What Is Domestic Beer? Beginner’s Guide (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Have you been at a local watering hole or supermarket aisle, looking into a vast array of beers before you, feeling confused? We’ve all been there. 

To help you gain more beer wisdom, we will answer questions like what domestic beer is and what sets it apart from other beer types. Let’s get moving. 

What’s Domestic Beer? 

Glasses Beer

Domestic means made in your own country; therefore, in the US, domestic beer is made within the premises of the United States of America. 

In addition, to be considered a domestic beer, it has to be made by large breweries.

Some of the most popular domestic beers are Miller-Lite, Keystone Light, Bud Light, and Budweiser. 

Domestic beers are widely available in bars and local grocery stores. Usually, domestic beers tend to be cheaper than imported, craft, and draft beers.

But do you know what the average height of a Budweiser bottle is?

How It’s Made 

Domestic beer is mass-produced and designed for wide distribution, so the flavor has to be consistent, must appeal to the masses, and the blend must be profitable. 

“Bud Light was created to be an easy-drinking beer; that is how we were born”

Alissa Heinerscheid, Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light

Large breweries use proprietary recipes that can be reproduced yearly without noticeable changes in the beverages’ color, flavor, and quality. 

Ingredients & Alcohol Content 

Pouring Beer on a Glass

Large breweries use cheaper but good-quality ingredients when making domestic beers. 

They use good quality malt barley, yeast, and hops and follow a proprietary recipe that can be duplicated yearly.  

Since the beer has to appeal to the public, the flavors are usually more neutral and have a lower ABV.

How Can A Beer Be Considered As Domestic Beer? 

A domestic beer should be produced inside the United States of America premises to be considered one. In addition, large breweries should produce domestic beers.

Domestic beers are usually affordable and accessible since they are produced within the country. 

In addition, domestic beers are tailored to the locals’ taste preferences. It usually contains low alcohol and has a refreshing taste that appeals to the masses. 

Popular Domestic Beers 

  • Budweiser
  • Coors
  • Michelob
  • Pabst
  • Miller
  • Busch
  • Blue Ribbon 
  • Bud Light 
  • Natural Light 

Compared To Other Beers 

Refilling Glass of Beer

Craft Beer

Craft beers use local ingredients like domestic beers; however, they contain non-traditional ingredients that give out a different mouthfeel, color, and flavor. 

Unlike domestic beers made by large breweries, craft beers must be made by small craft breweries, allowing them to produce a broader range of textures, flavors, and ABV. 

Craft beers are more expensive than domestic beers because they are independently produced and costly. 

Imported Beer

Imported beer is more expensive than domestic beer because it is brewed outside the US and transported to and sold inside the country. 

You can easily recognize imported beers because of their diverse flavor profile. It can be more expensive depending on the import laws and country of origin. 

Read: Light Beer & Dark Beer Compared

Draft Beer

Draft beer is a large umbrella, and craft, imported, and domestic beers can be considered a draft as long as they come from the tap. 

Domestic beers are cheaper than draft beers. Draft beers can have at least an 80% profit margin since their cost per ounce is lower than canned and bottled beer. 


What is the most popular domestic beer in America?

Based on Statista, Bud Light is America’s most popular domestic beer [1]. 

85% of Statista respondents know Bud Light, followed by Budweiser, which reached 84% brand awareness. 

Coors, Millers, and Busch are famous in the USA, indicating Americans love domestic beers. 

What is a non-domestic beer called?

A non-domestic beer can be called imported beer. It is usually brewed and produced outside that country but is available for purchase in the USA. 

Guinness is one of the most famous non-domestic beers in the USA, and it is Ireland’s most famous beer [2]. 

What’s the biggest difference between domestic and imported beers?

The biggest difference between domestic and imported beers is their production process. Domestic beers should be produced inside the premises of the United States or country of origin. 

On the contrary, imported beers are produced outside the country and are imported for sale. Their major differences follow the prices and tasting notes of different beer types.

Final Say

Domestic beers are brewed and produced within the country of origin, made by a large brewery company, and sold within the country. 

Domestic beers are convenient for many Americans because they are widely available, affordable, and accessible.

They are mass-produced, and the tasting notes are tailored to the locals’ preferences. 

Bud Light, Budweiser, Coors, and Millers are great domestic beers.  



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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