Special Report

The Most Popular Beer Brands in America

Source: Courtesy of MillerCoors

25. Milwakuee’s Best Ice
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.1 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -5.4%
> Market share: 0.51%

“Old Milwaukee’s Best is my best friend,” Texas singer-songwriter Adam Carroll once claimed. The brand’s ice beer version probably would have been particularly attractive to him. Ice beers are chilled to a low enough temperature after brewing so that ice crystals form. The crystals are then removed, which slightly increases the beer’s ABV. (It removes some of the water that was diluting the alcohol.) The process is also said to make the brew smoother and richer.

Source: kulicki / Getty Images

24. Guinness
> Parent company: Diageo
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.2 million
> Shipment change from 2018: 8.1%
> Market share: 0.58%

Most of the top-selling imported beers in America are Mexican in origin, but this iconic Irish brand is an exception — and you can count on sales to particular soar around this time every year, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Though the brewery now markets a range of different beers, its reputation rests above all on its rich, dark, original stout.

Source: Walmart.com

23. Icehouse
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.3 million
> Shipment change from 2018: 1.2%
> Market share: 0.63%

Two Canadian companies, Molson and Labatt, made the first ice beers back in 1993, and Molson Ice, first to be imported into the U.S. that same year, introduced the category to American beer-drinkers. Unlike that offering, the same company’s Icehouse is brewed in the U.S. — in Wisconsin — by the Miller Brewing Company, now part of the Molson Coors family. Icehouse can claim to have been the first domestic ice beer.

Source: walmart.com

22. Coors Banquet
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.5 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -1.6%
> Market share: 0.74%

Despite its official name, this is just plain old Coors, long something of a cult beer because it was available only in Colorado and points west. Still brewed in Colorado, Coors Banquet is said to have been named in honor of the hearty feasts local miners ate — no doubt accompanied by a flagon or two of suds — when their workday was over.

Source: Ted Thompson / Flickr

21. Steel Reserve
> Parent company: Molson Coors Brewing Company
> Barrels shipped in 2019: 1.6 million
> Shipment change from 2018: -2.2%
> Market share: 0.75%

Classified as malt liquor — a category that’s higher in alcohol than ordinary beer and usually a bit sweeter (this one measures 8.1% ABV) Steel Reserve was originally known for two versions of its brew. Today, though, it concentrates on its Alloy Series (in cans) — malt liquors with names like Spiked Tropic Storm and Hard Pineapple. In 2013, Steel Reserve received the dubious honor of being named the second most prominent beverage behind alcohol-related emergency room visits (Budweiser came in first).