Stella Artois is a popular beer imported from Belgium and can make things easy when ordering at a bar or restaurant: “I’ll take a Stella.” But what if you want to try something new without sacrificing the crisp taste of a European lager?
Stella Artois is an International Lager with a light, crisp, and lightly floral flavor. Beers like Stella Artois in the International lager family are Peroni Nastro Azzuro and Harp Lager. Other styles to consider are Pilsners and American Lagers. Stella Artois drinkers will like lighter beer styles with mild ABV percentages and high drinkability.
For more on similar beers to Stella Artois, as well as tasting notes for each of them, continue reading. We will also go more in-depth on the styles most similar to international lagers.
What type of beer is Stella Artois?
Although it’s described as a Belgian lager or a pilsner, Stella Artios is best labeled as an international lager.
It has few adjuncts and an extremely balanced profile with floral notes on the nose and subtle hop bitterness. It contains a sweet malt base typical of lagers. It pours clear-golden straw with a foamy white head.
Stella was originally brewed in Leuven, Belgium. Soon, under Anheuser-Busch InBev, the beer will be produced in St. Louis, Missouri along with four other AB InBev breweries across the US.
Stella sits at 5% ABV and can be found just about anywhere beer is sold.
Flavor profile and tasting notes
Stella is a favorite for many people, especially those who drink international and European lagers. It has won many awards and is revered as one of the best imports around.
Stella Artois is an easy-drinking international lager. It’s light and crisp with subtle hop bitterness and light floral aromas. It has a balanced malt sweetness and soft mouthfeel with a mild, dry finish. It pours clear golden with a thick white head, good retention, and nice lacing.
For a more detailed description of Stella Artois’ flavor profile and tasting notes, look at our previous article on all things Stella.
Other International Lagers similar to Stella Artois
There are plenty of similar beers to Stella Artios. From pilsners to traditional lagers, we’ve compiled a list of options that will certainly appeal to Stella drinkers.
Here are the best International Lagers to try if you like Stella Artois:
- Heineken Lager
- Peroni Nastro Azzuro
- Carlsberg Pilsner
- Harp Lager
- Grolsch Pilsner
- St. Pauli Girl Lager
- Sapporo Premium
Let’s take a better look at these beers!
A European pale lager, Heineken Lager shares similar characteristics with Stella Artois.
It has a sweet, biscuity malt flavor. Heineken has a 5% ABV and 19 IBUs. It’s made with barley, hops, water, and yeast.
Heineken Lager can be found anywhere that sells alcohol. It’s packaged in cans, bottles, and kegs.
Want to learn more about the flavor profile and food pairings of Heineken?
Peroni Nastro Azzuro
Another European lager with a pale body and similar composition to Stella.
Nastro Azzuro has a 5.1% ABV and 24 IBUs. It has a sweet malt taste that’s balanced, smooth, and refreshing – a great alternative to the smooth Stella Artois.
Like Stella, you can find Peroni anywhere that sells beer – distributors, liquor stores, bars, and restaurants. It comes in cans, bottles, and kegs.
Carlsberg Pilsner is a classic beer that goes toe-to-toe with Stella.
Technically a pilsner, this lager is light, crisp, and refreshing. It contains notes of bread and biscuits with spicy hop notes. It has a 5% ABV and is brewed with pilsner malt.
Carlsberg can be found just about anywhere in cans, bottles, or kegs.
Harp Lager, brewed by St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland, is a European lager with notes of toasted bread and sweet malt alongside a floral hop bitterness.
It has a 4.5% ABV and 21 IBUs. It’s a smooth beer and a wonderful, lighter Stella Artois substitute.
Harp can be found in bottles and the less common can, as well as kegs. You can occasionally find it on tap at bars and restaurants.
Grolsch Pilsner is a medium-gold straw-bodied pilsner that drinks like a crisp lager. It’s brewed with Emerald and Magnum hops for a green hop taste. It also contains a sweetness from the malt used. It sits at a 5% ABV and 28 IBUs.
This easy-drinking beer can be found in capped bottles or swing-top bottles. You can also get it in a keg and find it in most places where beer is sold.
St. Pauli Girl Lager
The St. Pauli Girl Lager is another beer you’ll probably like if you’re a fan of Stella Artois.
This European pale lager clocks in at 5% ABV. It has notes of bready malt and grassy hops with a clear golden body and a white head that dissipates quickly. It has a quick and crisp finish with a smooth mouthfeel.
You can find this beer in bottles across the U.S. Formerly brewed in Germany, the U.S. bottles are brewed and packaged in St. Louis, Missouri.
Sapporo Premium Lager
This lager is definitely on the sweeter side.
It contains a sweet malt and a floral hop profile that’s easily drinkable. Sapporo Premium has a 4.9% ABV. It pours a clear gold with a small white head and minimal lacing.
You can find Sapporo basically anywhere in a variety of packages including 12 oz. cans and bottles, 22 oz. cans, and 16 oz. bottles. You can also find this beer on tap at bars and restaurants.
Other beer styles you might like if you love International Lagers
If you like International lagers like Stella, you’ll likely enjoy these other styles of beer, too.
Here are some beer styles you might like if you drink International Lagers like Stella Artois:
- American Lager
- Blonde Ale
Let’s take a look at the primary characteristics of these styles!
Similar to Stella and other international lagers, Pilsners are smooth drinking with sweet malt notes and floral and herbal hop profiles.
Pilsners have a pronounced hop aroma and flavor. These notes include floral, herbal, and spicy tastes and smells. They’re typically golden or straw-colored and well attenuated.
American Lagers are similar to international lagers but have more adjunct flavors – mostly notes of corn.
They’re lighter and have that “beer” flavor that people attribute to domestic beers.
This style is similar to Stella in that it’s light, refreshing, and crisp with a large portion of flavor coming from the malt used.
The Kolsch is on the border of ale and lager.
They’re fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers but are aged cold, similarly to lagers. They’re crisp and light with prominent noble hop characteristics.
Blonde or golden ales are similar to international lagers in that they have a similar hop profile with sweet, bready malt flavor and floral hop notes.
Blonde ales are another style with a modest ABV and high drinkability, like Stella and other international lagers.