Notes: This could be a great thirst-quencher but I would rather just drink water.
  • Shilpi: “Surfbort.” Me: “C’mon, give me something.” Shilpi: “Meh, it’s beer.”

#17 Negra Modelo

Negra Modelo

#17 Negra Modelo

Type: Vienna Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

While not a fan of Mexican beers in general, this cerveza is one of the simple and thirst quenching brews. Its inoffensiveness and sweet flavor leave a clean palate ready for food. Definitely not complex or too interesting, it gives the suggestion of something darker without demanding all my attention.

  • Rating (5=best): 3
  • Nose: Roasted corn, toasty malt. Not too much to pick out. Bit of a metallic tang.
  • Flavor: Super sweet, caramel malts. Tiny note of grassy hops. A little too watery but sometimes that’s good.
  • Finish: That strange medicinal aftertaste that reminds me of Belgian ales. Vanishes quickly.
  • Notes: The simplicity of the flavor leaves much to be desired. For a one-note beer, it’s a sweet one.
  • Shilpi: “It’s too bitter for a cerveza.”

#16 Angel City Eureka! Wit

Angel City Eureka

#16 Angel City Eureka! Wit

Type: Witbier
Container: Bottle
ABV: 5.5%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

I’m definitely in favor of drinking local. Angel City is brewed less than 5 miles from where we live. However, my first taste of their wares leaves something to be desired. They label this witbier “California Style,” and while I’m not sure what that means, it doesn’t impress. I’m sure there’s wheat in here but the carbonation and bitterness washes away most of that Belgian flavor I love. If you’re hot, thirsty and not looking for anything complex, it might just hit the spot.

  • Rating (5=best): 2.5
  • Nose: Minerals, coriander and clove. Yeast gas, like over-proofed bread dough.
  • Flavor: Quite bitter. Lots of lemon rind but not peel. Very bubbly: the carbonation whisks away a lot of flavor.
  • Finish: The carbonation takes a lot away with it but left be hind is grapefruit without the sweetness. Bitter, hoppy and crisply cleansing.
  • Notes: Thirst quenching yet too bitter for a witbier. I prefer mine more yeasty sweet and less pale ale bitter.
  • Shilpi: “I wasn’t too impressed. I felt like it was more bitter than I wanted it to be.”

#15 Hoegaarden


#15 Hoegaarden

Type: Witbier
Container: Bottle
ABV: 4.9%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

When I started drinking beer, I thought I hated any beer with wheat in it. I’m happy to say I have learned better and generally enjoy them. There are better and there are worse, but Hoegaarden is the standard for me. While it’s a tad more expensive than others in the aisle, it’s worth every penny. It’s even better on tap.

  • Rating (5=best): 4
  • Nose: Bright grain, coriander, banana, hint of clove.
  • Flavor: Crisp citrus, lemon, orange rind, floral notes. Sweet cake with a slight citrus pith or grapefruit bitterness toward the finish.
  • Finish: The carbonation whisks it away quickly but look for a cross between a fruity gum and jasmine green tea flavors. Mmm!
  • Notes: Lovely fine carbonation gives this a creamy mouthfeel while the bright spicy citrus flavors cleanse the palate. Great for hot weather and fatty foods. Can’t wait for the next barbecue!
  • Shilpi: “It was the first beer I drank where I thought, ‘Oh, this isn’t that bad!’”

#14 Budweiser


#14 Budweiser

Type: Pale Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 5%
Sticker Price: $5.99/6-pack of bottles

Despite being a Miller state, this was the beer we cooked our bratwurst in back home in Oshkosh, WI. It served that purpose very well. It doesn’t impress me as a drinking beer but I saw it in the aisle and had to grab a few.

  • Rating (5=best): 1.5
  • Nose: Barely there: canned vegetables, corn, straw.
  • Flavor: Very light and carbonated. Not much aside from crispness. Tiny bit of malt.
  • Finish: Short and refreshing with a slight grainy note on the very end. Hardly any bitterness at all. I think the crispness comes mostly from the carbonation.
  • Notes: If you want something this bland and refreshing, just drink some water. I won’t be getting this one again.
  • Shilpi: “It’s beer. I don’t know.”

#13 Sapporo Premium Beer

Sapporo Premium


#13 Sapporo Premium Beer

Type: Japanese Rice Lager
Container: Bottle
ABV: 4.9%
Sticker Price: $8.99/6-pack of bottles

It was a six pack of Japanese beer and some Thai curry at dinner with a British friend  that sent me down this road years ago. I’ve been to Japan and tried a lot of their beers. While generally inoffensive, few have stood out as ‘good.’ This isn’t one of them. The six pack has been left unfinished in the fridge for over two weeks: it’s rare for beer to survive that long in this refrigerator.

  • Rating (5=best): 2
  • Nose: Yeasty malt, boiled sweet corn. Cabbage or bok choy?
  • Flavor: Very light and carbonated. More of a palate cleanser. Slight bitterness but mostly sweet malt.
  • Finish: Short and dry but refreshing
  • Notes: Pretty plain and boring but refreshing. On a hot day or with some curry it might be good. Not bad but by itself this beer isn’t worth the calories or the price of an import. I won’t be getting this one again.
  • Shilpi: “It’s feisty like the Japanese. (one sip) That’s all I want. But I’ll take the kitty!”

#12 Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Rogue Dead Guy Ale


#12 Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Type: German Maibock
Container: Bottle
ABV: 6.5%
Sticker Price: $9.99/6-pack of bottles

I was introduced to this by a friend while shooting a movie in Celebration, Florida. Nearly every night we ended up at the bar and this was my brew of choice. I still like it when I’m looking to spend a little more on some beer. This is what I’m looking for in a beer: lots of complex malts with just the right amount of hops to cleans the palate on the finish.

  • Rating (5=best): 4.5
  • Nose: Rye bread, corriander, sweet floral hops, sweet corn and malt, cloves?
  • Flavor: Nice and heavy caramel malts, lemony citrus. Hints of darker roasted flavors balanced by smooth hop and lemon rind bitterness. Heavy body for a lager.
  • Finish: Lots of alcohol on the finish. Not too bitter, just enough grapefruit to round out the malt sweetness. Papaya?
  • Notes: Don’t drink this too cold or too warm. Too cold and you miss out on the subtleties in the malts. Too warm and the alcohol overpowers everything. There’s a perfect temperature somewhere in between that allows the flavors to bloom but the alcohol takes a back seat.
  • Shilpi: “It’s too bitter.”

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.