The Best Beer at Target (A Craft Beer Shopping List From Enthusiasts!)

Buying craft beer is more convenient than ever. You can pick up your favorites or even try new styles at big-box retailers. With all the options out there, what are the best beers to pick up at Target?

Target is the seventh-largest retailer in the United States with 1,926 locations. Target stores with grocery areas carry a large selection of craft beers. Some popular craft beers carried at these locations include Modelo Especial, Kona Big Wave, Blue Moon Light Sky, Golden Road Mango Cart, Cigar City Jai Alai, Founders All Day IPA, and more.

Continue reading for the best beers you can pick up at Target. You’ll learn more about each beer, and some tasting notes to help you choose the ones in your preferred style.

The best beers to look for at Target

The best beers to look for at Target will depend on the types and styles of beer that excite your palate. The list below has a wide variety of styles with a few that are certain to fit your tastes.

Target stores carry brands that are popular in the areas where they are located. Depending on which Target you’re visiting, the selection by store may vary in brands, styles, and availability.

Here are the best craft beers available at Target:

  • Modelo Especial
  • Kona Big Wave
  • Blue Moon LightSky
  • Golden Road Mango Cart
  • Cigar City Jai Alai
  • Sierra Nevada Wild Little Thing Slightly Sour Ale
  • Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy IPA
  • Dogfish Head SuperEIGHT Super Gose
  • Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
  • New Belgium Fat Tire
  • Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Ale
  • Redd’s Hard Apple 

Let’s look at these beers in more detail and find the one that’s right for you!

Modelo Especial

  • Style: Pilsner-style Lager
  • Brand: Constellation Brands
  • From: New York, New York
  • ABV: 4.4%
  • Taste: Made with two-row barley malt for a slightly sweet, well-balanced taste and a light, smooth hop finish. With a very light body, it has notes of corn, malt, orange blossom honey, and a hint of grassy herb.
  • Why you should try it: It’s a great alternative to Corona as a beach beer, and it beat out Bud Light for sponsorship rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Wondering what Modelo tastes like? Read this article before buying!

Kona Big Wave

  • Style: American Blonde Ale
  • Brand: Kona Brewing Company
  • From: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  • ABV: 4.4%
  • Taste: Brewed with pale two-row and caramel malts and Galaxy and Citra hops, this beer has a subtle fruity sweetness with light hoppy bitterness. It’s the perfect balance between fruity, malty, and hoppy flavors.
  • Why you should try it: It’s an easy-drinking, light-bodied beer that’s great for pairing with outdoor activities and backyard summer barbeques.

Blue Moon LightSky

  • Style: Light Wheat Beer
  • Brand: Blue Moon Brewing Company (Molson Coors)
  • From: Denver, Colorado
  • ABV: 4.0%
  • Taste: Brewed with pineapple and orange peel and dry-hopped with Azacca hops, this light beer has a bright tangerine flavor, with a subtle wheat body and a clean, dry finish.
  • Why you should try it: This beer is a great option for those wanting a lighter wheat beer. It has a lower ABV than the original Blue Moon and only 95 calories. It’s a more flavorful alternative to other light beers on the market.

Golden Road Mango Cart

  • Style: Wheat Ale
  • Brand: Golden Road Brewing (AB Inbev)
  • From: Los Angeles, California
  • ABV: 4.0%
  • Taste: Brewed with two-row and wheat malts and Bravo hops, this beer is bursting with fresh, tangy mango and lightly roasted wheat flavors with a clean, crisp finish.
  • Why you should try it: The light, fruity flavor appeals to even those who aren’t frequent beer drinkers. It’s the first in a line of beers inspired by the fruit carts found throughout Los Angeles.

Cigar City Jai Alai

  • Style: IPA
  • Brand: Cigar City Brewing
  • From: Tampa, Florida
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • Taste: Brewed with six different hop varietals, this beer has bold notes of orange peel, clementine, and light caramel balanced with a bright, moderate hoppy bitterness.
  • Why you should try it: Jai Alai is a sport native to the Basque region of Spain. This beer pays homage to the sport and its patrons. It pairs well with the spicy foods that are popular in the beach restaurants of that area.

Sierra Nevada Wild Little Thing Slightly Sour Ale

  • Style: Sour Ale
  • Brand: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • From: Chico, California
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • Taste: Made with two-row pale malt, oats, wheat, and Cascade hops has just the right blend of tartness and fruity sweetness. Slightly sour with strong strawberry flavor up front and notes of hibiscus, guava, and mellow malty notes. Smooth, dry finish without a hint of bitterness.
  • Why you should try it: This sour is made using a different technique than most. It uses an accelerated technique called “kettle souring.” The wort is made without hops, is cooled and lactobacillus is added to turn the sugar into lactic acid. This produces its uniquely light tartness without being too sweet.

Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy IPA

  • Style: New England Pale Ale (Hazy IPA)
  • Brand: Samuel Adams Brewing
  • From: Boston, Massachusetts
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • Taste: Brewed with a two-row pale malt blend, white wheat, and Golden Naked Oats, it has a juicy tangerine flavor with notes of pineapple and mango. It is well-balanced with a moderately dry, smooth finish.
  • Why you should try it: The New England IPA (NEIPA) had a meteoric rise in the craft beer world. The mass appeal of NEIPA can now be enjoyed across the U.S. because of larger craft beer brewers like Samuel Adams. Samuel Adams never skimps on the flavor for a mass-produced beer so it’s worth a try.

Want to know more about NEIPA beers? I’ve got a full list of the top 10 to try in 2022!

Dogfish Head SuperEIGHT Super Gose

  • Style: Sour-Gose
  • Brand: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • From: Milton, Delaware
  • ABV: 5.3%
  • Taste: Brewed with malted wheat and eight super ingredients including prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, and kiwi juices it has bold, juicy flavor and vibrant red color. A touch of quinoa and a generous portion of Hawaiian sea salt balance out the juiciness of this super tasty beer, which has a tart, refreshing finish. 
  • Why you should try it: As a challenge, Dogfish Head partnered with Kodak to produce this beer with the perfect pH to use with other natural ingredients to process Kodak’s Super 8 film. If you’re a photographer who enjoys taking and developing pictures the old-fashioned way (or even if you don’t), why not try out this fruity, double-duty beer?

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro

  • Style: Milk Stout
  • Brand: Left Hand Brewing Company
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
  • ABV: 6.0%
  • Taste: Made from two-row, Crystal, Chocolate, and Munich malts, rolled oats, flaked, and roasted barleys this milk stout is a sensory extravaganza. Sweet flavors of roasted coffee, milk chocolate, caramelized sugar, and vanilla cream are balanced with CTZ and US Goldings hops. A pillowy head, creamy texture round out the perfect beer to pair with your favorite desserts.
  • Why you should try it: It’s a perfect beer to drink after a cold afternoon of sledding or as an ingredient in a hearty dessert like pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. However, it has so many rich flavors it would make a tasty dessert on its own.

New Belgium Fat Tire

  • Style: American Red/Amber Ale
  • Brand: New Belgium Brewing Company
  • From: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • ABV: 5.2%
  • Taste: Made with Pale, C-80, Munich, and Victory malts in combination with a proprietary ale yeast gives this beer its distinct flavor. Williamette, Goldings, and Nugget hops make it smooth and easy to drink. Fruity esters, notes of caramel, and clean malty, bready, and biscuity flavors round out this classic red/American amber ale.
  • Why you should try it: This flagship of the craft beer scene is an enduring classic. It’s easy to find across the Target stores. Its roasted, malty flavors go well with roasted chicken, beef, lamb, or pork.

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Ale

  • Style: IPA
  • Brand: Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • From: Petaluma, California
  • ABV: 7.5% 
  • Taste: Brewed with 50% wheat and 50% barley and 100% hoppy goodness, this beer features hints of bubblegum, pineapple, tropical fruit, cedar, and pine. Smooth wheat paired with newer hop varietals impart juicy tropical flavors with a subtle sweetness that doesn’t overwhelm the palate.
  • Why you should try it: It’s a unique, hoppy pale ale that defies traditional classification. The combination of wheat and hops makes it a great beer for both IPA lovers and Hefeweizen fans as well.

Redd’s Hard Apple

  • Style: Golden Ale
  • Brand: Redd’s Brewing Company (Molson Coors)
  • From: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Taste: Made with barley malt, yeast, hop extract, and corn syrup, Redd’s is a refreshingly light beer that’s tart and sweet with the crisp taste of apples. It’s low in malty flavors and bitterness and has a clean, crisp finish.
  • Why you should try it: Unlike hard ciders and malt liquors made with apples, Redd’s Hard Apple is actually an ale. It’s an easy-drinking beer that’s great for hosting friends or having family over during the holidays. It can also be found nationwide. 

Related Questions

Does Target sell single beers?

Trying a new beer can be a gamble, especially if it has just been released or there are few online reviews. Craft beers aren’t cheap and you don’t want to get stuck with a six-pack of something that you hate.

Depending on state laws, some liquor stores, grocery stores, and bottle shops sell single beers or let you choose single beers to create your own six-pack. Target, however, doesn’t sell single beers or have make-your-own six-pack offers. 

The variety and pricing of single beers vary by store. It can be more expensive than just buying a six-pack of the same beer. Since beer prices can sometimes vary significantly, stores tend to limit the selection of beers they will sell this way. By doing this, they can avoid having a lot of random single beers sitting around getting stale or out of date.

Does Target sell variety packs?

There are so many beers available on the market now that choosing just one can be an agonizing decision. Variety packs allow you to sample several beers from a single brewer without committing to a six-pack of a single beer. 

Target sells variety packs from a wide array of craft breweries. Some variety packs you can pick up at Target stores are Samuel Adams Game Day Beers, Oskar Blues CANundrum Variety pack, and Sierra Nevada’s Hoppy Sampler.

Variety packs are also a great way to provide choices for friends who can’t agree on beer. Brewers often create variety packs around styles, flavors, and even seasons. Head to your local Target today and see what craft beer selections and variety packs they have available in your area.