Top 10 cheap beers

I know what you're thinking. You're tired of all your yuppie friends going on about how much they love their expensive crafts beers, their organic hops and their fair trade barley. You miss the days when drink specials meant a can of Pabst and a shot of Seagram's for two dollars.

Tonight's Friday and the NCAA tournament is on. There's nothing you'd like better than to get home from work, sit around the house in an undershirt and gym shorts (perhaps you're thinking the gym shorts aren't even necessary), drink a few cheap beers and watch basketball.

In honor of you, Mr. Cheap Beer Drinker, I present the Top 10 cheap beers list:

10.) Natural Ice – Some people like the taste of "Natty Ice" as it's sometimes called. I don't but it is cheap, so it makes the list.

9.) Keystone Light – A popular beer amongst college students and Day arts writer Rick Koster.

8.) Milwaukee's Best – Made by Miller Brewing Company, this beer is apparently what Meatloaf drinks before his performances, according to the Wikipedia entry on the beer.

7.) Genesee Cream Ale – This Cream Ale goes through a warm-fermenting process before it is krausened, a German carbonation process which includes adding wort to finished beer.

6.) Big Bear – A malt liquor made by Pabst Brewing Company. I was introduced to this in upstate New York, though I've had a tough time finding it in New England. But I did see a young guy wearing a Big Bear shirt once at WaterFire in Providence. We had a nice conversation.

5.) Schmidt's – I've actually never tried Schmidt's, but it comes highly recommended from people I know who know cheap beer. Schmidt's website describes the beer as "Painstakingly brewed and leisurely aged, Schmidt is a full-bodied American-style lager that balances easy drinkability with traditional lager flavor."

4.) Dixie Beer – A southern cheap beer favorite. Although, I've heard that if you want to get it up here it's actually kind of expensive.

3.) Pabst Blue Ribbon – Folks born before 1965 may be surprised to know this is the preferred cheap beer of the hipster class. My wife's family is from Georgia (the state, not the nation). When her aunt saw a photo of people drinking Pabst at a party we had a while back, she said something like: "Y'all drink Pabst?! We used to drink that!"

2.) Schlitz – A Milwaukee brew that is delicious and reliably cheap in New England bars. I once went out with some colleagues I used to work with in Providence and everyone got a nice class of wine or an elegant drink. But I ordered a Schlitz. One person said "Did you just order a Schlitz?" Response: You bet I did!

1.) Narragansett – For nostalgic reasons and out of southern New England pride, a tall boy of Narragansett makes the top of my cheap beer list. My wife and I once walked more than a mile from home to an outdoor block party in downtown Providence for some Narragansett. Halfway through the night it began pouring and we had to walk all the way home in the downpour. But the 'Gansett was worth it.

Here are some honorable mentions from men who know cheap beer:

Day art and music writer Rick Koster:


-Lone Star

My brother Stevie:

-Red Dog


My friend Forrest:

-National Bohemian

-Ice House


What is your favorite cheap beer?

Natural Ice


Keystone Light


Milwaukee's Best


Genesee Cream Ale


Big Bear






Dixie Beer






Number of votes: 69

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