Consumers may be surprised to know that the people in the beer industry will often personally opt for brands that can be found in most bars across the country. Once they’ve wrapped up a day of making craft ales and lagers, they may just feel like reaching for a dependable, nostalgic, and mass-produced brew without any of the frills.
Here, we tapped brewers to tell us their favorite macro beers and why they’re so loyal to them. And from ubiquitous Miller High Life to Modelo Especial to Coors Banquet and Bud Heavy, they delivered. Their reasoning might be different among them — cultural, nostalgic, or seemingly frivolous — but most of our sources agreed that simplicity, consistency, and approachability can be just what they need.
Read on for our brewers’ macro beers-of-choice.
The best macro beers, according to brewers:
- Miller High Life
- Modelo Especial
- Coors Banquet
“It’s always going to be a (very cold!) Miller High Life in a bottle. It’s reliable and always consistent! After drinking craft beer exclusively for many years, I’ve realized that High Life is one of the most flavorful, crispy macro beers out there. The flaked corn gives it a smooth mouthfeel, so it’s the perfect go-to when you want to enjoy a tasty, easy-drinking beer at a handsome price point. They also have very good merch!” —Andreina Uribe, cellar person, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Brooklyn
“I’m going to go with Narragansett as my favorite macro beer. I remember being out with friends at one of my favorite bars in college. They ran out of PBR so the bartender suggested Narragansett to me, and it’s been my go to for over 10 years now!” —LaTroya Butts, brewer, Resident Culture Brewing Co., Charlotte N.C.
“Modelo Especial. What I bring to every family get-together. It’s crisp, refreshing and easy-drinking. Something that I can drink and dance with all night.” —Galadriel Hernandez, brewer, Grimm Artisanal Ales, Brooklyn
“My go-to macro beer is Miller High Life, always in bottles. I live in a place where it is really hard to find a bar with a clean draft system, so, if I’m at a dive, I prefer ordering bottles. I also don’t like cans; I feel like they get warm too fast. And I prefer High Life because it’s a bit more dry and it has less residual sweetness than the other macro beers — it’s the Champagne of beers after all! Their marketing got me!” —Maria Shirts, head brewer, Tin Roof Brewing Co., Baton Rouge, La.
“Favorite macro is probably Modelo Especial. Make it a Michelada with a heavy pinch of salt and a lime squeeze, and you basically have a Pedialyte for your next hair of the dog (note: I am not a doctor).” —Luke Fuhrman, owner and brewer, Weaver Hollow Brewery, Andes, N.Y.
“I wouldn’t be true to my culture if I didn’t say Presidente.” —Del Hidalgo, brewer, Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, NYC
“Pacifico! Mostly what I drink all the time. Besides its clean and refreshing taste, something about the brown bottle with the yellow label always brings back memories of family and friends and good times.” —Jovan Gonzalez, brewery manager, Societe Brewing Co., San Diego
“I would say my go-to macro beer is Coors Banquet. It’s really crisp but has a more robust malt character than most of its peers. Plus, I’m a sucker for the cute, stubby bottles.” —Luke Thorley, head brewer, Personal Best Brewing, Ithaca, N.Y.
“My go to macro has to be High Life with a splash of Campari in it. It’s a delicious drink and gives more structure and bitterness to the malt water.” —Andrew Schwartz, co-founder, Human People Beer, Seattle
“Bud Heavy when I’m in a bar with questionable draft line cleanliness. I prefer Miller High Life, but it’s not always fresh.” —Chris Lohring, founder and brewer, Notch Brewing, Salem, Mass.
“My go to macro is Guinness. I worked in Irish pubs from age 14 to 21, so despite drinking a lot of craft beer at the time, Guinness had to be my first legal beer. It’s low-ABV and always an enjoyable and comforting pint.” —Brendon Boudwin, brewer and co-owner, Carbon Copy, Philadelphia
“Go-to macro beer would be Miller High Life: It’s just easy, crisp, and refreshing. Modelo Especial is a close second.” —Bobby Rolandi, head brewer, Kings County Brewers Collective, Brooklyn
*Image retrieved from Steve Cukrov – stock.adobe.com