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The 20 Best Beers That Everyone Should Drink in 2021

Thanks to the craft beer surge of the last decade-plus, we are inundated with delicious brews from across America — be it Portland, Oregon, or Tampa, Florida. The American beer landscape is as strong and diverse as it has ever been, from its cheap beers to invigorating summer beers to its hop-forward IPA’s and iconic offerings.

Although our rich beer heritage is a blessing, navigating our local beer landscape can be hard sometimes. There are more hop varieties now than we can count. Throw in relatively obscure styles like Saisons, sours, smoked beers, and even garden-fresh cucumber beers, and it can be downright confusing.

That’s why we’ve done the work for you and curated only the 20 best beers you can enjoy this summer and beyond. If these selections aren’t enough, you may consider getting an alcohol subscription box to satisfy your beer cravings.

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Best IPA: Pfriem IPA

A bottle and a can of pFriem IPA Bottle on white background.

We can’t keep track of all of the IPAs out there, but we do know that this one from Hood River has been one of the most consistently great ones for years. With a surprisingly complex malt bill, it has plenty of body to back up the delicious hops.

Read more: Best IPA Beers

Best Imperial IPA: Pliny the Elder

A bottle of Pliny the Elder and a glass containing the said beer.

It’s no real surprise that the best IIPA is one of the original offerings that started the trend in the first place. Still a great recipe (and now in a can), it’s a timeless, hop-heavy beer with incredible balance.

Best Hazy IPA: Harland Brewing Hazy IPA

A can of Harland Brewing Hazy IPA on white background.

Hazy IPAs continue to flood the market, but the best ones are straightforward, balanced, and not too high-octane, like this riff from San Diego’s Harland Brewing.

Best Session IPA: Golden Road Wolf PUP Session IPA

A can of Golden Road Wolf Pup Session IPA on white background.

It’s no wonder a fine session IPA comes out of L.A., where day-drinking after a surf outing is necessary and you need something that’s tasty and won’t knock you out.

Best Alternative IPA: Mikkeller Waves American IPA

A can of Mikkeller Waves American IPA on white background.

This take on the American IPA from the Danish beer masters at Mikkeller is well-rounded, easy to drink, and full of the hoppy freshness you expect from a great IPA.

Best Pale Ale: Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale

Cans of Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale on ice.

This American standard-bearer from Colorado continues to be one of the best in the ever-popular pale category.

Best Pilsner: Pilsner Urquell

A bottle of Pilsner Urquell on white background.

A good pilsner is clean, crisp, and unbelievably refreshing. While we in the states make some good ones, it’s tough to top a good Euro version, like this benchmark beer.

Read more: Best All-American Pilsners

Best Amber Ale: Alaskan Amber

A can of Alaskan Amber Ale on white background.

The Amber from Alaskan Brewing Company has inspired many other breweries to try their hand at the style. It remains an outstanding option for a medium-bodied beer that’s quite food-friendly.

Read more: Best Amber Ales

Best Sour Beer: 10 Barrel Cucumber Sour

A can of Cucumber Crush on white background.

This offering from 10 Barrel seemed like an outlandish idea at the time, but it has since become a legend within the sour beer genre.

Read more: Refreshing Sour Beers to Try

Best Stout: Boulevard Whiskey Barrel Stout

Bottles of Boulevard Brewing Whiskey Barrel Stout displayed in between two wooden barrels.

The makers of one of the best farmhouse ales in the States, Boulevard is the brewing pride of Kansas City and makes a delightful, whiskey-kissed stout.

Best Porter: Maui Brewing Coconut Hiwa Porter

A can of Maui Brewing Coconut Hiwa Porter on white background.

Coconut, malt, and mocha flavors play beautifully together in this deftly-made beer from one of Hawaii’s best producers.

Best Barrel-Aged Beer: Deschutes The Abyss

A bottle of Deschutes Abyss Beer Bottle Shot on white background.

This imperial stout from Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery is a perennial classic that drinks like a wine with layer upon delicious layer.

Read more:  Best Barrel-Aged Beers

Best Fruit Beer: E9 Wild Tacoma Cherry Table Sour Ale

A bottle of E9 Wild Cherry Table Sour on white background.

E9 makes some of the best fruit-infused beers along the west coast, if not the entire U.S. This one is an instant classic that sips like a session beer but is full of stone fruit-driven freshness.

Read more: Best Fruit Beers

Best Belgian-Style Beer: Jester King Noble King

A bottle of Jester King Noble King Bottle displayed on sacks of herbs or leaves.

This Belgian-style beer is dialed in at just 5.8% but teeming with flavor and nuance, which is generally the case from anything coming out of esteemed Texas brewery Jester King.

Best Beer You’ll Probably Never Try: Toppling Goliath Brunch Brand Stout

A bottle of Toppling Goliath Stout and a glass containing the said beer displayed on a hard surface.
Toppling Goliath/Facebook

There are waiting lists for lots of beers, and they can sell out within hours. When your stout is the top-rated beer according to Beer Advocate, it goes extra fast. Good luck getting your hands on this decadent number from Iowa’s acclaimed Toppling Goliath.

Best Wheat Beer: Funky Buddha Floridian Hefeweizen

A can of Funky Buddha Floridian Wheat on white background.

This wheat beer from the Sunshine State shows nice, summery, tropical fruit elements atop a sturdy, grain-driven backbone. It’s great for a warm afternoon or wanting to pretend you live in a climate that currently has warm afternoons.

Best Kölsch: Three Weavers Seafarer

A can of Three Weavers Seafarer Kolsch on white background.

One of the best breweries in Los Angeles makes a mean Kolsch-style beer in Seafarer, one that’s light and wonderfully refreshing, with that signature category kick of subtle fruit notes and a bit of straw.

Best Barleywine: 3 Floyds Behemoth

A can of Three Floyds Behemoth Barleywine on white background.

Half the fun of the barleywine is how it opens up and changes in your favorite beer glass over time. This one from Indiana’s 3 Floyds is absolutely top-notch, bursting with intriguing complexity.

Best Tripel: Taxman Brewing Exemption

A can of Taxman Exemption Tripel Ale on white background.

Most good tripels come from Belgium and arrive in a glass bottle. This canned take from Indiana outfit Taxman Brewing is so tasty, with big aromatics, yeasty flavors, and a pleasant roundness.

Best Non-Alcoholic Beer: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Alkoholfrei

A bottle of Weihenstephaner Alcohol Free Beer and a glass containing the said beverage.

Zero-proof beers have improved drastically with the corresponding wellness movement. This one tastes like a damn beer, like it should, without any of the unwanted fuzziness.

Read more: Best Non-Alcoholic Beers

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