A great party calls for a lot of easy-drinking beer. The best party beer is often a balance of the cheapest and most quaffable. Yes, it’s a great idea to have a few nice bottles of local craft on hand to wow your guests. But when it comes time to party, light lager is the play. It’s thin, easy to drink, and doesn’t cost a small fortune for a sixer, much less a case.
So what’s the best party beer to stock in your fridge or cooler at your next shindig? That’s hard to pin down. There are a lot of cheap options on the beer aisle these days.
To find an answer to this very important question, we polled the people. Over at Ranker, the masses have offered up 13,000 votes. Before we dive in a break this list down, know this: This is a list about having fun, getting tipsy with your crew, and not draining your bank account to do so. Are these the best beers in the whole-wide-world? No. This is all about good, cheap times. Let us know your go-to cheap beer in the comments!
Budweiser feels like the right fit for a number ten seed. This is an American classic lager with a straw finish, mildly sweet demeanor, and easy-drinking five percent ABV. Plus, it’s about 75 cents a bottle (depending on local tax).
24 cans cost: $17.99
9. Pabst Blue Ribbon
PBR is a solid choice to have on hand any ol’ time, especially for a party. Cans of PBR go down very easily — with an echo of malt sweetness underpinning a distant whisper of hop bitterness still intact. This has a thicker velvet edge than a Bud, making it a pretty easy beer to please a big crowd.
24 cans cost: $17.99
8. Miller Lite
Miller Lite has a great tendency for being just the right beer to have around that everyone will enjoy. There’s a light straw nature at play with the mildly sweet malt. There’s an ever-so-distant reminder of hops on the back end with a nice, dry fizz. Add in the 4.2 percent ABV, and you have a very drinkable beer for a long day and night.
18 cans cost: $13.99
7. Bud Light
This is by far the thinnest beer on the list. Bud Light is a bit of a double-edged sword. When it’s bad, it’s really bad. But when it’s good, it’s everything you need in a beer. Case in point, an ice cold (and we mean ice-freaking-cold) glass/can/bottle when you’ve been outside in 100+ degree weather all day is bliss. It’s like drinking a slightly malted and hop-bittered carbonated soda water.
It has its place is what we’re saying.
24 cans cost: $17.99
Heineken feels like another easy, crowd-pleasing beer to have in a cooler in the backyard while the food hits the grill. The Dutch import tends to have a little more nuance at play. There’s a clear malt sweetness with a little hop heft left on the back. When served ice cold, it’s hard to argue with the simplicity of this beer.
24 bottles cost: $27.99
5. Corona Extra
Shove a lime into a bottle of Corona and forget-about-it. We all know this is a crowd-pleasing beer at any party. The lime mixing with the corn-fueled malts and the slight hints of hoppy bitterness work well together. Just make sure to serve nice guacamole with plenty of chips to go along with this one.
24 bottles cost: $25.99
4. Boston Lager
Samuel Adam Boston Lager is the “independent” American craft beer to have on hand that’ll put a smile on the face of any beer snob in your backyard. The beer has a clear and very distinct malt base with a bold hoppiness that doesn’t overwhelm the overall beer. The only drawback here is that beer-for-beer these bottles cost about twice as much as, say, PBR or Miller Lite.
12 bottles cost: $15.99
Yuengling Traditional Lager is the American amber that’ll please any of your Mid-Atlantic guests. The Pennsylvania beer is has a decent balance of mild malts followed by a nice rush of hops at the end with a grassy flourish. It’s a nice step up from the thinner, lighter beers.
24 bottles cost: $22.99
2. Blue Moon
Blue Moon is another classic craft beer with an edge to it. The wheaty beer has a nice spice under a clear maltiness with hints of hops on the backend. This is a great summer sipping beer that always puts smiles on faces.
24-bottles cost: $30.99
1. Stella Artois
Coming from Belgium, the home of great beers, Stella Artois feels like a fancy beer to serve at your party. The easy-drinking blonde lager has a reliable malt base with an almost toasty sweetness. That’s followed by a clear hop finish that balances the whole beer out with a dry nature.
24 bottles cost: $29.99