Top 20 Beers In The World
VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio
WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
These are the global beers people can't seem to get enough of. For this list, we'll be looking at the most popular beers from around the world that have won loyal drinkers over with good taste, an attractive price, and strong brand marketing. Our countdown includes Sleeman Cream Ale, Kronenbourg 1664, Red Stripe, Sapporo Premium, Guinness, and more!
Top 20 Most Popular Global Beers
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Most Popular Global Beers.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the most popular beers from around the world that have won loyal drinkers over with good taste, an attractive price, and strong brand marketing. And while the business is experiencing a boom, we will not be including craft beers on this list. Also, in the interests of fairness and diversity, only one beer per country will be considered.
Which beer is your go-to on a fun night out? Let us know in the comments below!
#20: Sleeman Cream Ale
To avert an international diplomatic incident, us nice Canadians will kick off this list with Canada's entry (even though the brewery is technically Japanese-owned). While Molson is the king of beers in Canada, and while both Alexander Keith’s and Moosehead are solid beers, our pick is Sleeman Cream Ale. Fifty years after being shut down for bootlegging during Prohibition, Sleeman was restarted once the founder’s great-great-grandson discovered the family recipe. Sleeman has since won the country over with its delicious Honey Brown and Cream Ale. In fact, the latter was one of the few non-craft beers to win a gold medal at the 2015 Canadian Brewing Awards.
This lager from Greece is one of those beers you crack open on a hot day to quench even the most powerful thirst. In operation since 1997, Mythos has been owned by Carlsberg Group since 2008. Their lager has a slightly higher alcohol content in its native Greece than it does in international countries. It’s very refreshing, with a light straw color and a nice dry taste, on par with some of the continent’s more popular exports. Other variants exist, including Mythos Red and Mythos Ice, but it’s the original lager that’s made the company an international sensation.
#18: Kingfisher Premium
India’s native beer, and its most popular alcoholic export, is Kingfisher. A European lager, Kingfisher is one of the most popular beers in its native country. It can be found in over 50 others, with European distribution handled by Kingfisher Beer Europe Ltd. It’s a solid beer that does its job and has a nice, refreshing taste that is comparable to other lakers of its kind. Chances are, a tourist will come across Kingfisher in every Indian restaurant they visit. Luckily, one doesn’t even need to leave home to experience its pleasures.
#17: Super Bock
Established in 1927, Super Bock is currently the world’s best selling Portuguese beer and a national favorite in its native country. The pale, fizzy pilsner has been a favorite at various competitions and has won dozens of industry awards throughout its lengthy history. In fact, it was the very first Portuguese beer to attain the Quality Certificate from the International Certification Services. And while the Super Bock Original is a delicious pilsner, the company has also expanded into sweet stouts, shandy, and even gluten free beers. But as delicious as those beers may be, there’s simply no beating the original.
#16: Kronenbourg 1664
This is a world-famous pale lager with a recipe dating back to its eponymous year. In 2005, this beer came in first place in the 4.6–6.9% ABV category at the International Brewing Awards, with praise going towards its unique taste that blends an easy-drinking lager with a hoppy ale. This company goes back all the way to the mid 17th century, when Geronimus Hatt opened the Canon Brewery in modern day Strasbourg. However, local flooding forced the company to move, and in 1850 they relocated to the higher area of Cronenbourg. The brewery’s name was changed to celebrate its new home. It is now one of the most famous names in brewing, and for good reason.
#15: Peroni Nastro Azzurro
Launched in 1846 in the town of Vigevano, Italy, Peroni has long been a popular Italian beer. Since the 1960s, the brand has run various successful advertising campaigns, which have helped it become a household name around the world - and especially in its native country. The original Peroni brand is the best-selling beer in Italy, but it has since been eclipsed in the international market by Nastro Azzurro. This pale lager was launched in 1963 and has since become one of the highest-selling beers throughout the United Kingdom thanks to its sweet taste. It’s the best Italian export next to pizza!
Thailand is home to many notable beers. There’s the pale lager Chang, which won numerous gold medals at the World Quality Selections in 2018. Since 2015, all the Chang variations have been consolidated under one chief brand known as Chang Beer, which is a lager made from rice. But Thailand’s greatest export is arguably Singha. Touted as “The Original Thai Beer,” Singha is a pale lager that has been brewed since 1933. The beer has a nice, light taste that proves accessible to all drinkers, but it’s perhaps best known for its logo, which depicts a golden mystical lion in mid stride. Both have combined to make Singha a popular beer around the world.
This is one of China’s leading beers, owning about 15% of its native country’s beer market. Tsingtao managed to become an international sensation thanks to the undeveloped beer market in its native China. Beginning in the 1970s, the company focused primarily on the international market to turn profits, and Tsingtao has been one of the highest-selling Chinese beers in America since 1972. It’s easy to see why the beer became so popular. Tsingtao is a relatively light beer with a low alcohol content, and this has made it very easy to enjoy on a hot summer day. It’s a beer that everyone can enjoy, and it serves as a great entrypoint to the world of lagers.
#12: Red Stripe
A popular Jamaican lager, Red Stripe has been brewed since the late 1920s. Touted as “The Taste of Jamaica,” Red Stripe didn’t make its way to America until 1985, and even then it sold exceedingly poorly. It wasn’t until the early ‘90s that Red Stripe became an established brand, which is thanks largely to the reggae and dancehall boom of the time. The beer is now known for its distinct label and squat bottles, not to mention its early 2000s advertising campaign with the catchphrase “Hooray, beer!” That, combined with the beer’s sweet and accessible lager taste has made it a favorite well beyond the boundaries of its native Jamaica.
#11: Estrella Damm
This famous European pale lager was established by cousins August and Joseph Damm back in 1876. The beer was immediately made distinct thanks to its lighter taste and color, which was inspired by the Mediterranean beers of the time. Its five-pointed red star also became known across the country, and Estrella Dorada (as it was then called) was mostly referred to as “the [beer] with the star.” The iconic star has since turned gold, but the beer has retained its signature red in its labels and cans. Both have helped Estrella Damm become a popular international beer and arguably Spain’s most popular export.
Easily Denmark’s most popular beer, Carlsberg is a household name around the globe. Back in 1847, a man named Jacob Jacobsen opened a brewery on the outskirts of Copenhagen and named it after his son, Carl. And while the company has made over 150 beers since its inception, its eponymous pilsner is still the most popular. It is currently in 140 markets across the globe and was originally brewed by Carl Jacobsen himself. Known for its iconic green bottle, Art Nouveau logo, and distinctly malty taste, Carlsberg is a national Danish icon.
#9: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Of course, the USA is home to many notable beers, including the King of Beers Budweiser and Pennsylvania’s Yuengling. But nothing beats the rich history of Samuel Adams. The famous beer was named after the Founding Father as a show of respect and to honor the rich history of Boston, which is where Adams was from. The recipe for the iconic Boston Lager is very old, having been taken from the founder’s great-great-grandfather. It is also the official beer of the Boston Red Sox, having replaced Budweiser in 2018. The beer has a unique copper color and is both dry and bitter. However, that is definitely a positive, and it has helped Samuel Adams become one of the best mass-marketed beers in America.
While Germany is well known for its Weizenbier (particularly around the state of Bavaria), its most famous export is Beck's. Hailing from the northern city of Bremen, Beck’s is one of the largest breweries in Germany. The company was founded back in 1873, and its most popular beer is the eponymous pilsner that comes in a green bottle. It’s a solid German pilsner that has earned popularity the world over for its unique taste that blends incredible sweetness with slight fruity notes. It has also become known for its Art Label Campaign, in which Beck’s Brewery invited world-renowned artists to create limited-time labels for their signature beer.
#7: Stella Artois
Despite being a widely consumed and mass-produced beer, Stella Artois has always had a degree of sophistication to it. The name itself sounds fancy, and the famous logo exudes a degree of elegance. Stella Artois began its life as a limited time Christmas beer, having first been sold in 1926 by Belgian brewer Brouwerij Artois. However, it proved so successful that it was quickly put into the brewer’s regular rotation. It has since become one of the most popular beers in the world, known for its logo, beautiful golden color, and full, rich taste. Hoegaarden certainly gives it a run for its money, but it’s Stella Artois that has put Belgium on the worldwide beer map.
#6: Pilsner Urquell
Fun fact - Pilsner Urquell was actually the world’s first pale lager, and the pilsner style of beer was named after the brand. The name itself comes from the Czech city of Plzeň, which has the German name of Pilsen. Released in 1842, the beer was brewed by the Pilsner Urquell Brewery under the famous Josef Groll. Groll single handedly changed how beer was produced, revolutionizing a light, bottom-fermented lager that was vastly different from the dark beers of the time. This delicious and easy drinking beer was massively successful, and it changed the beer market forever. Even today, Groll’s pilsner is delicious and stands apart from the pack with its palpable malt and hops.
#5: Dos Equis
The primary beer of Mexico is undeniably Dos Equis. It certainly helps that its ad campaign went viral in the early 2010s through The Most Interesting Man in the World meme. That alone has caused the popularity of Dos Equis to spike amongst the younger generations. This beer is made by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, which set up shop in Monterrey, Mexico back in 1890. The name Dos Equis comes from the Spanish for “two Xs,” which is a reference to its earlier name, Siglo XX. Mexico is home to many internationally renowned beers, including Corona and Bohemia, but Dos Equis’s light, appetizing taste (and its incredible ad campaign) may just trump them all.
#4: Sapporo Premium
Known as the beer with the gold star, Sapporo is Japan’s oldest beer. It was made by Japanese brewer Seibei Nakagawa and released in its native Japan in 1876. Its name comes from the city in which it was first brewed. This lager typically comes in a notable silver can and is renowned for its taste and drinkability. It’s a joyous mix between refreshing and full-bodied, and it is far sweeter than a typical American-style lager. Pair it with sushi, or simply enjoy it on its own. Either way, Sapporo goes down easy.
#3: Newcastle Brown Ale
It’s borderline impossible to pick a beer from the United Kingdom, but we’re going with Newcastle Brown Ale. Introduced back in 1927 and brewed in Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle Brown Ale is one of the most distributed alcoholic drinks in the UK. It sells over 100 million bottles every year and has a reputation outside of its native UK as a trendy beer for young enthusiasts. Its dark brown color and sweet caramel flavor is vastly different from a typical lager, and it serves as a great introduction to more “fancy” and experimental beers. It’s a beer with both history and culture, and it has long been regarded as one of England’s finest alcoholic exports.
Undoubtedly one of the most popular beers ever made, Heineken is the Netherlands’ alcoholic gift to the world. Back in 1864, Gerard Heineken bought a brewery in Amsterdam and introduced his eponymous beer in 1873. It caught on throughout the rest of the globe after winning the Grand Prize at the 1889 Paris world’s fair. It is now one of the most recognizable beers of all time, complete with its signature green bottle and red five pointed star. Heineken’s distinct dry and fruity flavor, combined with its impeccable marketing, has made the beer a global phenomenon unlike any other in the business.
Yeah, Harp Lager is nice and all, but come on. This is Guinness we’re talking about here. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Guinness is the beer to end all beers. It dates all the way back to 1759, when Arthur Guinness opened Dublin’s St. James's Gate Brewery. With 1.2 million barrels a year, Guinness was the largest brewery in the world by 1886, and it remains the largest brewer of stout beer. In fact, Guinness often serves as an entryway to stouts and other darker ales. World renowned for its smooth coffee-like taste and foamy white head, “the black stuff” has been impressing newcomers and aficionados alike for centuries.