11 Points

The 11 Beers People Drink to Try to Look Cool
written by Sam Greenspan

A new survey by YouGov's BrandIndex examined the "beer brands Americans are proud to drink." That's an odd headline, and, I think, not pinpoint accurate.

The survey had beer drinkers rate different brands on factors like quality, impression, value, reputation and willingness to recommend. What do all of those really mean? Which beer do you pick when you're trying to look cool?

Here are the 11 results, in ascending order for drama, of the beers we drink to impress.



Note: Since it was a larger nationwide survey, it's hard for craft beers to crack it. (Although if the generic "uh, any craft IPA" had been an option, it almost certainly would've come in number one.)
  1. Pabst Blue Ribbon - Somehow, Pabst Blue Ribbon managed to finagle its way into being a go-to hipster beer. It's quite the brand coup for a beer whose blue ribbon came not from a prize, but from its manufacturer literally tying blue ribbons around the bottles in the 1880s.

  2. St. Pauli Girl - I'm quite surprised this charted, considering it seems like the beer equivalent of taking a lady to Hooters on the first date. I've also never seen anyone ever order, so it doesn't pass my empirical "bumper sticker" test.

  3. Corona - Sometimes I wonder if all of us Americans have convinced ourselves Corona tastes like a fiesta in our mouth where everyone's invited when really, it tastes more like a fiesta in our mouth where everyone's invited but no one shows up because it's gross. That metaphor might've gotten away from me.

  4. Blue Moon - Once upon a time, l, like most people, had a Blue Moon at a bar and thought it was both delicious and imported. Then eventually, I, like most people, found out it's brewed by Coors and realized this was Lowenbrau all over again.

  5. Heineken - Heineken has done a pretty solid job becoming as ubiquitous as the American macrobrews while maintaining at least some degree of cachet. I don't much care for the taste, but I get it.

  6. Stella Artois - Stella is one of those beers that seems like a decently prestigious import when, really, it's basically Budweiser in a fancier glass.

  7. Dos Equis - It's incredible just how successful their Most Interesting Man in the World ad campaign has been. There's no way Dos Equis is prominent enough to sniff this list without it. At some point, does it join the conversation for the best ad campaigns of all time? At this point, it's at least passed Empire Carpet's "800-588-2300," right?

  8. Fat Tire - This is the only true craft beer on the list (literally, Blue Moon got sued for calling itself a craft beer). Even though the New Belgium Brewing Company is a mega craft brewery -- it's independent the way Notre Dame is independent -- it's still craft.

  9. Guinness - I've never consumed an entire 16-ounce pint of Guinness. I'm not even sure that I'm capable of it. Love their world records, though.

  10. Yuengling - I don't have the same Yuengling pride that a lot of former or current Midwesterners possess, but I'm damn sure glad it's the Pennsylvania beer that made this list and Rolling Rock isn't.

  11. Samuel Adams - A perfectly acceptable and reasonable top choice. It's not a shocker or particularly jazzy, but the Boston Beer Company has been doing good stuff for a lot of years, so why not? I've never ordered one, but being named "Sam," I've accidentally been served them for my entire adult life thanks to bartenders mishearing people yelling, "Sam, what do you want?" Yeah, somehow "what do you want" sounds like "Adams, winter lager" in a crowded bar.


This post was originally published on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Food & Drink.

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