13 Best Beer Brands For People Who Don't Like Beer

People have many reasons for not being the biggest fans of beer. Maybe it tastes too bitter, or they feel too full when drinking it. Others may prefer the complex flavor of spirits or a dry wine. The good news is beer has come a long way from the domestic light beers you may have tried years back. Styles range from fruit-forward lambic and weiss to coffee and chocolate-laden porter. Some of the following breweries launched (or resurrected) traditional brewing techniques that have only become popular in the States thanks to the craft beer resurgence.

Faced with aggressive beers in the craft beer market with names like "palate wrecker" and "hopsecutioner," non-beer drinkers might feel wary of the hype. You'll want to avoid the bold imperialized or bitter extra hops varieties. Look for balanced and flavor-forward beers. In other words, let the hops-fiends chew their beer with gritted teeth — c'est la vie! Instead, we offer another approach with a variety of smooth and drinkable beers you might just find you love imbibing.

Regardless if you're new to drinking beer or are looking to expand your palate, the following breweries have perfected innovative styles that can mimic — or even replace — some of your favorite spirits. 

1. Bières De Chimay

Drinkers who enjoy a dry Champagne or soft white wine, such as vinho verde, should consider trying a Belgian triple. Bières De Chimay is a heritage brand producing a limited range of beers crafted for centuries at an abbey by Trappist monks. Beer Tourism recommends Chimay White as a suitable alternative to dry white wine due to its dry fruit and mild balance of bitterness at the finish. The taste includes a hint of citrus, herbaceous florals, and toasted bread. Chimay White also contains simple natural ingredients: water, barley, malt, hops, and yeast. Also like a white wine, the triple is a higher alcohol content at 8%. The ABV is another reason to sip this beer in a snifter; taking time to savor the flavor.

Chimay White, or Chimay Cinq Cents, is the most recent creation by the brand. The fruit and spice notes allow Chimay White to work as a cocktail as well. Beer and Brewing says the sweet malt and orange elements lead to a "brewmosa" when mixed with half orange juice. The white is also the ideal introduction to the range of Chimay offerings. This monastery delivers on refined beers that might make you wonder what took you so long to try.

2. Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Firestone Walker's Vintage Series plays on popular cocktails. The aged series features 17 options such as an imperial stout aged in bourbon and whiskey barrels, as well as the brand's take on a gin rickey, mudslide, and "Old Man Hattan" (get it?). The Tequila Barrel Sunrise also receives a two-year aging treatment; but this time in Extra Añejo barrels.

The Mezca-Límon vintage inspired beer is inspired by a Mezcalita cocktail. The beer is aged for 12 months in mezcal and orange bitters barrels from Oaxaca-based mezcal producers. The foundational brew is also combined with agave, chile peppers, and sea salt. Finally, the beer is then finished with a lime zest. Artisan bartenders should take note — this is one refined cocktail in a bottle.

The California-based brewery features plenty of West Coast styles from hop-jammed IPAs and mellow lagers. Beer and Brewing names the Nitro Merlin Milk Stout as one of the best beers of 2020. The sustainable brewery is also committed to renewable, clean energy, as well as water conservation and reuse programs — only adding to the reason to try more varieties.

3. Sloop Brewing

Sloop Brewing is an independent craft brewery that makes fruit-forward and juicy beers. The company started in the Hudson Valley in New York and is now found across the country. Sloop Brewing offers a Coco Baked Stout compared to a piña colada, as well as a full line of sour beers. The dry-hopped Confliction employs a lactic culture for a tart and sour base with a grapefruit finish. The dry-hopped sour also won a gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2016.

The Sloop Jam series is a sour series with multiple fruit options that taste similar to a lambic-style beer, a traditional Belgian beer rich with fruit and a bit of pleasant funk. If you can find Sloop Jam on draft nearby, run, don't walk, to your nearest bartender.

Sloop's flagship Juice Bomb IPA demonstrates how the balance of hops and citrus can eliminate the bitter aftertaste many American breweries jam into each bottle (we support hops, but there's a time and a place). Beer and Brewing rated the Juicier Bomb Double IPA 93 out of 100 for its "shining burst of citrus hop flavors dance across a well-structured malt base" and "delightful and pleasurable" taste.

4. Anchor Brewing

The espresso martini is having a moment in the cocktail world. If you enjoy the flavor of coffee and chocolate, Anchor Brewing's Porter is worth a taste. Dark beers might scare some people away for the perceived bitter aftertaste or heavy consistency. Anchor Brewing's Porter could surprise you with its espresso, chocolate, and toffee flavors paired with a light, smooth finish. 

It's also the first American-style porter brewed in the U.S. after Prohibition, so the San Francisco-based brewery has had plenty of time to perfect its unexpected and creamy flavor. Worried it's going to be too heavy? Think again: Anchor Porter even pairs well with oysters. The porter is also available year-round. 

Anchor Brewing Company started in San Francisco in 1896. Although the rest of its beers are inspired by the West Coast, known for its bold hops styles, you might just find you can appreciate more of its fermented brews than you thought. Sales of the crisp and less-hopped California Lager benefit the California State Parks Foundation — we'll drink to that.

5. Brouwerij Rodenbach

Wine lovers and beer drinks alike celebrate the Flanders Red ale style. Rodenbach Brewery started crafting oak-aged sour ales in Belgium around 200 years ago, says VinePair, effectively cementing the Flemish style as distinct to the West Flanders region. Flanders Red ales are known to be acidic but balanced — ideal for wine lovers. The ales are also fruit forward with traditional notes of cherries, plums, and prunes.

Rodenbach makes only six Flanders-style sour beers, and its vintage has been considered the best in the world by the World Beer Awards. For the wine lovers, Flanders Red ales by Rodenbach also deliver tannin and oak flavors thanks to aging for a minimum of two years in wine barrels.

American Craft Beer is serious about the limited release Alexander by Brouwerij Rodenbach inspired by one of the founders. The review stated Alexander unseated Rodenbach's Grand Cru, formerly described by the site as "one of the finest Flanders Reds." Alexander is macerated with sour cherries then aged for a minimum of 24 months.

6. New Belgium Brewing Company

Bourbon drinkers have a new backup. New Belgium is known for its Fat Tire amber ale, a flagship beer first brewed by a Colorado-based couple in 1991. The brand also launched a sour program with La Foie, a Flanders-stye brown ale aged in French oak barrels, almost a decade later. Beer and Brewing rated La Foie a 99 out of 100 for a "mouthfeel [that] will make you pucker while the smooth finish will make you smile."

While we appreciate New Belgium's ability to experiment with fruit — the Dominga sour mimosa series sounds ideal for a boozy brunch — we recommend another complex brew.

The Oakspire Bourbon Barrel Ale is made in collaboration with sister company Four Roses Distillery, maker of fruit-forward bourbons with a hint of spice. The special release ale is crafted with a "proprietary infusion method" to extract the rich charred oak into a malted amber. The result is a light yet complex beer.

Whiskey Raiders find Oakspire to be a "casual" beer due to the hints of bourbon with notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee, oak, and dark fruit. For a brew that is heavier on the bourbon — and far from subtle — the site recommends Goose Island Bourbon County Stout.

7. Athletic Brewing Company

If drinking beer results in you feeling full and weighted down, then Athletic Brewing might be your answer. The Connecticut-based brewery is making waves as a standout for producing sippable craft beers that happen to be nonalcoholic. The Athletic Lite beer is low on calories and contains less than .5% alcohol — so you won't experience the bloat or a hangover from this brew.

Athletic has managed to accomplish what might have seemed impossible: nonalcoholic beer that tastes good. The beers are also vegan with organic options. Thanks to the lack of alcohol, you can order six packs online —skipping the line at the store. You can even create a custom case to try a variety of styles. No, Athletic won't have the bite of a real beer. But, you also won't have the skunked flavor that can accompany many lagers in this category. 

The Athletic Lite is the closest in flavor to what many might consider a "regular" beer, but the golden ale is still highly enjoyable and surprisingly refreshing. You can thank us for missing the headache the next day.

8. Bell's Brewery

This Michigan-based brewery built a cult following thanks to flagship beers and seasonal releases such as Oberon. Bell's Brewery crafted a wheat ale that screams of summer. Oberon is light to the palate but cloudy in texture. The hints of orange and clove spice pair well with the tart yet sweet flavor. Yes, this is a typical American wheat ale. Beer Connoisseur claims Oberon overshadows other beers in this category — and we'll add even the beer giants clamoring to be paired with an orange yet still claiming to be a craft beer.

Sure, Bell's isn't quite the mom and pop operation it used to be either. This Midwest beer brand still makes a wide range of staple varieties for beer lovers and the yet-to-be-converted alike. The Kalamazoo Stout, with a whimsical name from the city where the brewery started, delivers dark chocolate and roasted coffee. The Cherry Stout adds in the region's iconic Montgomery cherries to the mix. The brand also offers a Flamingo series with fruit-forward notes such as pomegranate and lemon-lime. If you can find the Unite Hibiscus Saison, a celebration of brewers for International Women's Day, you'll discover spice and floral notes added to a traditional, light saison ale.

9. The Bruery Pinot Pop

You don't need to be a serious connoisseur of alcohol to appreciate the refined options produced by The Bruery. This Southern California brand is award-winning for its take on traditional, and not-so-traditional, styles. You can expect balanced flavors and rich ingredients for this independent brewery.

Wine lovers might like The Bruery Pinot Pop, a sparkling ale made with pinot noir grapes in an earthy farmhouse saison. The New Zealand-inspired collaboration ale, Ngongo, is a refreshing saison named after the Māori people's word for nectar and honey. Don't let the whimsical packaging fool you: All The Cows is a seriously dark bourbon barrel-aged imperial milk stout shaped by milk sugar and Madagascar vanilla beans. 

Founder Patrick Rue started the brand by crafting beers in his kitchen. Today, anyone in these six states can also ship straight to their door: North Dakota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont. Interested parties can go to either of the two tasting rooms in Southern California, or people in the area can also stop by the Washington D.C. store.

10. Lindeman's Lambic

You just might fall for this sparkling fruited ale. Lambics are a unique style of beer even among the varied brewery resurgence. Selecting a lambic-style beer is more akin to drinking a dessert wine. Hop Culture says lambics are similar to a Champagne or tequila because they are only produced in a specific region — in this case, Belgium. No strict regulations dictate the structure or ingredients of a lambic. Unlike other beers, this style also occurs from "spontaneous fermentation," says Hop Culture, when the unfermented wort is exposed to open air. The result leaves this ale without any bitterness.

Lindeman's Framboise is a staple thanks to its addition of raspberries to balance sweet with a hint of tartness. Many liquor and grocery stores carry this variety in tall 100 milliliter bottles, ideal for sharing. Lindeman's produces a range of lambics and beers using strawberry, cherry, apple, basil, and more.

11. Leinenkugel's

Flavored beers don't have to be saccharin or overpowering. This family-run brewery — clocking in at six generations of Leinenkugel's and running — features a range of flavored beers. Anyone shy about the bitterness of hoppy beers can find a smooth or sweet style to ease into the category.

Leinie — the shortened version of a long name — includes a traditional lemonade and grapefruit variety of summer shandy for the hot days of summer. We recommend the Honey Weiss for its classic German style made with real Wisconsin honey. A Weiss beer is a wheat-based ale with hints of clove, banana, and bubblegum flavors, according to Renegade Brewing. The added honey complements the sweet and spice of this golden ale.

Alternatively, the Leinie Chocolate Dunkle and Snowdrift Vanilla Porter are full-bodied options if fruit isn't your favorite. The porter claims it "perfectly complements marshmallow sweet potato casserole" or "glazed ham with cherries." Consider bringing a Leinie to dinner this holiday instead of your usual red.

12. Short's Brewing Company

Many beer companies have attempted to attract non-beer drinkers by infusing malt with sweet, fruit flavors. Not all succeeded as well as the cult-following beer made by this Michigan-based brewery. Short's Brewing Company opted to create an authentic berry-packed ale that finishes dry. This easy-drinking ale is designed to be soft on the palate and made for hot summer days. Each gallon of Soft Parade wort (beer before it's fermented) contains one pound of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

Draft Magazine describes the flavor of this fruit beer as the "slight earthy tartness balances out the sweet bouquet." The magazine notes raspberry as the top flavor. Even though this is a drinkable brew, the high alcohol-by-volume coming in at 8% can result in some lazy days under the sun.

Short's made the list for its range of options, as well. Creamier styles include the Barney Blood Milkshake IPA and Big Bird Blood with vanilla, banana, and coconut. The Juicy Brut Ale is another light and easy-drinking choice with tropical notes — and much lower alcohol content.

13. Dogfish Head Brewery

Dogfish Head Brewery might be known for its series of hop-forward IPAs, but the brand has plenty to offer for even non-beer drinkers. The arrival of fall means we're inundated with pumpkin-infused items for the rest of the season. Pumpkin ales are a reason to extend the flavor beyond your latte. Dogfish Head Brewery is recognized as one of the best breweries in the country for the ability to craft quality beers with consistency. The Dogfish Punkin Ale is a warm, full-bodied pumpkin and brown sugar beer mixed with cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg. You won't want to save this just for Thanksgiving dinner.

Want a summer style? The SeaQuench Ale mimics a margarita thanks to a base of a mixed session sour — freshness from Kölsch, salt of a Gose and tart but sweet Berliner Weiss. The Lemon Quest builds on the nonalcoholic with a wheat ale made with lemon puree. Also, the Namaste delivers elevated vibes (or at least elevated flavor) thanks to organic oranges, lemongrass, peppercorns, and sweet malt. The website also lets you search for where each type of beer individually is located near you — in case you don't live near the Delaware tasting room.