We all love sitting around a campfire with a brew or two. But when that six-pack (or even four-pack nowadays) costs $10 or more, it really is hard to have more than a couple. And let’s face it, drinking a cold beer is synonymous with campfire banter! That’s why we’re taking a look at 10 cheap beers that still hit the spot.
What’s a ‘Cheap Beer?’
A “cheap beer” is a brew you can have a few of without breaking the bank. For our purposes, we did our best to include beers that are less than a buck each, at least when bought in a multi-pack.
We had to break our own rule on price just once for this list, but you’ll thank us for including this rather unique “cheap beer” that still comes in at an affordable price point.
Is Drinking Cheap Beer Bad for You?
In moderation, beer is a refreshing beverage on a hot day and a great icebreaker when meeting strangers. A pricier beer isn’t going to be healthier. All beer is basically junk food, but if you don’t overindulge, there’s little difference between a cheap beer and a pricey one in terms of health.
Best Cheap Beers for Sitting Around the Campfire
Several perfectly good “cheap beers” are great to sip around the campfire and don’t sacrifice flavor. Let’s look at 10. Note that prices may vary by location.
1. Genesee Beer
Genesee Beer has been a campfire classic for decades. First brewed in 1878, Genesee Beer is a light American lager made using barley, corn, and hops. It’s a smooth, refreshing, easy-drinking beer for those warm summer nights around the fire.
Price per beer: 73 cents each in a 30-pack
Pro Tip: After picking up your favorite cheap beer, learn a campfire drinking game or two to play with your friends.
2. Keystone Light
Brewed since 1989, Keystone Light is exactly what its name implies: a light, crisp beer with a mild flavor. It’s similar to many other light American lagers. It includes barley, corn syrup, and hop extract.
Price per beer: 67 cents each
3. Milwaukee’s Best Ice
Another beer in the light American lager category, Milwaukee’s Best Ice claim to fame is being highly drinkable and highly affordable. This is another light-bodied, easily crushable beer.
Molson Coors brews this beer in temperatures below freezing to form ice crystals. These ice crystals give the beer its smoothness and higher alcohol content.
Price per beer: 67 cents each in a 24-pack
4. Miller High Life
Christened “the Champagne of Beers,” Miller High Life is an American lager brewed since 1903. It’s an easy-drinking beer with notes of light apple sweetness and a tad bit of nuttiness. Miller High Life uses barley, corn syrup, and hops and has more body and flavor than a typical light American lager.
Price per beer: 67 cents each in a 30-pack
5. Rainier Beer
Rainier Beer is a Pacific Northwest staple. After changing hands a few times over the years, Molson Coors, under contract for Pabst Brewing Company, now owns the brand. It’s another American lager, but it has a little more body than some other offerings here. It still comes in with that crispness you’d expect and a little bit of light fruity notes.
Price per beer: 79 cents each in a 24-pack
6. Trader Joe’s Simpler Times Lager
Minhas Craft Brewery in Wisconsin makes Trader Joe’s Simpler Times Lager, a clean, easy-to-drink American lager. There’s nothing too notable about this beer other than it goes down smooth and is one of the cheapest beers you can find for a six-pack at $3.99.
Price per beer: 67 cents in a six-pack
Pro Tip: Get your fire started quickly and efficiently with these Campfire Starters That Actually Work.
7. Rolling Rock
Rolling Rock Extra Pale is about as light as you can get with a light American lager. Originally brewed by Latrobe Brewing Company, Anheuser-Busch InBev now brews it. This beer is lighter because it includes rice and barley as one of its main ingredients. Little discernible flavor pops out, but it’s extra crisp and extra pale and goes down easy.
Price per beer: 67 cents each in an 18-pack
8. Lone Star Beer
Dubbed the “National Beer of Texas,” Lone Star is synonymous with its state of origin. It really doesn’t stand out much from the other American lagers but pours a nice golden hue with a bit of biscuity flavor and a kiss of hops. It’s another one that goes down smooth around a campfire on a warm summer night.
Price per beer: 92 cents each in a 12-pack
9. Shiner Bock
For a “cheap beer,” Shiner Bock sits at the high end of pricing, but for a good reason. Unlike the others, it’s not a basic American lager with little flavor.
Brewed by Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner Bock is a dark American lager, which is more rich and flavorful than the other beers on this list. It has notes of caramel and dark fruit but is still somewhat light-bodied and easy to drink. It’s a great beer to pair with burgers and brats around the campfire.
Price per beer: 117 cents each in a 12-pack
1.0 Yuengling Premium
Yuengling Premium is a golden Pilsner-style beer from America’s oldest brewery, D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. This is a crisp, clean, easy drinker, similar to an American lager, but with more of a floral aroma and a bit more hoppy, though not bitter.
Just as refreshing as the others, Yuengling Premium has a slightly more complex flavor profile for those of us who want a little more out of our “cheap beer.”
Price per beer: 62.5 cents each in a 24-pack
Make The Most of Your Beer Budget
At the end of the day, sitting around a campfire, you probably want more than just one or two beers to sip. So why go out of your way to blow your budget when there are some perfectly fine “cheap beers” that will fit the bill? Many of the beers on this list have stood the test of time, and for a good reason. People like them, and they don’t wipe out your wallet. What’s your favorite “cheap beer?”