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Craft Beer Experts Pick The Most Underrated Lagers Of All Time

It’s officially crispy beer season, the weather is getting warmer and spring is in full bloom. There are myriad options this time of year, but for us, thirst-quenching lagers are the play of the day. Among all the easy-drinking beers, nothing is easier.

When it comes to refreshing spring and summer drinking, we’re looking for the perfect ratio between flavor and total crushability. For that, we’re talking about classic European lagers, American lagers, Vienna lagers, bocks, and of course crisp and thirst-quenching pilsners. To help you find some less-talked-about winners, we asked a handful of craft beer experts, brewers, and beer professionals to tell us the most underrated lagers of all time.

Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle

Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle
Rothaus

Rob Day, director of marketing for Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, Massachusetts

ABV: 5.1%

Average Price: $17.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Rothaus Pils Tannen Zäpfle is a really underrated lager (in America). I think a lot of the imports have drifted into the shadows as craft beer exploded, but this is just an incredible example of the style. Crisp and clean with a nice bread-like malt presence, it’s a very complex, well-made beer.

Sapporo Premium Beer

Sapporo Premium Beer
Sapporo

Mike Haakenstad, brewing operations manager at Sycamore Brewing in Charlotte, North Carolina

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $8.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

In my opinion, the most underrated lager is an ice-cold Sapporo out of one of those fancy un-dentable cans. This beer doesn’t get much love, but I haven’t come across a meal that it doesn’t drink well with. It’s super light and crisp, slightly sweet, and has a touch of hops on the nose. Perhaps access to the beer could be an issue as to why it is so under-appreciated. Mainly available in Asian restaurants exclusively, in addition to retailers, this beer doesn’t get a ton of exposure.

Do not be fooled, this beer is a sleeper.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Boston Beer Co.

David Ringler, director of Happiness at Cedar Springs Brewing Company in Grand Rapids. Michigan

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I truly enjoy Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I mean, it was one of the first American craft beers to sell in Germany under the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian beer laws). It really is a fantastic, herbal and spiced, drinkable beer that is available nearly everywhere and kind of taken for granted nowadays.

Marlowe The Way I See It

Marlowe The Way I See It
Marlowe

Sean Towers, owner and brewer at The Seed: A Living Beer Project in Atlantic City

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $16 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

To me, one of the most underrated lagers out there is The Way I See It, an unfiltered German pils-inspired pale lager from Zac Ross and Marlowe Artisanal Ales. We are always sticklers for simplicity and focus, and these are both facets that we have always held the utmost respect for when it comes to the beers that Zac is making at Marlowe. What makes The Way I See It so great lines up with both of those traits. It is a straightforward equation of carefully selected ingredients, water, and time that are all manipulated with a super high level of attention to detail (as all high-quality lager should be) to create a beer that drinks so effortlessly all while knowing how much went into producing it. This hop-forward, yet delicate, little beer provides just enough of everything you would want in a pale lager (minerality, softness, bitterness) while keeping everything balanced in perfect harmony.

I think this beer, as well as the rest of the Marlowe portfolio, can be underrated simply because Marlowe does not yet have their own brick-and-mortar location to fully immerse folks within its story.

Bierstadt Slow Pour Pils

Bierstadt Slow Pour Pils
Bierstadt

Eric Warner, brewmaster at Karbach Brewing in Houston

ABV: 5.1%

Average Price: $12 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Bierstadt Lagerhaus Slow Pour Pils is a must try pilsner. It’s an insanely drinkable lager that’s extremely flavorful and clean. The subtle nature of the style might not always wow people, but its beauty is in the delicate, soft mouthfeel of this incredibly refreshing lager.

Urban Roots 10°

Urban Roots 10°
Urban Roots

Douglas Constantiner, founder and CEO of Societe Brewing in San Diego

ABV: 3.9%

Average Price: $5 for a 16-ounce can

Why This Beer?

Urban Roots 10° is my go-to. It’s only underrated because Urban Roots does not widely distribute. They’re a brewery and BBQ joint in Sacramento. The flavors are beautifully nuanced and complement the drinking experience — crisp, refreshing, and drinkable.

Trumer Pils

Trumer Pils
Trumer Pils

Douglas Hasker, head brewer at Puesto Cerveceria in San Diego

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: $8.50 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Trumer Pils is often overlooked as a craft beer. This pilsner brewed in Berkeley, California (with a sister brewery in Salzburg) is world-class. Crisp and dry with a pleasant Noble hop aroma and balanced bitterness, it’s difficult to beat.

Pacifico Clara

Pacifico Clara
Pacifico

Mike Kelly, senior brewer at Harpoon Brewery in Boston

ABV: 4.4%

Average Price: $9 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Pacifico is often overlooked when it comes to Mexican lagers. While remaining incredibly refreshing and light, this beer packs significantly more hop aromatics and malt flavor than other iterations of the same style.

Bohemia

Bohemia
Bohemia

Dan Lipke, head brewer at Clown Shoes Beer in Boston

ABV: 4.7%

Average Price: $8 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

Bohemia is my pick. This is a fantastic Czech-style pilsner, full-bodied and brimming with toasty malt and Czech hops. Very enjoyable if you can find it and definitely doesn’t get the respect it deserves.

Heater Allen Pils

Heart Allen Pils
Heart Allen

Frank Gervasi, certified Cicerone™ and general manager at Arizona Wilderness Brewing in Phoenix

ABV: 5%

Average Price: $7 for a 16-ounce can

Why This Beer?

I don’t see Heater Allan Pils much in the Valley, but when I do, it’s always my choice. Heater Allen is one of the top lager breweries in the U.S., but this is a brewery (and beer) more appreciated by brewers than the average craft fan. It’s clean, with a little bit more of a rounded mouthfeel, and the hops used are brighter than a typical Czech pils.

American Solera Little Sun

American Solera Little Sun
American Solera

Derek Gold, director of brewing operations Weldwerks Brewing in Greeley, Colorado

ABV: 5%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

Little Sun from American Solera and Our Mutual Friend Brewing is my pick. Complexity is the name of the game for this foeder-aged lager collab. Rustic bread crust with toasted oak and floral and citrus hop aromas permeate. It finishes dry and crisp with a pleasant bitterness.

It’s not your typical summer crusher, but it would definitely be a go-to for me.

Yuengling Traditional Lager

Yuengling Traditional Lager
Yuengling

Nik Mebane, brewmaster at Wynwood Brewing in Miami

ABV: 4.5%

Average Price: $7 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I would have to say Yuengling Lager. I grew up on this beer and it will always have a special place in my heart. Whenever I go to a bar that doesn’t really have many craft beer offerings, this is my go-to. I don’t think too many give this beer credit outside of Pennsylvania and Florida, so it kind of flies under the radar at times.

Radeberger Pilsner

Radeberger Pilsner
Radeberger

Marshall Hendrickson, co-founder and head of operations at Veza Sur Brewing in Miami

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $9 for a four-pack of 16-ounce cans

Why This Beer?

Radeberger Pilsner. This beer is a quintessential German Pils to me, light and refreshing with some great Noble hop flavor and aroma. It goes great with food, or if you want to knock back a couple on a warm day. It’s a wonderful beer. It should be more popular in the U.S. than it is.

Menabrea Bionda Lager

Menabrea Bionda Lager
Menabrea

Jesse Mix, regional manager of beer and soft drinks at Sprecher Brewing Company in Glendale, Wisconsin

ABV: 4.8%

Average Price: $14 for a six-pack

Why This Beer?

I’m going with Menabrea Bionda Lager. Pilsners and Blondes tend to be dominated by the German breweries but some beautiful light lagers are being produced by some traditional breweries in Italy. Made with a proprietary yeast culture, corn, and Magnum hops this is just a delicious beer that will pair well with just about any type of food and situation.

Austin Beer Garden Industry Pils

Austin Beer Garden Industry Pils
Austin Beer Garden

Ryan Pachmayer, head brewer at Yak & Yeti Brewpub and Restaurant in Arvada, Colorado

ABV: 4.9%

Average Price: Limited Availability

Why This Beer?

The ABGB’s Industry Pils is not exactly unknown, it wins awards and lager drinkers love it. But even though it stacks up even against the best pilsners, it’s still not a household name. I’ve hosted a few blind tastings and it is always at or among the top, they just really know how to integrate all the bitterness in such a hop-forward beer so that it doesn’t come across as sharp. You can drink them again and again, not paying any attention, or you can observe every nuance in the beer from each sip.

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