The best beers in the UK 2023

Each year, a French person consumes 33 L of beer. In order to satisfy the tastes of each consumer, brewers are vying with each other to be inventive in a very competitive market. This results in a diversification of the offer which complicates the choice. To facilitate your research, read our guide to the best beers.

Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg 1

Best value for money

Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg

Best beer in 2021

Rich, dark and abundantly fruity, Leffe Brune de l'Abbaye de Leffe is a quintessential brown abbey beer full of authentic notes of plum and spices.

29,52 £ on Amazon

Leffe Brune is an authentic abbey beer. Its dark brown color and smooth, rich, sweet and sour flavor can be attributed to the use of a full-bodied, almost roasted malt. A delicate palate will discern traces of coffee, vanilla, clove and other roasted aromas followed by a caramelized aftertaste. Leffe Brune is an excellent example of a Belgian Dubbel with its deep, rich malts and notes of caramel and spice. Smooth and pleasantly sweet, it finishes with a nice tart bitterness.

This beer will make a perfect accompaniment to desserts such as chocolate or caramel flavored sweets. Please note that you will need a PerfectDraft tapping machine to enjoy this beer.

Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel 2

Best value for money

Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel

Best entry-level beer

Heineken's cask version of the classic and famous Dutch beer is the only one that incorporates a pressure system that gives us both the taste and quality of an authentic tabbed beer.

25,44 £ on Amazon

142 years of tradition are behind this iconic premium lager. This beer has a light golden color with a fine head, attractive aromas of sweet malt, floral hops and cookie notes, as well as grains and herbs. It is dry, crisp and fresh with a creamy texture. It is coated with barley malt and fruit flavor, leading to herbal notes on a refreshingly bitter finish.

To be sure to drink it cold, let the cask chill for at least ten hours and begin to enjoy the taste without having to think about putting it back in the refrigerator.

Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l 3

Best premium beer

Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l

Best premium beer

Affligem Cuvée Carmin is a beautiful fruity beer that comes straight from Belgium. It is rich in malt and has a nice aroma based on strawberry, raspberry and cherry.

63,92 £ on Amazon

Affligem's "Cuvée Carmine" beer has been brewed according to a centuries-old Belgian tradition. This beer is distinguished by its beautiful carmine red color (hence the name) and by its distinguished powerful and complex taste, especially elaborated in honor of the protector of the abbey from which Affligem takes its name (the Benedictine abbey of Affligem). This beer has found the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, with a touch of bitterness.

You can use the Cuvée Carmin keg with a beertender (serving tube not included) or in stand-alone mode. It has a capacity of 5 l, which is equivalent to about 20 halves, and the best part is that you won't have to rush to track down your beer: it keeps perfectly well for 30 days after opening the keg. For a better experience, don't forget to chill the keg 10 hours before use.

Leffe- Blonde beer in cask 4

Best alternative lager

Leffe- Blonde beer in cask

Best alternative lager

This beer is a credit to the Belgian brewers, with a lot of flavor, a slight bitterness and a perfect length in the mouth. This beer is the right kind of blonde.

30,32 £ on Amazon

Leffe Blonde is a Belgian abbey beer of international renown, brewed by the Leffe Abbey since 1240: it is the fruit of a long tradition that has not been lost at all. It is an authentic abbey beer brewed according to the rigorous standards established by Father Abbot Nys of Leffe Abbey and master brewer Albert Lootvoet when the Leffe brewing tradition was revived in the 1950s.

This beer offers a honeyed gold topped with a creamy, persistent head that leaves plenty of lacing. Moderately carbonated, with robust grain and wheat malts paired with banana and clove yeast, this well-rounded caramel character is lifted by fruity and spicy notes and a superb continental hop character. It's a perfect aperitif, and also pairs particularly well with red meats and strong cheeses. Please note that the Leffe Blond cask must be used with a Perfect Draft.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best beer

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Best beer in 2021

Best entry-level beer

Best premium beer

Best alternative lager

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best beers

Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg 5
Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel 6
Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l 7
Leffe- Blonde beer in cask 8
Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg
Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel
Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l
Leffe- Blonde beer in cask
Rich, dark and abundantly fruity, Leffe Brune de l'Abbaye de Leffe is a quintessential brown abbey beer full of authentic notes of plum and spices.
Heineken's cask version of the classic and famous Dutch beer is the only one that incorporates a pressure system that gives us both the taste and quality of an authentic tabbed beer.
Affligem Cuvée Carmin is a beautiful fruity beer that comes straight from Belgium. It is rich in malt and has a nice aroma based on strawberry, raspberry and cherry.
This beer is a credit to the Belgian brewers, with a lot of flavor, a slight bitterness and a perfect length in the mouth. This beer is the right kind of blonde.
Alcohol content
5.2 %
Type of beer
Quantity offered
6l in cask
5L in a barrel
5L cask strength
6L cask strength
Caramel and roasted malt flavors delicately bitter
Malt and hop flavor
Barley malt hops, carrot concentrate and strawberry, black currant and blueberry flavors
Round and malty, caramel and spice flavors

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How to choose your beer

Nothing is as refreshing as a nice cold beer. You can have a great time with your friends over a few bottles of beer while relaxing or even while working on a project at home. The secret to enjoying beer is brand appreciation. There are many brands of beer available on the market today, so choosing the right one can be a real challenge. Here are some factors to consider that will help you make a good decision.

#1 - The taste

Taste can be influenced by many factors ranging from the brewing process to the ingredients used in the brewing process. Everyone has different taste preferences. This means that you will need to choose a beer that suits you. Having tried many other beers before can help you determine your favorite taste. You can also try craft beers, as they usually come with custom flavors.Water and yeast are the common ingredients in all beer brands. The mineral content of the water greatly influences the flavor of the final beer. Malt and hops are also present. Malt can come from rice, corn, barley, wheat, oats or any combination of the five. Malt from barley is most popular for its rich flavor.

#2 - The brand

The brewery that produces the beer can also have a lot to do with your choice of beer. Some breweries are known for producing high-quality beer. You can rely on a brand's reputation, as this reduces the chances of disappointment. The other alternative would be to opt for craft beer. They are usually made to be of better quality, especially those with a good brand name. If you don't know much about the brewery, you can always do a quick search and read reviews about them.

#3 - The packaging

The way the beer is packaged can also influence your choice. The most popular beers are usually in bottles, cans and kegs. Each of these options can be great depending on the occasion or use of the beer. Bottles are considered elegant and can be used for rather formal events and fancy parties, while kegs and cans will be a better option for outdoor parties.

#4 - Expiry date


is probably one of the most important things to consider when buying beer. With the exception of high alcohol content beers and Belgian beers (which mellow with age), you want fresh beer, and most beer brands will tell you how fresh their beer is. Look for the "bottled" date on the bottom or side of the can or bottle. Don't buy beers that were bottled more than a month ago. This seems extreme, but it is the most reliable way to ensure that the beer you have purchased tastes as it should.

How many calories are in beer?

The main sources of calories in beer are carbohydrates and alcohol. Both carbohydrates and alcohol come from the malted grains used in making beer. The slow sugars will be broken down by the yeast to form alcohol and CO2.

During fermentation, the yeast will break down the simple carbohydrates, but the longer chains of carbohydrates that cannot be broken down by the yeast will remain in the finished beer and contribute to the amount of calories. It is said that, generally speaking, a beer will contain about 60% of its calories from alcohol and the remaining 40% from residual carbohydrates.

To put this in perspective, a Lager beer with an alcohol content of 4.9% contains about 175 calories per 35 cL bottle. The rule of thumb is that the higher the alcohol content, the more calories the beer will have.

Contrary to popular belief, color is not a useful criterion for assessing calorie count, which means that darker beers are not necessarily high in calories. That being said, the low-calorie beers you see in grocery stores and supermarkets are light in color because they minimize the use of grains, often by using adjuncts instead. The goal being to reduce residual carbohydrates while keeping the alcohol content high.

The different types of beers

The types of beer are determined more by their method of fermentation than by their brands or colors. Currently, there are 3 types of beer: top-fermented ales, bottom-fermented lagers and spontaneously fermented lambics. In each category, there is an almost infinite variety of beers.

Ales beers

Ales beers have been around for thousands of years. The first known recipe was written in Sumerian on the "Alulu Tablet" around 2050 BC. Already, there were four known varieties of beer in production, the number of which increased exponentially afterwards.

Ales use yeasts that ferment at warm temperatures (between 15 and 23 °C). Because this type of yeast forms a frothy foam on top of the brew. This process is called top fermentation.

This type of fermentation became popular in Britain centuries ago and is one of the reasons why Ales are still so popular there today. Ales come in many varieties, including India Pale Ale, Pale Ale, Mild Ale, Brown Ale, Bitter and Dark Stouts.

Lager beers

Lager or lager beers use a variety of yeast that flocculates at the bottom of the fermentation tank, hence the name bottom-fermented beers. This yeast responds best to colder temperatures (7 to 12°C). This may explain why it gained popularity so quickly in Europe, where, in regions such as Bavaria, they were stored in caves.

Lagers are generally lighter and crisper than ales. However, some varieties are darker in color and have a more pronounced bitterness. One of the most famous varieties of Lager beer is Pilsner, which is still largely brewed in the traditional method developed in the city of Pilsen, which was once part of the Austrian monarchy, but is now located in the Czech Republic.

Lambic beers


is probably the least known type of beer, but has the most interesting fermentation process. Unlike an Ale or Lager, a Lambic beer goes through the process of spontaneous fermentation. This requires the very specific environment of the Senne Valley in Belgium, which produces the necessary wild yeast that gives Lambic beer its unique flavor. In fact, most Lambic beers today are produced within a 20 km radius of Brussels!

Lambic beers also differ from Ales and Lagers by the age of the hops used (at least 3 years, so the hops do not retain any bitterness) and the aging process of the beer, which lasts at least 2 years.

Ale or Lager ?

Beer Ale

Ale is fermented with Saccharomyces cerevisia, a very common type of yeast used for wine and bread making. It is a hardy variety that adapts better to a variety of environments. It is also called top-fermenting yeast because it first rises to the top and then sinks to the bottom of the brewing vessel when fermentation is complete. This type of yeast and the fermentation temperature used tend to give Ales a more robust and complex composition.


Lager, on the other hand, is fermented with Saccharomyces uvarum, a type of bottom-fermenting yeast that grows better at cooler temperatures. It ferments more slowly and the resulting beer is more stable, so it can be stored longer than an ale.


There are notable differences between Ales and Lagers that result from this choice of yeast. If you want to drink a beer that has a fruitier and spicier taste, choose an Ale. However, if you want to experience the full flavour of the hops and malt, go for a Lager.


Preferably, always choose a canned beer.

If possible, always choose the canned version of your favorite beer over the bottled version. This is because cans are more effective in limiting the contact of the liquid with light. This is an important factor in ensuring the beer's freshness.

Try mixed beers.

Mixed beers are, as the name suggests, a blend of different types of beer. For example, some so-called mixed beers use a top fermentation process but cold conditioning, while for others it is the opposite. Fruits and vegetables that can match the flavor of a beer are sometimes used during the fermentation process, while others are infused with herbs or spices.

Take more than one sip when you try a new beer.


aromas and flavors can be complex and delicate. The aftertastes can confuse and entice. So take your time before deciding whether you really like a beer or not.

Enjoy your beer at the right temperature.


sensation of cold inhibits the taste receptors on the tongue. So by cooling your beer excessively, you numb your palate and won't experience all the nuances of flavor.

Do not store your beer at room temperature.


try to

store your beers below room


Heat accelerates the rate at which beer loses its freshness.


What is the best beer?

The best beer depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find out which products are best.

What is the percentage of alcohol in a beer?

On average, a beer contains 4.5% alcohol. There are beers with 1% and even beers with 14% alcohol.

At what temperature should beer be stored?

Drinking ice cold beer is not always best. Freezing temperatures can actually ruin the flavor of a good beer. The average home refrigerator is usually set between 0 and 4°C. This is the ideal temperature for storing any beer. However, letting your beer sit in your refrigerator for several weeks at this temperature is not always the right temperature for your beers.

Why do you have to pour beer into a glass instead of drinking directly from the bottle or can?

You should know that over 70% of the taste comes from our sense of smell. When you pour your beer into a beer glass, the carbonation creates a foamy head of tiny bubbles. Every time one of these tiny bubbles "pops", it releases tiny bursts of aroma. When you hold the beer glass to your mouth, you are actually inhaling the aromas which mix with the taste of the beer on your tongue. When you drink from a beer can or bottle, you miss out on the flavor experience.

Should a beer always be served cold?

Not all beers can be drunk ice cold! This does not mean that you should drink your beer warm. The temperature at which you should drink your beer depends on the style of beer and the brewer's instructions.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg 9
Leffe - Brown beer in 6l keg
Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel 10
Heineken - 5l Beer Barrel
Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l 11
Affligem - Cuvée Carmin 5l
Leffe- Blonde beer in cask 12
Leffe- Blonde beer in cask


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