There’s no disputing that beer aficionados can be very opinionated. They’re known to have very strong feelings about brands that “sell-out,” beers that are overrated, and which breweries are making the best beers at any given moment. They’ll stand in line for hours just for a chance to buy a few bottles of their favorite brewery’s newest offering. They’ll even take road trips to visit beer havens like Vermont and San Diego.
On top of all their beer geek-dom, many suds-obssessives will still enjoy a nice simple lager or (gasp) a light beer every now and then (even if they won’t admit it). Why? Many of these beers are extremely underrated. That’s why we decided to ask some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to underrated beers. These aren’t your sought-after triple IPAs or barrel-aged stouts, but that doesn’t make them any less thirst quenching and delicious.
Constantin Alexander, director of beverage at Hakkasan in Las Vegas
There are so many worthy of inclusion here. For now, I’ll say Trumer Pilsner. It’s relatively unknown in the United States and an amazing beer. You just can’t stop drinking them.
Daniel Condliffe, bartender at JSix in San Diego
I think the Japanese style lagers are highly underrated for the most part. Although they aren’t going to destroy your mouth with rich flavors the basic profiles of lower abv and extremely crisp carbonated rice beers are enjoyable and light. Sapporo for the win.
Wynwood La Rubia
Ilan Chartor, spiritual advisor at KYU in Miami
The most underrated beer is Wynwood’s La Rubia. A blonde ale, but its drinking characteristics make it known as a “lager-esque” ale. I can’t believe it’s not a staple in every bar.
Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City
I think Bud Light gets a bad rap for being “low rate, dive bar beer”. But personally, I love it. It’s everything you need in a light refreshing American Lager.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Evan Danielson, beverage director at City Winery in Nashville
I hate to be a hipster here, but Pabst Blue Ribbon is my go-to light American Lager style beer. Crisp and balanced.
Laura Mitchell, bar lead at BEER PARK in Las Vegas
Kirin Ichiban. It’s a Japanese-style lager that is full of flavor, yet still light and crisp! It is brewed using a first press method, which is like a French press, as it extracts the purest flavors, making its taste clean and fresh
Phil Testa, beverage manager at The Rickey in New York City
This is a broad question because there could be hundreds that are underappreciated. I’m going to go with Bell’s Oberon Ale. It is an absolutely delicious summer beer that doesn’t get that much love. It’s a craft brewery that still has limited distribution. In the beer scene, Bell’s is a favorite, but in the bigger mainstream, it flies under the radar. It’s a special one.
Eva L. Caló, head bartender at Officine Buona Forchetta in San Diego
I would say Kronenbourg 1664. It’s a delicious 5 percent ABV pale lager that tastes great but people associate that brand to a cheap quality beer in the states.
Victory Prima Pils
Megan Reynold’s, owner and certified Cicerone of R&R Taproom in Woodstock, New York
Maybe most underrated isn’t really underrated, but just an early wave craft beer that I’m always happy to see on draft – Victory Brewing’s Prima Pils.
Josh Cameron, head bartender at Boulton & Watt in New York City
Keystone Light does not get the respect it deserves. That beer got us through college, it made you a beer pong champion. It was the beer shot-gunned in showers and on rooftops. It was the beer that inspired Giles Indic (a spirit expert in his own right) to rip off his white tee, screaming “I’m from Jersey!” Have some respect for the juice and give Keith Stone a shout out.