Two things we know for certain: craft beer is great, and it sure as heck isn’t cheap. While some rare beers can cost upwards of $2,000, the average six-pack of craft beer at your local liquor store is going set you back $12 and some change. That’s $2 a beer, which is pretty darn good considering a pint at the pub will run you anywhere from $5-8. But you know what? It’s not good enough. To help out all you frugal beer drinkers and poor craft beer aficionado wannabes who literally can’t afford to keep up with the big boys , we’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite tasting beers that you can find, buy, drink, and enjoy all for $10 or less (the price of gas notwithstanding, of course).
FRESH SQUEEZED | DESCHUTES – $9.99
Full of tropical fruit and berry flavors, Deschutes’ Fresh Squeezed IPA lives up to its name. Citra and mosaic hop profiles tease your senses and create an earthy, floral complexity; this is a juicy brew you’ll never forget and always come back to.
SUCKS | LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY – $9.99
Sweet malt flavors, passion fruit, and buttery caramel goodness make this one delicious brew that delights the palate. Contrary to its name, this beer does everything but suck. In fact, it does everything right. It’s a mystery that it’s under $10—do you think Lagunitas knows?
CROOKED TREE IPA | DARK HORSE BREWING COMPANY – $9.99
A true sublime force of nature. Most craft beers have very telling names. Aptly titled, Dark Horse’s Crooked Tree is full of piney riffs that play off of earthy hop and caramel malt flavors. However, unlike its name, this medium bodied IPA is incredibly balanced, and that—despite the playful irony—is a good thing! We can’t help but think of Jasper Francis Cropsey’s painting Blasted Tree every time we take a sip of this perfectly balanced composition.
BEDLAM! | ALE ASYLUM – $8.99
The luscious, pillowy head that sits atop this deep amber ale is a winking, seductive invitation to a hoppy bitterness wonderland where Citra hops flirt vivaciously with piney, tropical fruit maidens. From your nostrils to your taste buds, you’ll get delightfully lost in the complex dance of Belgian yeast, spice, orange, grapefruit, and more.
There you have it. But don’t just limit yourself to our list here. There are plenty of great affordable brews out there just waiting to impress you. Remember: when it comes to beer, price isn’t exactly the best measuring stick for quality. Certainly there’s something to be said about how much a beer costs, but don’t let it trick you—great tasting beer is everywhere. In many instances, you’ll find that a “budget beer” under $10 is actually even better than those outside your price range. Enjoy and, as always, drink responsibly; beer tastes better when you remember it.