Which are the best craft beers?

June 27, 2013 2:34:30 PM PDT
There are thousands of breweries in the United States.

Many are small and independent craft brewers.

Consumer Reports just tested dozens of craft beers,to find out which ones are the best.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company prides itself on every bottle of beer it brews.

"Beer made at a craft brewery our size has soul, it has flavor, and it has an intensity of flavor that many large breweries just can't match," said Scott Vaccaro of Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

How to find a good craft beer?

Adam Kaplan and experts at Consumer Reports conducted blind taste tests of 23 ales and lagers and found there were some distinct differences.

One taster compared the lowest-rated ale, Magic Hat, to a peach-tea drink.

But Consumer Reports rated 13 craft beers very good or even excellent, including several India Pale Ales.

"India Pale Ales tend to be more floral and fruity than a lot of other beers, and they have an intense, lingering bitterness," said Kaplan.

Stone IPA is top-rated, with complex flavors, but its bitterness might be too much for some people and so could the price, at nearly 11 dollars for a six-pack.

For much less, $7.36 for a six-pack, Shock Top Wheat IPA is a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

It's a little less bitter with a slight sweetness.

Prefer a lager? Samuel Adams Boston came out on top with a range of malt and hops flavors. A six-pack goes for $8.60.

All three are good choices when your thirst is brewing this summer.

As for our local breweries, two of them are in the top five for the best lagers.

The Samuel Adams Boston lager was numer one.

But the Brooklyn lager came in second.

The Coney Island lager was fourth.