Only a macro drinker? Try these local brews!

March 22, 2019

Back when Milwaukee earned the name of Brew City, it was named for the large beer companies that were there. Miller. Pabst. Schlitz. Blatz. All of these giants produced American lagers. And today, people are still drinking those macro lagers.

Sometimes, dedicated craft drinkers see these macro-aficionados at a craft brewery, asking for whatever is the lightest beer on tap. Which is why we’d like to lend a hand. This one’s for you, macro-drinkers. The goal of this list is not to find something to rival your Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), but find the logical step forward and away from the big beer companies making mass-scale beer.

Because sometimes it’s nice to branch out.

Like PBR? Try The Doug from Little Thistle Brewing Company.

Say what you want about PBR: It doesn’t have any flavor. It’s water.

I don’t care. When, on occasion, I have a PBR, I enjoy it, whether it be at a family member’s place who won’t take a step past Spotted Cow for craft beer, or in a northern Wisconsin dive bar. If it’s your drink of choice, I recommend one local beer: The Doug. This lager gives me Summit Pilsner vibes with its gentle bread-like notes and subtle, almost honey-like sweetness.

Like Bud Light? Try Karma from Life’s Too Short (LTS).

Last time I had a Bud Light, it tasted like sweet apple and corn. It was weird, but oddly satisfying. If you like Bud, go for a Karma. LTS Brewing Company’s Karma is a Kolsch style that isn’t bitter, and provides a clean, malty experience. It was an early hit at the brewery, and for good reason.

Like Guinness Draught? Try Grand Rounds’ Steam Powered Golden Coffee!

Guinness is a little roasty, with a creamy mouthfeel. It doesn’t hit you over the head with cocoa or roasted notes, but it’s just interesting enough to keep you sipping. Grand Rounds likes to call its beer bittersweet, which is a similar vibe to Guinness. Sure, Grand Rounds’ beer is quite different, but it has two of the same traits: a roasted coffee note and some milky sweetness.

Like Belgian White? Try any witbier by Schell’s.

Last October I had a conversation with someone who thought Belgian White was craft beer. It’s not. That’s what the capital-M Man wants you to believe. Belgian White is about what you’d expect from a corporate wit: a bargain-bin coriander that’s too strong, on top of candy-like orange slices. In contrast, Schell’s knows traditional styles, and a wit is something they knocked out of the park recently. They rotate brands in and out a lot, so I say any Schell’s wit because it might be a new one we see coming up, or a returning classic. If it’s anything like the Peacock Pack wit, the flavor will be a harmonious one with a pleasing, underlying citrus.

More of a wine drinker? Try a Sour beer at Forager!

I know this doesn’t fit the theme, but hear me out. If you’re a wine drinker and don’t like beer, try a Forager sour. Try all of them. You’ll find one you like. While I’m not a wine drinker myself, Forager’s sour beers marry fruity flavors in a way that’ll please quite a few wine fanatics.