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These Beers Can All Lay Claim To The ‘Champagne Of Beers’ Title

“The Champagne of Beers” is one of those slogans that feels sort of like a joke. And while it is kind of funny in its own American-branding, ham-fisted way, there are plenty of beers out there that are designed to have the same effervescent effect as bubbly. Some beer styles straight-up chase the flavor notes of dry bruts, while the bright fruitiness featured in many newer bottles of champers sees amalgams all over the beer world.

Today we’re chasing down champagne-adjacent beers. Some are literally meant to mimic sparkling wine notes — Brut IPAs and Berliner Weisses (called “The Champagne of the North” as far back as the Napoleonic era). Then there are a few select Belgian farmhouse saisons, lambics, and ales that touch on very similar flavor profiles. These beers don’t necessarily attempt to be champagne-ish, but they travel very close in flavor notes and the overall vibe.

The ten bottles of beer below give you the vibe of champagne while still being beer. These beers are generally light, always refreshing, and deeply tasty. It’s a great category. And yes, we added Miller’s “Champagne of Beers” in the mix, too.

Brasserie Dupont Avec Les Bons Vœux

Brasserie Dupont

Style: Farmhouse Ale/Saison

ABV: 9.5%

Average Price: $11.99, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

This Belgian beer is a real classic. Originally created as a brewery-only offering for special guests, friends, and family of Dupont, the beer was specifically made as a replacement for champers on New Year’s Eve. It proved so popular that it’s now available internationally and remains one of the best winter beers in the world.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a light effervescence from the get-go, with hints of banana and clove next to light spots of lemon zest and black pepper. The malts are sweetened but subtle — with notes of orchard fruits, especially pear, shining through the dry and yeasty body of the sip. There’s a minor note of floral hops that gets a little grassy but never overpowers that orchard fruit and dryness.

Bottom Line:

This is a very “I’ve graduated to really drinking good beer now” beer. It also comes in large sparkling wine bottles with a cork, making it pretty much the same as opening and sharing a bottle of bubbly.

Evil Twin Nomader Weisse

Evil Twin Brewing

Style: Berliner Weisse

ABV: 4%

Average Price: $10.99, four-pack

The Beer:

This American craft version of Berliner Weisse is a solid entry-point to the style. You’re getting quality sour wheat beer without fruit adjuncts or any real faults when it comes to hitting the style marks.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a bready/wheat malt base that gives way to cloves, lemon juice, and peppery spice. The sourness arrives with the first sip and has a slight yogurt tang but leans more lemon juice than lactic. The beer picks up some apple/pear vibes while hitting on very light notes of salted cream on the finish.

Bottom Line:

Look, this isn’t going to impress someone from Berlin who has access to the best Berliner Weisse in the world. What it will do is give you a nice, light, sessionable beer with unique flavors that you can drink a lot of. You can’t complain about that.

Prairie Standard

Prairie Artisan Ales

Style: Farmhouse Ale/Saison

ABV: 5.2%

Average Price: $11.49, four-pack

The Beer:

Prairie Artisan Ales does some great work with unique styles. This brew is built as a light and airy expression, touched by Motueka hops from New Zealand.

Tasting Notes:

The beer opens with a touch of caramel-y sweet rye bread crusts with a slight sour butter funk countered by bright, almost tropical fruits. The body of the beer leverages sweeter orange zest against more tart lemon juices — as hints of pepper, hoppy florals, and savory green herbs mingle. The end is very light, semi-dry, and full of complementary flavors.

Bottom Line:

This is a very crushable beer. Find a four-pack and share it with someone looking for a new world of tastes in beer.

Alesmith Brütiful Day

AleSmith Brewing

Style: Brut IPA

ABV: 7.2%

Average Price: $19.99, six-pack

The Beer:

San Diego’s AleSmith is always cracking the code on new and funky beers. Their Brütiful Day is hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops, which specifically bring a white grape vibe to the beer’s flavor profile, along with a spectrum of tropical fruits and spices.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a lot of fruit next to very dry yeast on the nose, leaning toward pineapple spritzed with lemon juice next to pear, apricots, and plenty of black pepper. The vinous aspects of the sip are really tied to that dry yeast base, bringing a clear sense of champagne into the mix as you sip this beer.

Bottom Line:

This is really close to the “champagne of beers” moniker. To the point that it’s kind of weird drinking it out of a can. Our advice, pour this into a glass and take your time enjoying it.

pFriem Flanders Blonde

pFriem Family Brewing

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: 7.1%

Average Price: $8.99, 12-oz. bottle

The Beer:

This is beer crafted in the style of a Belgian Flanders ale, which was colloquially called the Burgundy of Belgium. This brew famously spends up to two years mellowing in former Pinot Noir casks (Pinot Noir being a champagne grape).

Tasting Notes:

There’s a well-balanced mix of cellared oak next to hints of almost over-ripe apples and dry and fizzy lemon oils. The apple starts to move into a tart territory as the lemon brightens the whole experience. By the end, you’re left with a sense of lightness, brightness, and dry champagne vibes through and through.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those beers that we really can’t imagine drinking in any other situation besides as a replacement for champagne. It’s not really an everyday beer. It’s more of a “I need something really good to pair with this smoked haddock in sour cherry sauce topped with lobster confit” sort of beer.

Allagash Saison

Allagash Brewing

Style: Farmhouse Ale/Saison

ABV: 6.1%

Average Price: $11.76, four-pack

The Beer:

Allagash is one of those craft breweries that really can do no wrong right now. Their Saison is a respectful nod to the original Belgian saisons it’s recreating. The base has 2-Row malts, malted rye, and oats with a dose of Tettnang, Bravo, and Cascade hops bringing the crucial fruitiness and spice into the mix.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a sense of clove and peppercorn steeped orange marmalade spread on crusty sour rye bread, next to a slightly damp pine resin. The pine remains muted as the orange zest and crusty, almost sweet bread leads towards lemon juice tartness and a touch of bitter grapefruit rinds.

The whole sip ends extra dry and light, while holding onto the citrus.

Bottom Line:

This one really goes down almost too easily while easing you into some of the funkier and more complex saisons that actually come from Belgium.

Ballast Point Brut IPA

Constellation Brands

Style: Brut IPA

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $14.29, six-pack

The Beer:

California’s Ballast Point went all-in on the dry, champagne-like Brut IPA with this brew. Their seasonal beer taps into fruity and spicy hops to create a beer the brewers at Ballast Point call “bone dry.”

Tasting Notes:

The beer is super dry even from the nose. The fruits are also front-and-center, with pineapple next to pomelo next to orange. The taste mellows the fruits toward peach and apricot as lemon tartness arrives beside a floral hoppy note with a touch of peppery spice. The dryness and fruit is really the throughline.

Bottom Line:

This really feels like fruity/dry champagne that’s been just touched by floral yet slightly spicy hops. If nothing else, this beer has the sort of combination of flavors worth checking out to expand your beer palate.

Dogfish Head Festina Pêche

Dogfish Head Brewing

Style: Berliner Weisse

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $10, four-pack

The Beer:

If you want solid craft, you can’t go wrong with Dogfish Head. Their Berliner Weisse is fermented with peach sugars, which are eaten by the yeast to create peachy alcohol in the foundation of this beer. This adds a natural fruity sweetness to the sour beer that works wonders.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a thinness to the nose that leans on peach skins and stones more than juicy peach flesh. That lightness carries on through the sip as the peach remains subtle against a very light tartness and touches of yeast and green apples.

Bottom Line:

If you’re afraid of sour or tart bombs, this is the beer to try. It’s ever so delicate in its tartness, with plenty of peaches, that you’ll be able to start dipping your toes in the sour end of the beer pool without being overwhelmed.

Ommegang Brut IPA

Ommegang Brewing

Style: Brut IPA

ABV: 6.5%

Average Price: $12.99, four-pack

The Beer:

This celebratory IPA from Ommegang is crafted to feel like dry champagne that’s been hopped. The beer’s foundation is a base of Pilsner malt and flaked corn that’s then hopped with a mix of Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso, and Citra hops. The brew is then bottle conditioned to create natural carbonation.

Tasting Notes:

That champagne dryness is present from the jump. Hints of pine resin sit next to pineapple cores and bitter grapefruit pith. The sip really ends dry, resinous, and full of that tropical fruit with an earthy edge.

Bottom Line:

This is another crushable brew. The light dryness really marries well to that resin nature in the taste, making this approachable yet unique.

Cantillon Saint Lamvinus

Brasserie Cantillon

Style: Fruit Lambic

ABV: 7%

Average Price: $33.98, 750ml bottle

The Beer:

This lambic purposefully bridges the world of beer and wine. The brew is fruited with Merlot and Cabernet-Franc wine grapes from Bordeaux. The berries and lambic go into old Bordeaux oak barrels where they help start a fermentation, imbuing the already two to three-year-old beer with extra, winey layers.

Tasting Notes:

This opens up smelling of sweet dark berries and red grapes with a hint of oak and leather. That mellows massively into subtler fruits like pear, tangerine, and white grape skins next to hints of dry grass, potting soil, and a musty cheese cellar. By the end, the lightness and semi-dry aspects will leave you with wine tannins, brie rinds, and a final note of those almost woody berries.

Bottom Line:

Look, this whole list could have been different versions of Cantillon and 3 Fonteinen lambics and gueuze. But that would have been too narrow, expensive, and, in some cases, impossible to find for American beer drinkers. Still, this one is worth tracking down.

It’s a brew for the advanced beer drinker — complex, eye-opening, and goddamn delicious.

Bonus Pick: Miller High Life

Molson Coors

Style: Adjunct Lager

ABV: 4.6%

Average Price: $10.50, 12-pack

The Beer:

The “Champagne of Beers” is a classic American brew dating all the way back to 1903. The beer has a base blend of malted barley that’s hopped with Galena hops brought in from the Pacific Northwest.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a malty cracker body to the nose with a slight corn syrup sweetness. The beer has a light body with echoes of unsalted Saltines next to an almost caramel corn vibe. There’s a fairly malty body by the end with a slight svelteness next to all that corn and cracker.

Bottom Line:

This is one of my favorite $2 happy hour brews, or $5 “beer and shot” happy hour deals. It’s super easy to drink, usually well-rounded, and absolutely fine for what it is.

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