The NCAA Basketball Tournament is a uniquely American experience. Sixty-eight teams in a month-long, single-elimination playoff to determine the best of the best in Division I collegiate men’s basketball. This year, the tournament runs from March 19 to April 8, and to help cheer on your favorite teams, you need a beer lineup that can do it all: easy to drink over the course of a few games, low ABV, and delicious with your favorite game-day snacks.
Thankfully, our experts have put together a beer bracket that’s perfectly crafted for your watch party. Keep reading for our top-seeded beers, all as uniquely American as our favorite tournament.
Short’s Local’s Light American Lager
One of our favorite light, easy-drinking beers is Short’s Local’s Light. An American-style lager, Local’s Light is crafted to be “beer in its simplest form,” according to Joe Short himself. It checks all the boxes and then some: smooth, delicious, and at 5.2%, its low alcohol content makes it easy to enjoy while you’re focusing on the game. Even better? It’s made in Michigan, a state known for both its exceptional basketball teams and beer.
Pabst Blue Ribbon is an American Lager with roots going back as far as 1844. PBR is a thrifty, low-commitment option for folks who are interested in drinkability and enjoyment over several hours. Made with barley, hops, water, yeast, and simple sugars, PBR is vegan-friendly and a go-to beer for a hip, younger crowd.
Bell’s Brewing Lager of the Lakes
Another great Michigan option, Bell’s Lager of the Lakes delivers on taste, color, ABV, and craft. Lager of the Lakes is a Czech Pilsner style beer, making it crisp and refreshing as well as easy to drink. At 5% ABV, Lager of the Lakes is suited for a wide variety of pairings, from delicate white fish to fried chicken wings.
We can’t talk about the best beers for the Big Dance (or any sporting event) without including Budweiser. With a 165-year-and-counting history, Anheuser-Busch – the folks who brew Budweiser – is the Nation’s largest brewery for good reason. Their drinkable beers are low in calories without skimping on the flavor, and are crowd-pleasing every time.
Founders Brewing Co. All Day IPA
Founder’s Brewing Company is building an impressive roster of lighter craft beers that are perfect for all-day sipping. Our beer bracket pick is All Day IPA. Not only is it a flavorful, pleasantly hoppy game-day option, but it’s also one of the lowest ABV beers in our bracket at 4.7%. Plus, IPAs are great with some of our favorite watch party foods: burgers, tacos, and pretzels.
Founders Brewing Co. Solid Gold
If you aren’t a fan of IPAs, but you are a fan of Founders, try Founders Solid Gold. A high-quality light craft beer, Solid Gold is easy to drink, and lighter on the hops than All Day IPA. It also has a 4.4% ABV, giving it the lowest alcohol content of any craft beer on our list. Can’t choose between the two Founders beers? Cover your bases and stock up on both.
On Sale this Week: Coors Light
Our final recommendation is an American original and has an ABV of just 4.2% – Coors Light. Coors has been brewing since 1978, and as the nation’s second-biggest brewery, it’s clear they’ve perfected their recipe for refreshing, light, drink-all-day beer. Coors Light is considered a pale lager, meaning it’s extra refreshing and compliments just about any snack that comes its way. Bring on your richest, spiciest game day snacks from barbecue to nachos to jalapeño poppers. Make sure you’re tournament-ready, and stock up on a case of Coors Light, on sale this week in our stores.