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19 Beers Every Beer-Lover Has to Try Right Now

If you're thirsty for something more than a mug of suds, here's a quick tutorial on several major types and brands of beer that ought to elevate your brew.

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Bass, Pale Ale

One can find many bitter beers in English breweries. Premium Bitters are stronger in alcohol—above 4.8 percent. Bass is a classic example of this variety. Bass is amber with a toasty flavor and light enough to sip all evening (responsibly). Here is how you can open a beer when you don’t have a bottle opener.

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New Glarus Brewing Company, Spotted Cow

New Glarus Brewing Co. is a small brewery located in New Glarus, Wisconsin. Their Spotted Cow brew is produced year round and is a favorite for many Wisconsin natives. “Expect this ale to be fun, fruity, and satisfying. You know you’re in Wisconsin when you see the Spotted Cow,” they say.

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Sierra Nevada, Pale Ale

Light and at the same time complex, this beer is considered by many to exemplify this variety of beer. It showcases a balanced combination of subtly sweet malt and mildly bitter hops.

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Beers that qualify as this style rarely fit neatly into beer categories. Color can range as can acidity, malt levels, hoppiness, and yeastiness. Though the alcohol is generally under 7 percent. Orval, unlike other Trappist breweries, only makes one ale available to the public. Between the first and second fermentation the beer also undergoes additional dry-hopping process resulting in a extra-dry, hoppy beer.

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St. Bernardus, Abt. 12

Abt, or quadrupel, is the name given to ultra-strong Trappist and abbey ales. Alcohol is very high commonly for both. This brew is the highest in alcohol content, 10.5 percent, so St. Patrick’s day imbibers beware. Most wines are between 13-15 percent. This is a dark, fruity, and smooth beer.

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Stella Artois, Pale Lager

Pale Lagers are probably one of the best known types of beer, including the drinkable but predictable Budweisers, Heinekens, and Coronas. Stella Artois has a nice yeasty aroma and a clean flavor; get it from a freshly tapped keg for the best taste.

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German Pilsners come in two varieties, northern and southern. The golden pilsner was developed in Pilsen, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), in the mid-19th century. Pinkus describes their organic Ur Pils as golden in color, well balanced, bright hops, and fresh malt.

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Sam Adams, Boston Lager

Premium Lagers fall between mainstream Pale Lager and Pilsner and are deep gold to bronze in color. Sam Adams is created by “decoction mash, a time consuming, traditional four vessel brewing process” which is no longer used in many breweries, says This beer is a perennial favorite and can be found just about anywhere.

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Hoegaarden, Belgian White

Belgian Whites are pale and cloudy with distinctive coriander and orange flavors; Hoegaarden is a classic example of the type. Drinkers pronounce it as refreshing. This is what you want from a beer that won’t weigh you down. As easy to drink as Bud but bursting with flavor.

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Sam Adams Blackberry Witbier

A fruit beer is any beer brewed with the addition of fruit. In this case, blackberries are married with the citrus style of the witbier. Great wild-blackberry flavors dominate with the first sip of this beer, which then mellows out on the finish.

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Lindemans, Framboise

Real Lambics are brewed only in Brussels in the Senne Valley. Raspberry, or framboise, is the traditional fruit used, along with cherry—Lindemans Framboise is among the most popular. This sparkling brew is low in alcohol and very refreshing.

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Keith Homan/Shutterstock

Samuel Adams, Winter Lager

Weizen bocks are brewed with heavily malted wheat and consequently are great as late winter/early spring brews-perfect for a chilly St. Patrick’s Day evening! Cinnamon and toasty spices dominate.

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Samuel Smith’s, Oatmeal Stout

“Originally a drink for lactating mothers,” is the way the description of this cousin to Guinness (arguably the most famous stout) starts. A small addition of oats gives it its name. Flavors of rich, dark chocolate dominate in this smooth, satisfying beer.

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Guinness, Draught 

Guinness describes this beer as a, “perfect balance of bitter and sweet with malt and roast characters.” This brew was developed in 1959 and marked their 200th anniversary as well as Arthur Guinness signing his 9,000-year lease. Read up on these fascinating facts about Guinness beer.

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Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Sumpin’

Little Sumpin’ is a great beer for IPA lovers but also has a smooth finish. It pairs great with fettuccini alfredo and chicken tikka masala.

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Blue Moon, Belgian White

This was their first year round release in 1995. Keith Villa created the beer based off of the Valencia orange peel to create a smooth and creamy finish. It’s best served with an orange slice to bring out the citrus flavor.

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Courtesy Captain-Lawrence

Captain Lawrence, Effortless Sessions IPA

This is a great brew to sip while you sit back and relax. “The only thing Effortless about this beer is the way it drinks. Domestic and Imported Malts play the back seat to the loads of American Grown Hops that were dumped into both the kettle and the fermenter. Dry hopped for a mouthwatering aroma with Mosaic and Palisade Hops,” says Captain Lawrence Brewing.

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Goose Island, 312 Urban Wheat Ale

This spicy, crisp, and fruity brew was inspired by the city of Chicago. It’s available year round and has one many awards in the beer world.

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Leinenkugel’s, Summer Shandy

“Our traditional weiss beer with refreshing natural lemonade flavor that makes it the perfect summer beer,” Leinenkugel’s says. It pairs great with classic summer foods such as watermelon, fruit salad, grilled fish, and BBQ chicken.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.

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