I tried every beer in Lidl and Aldi to tell you which ones are actually worth buying

I refuse to pay £6.50 for a pint in the pub any longer


The average price of a pint has risen by more than 70 per cent since the financial crisis began in 2008. 14 years later, with another financial crisis on the way and the cost of living crisis squeezing harder than ever, how much worse is it going to get in the next 14 years? Pubs in London are already taking us for a ride with some charging as much as £8 on average for a pint. What’s next? A £10 pint? Buying a pint with Klarna? Something needs to be done about this.

The solution has been right in front of our eyes this whole time. Whilst pints were cheap in 2008, there weren’t many discount supermarket options to offer an alternative to a trip down to your local. Lidl and ALDI had a combined market share of less than four per cent. Now they are your locals. There are almost 2,000 combined stores across the country and they offer a wide array of different lagers at very good prices.

In fact they offer 13 and I’ve tried them all. From all across Europe, with names and packaging that will almost dupe you into thinking you are buying the actual brand it’s definitely not attempting to copy, this is your guide for working out exactly which Lidl and ALDI beer is best and what you should definitely avoid.

13. Saint Bertin, 2.6 per cent – £1.16/litre

This is atrocious. No getting past it. I don’t care if it’s as cheap as chips. Give me chips. I’d rather go thirsty than have another drop of Saint Bertin. Somehow for a 2.6 per cent rather light beer, it has an unruly offensive aftertaste. The stumpy bottle proudly states it’s bottled in France. Keep it. It’s the best advertisement  I’ve seen for supporting Brexit. Au revoir.

Lidl Aldi best beer

12. Argus, 4.0 per cent – £1.44/litre

If I’ve learnt anything from trying a dozen Lidl and ALDI beers, it’s avoid the stumpy bottles like the plague. This takes all the worst parts of the Saint Bertin packaged into 250 millilitres, and then slightly mutes it so that it comes out slightly above its French brother. Why do companies think if they name the beer French and bottle it in France, we are going to forgive it? The bottle proudly says “Supérieure” on the front. It’s not, it’s gaslighting you.

11. Steinhauser, 4.7 per cent – £2.15/litre

Welcome to Germany and welcome to the first ALDI beer to make the ranking. Steinhauser or “Stone Houses”, if like me you don’t speak German and you had to check Google Translate proudly states it’s “brewed according to the German purity law of 1516”. It certainly tastes medieval. It’s as harsh as a German winter and for the price, I’m not sure it’s worth your hard earned student loan. Despite its bitterness, the taste is incredibly short-lived. It’s about as deep as a daytime repeat of The Real Housewives of Cheshire.

10. Galahad, 4 per cent – £1.41/litre

Galahad has a notoriety among uni students and I can tell you it’s definitely not for the taste. The price is sensational and those 500ml cans do make easy drinking but it’s an absolute ghost of a beer. It’s all water and bread-y aftertaste. If the only beer you buy from these two supermarkets is Galahad, you are missing out on nine far better beers. I suppose it’s imitating a Foster’s and if you enjoy the vapid taste of that, you’ll probably enjoy a Galahad. The only redeeming quality is the branding. 10/10 to the ALDI marketing department there. 4/10 to the brewery. 

9. Brasserie, 4 per cent – £1.44/litre

Lidl Aldi best beer

This is ALDI’s candidate against Argus Brasserie in the battle for the worst stumpy-bottle beer. It’s the victor but it’s a shallow victory. Fundamentally, this tastes very little like a beer –  it tastes like soda water with a hint of hops. It’s only ranking above the others so far because it’s less offensive. Sometimes people describe a pint like a meal, Brasserie is like a hospital meal. All gloop, no sustenance, and very little enjoyment.

8. Perlenbacher, 4.8 per cent – £2.14/litre

Perlenbacher has an original flavour. It’s not a very good flavour, but it’s definitely original. It’s so dry, think corner shop sub-£4 bottle of white wine dry. If this beer was a short story: the beginning starts with absolutely zero taste, then in the middle you are overcome with bubbles before an abrupt ending of acrid bitterness. Why does it rank in the middle of the pack then? Surprisingly this beer gets better the more you drink it. The dryness isn’t as irksome, the bitterness becomes tanginess and you find yourself drinking a couple of these quite easily.

Lidl Aldi best beer

7. Galereux, 4.8 per cent – £1.70/litre

You can’t really fault the can design. Most of these beers say “premium” or at least a synonym of the word on the front of the can but Galereux is the first beer that actually looks premium. The flavour however is mediocre. If there was absolutely nothing else in Lidl, you aren’t going to regret buying Galereux but that’s about as nice as I can be about it. It packs flavour but there’s an industrial undertone you just can’t shake. And as I think of hard industrial labour drinking this quite harsh industrial lager, I am not very refreshed. 

6. Rossini, 5.1 per cent – £2.51/litre

Lidl Aldi best beer

Woop. The first beer that tastes nice. The first beer I can actually recommend you go out and buy. The effort alone that has gone into making this look like a Peroni is commendable. As for the flavour, if you are someone who enjoys the smoothness and sweetness of a Red Stripe, this isn’t for you. If, however, you are far more affable to a Heineken or a Kronenbourg, you are going to love this money-saving alternative. It’s got a kick that’s teetering on harsh and bitter but stays just the right side. Another beer that gets better the more you drink it.

5. Excelsior, 4 per cent – £1.43/litre

Exceslior is a classic for any big night out. You can get a four-pack of 500ml cans for £2.85 and you know you are going to have a sound night out for less than the price of a Tesco Clubcard meal deal. Excelsior is Lidl’s answer to Galahad in the quest to be the best Foster’s alternative. It’s streets ahead of its ALDI counterpart and I’d say it’s far better than a Foster’s as well. Does it maintain the same lack of flavour? A little. But rather than being vapid, Excelsior is a pleaser. Someone who doesn’t like beer a lot is going to find Excelsior enjoyable. If you were to stand it up to any premium lager however, the taste is short and gone far too quickly.

4. Perlenbacher Premium, 4.8 per cent – £2.18/litre

Lidl Aldi best beer

The word “Premium” has been added, the price bumped up a shocking 4p per litre compared to the standard Perlenbacher and it is far and away one of Lidl’s best beers. Not that I know many students who drink Peroni, this beer is the answer for any Peroni fans. The taste is frighteningly close. It has all the aftertaste of a premium lager. The depth and length of the flavour lingers like none of the others have so far. Although it’s at the higher end of the price scale, it’s still very competitive against name-brand beers. 

3. Birra Mapelli, 4.6 per cent – £2.58/litre

This is everything an ALDI or Lidl beer is supposed to be. Shameless name. If you aren’t wearing your glasses, you’ll think you’ve picked up a bottle of Birra Moretti. And the taste is class. I’m not sure it’s quite as good as a Moretti, but that is an incredibly high bar. For a far better price you get a smooth, premium lager. It’s not too bitter at all. The first sip hits almost like a blonde beer with its sweetness. The hoppy bitter tones follow straight after. Imagine the sun is shining, you crack open a Birra Mapelli.  You can hear the faint noise of birdsong, maybe a buzzing bee. Then you take a sip of your beer, cool glass against your teeth, instant refreshment knowing you’ve got a smashing beer as well as it being at an excellent price. 

2. Brasserie 1897, 5 per cent – £2.04/litre

Lidl Aldi best beer

I think 1897 is a play on Kronenbourg 1664. I’ve no idea what the 233 year difference is but it’s worked wonders for the flavour. It’s so similar to a Kronenbourg, I had to do a blind taste test comparison. The ALDI equivalent is less harsh than Kronenbourg but somehow you taste the alcohol more. Now can you interpret that to mean the aftertaste and initial kick of the Brasserie 1897 is less impactful than Kronenbourg? Sure. But, it also tells you the beer is far more universal. It packs the same punch but delivers it in a way that will appeal to far more beer drinkers.  

1. Saint Etienne, 4.8 per cent – £1.69/litre

Lidl Aldi best beer

It was all worth it for Saint Etienne. There is so much shite I’d drink if it meant I’d get to the end and find out Saint Etienne is this cheap and this good. Its branding suggests it’s trying to be a ripoff Stella Artois but it’s so much better. It’s smooth. It’s creamy. It has a full-flavoured richness that you just won’t find in the other beers in Lidl and ALDI. It’s not super hoppy but it also has enough flavour that a connoisseur and a novice will like this equally. I’d travel to an ALDI just to get this beer alone and it’s exactly what I’m about to do.

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Featured image credit before edits via  Timothy Dykes on Unsplash