Ten Best Alternatives to Beer (For Those Non-Hop Heads Among Us)

Drastic times, man.
Drastic times, man.
Photo by Morgan

With the summer and Memorial Day approaching it's time to gather 'round the grill with friends and family and a nice cold brewski. Unless, of course, you're one of those crazy many people who just don't really dig beer.

For folks like you, there's always wine, of course, and cocktails, but those just don't have the same summery connotations as an icy can of Lone Star or a bottle of Saint Arnold Summer Pils.

Fret not, though, dear beer-despiser! There are a number of alternatives (not all of them tasty, mind you) to the traditional brew. From ciders to malt liquor, there's a refreshing brew out there to satisfy any taste. Unfortunately, the alternatives tend to have low ABVs, but that just means you get to drink more delicious Smirnoff Ices!

Here are the ten best alternatives to beer. And by best, we mean only.

10. Smirnoff Ice I'm pretty sure the first time I ever got drunk, it was from Smirnoff Ice. The popular choice of underaged college girls and immature men seeking to Ice* their unsuspecting friends, Smirnoff Ice is a malt beverage, meaning it's brewed like beer. It's available in 18 different flavors, including the original (a citrus flavor) and "black watermelon," which sounds like something rotten. Contrary to what I thought when I first drank it, Smirnoff Ice has a laughably low alcohol content. If you get drunk off this, I feel sorry for you.

*"Ice-ing" involves hiding a Smirnoff Ice somewhere for a particular target to find. The person who finds it must then chug it. We're all adults here. Stop Ice-ing people.

9. Bartles & Jaymes Beloved by suburban soccer moms throughout the country, Bartles & Jaymes was a hit in the 1980s and early '90s before experiencing a decline due to the rise of other popular malt beverages and wine coolers. Still, if find yourself craving a mojito without the tequila (what's wrong with you?) Bartles & Jaymes makes a "mojito" drink with white wine and "natural fruit flavors." Could be worse.

I once drank two of these and passed out at 2 p.m.
I once drank two of these and passed out at 2 p.m.
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg

8. Lime-A-Rita (et al.) Back when I was working for the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Anheuser Busch introduced the Staw-Berr-Ita, and because the company is based out of St. Louis, we decided to do a taste test. Here's one of our responses: "It smells like somebody had a blackout-drunk episode in Bath & Body Works: 'I was testing lotions, and next thing I knew, I was naked on the floor at 10 a.m.!'" Still, people seem to like the stuff. At a recent food event, I heard some chefs ranking the flavors in order of best to worst, and they maintain that the new Cran-Brr-Ita is delicious.

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