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Craft Beer Experts Shout Out The Most Underrated Beers On The Market

Dubbing something “underrated” really comes down to what your definition of underrated actually is. To us, it has nothing to do with a beer’s sales but entirely with its perception. That’s why both a high-selling macro brew and a little-known craft beer can both be underrated and underappreciated.

When talking about underrated beers, Eric Warner, brewmaster at Karbach Brewing Co. in Houston, refuses to pick one specific beer. Instead, he opts for a whole style.

“I’m a huge fan of helles,” he notes. “The ‘every day’ pale lager that is on tap in every bar and restaurant in Munich. The malt aromas are often reminiscent of light bread and honey, and the subtle hop notes are floral and spicy. The taste is slightly sweet up front but then clean on the finish without being dry or bitter.”

While it’s easy to pick underrated styles, selecting underappreciated beers is a tougher task. To help out, we asked a handful of well-known brewers, beer professionals, and craft beer experts to tell us their picks for the most under-valued beers of all time. Keep reading to see all of their selections.

Professor Fritz Briem 1809

Professor Fritz Briem 1809
Professor Fritz Briem

Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, New York

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $7 for a can

Why This Beer?

Dr. Fritz Briem’s 1809 Berliner Weisse is almost single-handedly responsible for the new rise of Berliner Weisse in the United States. When people talk about some seminal punk bands, they say “Almost no one went to their shows, but each person who went started their own band.” That’s Briem Berliner Weisse, the complexity of which showed us that real Berliner Weisse didn’t need a “schuss” of fruit syrup to be great.

Strong Rope JJ Bollerack Brown Ale

Strong Rope JJ Bollerack Brown Ale
Strong Rope

Alex Wenner, owner and brewer at Lasting Joy Brewery in Hudson Valley, New York

ABV: 6.2%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

I’ll give you an underrated beer in a criminally underrated style: Strong Rope Brewery’s JJ Bollerack Brown Ale. American brown ales are no longer the staple of every craft brewery that they were a few years ago, and honestly, it makes me sad. Jason Sahler at Strong Rope Brewery however brews this one just the way I like it with dark toast, dank hops, a little spiciness from the rye, and a little bit of a burnt caramel finish. It’s perfectly balanced, sweet, and bitter.

This is a beer that won’t be the one you talk about the next day but will order every time you see it.

Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell
Pilsner Urquell

Andrew Hood, wood cellar manager and brewer at Sun King Brewery in Indianapolis

ABV: 4.4%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

The most underrated beer would be Pilsner Urquell. It’s a great lager that’s still brewed with an old-world style. Not many breweries are still doing that to this day. It’s crisp, refreshing, light, and highly crushable. What more could you ask for in a beer?

Coors Banquet Beer

Coors Banquet Beer
Coors

Shaun O’Sullivan, co-founder and brewmaster at 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $6.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Coors Banquet Beer is that beer for me. This ubiquitous beer — that probably doesn’t rate high on the craft beer list — is wonderful with its refreshing sweet notes, light malt aroma, and zippy carbonation. Beer industry secret follows: It’s one of the favorites with my brewery sisters and brothers.

Zillicoah Kellerpils

Zillicoah Kellerpils
Zillicoah

Patrick Ware, co-founder and head of brewing operations at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. in Phoenix, Arizona

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Zillicoah Kellerpils is my pick. The kellerbier style seems to fall off the radar for most beer-drinkers, but I’m drawn to it. It’s a little less refined than your classic pilsner. It’s unfiltered, dry, and crisp. So crushable.

Telluride Face Down Brown

Telluride Face Down Brown
Telluride

Kevin Schmunk, brewer at Urban South Brewery in New Orleans

ABV: 5.7%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

The most underrated beer in my opinion is the brown ale. While I agree many can fall short and be a little lackluster, when you do find a good one, you’ll know it. The mouthfeel needs to be in that sweet spot: Not too thin or too heavy, sweet yet still refreshing with a hint of brown sugar and perfectly paired hops. My favorite brown ale, when I can get my hands on it, is Face Down Brown by Telluride Brewing Co.

Cigar City Maduro

Cigar City Maduro
Cigar City

Luis G. Brignoni, founder of Wynwood Brewing Co. in Miami

ABV: 5.5%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I’m not sure if we’re talking about styles or specific brands, but we don’t make a brown ale anymore and really do love that style. We don’t make the style because it’s close to our Pop’s Porter and we wanted to focus on one dark style throughout the year. I think Cigar City Brewing’s Maduro is an excellent representation of a great brown and it’s delicious. We’re honestly lucky that we can get that beer year-round here in Florida. The malt backbone with the silky mouthfeel makes it a full-bodied brown ale that hits just right. You get some nice hints of chocolate and coffee too.

Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter

Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter
Samuel Smith

Stephen Hale, founding brewer at Schlafly Beer in St. Louis

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $9 for a four-pack

Why This Beer?

Although we’ve brewed quite a few porters over the years (including Holy Smoke Papal Porter for the Pope’s visit years ago), we currently don’t have a regular one in the lineup. Porters are generally understated, and pretty fabulous black ales without the big roastiness of stouts, and the ABV is often moderate which is a big win. Not that Tadcaster is underrated, it’s just that porters need a brighter spotlight sometimes.

Writer’s Pick: Trumer Pils

Trumer Pils
Trumer

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $8.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Regardless of the time of year, it’s really hard to beat the clean, crisp, refreshing taste of a well-made pilsner. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular beer styles in the world. Trumer Pils is a highly crushable 4.9 percent ABV and features a complex, well-balanced flavor profile of bright, floral hops and flavorful malts.

Writer’s Pick: Genesee Cream Ale

Genesee Cream Ale
Genesee

ABV: 5.1%

Average Price: $11 for a 12-pack

Why This Beer?

There’s a chance that you’ve never heard of this beer. And if you have, there’s a good possibility your father or grandfather drank it. But maybe they were on to something. This classic cream ale that’s been brewed the same way since its inception in 1960. It’s like a combination of a bold lager and an ale. It’s filled with flavors like caramel, sweet corn, fresh-baked bread, and a creamy vanilla-like sweetness. But there’s also a nice crisp, refreshing aspect as well.

Overall, this is a beer that deserves much more acclaim.

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