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The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…

newcaslte heineken carlsberg 300x180 The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…By Pat Smith, Jeremy Thomson, Tim Rodgers, Paul Reiter & Matt Goldstein

Most people think to describe Macro brews as only Miller, Coors and Budweiser, but there are some large scale macro breweries out there brewing damn good beer, not just the American macro swill we’re all used to.  The Whiskey Goldmine has compiled a list of beers and major breweries that simply make a phenomenal beverage and are sold on a massive scale.  You’d be surprised at how many beers Sierra Nevada actually sells.  We were surprised too.    

1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale:

5.6% ABV, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico, CA. The Sierra Nevada Company is the 5th largest brewery in the United States and by 2005; Sierra Nevada was in excess of $100 million in sales.  The Pale Ale is the clear #1 here; it’s not even worth arguing. The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is simply a perfect beer.    

pilsner urquell2 The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…2.  Newcastle Brown Ale:

 4.7% ABV, Scottish & Newcastle UK.  Newcastle Brown Ale is the #1 selling bottled beer in the UK and one of the best selling beers in Europe. 

3.  Sam Adams Boston Lager.

4.75% ABV. Boston Beer Company, Boston, MA. The Boston Beer Company is one of the largest breweries in the United States and for good reason.  These guys just make great beer.  Perhaps Sam Adams is being a little overshadowed by the recent craft beer fanaticism, but these guys have been doing great craft beer on a large scale for 25 years.  Six weeks after its release in 1985, the Boston Lager was awarded the “Best Beer in America.”   

4.  Bitburger Premium Pilsner.

4.8% ABV, Bitburger Brewery, Germany. Bitburger is the #2 selling beer in Germany and one of the best cases of beer you can buy for under $20.00. 

5.  Yuengling Lager.

4.7% ABV, Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville, PA United States. The Yuengling Brewery is the 4th largest brewery in the United States and the Lager is a classic staple beer on the East Coast.  Yuengling Lager Light might also be the best light beer in the world; without a doubt it’s Top 5.   

6.  Pilsner Urquell.

4.4% ABV.  Plensky Prazdroj, Czech Republic. Perhaps the most famous Pilsner in the world, Pilsner Urquell is the #2 selling beer in the Czech Republic.    

WARSTEINER LOGO 300x167 The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…7.  Warsteiner Premium Pilsner.

4.8% ABV.  Warsteiner Brewery, Germany.  Warsteiner is the #3 selling beer in Germany but has a huge market overseas.  This is a great Pilsner.  It also has one of the coolest labels in all of beer.  You know you like it.  Don’t kid yourself.   

8.  Stella Artois.

5.5% ABV.  Stella Artois Brewing, Belgium.  Stella Artois is the best selling Belgian beer outside of Belgium.  Stella is a solid beer but tends to skunk easily. 

9.  Amstel Light.

3.5% ABV.  Amstel Brewery, Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Amstel Light is one of the best light beers in the world and the #1 imported light beer in the United States.

 10.  Dos Equis Lager.

4.5% ABV, Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, Monterey Mexico.  We never thought we would put Dos Equis above Corona but last week, we tried a Dos Equis and a Corona with what might have been the greatest fajita ever, and the Dos Equis emerged as the ideal beer with Mexican cuisine.  The Dos Equis is slightly thicker and slightly sweeter than Corona and it doesn’t need a god damn lemon.  Dos Equis is the #3 selling beer in Mexico. 

11.  Corona Extra.

4.6% ABV.  Grupo Modello, Mexico City, Mexico. I can already feel the craft beer geeks cringing as their reading this but who cares?  Corona is a refreshing beer and perfect or the summertime. Corona is also the #1 selling imported beer in America. 

guinness logo 111 214x300 The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…12.  Guinness Stout.

6.0%.  Guinness Brewery, Dublin, Ireland.  Guinness is the #2 beer in Ireland and Irelands #1 beer export.  Guinness sells 2 billion pints a year.  Guinness is the #1 selling stout in the world.  If you like Guinness, try the Victory Donnybrook.  They’re very similar but the Donnybrook has a bit more flavor and a bit more bite.

13.  Heineken Lager.

5.0% ABV.  Heineken Brewery, Netherlands.  Heineken is the #2 selling imported beer in America and the 7th best selling beer in the world.  It does skunk too easy though, but is still very refreshing. 

 14.  Becks German Pilsner.

5.0% ABV.  Becks Brewery, Bremen, Germany.  Becks sells over 720 million liters a year.  That’s not peanuts. 

 15.  Red Stripe Jamaican Lager.

4.7% ABV, Desnoes & Geddes Brewing, Kingston Jamaica.  Red Stripe is a very refreshing beer, especially when you’re watching the sunset in Montego Bay or dining on a cliff in Negril.  However, after 8 days and nights at a Jamaican all inclusive with nothing other than Red Stripe, it gets a little tired.  Red Stripe has over $8 billion in sales annually. 

16.  Carlsberg Pilsner.

5.0% ABV.  Carlsberg, Denmark.  Carlsberg dominates the Denmark beer market with 95% of total beer sales.  That’s ridiculous.


Source:  The Daily Bugle, the New York Times, the Guardian,, & 


The Top 10 Breweries in the World: Founders, Bell’s, Ballast Point, Stone, Port/Lost Abbey

The Top 25 Beers in a Can: Oscar Blues, Sly Fox, Maui Brewing, Young’s Double Chocolate, Caldera, 21st Amendment

Pennsylvania Crushes Germany in the Top 10 Pilsners: Pilzilla, Prima Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Pikeland Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils

The Best Beer under $20 a Case: Yuengling Lager, Bitburger, Leinenkugels, Shiner Bock, Lionshead and more…

The Top 25 Stouts: Founders KBS, Breakfast Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo, Rogue Shakespear Oatmeal, Goose Island Black Cat Bourbon, Deschutes the Abyss

The Top 10 Oktoberfest Beers: Ayinger, Beck’s, Hacker Pschorr, Flying Fish, Hofbrau, Stoudt’s, Lefthand, Magic Hat, Spaten

The Top Ten Belgian White Ales from a Taste Test: Blanche de Bruxelles, Hoegaarden, Ommengangs Witte, Victory Wirlwind, St. Brnardis Blanche, Allagash White, Blue Moon and more…

The Top 10 Mexican Beers: Bohemia, Negra Modela, Dos Equis, Corona, Carta Blanca, Tecate, Sol and more…

Top 50 Pound for Pound Beer List: Chimay, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada, Bells’, Victory, Founders, Hacker-Pschorr, Weyerbacher and more…





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30 comments to The Top 15 Best Macro Brews: Sierra Nevada, Yuengling, Heineken, Corona, Stella Artois and more…

  • stan Spiller

    I don’t even put the two in the same category. micro’s vs macro’s. my preference is macros. sorry beer snob dolts.


    Aaron Olson Reply:

    Care to put why you prefer macro, instead of calling those who prefer micro “beer snob dolts”? Seems a tad immature.

    In my opinion micros tend to have a much more distinct flavors. Unfortunately, they tend to cost a bit more.
    However, If I were to go with a macro, I’d chose Sierra Neveda.


  • […] brewery, or you are having some friends over and just need good beer. So here it is. A list of the Best Macro Brews. The list is 16 different macros, but is only one mans opinion. The sales numbers are […]

  • whoah this weblog is wonderful i like studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You realize, a lot of
    persons are looking round for this info,
    you could help them greatly.


  • Daddy

    fck all of you fags,any beeer is beeeer bitches.get out of your houses.


    Matt G Reply:

    That is amazing in site. Amazing.


    Jasmine Cougar Reply:

    Best reply ever.


    Matt G. Reply:



    Stan Spiller Reply:

    lol. funny and true.


    Aaron Olson Reply:

    Most of the time, anyone who says “beer is beer” either is new to the beer scene or just drinks to get drunk.

    Which one are you? (I”m guessing both)


  • me

    worst list ever


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    Great input. Thanks for stopping by.


  • Orson Carte

    This is a mixture of a few quite decent beers whose only fault is being brewed in large volumes and a lot of tasteless nondescript stuff which owes its sale to heavy advertising. It gets away with its lamentable quality because of the erroneous belief that beer should be cold.More knowledgeablr beer connoisseurs realise that drinking it a few degreew less cold (not warm but low 50s) allows the flavours and qualities to shine yet remain refreshing.Warm up stuff like Heineken or Carlsberg and you realise there’s nothing there , warm up Stella and you realise why it’s better cold.


  • I have a problem with the overall premise of your article but I still think its really informative. I really like your other posts. Keep up the great work. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. :) thanks Nishiyama.


  • Stinke

    yoyoyoyoyo…I know, yahmeen, we all from PA and whatnot and Yuengling might *sound* like a good idea to include in this list, but c’mon yo…It can’t even begin to TRY and hang with some of these heavweights: guinness extra STOUT?? newcastle?? sierra nevada pale ale?? c’monson…


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    I’m not a big Guinness fan Stinke. I would prefer a Yuengling over Guinness at anytime, but that’s just me. There is no bite in Guinness at all…


  • The Dude

    Doesn’t look like this was edited very well…anyway, what is your criteria for a beer being considered “Macro”? Not sure I would include some of those in that category…


  • Ace

    You realize that you have a picture of Guinness Draught, while Guinness Stout is the #12 beer. They are entirely different beers.


    Brown Squirt Reply:

    It clearly says Guinness Extra Stout in the picture and also the description.
    I believe that the beer they are referring to is the traditional Guinness Stout however.


    chap71 Reply:

    We changed the picture, and it’s still wrong. LOL


  • george jetson

    This is a huge marketing joke probably supported by the so called “micro-breweries” listed. Whiskeygoldmine should be ashamed. Don’t believe it. Do your own research, and you’ll find that none of these brews could compete in the real micro-brewery field.


    chap71 Reply:

    George Jetson, you’re not even makes sense. We never called these “micro-breweires.” In fact, the article is titled Top 15 Macro Brews. Do your own reading before you claim we should do our own research. We are not claiming anything about micro-breweries here.


    george jetson Reply:

    You are correct. My mistake. I am a dumb dumby, but why these beers need any press I don’t know.


    chap71 Reply:

    We have been live for more that three months and have more that 40 articles on beer, 95% of which have been dedicated to craft beer. I think we are giving the micro brew industry as much press as we can. Take a look around, and see what we’ve done. Just click on the beer category.

    Tim Rodgers Reply:

    Budweiser (InBev) writes a lot of “zeros” on our checks! Holla!


  • Tim Rodgers

    Can any of these beers claim to have a triple hops guarantee?


    Matt Goldstein Reply:

    Is this a back handed comment against the almighty Miller Lite? Don’t talk shit on the Reed’s Softball teams beer of choice.


    Tim Rodgers Reply:

    To the contrary. The fact that Miller Lite (the #1 choice of local electric union 13736 at the Philadelphia Eagles tailgate) doesn’t make the cut is shameful


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