5 Best Lager Beers You Can Find Almost Anywhere

Before I dive into the full list of the best lager beer, let me start by saying this is a ranking of the best lager beer you can get from the grocery store. It might shock you to hear it, but I haven’t been able to travel the country tasting every lager from every town’s craft brewery. (I’m open to it, of course, but someone would need to pay me and no one has offered yet.) I have, on the other hand, tasted and ranked the best lagers that are easy to find no matter your region’s craft brewery scene.

Here’s what we’re talking about when we talk about lager: Technically speaking, lagers are beers brewed at cool temperatures and slow fermented. A lot of beers fit under the lager umbrella: pilsners, bocks, kolsh beers, dunkels. Budweiser is a lager (you won’t find it on this list, though, but check out where Bud Light falls on our best light beer list). In terms of flavor and quality, lagers are light in color (straw or pale gold), they aren’t bitter, they aren’t fruity, they’re light and crisp and very, very fizzy. They’re meant to be served extremely cold. Essentially, the best lager beers should quench your thirst and refresh you. So, that’s what I looked for in the best lager beer—but I couldn’t resist awarding a bonus point or two for some pleasant flavor, even if the definition of a lager is a characterless brew. 

So, with all that in mind, here’s the best American lager, the best Mexican lager, and more of the best lager beers you can easily source. 


Trader Joe’s Simpler Times

Best Cheap

Trader Joe’s Simpler Times

In an incredibly controversial move, we named Trader Joe’s lager as the best Trader Joe’s beer. People were shocked, but you need to give it a try. Served extremely cold (as a lager should be), it’s fresh, lightly malty, and very, very easy drinking. It’s a great party beer and it’s so cheap you can afford to have a big party.

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Grolsch

Best Packaging

Grolsch

Grolsch is one of the best lager beers for the packaging alone. There is nothing more satisfying than popping open the swingtop on a Grolsch. The bottle is hefty and makes you feel like you’re back in old-timey days, sitting in a tavern, drinking lager and listening to someone play the lute. And, if you’re a homebrewer, you know how useful these bottles can be—just sterilize them, fill ‘em with your homebrew, cap, and age! Plus, Grolsch is a perfectly crisp, very lightly sweet lager—it almost has a Sprite-esque sweetness to it, but it finishes dry and light.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Bohemia Pilsner

Best Mexican Lager

Bohemia Pilsner

Bohemia has always been my pick for a beer at a taqueria. It brings a little more to the party than some other beers in the running for best Mexican lager. It has a hint of lemon zest and a faint resin aroma. It’s zesty, but balanced by some spritzy creaminess. It goes without saying but it’s perfect with tacos—especially ones filled with fattier meats like carnitas or cabeza. It cuts the richness and cleanses your palate, readying you for another bite.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Longboard lager

Best Flavorful

Longboard

If you’re looking for a lager that actually tastes like something, this is the best lager beer for you. The lager board (if there is such a thing) would have an absolute fit if they took a sip. It’s bright and crisp and almost has the quality of a fresh tomato picked off the vine—that grassy, sweet, vegetal flavor. If you are searching for a traditional lager, this is not the best lager for you. But if you want something that has actual beer flavor without being a bitter hop bomb of an IPA this is the answer. It does check one box in the lager must-haves: bubbles. Longboard is fizzy as fizzy can be with lots of teeny, tiny bubbles.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

red stripe lager

Best of the Best

Red Stripe

One sip of Red Stripe and you are on vacation. Even if you’ve never had a Red Stripe on vacation, it will make you feel as if you had. It’s bright and so crisp and thirst quenching—just like a real lager should be. The bubbles make your tongue tingle. And there’s just enough sweetness (that same Sprite-style sweetness I tasted in Grolsch) that you can really gulp it down. And you can’t ignore the pleasing packaging. This is the best lager beer all around. Grab a six-pack. Chill it down to sub-zero levels. And enjoy.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks


About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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  • And that’s how it came to pass…that the convict crew, who tarred the roof of the plate factory in 1943, sat in a row drinking icy cold bohemia style beer. Courtesy of the hardest screw who ever walked a turn at Shawshank. The colossal prick even managed to sound magnanimous.

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  • If you are looking for a gluten free lager, Whole Foods tends to carry Damm Daura Lager which is Gluten Removed. Redbridge Lager isn’t half bad either.

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  • Love love love the 5 best lagers list, Justine. I’m an avid craft beer drinker, and have sampled some of the best (and most expensive) beers on the market. However, I’m also a very avid drinker of just “regular” beers. As I started down your list and saw Grolsch at #4, I was excited. It’s one of my go-to beers over and over again, both for the packaging and the flavor. However, as I approached #1, I was thinking to myself, “Red Stripe is sooooo underappreciated.” It has been my favorite lager for years, and 4 trips to Jamaica have only reinforced my love for it more and more. Glad you love it as well!! Thanks for the list and cheers!

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