Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The Best 12 Lagers to Drink in 2022 and Beyond

For most Americans, beer is a lager. Those mass-produced, light lagers have long been demonized by a beer movement looking for more flavor. To be frank, lagers are so much more than the watery commodity beers that took over the American brewing industry in the middle of the 20th century. In truth, many lager styles are much harder to brew than their ale alternatives — and they take longer, which explains why many craft breweries hang their hats on ales.

The fundamental difference is easy: Lager yeast ferments on the bottom, while ale yeast ferments from the top. Fortunately, traditional and new lager breweries alike are crafting refreshing lagers that are readily available across the country. As lager production takes skill, we’ve done our research to bring you the best lagers from well-respected, high-caliber breweries. Pack these lagers into a cooler for an imbibing outdoor cookout with your buddies.

Related Videos

Related Guides

Brooklyn Lager

A can Brooklyn Brewery Lager in between two paper plates with a slice of pizza on a striped table cloth.
Brooklyn Brewery

A quintessential craft lager, it helped build Brooklyn Brewery into one of the most well-known and respected breweries in the U.S. Unlike the light lagers most Americans were familiar with when Brooklyn Lager launched, the darker, toastier notes certainly awoke many taste buds. It’s still a solid go-to beer.

Firestone 805 Cerveza

A hand taking out a bottle of 805 Cerveza from a Coleman cooler.
805

Firestone Walker has a great track record with pretty much every beer it brews. The brewery’s core lineup features two delicious lagers: Premium Lager and Pivo Pils. But in 2021, the California brewery expanded its 805 brand and launched 805 Cerveza. The Mexican-style lager is clean and crisp and can satisfy any heat-induced thirst.

Jack’s Abby Post Shift Pilsner

Three cans of Jack's Abbey Pilsner on a wooden table.
Jack's Abbey

While the craft beer movement was largely built on hop-forward beers — save the granddaddy Samuel Adams and a select few like Brooklyn — more breweries have popped up that focus on lagers. With the tagline “Drink Lager,” Jack’s Abby is all about the bottom-fermenting beers. Jack’s Abby showcases the many varieties of lagers, but a perfect example of the great brewing is Post Shift Pilsner.

Read more: Best Pilsners to Drink

Yuengling Lager

An ice cold bottle of Yuengling Lager with its bottlecap beside it on a surface.
Yuengling

Nearing 200 years old, Pennsylvania’s Yuengling Brewery knows how to brew the best beer. It’s the oldest operating brewery in the country, founded in 1829. Yuengling Lager is a fantastic amber-colored lager with a bit of sweetness and a touch of bitterness from a light hopping.

Founders Solid Gold

A hand holding a can of Founders Brewing Premium Lager.
Founders Brewing

There was a time a few years ago when large craft breweries recognized they could capture market share by appealing to mass lager markets. Those drinkers had not yet crossed over to the land of IPAs, and might never do so. Enter a beer like Founders Solid Gold, which labels itself a premium lager and tastes like a full-bodied mass-produced lager.

Classic City Lager

A can of Classic City Lager placed on top of a coaster on a table.
Creature Comforts

Creature Comforts in Georgia was one of the first breweries to pop up and say, “The Southeast can brew good beer!” Its Bibo Pilsner and Tropicalia IPA are both incredible flagship-type beers. Then there’s Classic City Lager, a beer labeled to look like an old regional lager and taste like one, too. The brewery says it best, “Good Cold Beer.”

Negra Modelo

A hand pouring a bottle of Negra Modelo on a glass, surrounded by corn and lime on absorbing paper.
Modelo

Before the craft beer movement, there was a surge in imported beer drinking. Among those imports were the Mexican lagers from brewers like Modelo and Corona. Mexican lagers are true to their German heritage, and while the lighter ones are amazing representations of pale lagers, Negra Modelo is a smooth, caramel-y lager in the Dunkel style.

Pilsner Urquell

A hand holding a can of Pilsner Urquell during an event.

Along with the Mexican lager craze — not the current craft movement of Mexican-style lagers — the import sections are awash with green bottles touting lagers from Europe. Pilsner Urquell, when fresh is among the most perfect beers in the world. A perfect example of the pilsner style, it’s a beer for beer drinking.

Weihenstephaner Original

A closeup of a bottle of Weihenstephaner Original on a smooth surface.
Weihenstephaner

Germany is the land of an array of delicious lagers of all colors and flavor profiles. Weihenstephaner makes many of them, including Original, which is a Helles. The light yellow and crystal clear lager is full-bodied, bready, and sweet, with a tiny touch of hops.

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold

A can of Dortmunder Gold with a view of the city.
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Brewing Co. is a pioneering Midwest brewery, serving Cleveland since 1988. Dortmunder Gold Lager has been a staple for the brewery since the beginning, and for a reason: It’s good. As the brewery says itself, it pairs well with “pretty much any social function.” It’s a little sweet, a little punch of hops, and easy drinking.

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest

Bottles of Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest, a dish, and a filled glass of the said lager on a wooden table.
Sierra Nevada

Every fall, Oktoberfest rolls around as the beer drinkers holiday. While plenty of German brewers send over their Festbiers and Marzens, Sierra Nevada takes it a step further. In the past few years, the brewery has collaborated with a traditional German brewer to make the traditional beer here in the states. Last year was Bitburger.

Montucky Cold Snacks

Cans of Montucky Cold Snacks in ice.
Montucky Cold Snacks

Need a lawn mowing beer? This is it. Glistening with sweat with clippings spread across your feet, cracking an ice-cold Montucky Cold Snack will satisfy the need for a beverage without any overpowering flavor.

Editors' Recommendations

Your guide to reducing inflammation: 7 essential tips
Learn about the causes of, and solutions to, inflammation
man talking to doctor diagnosis

Chemical reactions constantly take place in the human body. This is referred to as the biochemical reaction process that is needed to sustain life. It's also known as metabolism, but this is more to do with chemical reactions in the cells that help convert food into energy that the body can utilize to carry out various bodily functions.

Inflammation is an essential biochemical process that has positive and negative effects on the human body. It can be part of the healing process following infection or injury, or it can cause conditions such as arthritis and other autoimmune conditions. But what is inflammation, what causes inflammation, and how can it be reduced in the body?  
What is inflammation?

Read more
The 5 best ways to cook Lil Smokies, the perfect appetizer for any gathering
Lil smokies: These snacks may be little, but they're packing big time flavor

No matter if it's game day, or a Saturday backyard picnic, when it comes time to serve an All-American meaty treat, we suggest you look no further than the sure-fire people-pleaser, Little Smokies (AKA Lil' Smokies).  Aside from vegans and vegetarians, we can't think of a single person who would be disappointed to see a piping hot bowl of Little Smokies, complete with various dipping sauces.

These bad boys are super easy to make and are great on their own. However, if you're looking to level-up your Little Smokie game, here are some easy recipes that will have the crowd cheering.

Read more
The best tequilas you can buy for less than $20
These wallet-friendly tequilas taste much more expensive than they are
best tequilas under 20 espolon tequila

Tequila can start a party. It also can end one very quickly. Your focus should stay on those that can star at any gathering. A solid tequila doesn't have to break the bank, either. Also, keep this in mind when looking for quality tequila, affordable or not: Make sure it's 100% agave. Those headache-inducing tequilas of your past were more than likely only part agave -- they just need to be 51%. The additional sugar in those was likely your culprit.

All tequila hails from the Mexican state of Jalisco. All start as Blue Weber Agave and take a wonderful ride to reach their final destination on a drinker's palate. This Mexican spirit has a beautiful, rich history. The excellence of this well-made spirit can be witnessed even in inexpensive versions -- neat or mixed into a tasty margarita.

Read more