Best Beers in America

Abbey Miller
Published on
by Abbey Miller

America has a long-standing brewing history, from the prohibition era to the emergence of craft breweries and even the craft beer revolution. All these shape the beer scene in the United States.

With thousands of breweries and several unique beer styles, including light lager, pale ale, imperial stout, etc., there’s no doubt that America can stand its ground in beer production.

Currently, the Home of the Brave boasts a well-robust beer menu; deciding which of them deserves to sit on your palate might be challenging. If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place. We’ve curated some of the best beers in America to limit your search.

Best Beers in America

Some of these beers have received several awards at the Great American Beer Festival, proof that their manufacturers know their onions. So, sit back and discover how to take your drinking journey to another level.

10 Best Beers in America

  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale
  • Alchemist Heady Topper
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder
  • Deschutes The Abyss
  • Three Floyds Dark Lord
  • Allagash White
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
  • Anchor Liberty Ale
  • Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu

1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Sometimes called the Celebration Ale, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a masterpiece of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Since the beer’s first release in 1981, it has inspired the production of other great drinks, and rightfully so.

This pale ale is arguably one of the best India Pale Ales you can find. It has retained the same quality and bold taste it was known for when it was first brewed.

Fresh hops are picked in the fall to brew the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. By the time it’s celebration season, the craft beer is ready to be a part of the festivities with its soul-gripping citrusy, piney flavors. This is why it’s known as the Celebration Ale. Wouldn’t you want to mark the year with a bottle packed full of “hoppiness” and happiness?

2. Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale

Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale

Although brown ales might not be as popular as other beer types, the Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale has set itself apart and won the hearts of many.

It features flaked oats as its main ingredient and has a higher alcoholic content than most English brown ales. You also can’t miss the strong espresso and chocolate notes, topped off with bitter hops and toffee-like attributes.

With earthy and chocolatey flavors at its center, Maduro Brown Ale has continued to serve the American populace for years. Interestingly, the drink was inspired by Maduro, one of the most complex cigars produced in Tampa’s Ybor City. That’s why it makes sense to enjoy a bottle of Maduro Brown Ale with cigars.

3. Alchemist Heady Topper

Alchemist Heady Topper

It takes someone who knows their beer to recognize the allure and exquisiteness of the Alchemist Heady Topper Indian Pale Ale (IPA).

Since IPAs started gaining popularity among beer enthusiasts, this double IPA has won the hearts of many. Years later, the Heady Topper hasn’t lost its relevance, even with other beer styles taking center stage.

One of the best features of this craft beer is its signature pine and grapefruit flavors that are topped off with a lingering hoppy bitterness. This powerful combo is hard to ignore and worth a try if you want something crispy for a hot day.

4. Russian River Pliny the Elder

Russian River Pliny the Elder

Only a few beers can match the greatness of Pliny the Elder. A product of the Russian River brewing company, this drink brings a new meaning to the word “hoppy,” exploding on your tongue with a full blast of flavors that transcends hoppy bitterness.

Interestingly, this beer was originally brewed by the man who invented the double IPA beer style, Vinnie Cilurzo. This would explain why the beer has a history unlike any other and remains a top player even after several years since it was first produced.

Over time, the brewing process of continuous hopping has helped Pliny the Elder maintain a well-balanced flavor of orange and grapefruit with subtle pine notes.

A pioneer in its own right, this great beer has raised the bar so high and inspired other American brewers. Have a bottle—or a can—and see what we’re talking about.

5. Deschutes The Abyss

Deschutes The Abyss

Looking at Deschutes The Abyss in a bottle is like staring at the beer version of tall, dark, and handsome.

Carefully crafted by Deschutes Brewery, this drink has the flavor profile any beer expert would love to find in a bottle or can. You can see that in the perfect blend of roasted malt, dark chocolate, molasses sweetness, and espresso.

There’s also a vanilla undertone and, more importantly, a flavor that attests to the fact that this is a product of bourbon barrel aging. These combine to give The Abyss a harmonious taste with silky and bitter qualities. Are you interested in having your fair share of sour beer? Then there’s no other beer that you should try out.

6. Three Floyds Dark Lord

Three Floyds Dark Lord

Three Floyds Dark Lord has graduated from what you recognize as a regular beer into a downright tradition. Every year, on Dark Lord Day (a special beer release event), Three Floyds opens up its stables and sells this Russian imperial stout exclusively on that day.

The exclusivity builds up anticipation in beer enthusiasts who eagerly look forward to the day they can get their hands—and their palate—on this rarity.

The success of this event has inspired several breweries to develop their beer release programs, although they all have to admit that Dark Lord Day remains the peak of these events.

There’s a reason this stout has so many fans. With a 15% alcoholic content, Dark Lord beer boasts a rich blend of coffee, Indian sugar, and Mexican vanilla, three powerful ingredients that come together to give it an explosive taste. This is one drink for people who love high-alcohol brews.

7. Allagash White

Allagash White

A product of craft brewing, Allagash White is a fruity and refreshing drink brewed with malted wheat, raw wheat, and oats. It also features a healthy dose of coriander and orange peel spices, which makes it a top drink for craft beer lovers.

As a Belgian-style beer, Allagash White has stayed true to traditional brewing methods, making it more appealing to anyone craving a cold beer on a hot day. More importantly, White has stayed ahead of Belgian-style brewing, a testament to its top quality.

American beers are famous for introducing taste buds to new, interesting flavors, but Alagash White takes it a step further. You’d be doing your palate a huge disservice by missing out on this drink!

8. Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

Back in the day when barrel-aged stouts and beers were practically nonexistent, Goose Island broke into that aspect of beer production and brewed the Bourbon County Brand Stout. This beer is the essence of barrel-aged beers, as it has inspired other brewers to follow suit and produce more beers with this brewing process.

An embodiment of artistry and innovation, the Bourbon County Brand Stout holds the key to a different sensation. The harmonious fusion of bourbon undertones and coffee bitterness is perfect for every occasion. It’s one of the reasons this imperial stout is highly recognized as one of the best beers in America.

Although Goose Island was sold to Anheuser-Busch in  2011, the barrel-aged stout has maintained a loyal fanbase and is still popular among beer enthusiasts.

9. Anchor Liberty Ale

Anchor Liberty Ale

Anchor Liberty Ale is a historical beer for different reasons. For one, after its original release by Anchor Brewing Company in 1975, it has been tagged as the first dry-hopped pale ale and the pioneer American Indian Pale Ale. When discussing the American craft beer revolution, this is the beer that comes to mind.

Fortunately, this drink isn’t simply a historical beer with no taste value. It’s brewed with natural ingredients, such as fresh cascade hops, yeast, pale malted barley, and water. Top it off with the brewery’s dry-hopping techniques, and you have one of the best American beers you can find.

On the nose, the beer smells like fresh cascade hops with sharp citrus notes, and on the tongue, it explodes with a burst of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. One way or the other, you’re bound to enjoy the awesomeness of this medium-light-bodied beer.

10. Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu

Cigar City Double Barrel Hunahpu

At the core of Cigar City’s Hunaphu is the double barrel aging process, which is well known for producing some of the best beers out there. This is why you shouldn’t doubt that this imperial stout has some of the most powerful flavors and aromas you’ll ever come across in any beer.

The Hunaphu features strong blasts of plum, chocolate, and espresso, blended perfectly with notes of toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and just the right amount of hoppiness. The double barrel aging process involving apple brandy and rum barrels injects an oaky and spicy flavor into the drink.

Overall, the result is a rich, complex, full-bodied beer with a complex flavor profile that hits the spot. The lingering aftertaste makes it more appealing than other beers.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to do in the Land of Opportunity, and downing some of the country’s best beers is one of those things. If you’re ready to know what it feels like to be a beer enthusiast in America, you should try one or more of the ten beers outlined above. Your palate will thank you for it!

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Abbey Miller
Abbey Miller
Abbey grew up in a family with an appreciation for great beers, fine wines, and nuanced Scotch whiskeys. It's no surprise that she studied Hospitality Management and is now a professional working on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip.
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