Full confession: I don’t know what the word “hipster” means. Not really. It’s a nebulous term that’s too easy to throw around and much harder to actually pin down. Is a hipster a graphic designer with a penchant for wearing pants that are just a little bit too short? Maybe. A girl with a cat tattoo with a mobile book store that only sells vintage recipe books? Probably. But I can’t be certain, mostly because I’ve aged out of that particular demographic. I drive a mini van, not ironically, but because I like the automatic sliding doors and extra room for groceries and soccer balls.
At this point in my life, all I know is hipsters are more likely to wear scarves and beanies in the summer and they gravitate towards cheap lagers. In this article, we’re concerned with the latter characteristic: the cheap lager. We all know that hipsters revived Pabst to the point where it was too successful to be hipster anymore, so now the disaffected have moved on to less popular pastures because the minute you see a mini-van-driving guy like me ordering a particular beer, it’s no longer hipster enough.
The perfect hipster beer would be a super cheap lager that’s only brewed intermittingly based on the brewer’s day job schedule (he’s also a bus driver) and distributed to only one bar in Minnesota. From there, spare cases of the beer are bussed directly to key yarn stores all across America where, if you know the right person, you can buy three cans at a time. That’s the ideal hipster beer. Short of that, you’ll have to settle for a cheap regional lager that’s ubiquitous in a few states but super hard to find anywhere else in the country. Or a nationally distributed cheap lager with a cool bottle and label. Either one will work. Here are 10.
1 of 10
Coors Banquet gets the hipster nod basically because it's a cool looking bottle. Also, it has a good nickname that's fun to say: "Yellow Belly."
2 of 10
'Gansett has been in line to take over the hipster beer title from Pabst for a few years. It was even part of Pabst's portfolio several years ago. It's a regional beer, found mostly in the North East. More importantly, it's the beer that Captain Quint drinks in Jaws.
3 of 10
Miller High Life
Cool bottle? Check. Super cheap? Check. Awesome logo? Check. Truly the "Champagne of beers."
4 of 10
Aka, "Natty Boh," has been around since the late 1800s, and I'm thinking they haven't changed their label much over the years. Which hipsters absolutely love. This beer is all over Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay.
5 of 10
Another regional lager, only this time we're visiting the Pacific Northwest. The can is cool, the bottle is cool…it's got lumberjack hipster written all over it.
6 of 10
Genesee Cream Ale
Okay, technically we're shifting away from lagers here, but like the marketing jabber says: the goal was simple: a beer with the flavor of an ale and the smoothness of a lager. Call it Genny Cream for short.
7 of 10
Does the Northwest have so many hipsters because of all of the choices for hipster beer, or is it the other way around? Chicken or egg?
8 of 10
From the fine state of Texas comes Lone Star, affectionately known as "the national beer of Texas." Even though Texas isn't a nation. They make a Lone Star Light, but don't you dare order it.
9 of 10
Brewed by Saranac, Utica Club is an old school Northeastern beer that is sometimes called "Uncle Charlie." Alright.
10 of 10
Grain Belt Premium
Grain Belt has been a fixture in Minnesota and the Midwest for decades. It's brewed by Schell's now, which has its own hipster-approved Shell's Beer Brand. Another fun fact about hipster beers—if the beer makes you look blue collar, even though you have a masters degree in art history, you get bonus points.