SHOWDOWN: The Light Beers Get Ranked

by Ben Timmel December 22, 2016

SHOWDOWN: The Light Beers Get Ranked

Light beer: One of the pillars of America’s existence, alongside trans-fats and talentless celebrities. College students lead the pack in consuming this watered down category and there are a few main reasons... aside from the fact that it keeps you regularly flushing your digestive tract of the grease-filled gyros and calzones from the street meat vendors,   it costs next to nothing. Naturally (more on that later), every brewery on the Western hemisphere has tossed their hat into the ring. Some of them absolutely murder the game, others crash and burn. And I’m here to settle the score. 

There’s really only the big three to talk about so let’s get down to brass tacks.

3.  Busch Light 

Busch Light is the barnacles at the bottom of the barrel. Retailing at roughly $18 for 30-rack, this beer is what you grab when you’re scrambling to set up your party last minute and the 7/11 ran out of everything decent. This is the beer you find in rural areas tailgating, on the back of a truck bed for a wildly inappropriate occasion. 

I have to hand it to Anheuser-Busch,, because they masterfully targeted this demographic well to turn a profit. A 24 pack of these baddies runs you roughly 50¢ a can. Not a  terrible price to pay for 12 fluid ounces of what I can only compare to liquid pennies, but this is where it gets interesting. It actually gets  more expensive for a larger quantity. To the drunk guy stumbling through the corner store, more beer is the simple solvent to his equation, but if he’s trying to save a buck, he should splurge for two 24 packs. Cheaper AND more. Get two birds stoned at once, or whatever the expression is. Also, I'm pretty sure this is where the phrase ‘Bus(c)h League’ comes from but I could be wrong.

 2.  Keystone Light

“Always Smooth, like Keith Stone”. Aside from the fact that Miller-Coors has cast the second coming of the Dos Equis man to advertise this liquid gem, they branded EVERYTHING ELSE about this beer the right way. They make seasonal packaging, making it even more fun to drink watered down beers. Go hunting for the great white stone! Stack your stones to make them look like fish scales! Brilliance.

Nothing screams collegiate nirvana like completing mindless tasks whilst smashing brews. Additionally, these beers are so damn good that they get their own special name. It’s right there on the packaging. “30 stones”. Tired of having to specify what beer you need your bro to grab from the icebox every time you need a refill? Boy has Keith Stone got a solution for you. “Toss me a stone”. Problem solved in five letters. These beers also come in slimmer cans, much like Coors. This is ideal for sneaking into campus bars to avoid paying their reasonable prices, and a greater surface area for smashing against your forehead, if you’re into that sort of thing. Usually that decision doesn’t come to consideration until Stone 8 or 9 however. A homeless man outside of a Gas N’ Go once told me that Keystone Light is just Coors Light in a different can, and boy did he have a trusting face. He earned the HELL out of that loose change. Step back, Busch, you can’t even stack up to this beer, so don’t try to hold Keith’s stones, because you will crumple under the weight of his massive, smooth, light stones.

1.  Natural Light

The G.O.A.T. Undisputed. Everything about it. The price, the crisp taste, the status symbol, the design, nothing quite compares to the feeling you feel when you take the first refreshing sip of this Smooth Pilsner With All Natural Ingredients. This beer has won countless awards from the Academy of Stats I Pulled Out of My Ass Moments Ago. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Most shotgun-able beer of the new millennium
  • Most photographed beer between ages 18-24
  • Most blurred out/emoji’d over beer by sorority girls
  • Most likely to clear out your insides the next morning
  • Most likely to get you laid.

That last one is a bit opinionated, but the pricing of this beer is really where the “bang for your buck” comes in.

This liquid delight rings out a cutting-edge $10.74 per case after tax, and even $13.99 a 30-rack. That’s 44.7¢ per Natural, which Rick, the trustworthy guy I met at a dive bar in Columbus, calls “a fair price for a light beer”. Rick couldn’t have been more right. This beer has been around since the mid 70s. That’s back when fraternities could haze, The Who was still tapping ass, and people could assume genders without getting crucified in the street. This beer has been coveted by college students everywhere for countless reasons, and with just cause. And it certainly ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. Every drinking game, blackout, and reputable party has been nothing until a cameo from good ol’ Natty.


Honorable Mention (HM): Rockdale Light (Walmart exclusive), Kirkland Signature Light (Costco exclusive), Coors Light, Miller Light, Hamm’s, I.C. Light

Dishonorable Mention (DHM): Rolling Rock, Bud Light, Miller64, Michelob “Mickey” Ultra, Amstel Light


You can keep your Tesla Cars Japan, I’m about to crack open a cold slice of heaven and try to forget the fact that Little Yach-tea (or however it’s pronounced) is a promninent figure in the rap industry.

Drink up you animals, you deserve it.

Ben Timmel
Ben Timmel

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