Best Old-School Beers From the 80s and 90s

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If it feels like every town and ‘burg from Sacramento to St. Petersburg has multiple craft breweries, that’s because they probably do. There are currently over 9,000 breweries operating in the U.S. To put that number into perspective, there were fewer than 400 breweries in the U.S. when the new millennium began. To say there’s been a beer boom in the last two decades is a ridiculous understatement. But there’s something to be said about old-school beers. The nostalgia. The history. The timeless taste.

Thankfully, some classic throwback beers had their genesis before the big boom and are still available today. While many of these old-school beers from the 80s and 90s are household names, many drinkers don’t realize just how long they’ve been around.

We’re talking about beers like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer that paved the way for brewers crafting pale ales and IPAs in the decades since. But there are many more than just this classic, California-made pale ale. There are wheat beers, amber ales, lagers, pilsners, and IPAs that have stood the test of time.

If you’re like us and you want to pay homage to OG beers that made the craft brewpubs, nano-breweries, and regional breweries of today possible, grab a sixer of one of these great old-school beers.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Courtesy image

1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (1980)

Some might say Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the catalyst for the American craft beer boom. Even though it was first brewed in 1980, it paved the way for American pale ales and IPAs. Filled with Cascade hops, it’s known for being bright, piney, and floral, with a pleasing bitter bite. There’s a reason it’s stood the test of time and remains one of the most popular beers today.

[$10.99 for a six-pack; sierranevada.com]

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