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Best Beer Value (High Malt, Low Hop, Low Adjunct)

I'm looking for the most malt with the least adjunct at the best price. I love the maltiness/rich body of Anchor Steam, but the price tag is a little high.

If a macro can bring me down to $5, I'm willing to work with some adjunct, but I'd really like to find something with some body. Can I get body in a $5/six beer? In high school (1980s), I drank bud, and I might be willing to take a walk down memory lane, but, before I go that route, I want to exhaust all my options.

Yuengling seems to be one of the more affordable beers, and, from what I understand, it might be adjunct free, but, for some reason, it's never really done it for me.

In the past, I've enjoyed Sam Adams quite a bit, but I'd like to trim that price tag a couple dollars as well.

My favorite beer of all time was the cask conditioned real ale I had in England, but I never found anything that came close to that on this side of the Atlantic.

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  1. AB makes some Michelob beers that are sort of crafty, at pretty reasonable prices. For example: http://www.michelob.com/ExploreAmberB...

    Looks like they've trimmed down the line, however, as it used to include pale ale and some others.

    1. > Yuengling seems to be one of the more affordable beers, and, from what I understand,
      > it might be adjunct free

      Yuengling's quite opened about using "corn grits for light body" in their beers: http://www.yuengling.com/process/

      1. You should really think about trying to make some yourself. It is not that difficult to get a fair approximation of English bitters at home. After the initial investment it really can save money if you're willing to have a basic setup

        1. A quality six pack for $5 is impossible. You can get a quality growler fill for under $10 at Whole Foods and some English four packs there for around $8. The larger craft brewpubs probably will do cheaper growler fills as well. But again $5 for a six of rich malty low to no adjunct beer isn't possible.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chinon00

            Whole Foods does growler fills?

            1. re: JAB

              Depends on the area and local laws. I read a while back that Sunoco was testing out growlers, and also noted that a drug store in Brooklyn was built with a growler station not too long ago.

              1. re: JAB

                I'm in Philly and both WFs that I've been to in Plymouth Meeting and and Devon do growler fills. Not sure about other areas or states.

                1. re: Chinon00

                  Is having growler fills at the grocery store worth having to live in Philadelphia?

                  growler phills*

            2. Trader Joes usually offers the best beers for the lowest prices. Or, it you really like malt richness, go for Steel Reserve, an 8% alcohol monster that is cheap when on sale.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Tripeler

                I don't think I would characterize Steel Reserve as 'malty' ...from what I understand, it's made with something on the order of 40% corn (and possibly more).
                It's just hopped at a very low level.

                1. re: The Professor

                  I haven't had it in years, but I think it was reasonably hopped considering the gravity. And I am not sure it is possible to brew on the order of 40% corn. From what I recall, there was a whole lot of malt in it, albeit very cheap tasting barley malt. I dubbed it the poor man's Duvel.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    > And I am not sure it is possible to brew on the order of 40% corn.

                    "Although some brewers would hesitate to use more than 30% adjunct (on an extract basis), most U.S. brewers are probably closer to a level of 40% with some very successful brewers using a rate as high as 50%."

                    --- The Practical Brewer, Master Brewers' Assoc. of the Americas (2d. Ed. 1977)

                    ....thus even predating Steel Reserve, which was one of Wessinger's McKenzie River Corp's beers before Miller bought their brands.

                    1. re: JessKidden

                      Wow, who'd have thunk? I do know that rice has a limit; going over 20% runs a strong risk of tartness or sourness.

                      1. re: Tripeler

                        > I do know that rice has a limit; going over 20% runs a strong risk of tartness or sourness.

                        It's generally said (not sure if the brewery itself ever stated it recently) that AB's Budweiser is 70/30 malt to rice ratio and, before returning to an all-malt recipe a few years ago, Michelob was said to be 80/20.

                        Coors once used rice as it's primary adjunct (they also used some corn starch) for their former flagship, now referred to Coors Banquet. They even had their own rice strain with which they supplied their contracted farmers in CA. I'd imagine that very "light" beer was probably over 70/30 or higher, as well. Today, MillerCoors just says "cereal grains" for the adjunct in Banquet, IIRC..

                        1. re: JessKidden

                          Interesting discussion, but rather off -topic. What sort of beer would you suggest for the OP to try? Should be all-malt, with good richness. I suggested Steel Reserve as an extremely high-gravity example of cheap beer, though adjuncts abound in it.

                          1. re: JessKidden

                            Quick calculations done on a Bud plant tour in NH where they gave the amount of barley and rice used in each batch came out to almost 40% rice for Budweiser.

                  2. re: Tripeler

                    Trader Joe's sells a "Josephsbrau" line of beers at $5.99 a six-pack. They're made by Gordon Biersch. The lineup includes a pilsner, marzen, pale bock and -- my favorite, though I wish the malt base were drier -- a dark wheat. I deem these beers efficient but unexciting examples of their respective styles. They're free of rice and corn, and the price is obviously good.