We're big supporters of regional craft beers in these parts, but sometimes (maybe you're at an all-day barbecue?) all you want is a good cheap beer. First We Feast has compiled the best regional cheap beers across the country. If you find yourself visiting cities like Cincinnati (Little Kings Cream Ale) or Baltimore (Natty Boh), don't leave without trying the local offering.
Check out the best regional cheap beers. All text courtesy First We Feast:
Little Kings Cream Ale
<strong>From: </strong>Cincinnati, OH <strong>Founded: </strong>1958 <strong>Beer trivia:</strong> Little Kings is best known for its miniature seven-ounce bottles. Though now brewed under contract, Little Kings remains a throwback to the Queen City's vibrant past. Cream Ale itself—a sort of hybrid style that drinks like an all-America lager with a creamier body—is largely out-of-fashion these days (though some craft brewers have tried their hand at reviving it), so you can still get a taste of nostalgia in those little green pony bottles. Surely there's no finer pairing for a meal of Skyline chili-cheese dogs. <strong>Also see: </strong><a href="http://firstwefeast.com/drink/what-your-favorite-beer-says-about-you/" target="_blank">What Your Favorite Beer Says About You</a>
<strong>From:</strong> Stevens Point, WI <strong>Founded: </strong>1857 <strong>Beer trivia:</strong> This brew was enjoyed by troops during the Civil War. In the upper Midwest, beer is serious business. Stevens Point Brewery has been refining its flagship Point Special Lager since 1857. In the '70s, Chicago Daily News writer Mike Royko hailed it as the best tasting American Beer. Judges at major competitions have followed suit—Point Special claimed a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2003 and has pulled multiple silvers at the World Beer Championships. Technically, this is an American Adjunct Lager (the light sort of fizzy tipple we associate with the big microbreweries), but its got real character—or at the very least, some pilsner qualities—and may be one of the nation's best lawn mower brew. Best of all, the brewery is still privately owned. <strong>Also see:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-best-bar-snacks-ranked/" target="_blank">The Best Bar Snacks, Ranked</a>
<strong>From:</strong> Shiner, TX <strong>Founded:</strong> 1909 <strong>Drinking trivia:</strong> After 104 years, Shiner Beer finally started distributing to NYC this year. It's foolish to deny the Germanic influence on Central Texas. Most famously, the brisket and sausage that form the most important elements of the region's BBQ trifecta have easy familial tracings back to the old country. The town of Shiner, roughly 90 miles southeast of Austin, has brewed beer since 1909, introducing its famous bock in 1913. Originally the Shiner Brewing Association, Shiner Beer recruited Kosmos Spoetzl as brewmaster in 1914. A year later, he exercised an option to buy the operation and standardized the production. Shiner, now under the Gambrinus Company (a family-owned firm based in San Antonio), holds distinction as the oldest independent brewery in Texas. While its distributed to 43 states, its really best enjoyed on its own turf, alongside a huge platter of real Texas barbecue. <strong>Also See:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/laugh/the-25-worst-fast-food-tattoos/" target="_blank">The 25 Worst Food Tattoos</a>
Bohemian (Natty Boh)
<strong>From:</strong> Baltimore, MD <strong>Founded:</strong> 1885 <strong>Beer trivia:</strong> Though no longer brewed in Maryland, 90% of Natty Boh is sold in Baltimore. In the 1960s, Baltimore embraced Natty Boh as the city's "official" beer, though it dates back all the way to 1885. Memorial Stadium poured the local suds and the region took notice. Today, it's contract-brewed in Georgia and North Carolina, but the rabid fandom for the pilsner remains strong in B'more. Sporting ties remain too—in 2012, "Mr. Boh" became the marquee sponsor of the USL Premier Development League Baltimore Bohemians soccer club. <strong>Also See:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/the-most-stunning-seafood-plateaus-in-nyc-with-gifs/" target="_blank">The Most Stunning Seafood Plateaus In NYC, With GIFs</a>
Iron City Beer
<strong>From:</strong> Pittsburgh, PA <strong>Founded:</strong> 1861 <strong>Drinking trivia:</strong> Iron City introduced the first twist-off bottle cap in 1963. When your eating a sandwich stuffed with French fries from Primanti Bros., you need a properly refreshing beer. Enter Iron City. This Pittsburgh staple has been produced since 1861 (its current maker, the Unified Growth Partners-owned Pittsburgh Brewing Co., says the recipes hasn't really changed, but there probably aren't many people alive who could tell the difference). But while it falls right into the Bud category of beers, it's the ideal brew to rep a blue-collar town, and really the only reasonable choice of cheap suds when you're in town. Fun fact (sort of): It's now brewed in Latrobe, so don't fret if you taste the ghost of Rolling Rock in your bottle. <strong>Also See:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/a-guide-to-the-insane-world-of-indian-fast-food/" target="_blank">A Guide To The Insane World Of Indian Fast Food</a>
<strong>From:</strong> Providence, RI <strong>Founded:</strong> 1890 <strong>Beer trivia:</strong> Robert Shaw, playing shark hunter Quint, famously crushed a 'Gansett can in Jaws. Today, Narragansett is the "official beer of the clam." In 1983, New England lost a long time friend: Narragansett Lager, which—if you're from the region—is probably what your dad drank when he was in college. Nearly a quarter of a century later, coastal residents let loose a collective cry of celebration when the brew made a comeback. Reviving a classic isn't always easy, but Narragansett has managed to strike a rare balance of nostalgic branding and contemporary craft quality. Today, the brand's year-round beers are brewed in Rochester, NY, while the seasonal varieties—which include a porter and bock—are crafted locally in Providence. Anachronisms like a Gansett Girl of the Month keeps the old-fashioned feel alive, and now a new generation is celebrating New England just like their dads and uncles did. <strong>Also See:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/recreating-the-infamous-making-the-band-2-cheesecake-walk-10-years-later/" target="_blank">Recreating The Infamous "Making The Band 2" Cheesecake Walk, 10 Years Later </a>
<strong>From:</strong> Seattle, WA <strong>Founded:</strong> 1878 <strong>Beer trivia: </strong>Hit #rainier beer on Instagram for some of the awesomest beer shots, ever. Rainier Beer predates Washington's statehood. Today, the vintage styling has captured the attention of young drinkers around Seattle (and beyond), part of a wider trend for reintroducing cheap, regional suds the right way. Black bears apparently love the stuff, too: In 2004, one bear drank 36 cans in Baker Lake, WA…apparently, Busch was also available, but the bear chose to drink local. <strong>Also See: </strong><a href="http://firstwefeast.com/eat/nycs-best-new-restaurants-and-bars-of-2013-so-far/" target="_blank">NYC's Best Restaurants And Bars Of 2013, So Far</a>
<strong>From: </strong>Rochester, NY <strong>Founded: </strong>1878 <strong>Drinking trivia:</strong> Viggo Mortensen drinks "Genny Cream" in A History of Violence. Consider the Cream Ale the PBR of upstate New York. Introduced in 1960, the beer is the hallmark of Genesee Brewing (which, as part of North American Breweries, is one of the largest independently owned beer makers in America). It's a two-time World Beer Cup gold medalist (2002 and 2004). The brew has some quirky trivia too: Did you know that in 1982 rumors swirled that the beer was brewed by The Moonies cult? Bet you didn't—but now you can drop that tidbit while crushing a Genny by a lake this summer. <strong>Also See:</strong> <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/laugh/14-extra-services-we-wish-restaurants-would-provide/" target="_blank">14 Extra Services We Wish Restaurants Would Provide</a>
More Regional Beers
Head to <a href="http://firstwefeast.com/drink/the-unsung-cheap-beers-of-america/s/yuengling/" target="_blank">First We Feast</a>.