Budweiser is such a popular beer that pretty much everywhere that sells beer stocks it and your local liquor store probably never runs out. This makes it easy to grab a couple of packs for a weekend get-together. But what if you want to try something new?
Budweiser is an adjunct American lager with a crisp, clean flavor and very low levels of malt and bitterness. If you enjoy Budweiser, you’ll probably also enjoy Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Coors Banquet. Once you’ve tried these beers, give other styles such as Cream Ales, Wheat beers, and Pilsners a try.
To discover even more great beers and styles you may like, keep reading. Below are some of the best beers in the style. Not to mention several new styles for you to try!
Topics We Cover
What type of beer is Budweiser?
American Lagers are, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most popular beer styles in America, if not the world. Most people think of these pale yellow beers first when they think of beer. Budweiser is the 7th most popular beer in America.
Budweiser is an American Adjunct Lager (AAL). As an American lager, it is low in hop and malt flavors which makes it easy to drink. This refreshing beer is considered an adjunct lager because it is brewed with rice.
Since 1876, Budweiser has been a popular American Lager. Anheuser-Busch uses the slogan “King of Beers” to promote it, and they go so far as to put small crowns in the tabs of Budweiser cans.
This slogan is a spin on the title of a competing beer. A Czech beer from České Budějovice, Budweis in German, is also called Budweiser. Since the 16th century, this Czech beer has been called the “Beer of Kings.” Adolphus Busch took the slogan and changed it to the one we know today.
Flavor profile and tasting notes
Budweiser is a tasty beer, but not a complex one.
It tastes lightly of malts and hops. There are also some notes of floral and fruity flavors. Budweiser is rounded out by decent carbonation that creates a light mouthfeel.
Budweiser’s aroma is similar to its flavor profile. It is overall a light and unassuming beer. This means the beer is easy to enjoy cold. A can of Budweiser is a crisp refreshing beer for a hot day.
Though there are other more flavorful beers you can’t go wrong with a Bud.
Want to learn more about the flavor profile and food pairings of Budweiser?
Other American Lagers similar to Budweiser
While Budweiser is the King of Beers it can be nice to try something else. As one of the most popular styles, there are a lot of American Lagers in the market.
Here are the best American Lagers to try if you like Budweiser:
- Coors Banquet
- Grain Belt Premium
- Miller High Life
- Pabst Blue Ribbon
- Old Style
- Michelob Original Lager
- Foster’s Lager
If you’re looking for something similar to Bud, check out the details on all of these beers below!
First up is Coors Banquet. This Colorado beer is older than the state itself. With this age comes experience.
Banquet is a crisp and clean tasting beer. As an American Adjunct Lager, it has a light sweet taste that doesn’t linger. This beer is an adjunct because it uses corn syrup in the brewing process. This adds a hint of corn taste and aroma to the beer. The hops used are a combination of Chinook, Herkules, Hallertau, and Taurus.
Coors Banquet has a 5% ABV and 9.5 International Bitterness Units (IBU). Though it was originally only available in the West, it is now available nearly everywhere.
Want to learn more about the flavor profile and food pairings of Coors Banquet?
Grain Belt Premium
From August Schell Brewing Company comes Grain Belt Premium.
When you first try this American Lager you will taste Minnesota barley, a hint of corn, and some light hop flavors. While sweet, it is less sweet than others in this style. The mouthfeel is light with average carbonation. This beer does not have a lingering aftertaste. It has 4.7% ABV and 10 IBUs.
Grain Belt Premium is not as widely available as others on this list. You can find it in and around Minnesota.
Miller High Life
Like Budweiser, Miller High Life has a quality reputation. Also known as the “Champagne of Beers,” this American Lager is an endlessly drinkable brew.
It does not have any especially strong flavors but has sweet malt and corn on the first sip. There are some notes of floral hops. The finish is crisp and dry with a thin mouthfeel. Miller High Life is brewed with Galena hops. It has a 4.6% ABV and 7 IBUs.
You can find this beer from the Miller Brewing Co. almost anywhere.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Another famous American Adjunct Lager is Pabst Blue Ribbon (or, as it is more commonly known, PBR).
The primary flavors of a PBR are malted grains, corn, and a touch of sweetness. Overall the flavors are fairly light. PBR goes down smoothly. It is crisp and refreshing. The finish is clean without any lingering taste. The ABV is 4.7% with 10 IBUs.
PBR is brewed by the Pabst Brewing Company. You can find it almost anywhere across the US.
Want to learn more about the flavor profile and food pairings of Pabst Blue Ribbon?
Old style is another good American Lager from Pabst Brewing Company. This beer is similar to PBR but is lighter in some ways.
Golden Leaf Lager, as Old Style used to be known, is a little richer than some others on this list. It has a decent malt character with some hop bitterness. There is some sweetness, but it is not as pronounced as PBR. The mouthfeel is quality for the style. It has 4.6% ABV and low IBUs.
Old style isn’t quite as prolific as PBR, but you can find it nearly everywhere, including with characters on Shameless!
The next American Adjunct Lager is Busch beer from Anheuser-Busch.
Busch is light in character. It has mild malt flavors and almost no hop flavors. It has some malt sweetness and some corn notes as well. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Busch is certainly a beer for a budget, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t decent beer. It has 4.3% ABV and 5 IBUs.
You can find Busch beer nearly everywhere that sells beer.
Michelob Original Lager
Another Anheuser-Busch product is Michelob Original Lager.
This American Lager has a decent malt character with some light bitterness from the European hops used. Michelob Original Lager is relatively dry compared to the other beers on this list. The mouthfeel of this beer is another aspect that is a little heavier than others. This beer is quite full-bodied for an American Lager. It has 4.8% ABV and 18 IBUs.
It is available in almost every liquor store. However, it is not as common as its light variant, Michelob Ultra.
Last, but not least is Foster’s. While it is commonly associated with Australia, Foster’s was first brewed by Americans in Melbourne.
As an Adjunct Lager, it is very similar to many of the above beers. This beer has some malt sweetness, but it is balanced by some bitterness. Overall it is a decent beer with a smooth finish. The light carbonation contributes to a nice mouthfeel. Foster’s has 5% ABV and 12 IBUs.
You can find Foster’s nearly anywhere you can find beer.
Other beer styles you might like if you love American Lagers
You can’t go wrong with an American Lager.
The style goes well with nearly every situation and food. That said, there are a lot of other great styles. Even better, there are quite a few styles that are easily approachable.
Here are some beer styles you might like if you drink American Lagers:
- American Light Lager
- American Cream Ale
- American Wheat
- German-Style Pilsner
- German-Style Kölsch
If you’re looking to try something new, pick up a beer from one of these styles!
American Light Lager
As the name implies, these beers are the lighter versions of the American Lagers above.
A Light Lager will have a lower ABV. Additionally, the flavor profiles will be very light and unoffensive. They are meant to be ice cold and easy to drink.
A good light lager will be similar to a Budweiser in several ways. There won’t be any overpowering malt or hop flavors. The IBUs will be low just like Bud.
Good examples of this style would include any of the light versions of the above American Lagers. They are available everywhere.
American Cream Ale
If you’ve never heard of a Cream Ale you may be picturing a dark ale with heavy flavors. Cream Ales are quite the opposite.
They are Ales that are brewed with many Lager brewing techniques. This makes the style very light in both appearance and flavors.
Typical Cream Ales will have sweet malt flavors, hints of caramel, and a creamy mouthfeel. The ABV range is similar to an American Lager with beers being anywhere from 4.3% to 5.7%. IBUs can range from 10 to 22.
This style is similar to a Budweiser in lightness. However, Cream Ales typically have a wider range of flavors. They will often have slightly more malt sweetness. Some even have decent hop flavors.
A great example of the style is Summer Solstice from Anderson Valley Brewing Company.
The American Wheat beer style is inspired by German Hefeweizens. Despite this, you won’t find the banana and clove flavors that Hefeweizens are known for. This beer style is brewed with wheat as the majority of the grain bill.
An American Wheat will have a fuller range of hop flavors than Budweiser, but can still be fairly light and refreshing. There will also be more fruity flavors in these beers.
American Wheat beers will have a noticeable hop flavor profile in addition to the wheat grain flavors. These beers will commonly have flavors such as citrus to offset the grain flavors. Typical ABV’s range from 3.5% to 6%. IBUs can range from 10 to 35.
A great example of the style is Easy Street Wheat from Odell Brewing Company.
The next style is a departure from the American styles. You may notice many similarities, though, since many American beers are inspired by German beers. This style is known for malty sweetness balanced by hop bitterness. Ideally, the two are perfectly balanced in a Pilsner.
These beers will be similar to Budweiser in that they are light and refreshing. They may have more of a hop flavor profile than you may be used to.
A Pilsner will have a crisp finish that doesn’t linger. The common flavors are sweet malt, bready malts, and Noble hops. The ABV can range between 4.5% and 5. 3%. IBUs are usually at least 25 but can go up to 50.
A great example of the style is Samuel Adams Noble Pils.
Lastly, we have the German-Style Kölsch. This style is another that will be extremely thirst-quenching. Kölsch beers are similar to Pilsners in the hops flavors.
This style will be a little more similar to an American Lager such as Budweiser, although they will still have more hop flavors and bitterness than a Bud.
These beers finish crisp and dry. There should be a low level of malt sweetness in these beers. There will also be some light fruitiness present in this style. The ABV range starts at 4.8% and goes as high as 5.3%. The IBUs can range from 18 to 28.
A great example of the style is the Kölsch from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.