We compared 5 of the most popular cheap beers in a blind taste test. While most of them tasted like water, there was a clear winner.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderWe put together a blind taste test of five popular cheap beers.
  • As the Super Bowl approaches, football fans are faced with an important question: which cheap beer is the best booze for their big game bashes?
  • Business Insider conducted a blind taste test of five of the most popular cheap beers: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Natural Light.
  • Miller High Life was the clear winner, earning high scores from most of our ten taste testers.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s the season to get schwasted.

As the Super Bowl approaches, football fans planning to watch from home are faced with the most important decision of their spectating lives: what beer they should buy.

The answer is never simple. Love it, hate it, only sometimes drink it, everyone has strong opinions about beer. That’s why Business Insider put together a blind taste test of big alcohol’s five cheapest and most popular beers: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Natural “Natty” Light.

Ten of our most fearless reporters hopped at the chance to tipple some booze. They were led to a sealed room by a taste-test proctor, where five cups of mystery beer awaited each of them. Then, they were asked to sip from each cup and select their favourite based on taste alone.


‘Twas the night before the game, and all through the nation, football fans were panicking, for they forgot to buy beer for the celebration.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCheap beers.

Luckily for them, our team of Business Insider reporters bit the bottlecap to find the very best cheap beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCheap beers.

Five cups were laid out for each reporter. The order of beers from left to right was Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Natural Light.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCheap beers.

But the reporters were not told which beer was in which cup.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCheap beers.

Unbeknownst to them, the first beer they were to try was Bud Light.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

After tasting all the beers, two drinkers chose Bud Light as their favourite beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

Retail correspondent Kate Taylor chose Bud Light as her favourite, saying that it was “watery and chuggable”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

Visual features reporter Brittany Chang also commented that beer one was “watery and chuggable.”

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

However, that wasn’t a positive for her. She disliked the fact that “the taste went away almost immediately”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

Other taste testers noted a distinctly wheaty aftertaste when compared against the other beers.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

The consensus: Bud Light is, well, light. It’s chuggable and inoffensive, and people either loved or hated that.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderBud Light.

The next mystery beer in taste testers’ cups was Coors Light.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

Three alcohol aficionados chose cup two, Coors Light, as their favourite beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

However, all of them chose to remain anonymous.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

One taster detected metallic and fruity notes, saying that cup two had a longer-lasting taste than cup one.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

Another taster said that this beer almost tasted like seltzer water upon first sip, noting that it tasted less substantial than cup one.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

Oddly enough, those who didn’t choose Coors as their favourite ranked it pretty low compared to the other beers.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

The consensus was that cup two, Coors, didn’t taste much different from cup one. In fact, it hardly tasted like anything at all.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCoors Light.

The next mystery beer on the table was Miller High Life.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

Miller High Life is advertised as the “champagne of beers”. But does it live up to the fancy title?

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

Apparently so. Four tasters chose cup three, Miller High Life, as their favourite of the lot.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

Even among tasters who didn’t choose it as their favourite, cup three came consistently in second place.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

In general, tasters found the flavour of Miller High Life to be more intense and interesting than that of the other beers.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

However, not all tasters thought that was a good thing.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

Taylor, whose favourite beer was Bud Light, ranked Miller High Life as her least favourite.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

Our fourth mystery beer was Pabst Blue Ribbon, the notorious favourite of last decade’s hipsters.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

No beer on the table caused more polarised reactions than PBR.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Two reporters ranked this beer as their favourite, while three chose it as their least favourite.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Taylor described the taste of cup four as comforting, while Chang described the beer as tasting of “fruits and armpit”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Shockingly, Chang also said that cup four was “not bad”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Whether they loved it or hated it, tasters agreed on one thing: PBR is pungent.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Testers who chose PBR as their least favourite tended to prefer Coors Light or Bud Light.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderPabst Blue Ribbon.

Last on the table was Natural Light, known more commonly as “Natty Light”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

Reactions to this beer were fairly uniform: almost everyone hated it.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

Zero out of ten tasters chose Natty Light as their favourite beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

Only two reporters reviewed the beer positively, among them Taylor, who noted that cup five was “watery but nice.”

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

Five out of ten tasters ranked Natty Light as their least favourite beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

One reporter described the beer as tasting “kind of like paper”.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

The consensus: Natty Light? More like Nasty Light.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderNatty Light.

When all was said and drunk, the winner of our taste test was easy to determine.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderCheap beers.

Miller High Life scored consistently high marks from all our taste testers. If our collective taste buds are any indication, it truly is the champagne of (cheap) beer.

Irene Jiang/Business InsiderMiller High Life.

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