2023 best golf beers? Sit back and crack open our ‘spirited’ rankings 


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“Good article in @golf_com by @nickpia on best golf beers but definitely unscientific because there is no mention of That’ll Play lager w/lime by @cushwabrewingco or their seasonal ‘Masters Edition’ That’ll Play lager w/peach … the beer that’s gonna MAKE GOLF FUN AGAIN!! Will work on getting you a coupla sixers.”

From that Instagram message grew two wonderful things:

My love for That’ll Play lager. The note was right. 

And these rankings. To our little activity, we are adding a third member of the panel.

A brewery co-founder, no less. 

Introductions, then, are a good place to start. In case you are new to this space, welcome. And pull up a stool to our bar. The goal here is simple, fun and hopefully thirst-creating: Can we rate the best beers in golf? In 2021, I alone simply rated just the best beers with golf in the name. Last year, the project expanded — Chad Underwood, a golf and beer aficionado from Ohio, joined the ratings, and together, we ranked the best overall golf beers and the best beers at golf clubs, along with the best beers with golf in the name. And to that story, I attached this note:

So … if you think a beer should be in any of the ratings … please email me (nick.piastowski@golf.com), or reach out over Twitter (@nickpia). Bonus points if you want to mail me a sixer, of course. Then, around next year at this time, I’ll post the ratings again. Shoot, you could end up in the panel even. 

Which drew the response used in this story’s first paragraph. And eventually a message from Scott Coleman, co-founder of the Cushwa Brewing Company, who mailed me some of the brewery’s finest beers, including the That’ll Play, in exchange for a few goodies that I had picked up over the past year. I then gathered the courage to ask if he wanted to be part of this year’s panel, he graciously accepted and here we happily and hoppily are again.  

But before we begin, two important notes:

Our rankings should be labeled as a conversation-at-the-bar starter, and not an end all, be all. Regionality plays a large role here, as does taste, and we’re just three golfers who also like their suds. 

So … if you think a beer should be in any of the ratings …

Please email me (nick.piastowski@golf.com), or reach out over Twitter (@nickpia). Bonus points if you want to mail me a sixer, of course. Then, around next year at this time, I’ll post the ratings again. Shoot, you could end up in the panel even.

With that, here are this year’s ratings. Cheers!

Best beers with golf in the name (top eight, in alphabetical order) 

European Golf Trip by Untold Brewing, Scituate, Massachusetts: Said one of our raters: “Brewed annually to correspond with the Open Championship, this hazy IPA is the perfect companion to your recliner as you are watching the boys tee off in the wee hours of the morning.”

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Obviously You’re Not a Golfer by Backcountry Brewing, Squamish, British Columbia: Said one of our raters: Crispy, German-style helles in the back of the cart? The Dude Abides.”

Pin High Pilsner by Market Garden Brewing, Cleveland: Back for another year. A portion of the beer’s proceeds are donated to support youth golf educational programs at Cleveland Metroparks Golf Courses. (Note: There is a second Pin High Pilsner, at the Mayacama club, which is notably in the heart of California wine country. We, the golf-beer crowd, love to see that.)   

Press IPA by Dogleg Brewing, Vista, California: Said one of our raters: “It’s a word you either love or hate to hear on the course. For us gamblers, sure, we will have another.”

Strick9 by District 1 Brewing Company, Stevens Point, Wisconsin: A beer named in honor of Steve Stricker? An easy pick.  

Tom Morris Scotch Ale by St. Andrews Brewing Company, Scotland. Another returnee. The St. Andrews Brewing Company is also a sponsor of LPGA pro Gemma Dryburgh, a friend of the ratings.

Tricked Out Golf Cart by Civil Society Brewing, Jupiter, Florida: Said one of our raters: “Is there any better way to show you have made it life than owning a Tricked Out Golf Cart?:

Weir Beer by Shawn & Ed Brewing Co., Dundas, Ontario: A beer named in honor of Mike Weir? Another easy pick. 

Best golf club beer (top nine, in alphabetical order) 

1854 IPA, brewed for Philadelphia Cricket Club by Conshohocken Brewing Company, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania: Said one of our raters: “A solid, nice general IPA that I enjoyed after a round. Named after the year the club was founded, with a cool label with the PCC colors emblazoned on it. 

Crow’s Nest, for Augusta National Golf Club: The beer for the Masters patrons. Smooth. The take-home cup is great too.   

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Bandon Pale Ale, brewed for Bandon Dunes by Hop Valley Brewing Company, Eugene, Oregon: Said one of our raters: “A beer only to be experienced at golf’s premier destination, Bandon Pale Ale is a true West Coast pale ale brewed with cascade hops to enjoy along the cliffs of Bandon Dunes. As if life couldn’t get any better in Bandon.

Breakfast Ball Stout by Pinehurst Brewing Company, Pinehurst, North Carolina: Said one of our raters: “An oatmeal coffee stout brewed with local coffee beans. Sometimes, like a breakfast ball, you need more than one.

Cliff Hanger by Eagle Park Brewing Company, Milwaukee: Said one of our raters: “Named after the 13th hole at Whistling Straits, this amber is a perfect celebration to a birdie (or to numb a bogey!)”

Merion IPA by Workhorse Brewing Company, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania: Said one of our raters: “I don’t know if it’s because it’s poured out of a red wicker basket handle, or because I’m on cloud nine after walking the hallowed grounds of Merion, or because I’m in a daze after their world-famous showers, but this beer, poured into a frosty cold mug, is a delight.”

New Course Pilsner brewed for Muirfield Village Golf Club by North High Brewing, Columbus, Ohio: Said one of our raters: “Crushable pilsner for the course, which can help ease the pain of being beat up by Jack’s masterpiece.”

The Ocean Course Pale Ale by Low Tide Brewing, Johns Island, South Carolina: Said one of our raters: “After being my No. 1 golf club beer in 2022, nothing has come close as of yet. This is the best course-only beer I’ve ever had. Easy drinking, great beer taste. Can drink a few or just one. Beautiful white can, with the angel oak logo front and center. It doesn’t get better than this beer.”

– Special entry: VicNasty Bourbon Lemonades at Victoria National Golf Club: Said one of our raters: “Special entry in the brand-new canned-cocktail division? I was skeptical of homemade, daily-canned bourbon lemonades. But these hit different, and made one of the toughest golf courses I’ve ever played significantly more enjoyable. Served in a white can with the iconic Dormie Network flag logo on it, I may start ordering these regularly!”

Best golf beers (top 11, in alphabetical order) 

Coors Banquet Beer by Coors Brewing Company, Golden, Colorado: Said one of our raters: “I’ve drifted away from craft beers over the past year on the course, moving back toward traditional beers. And although this is kind of a ‘white whale’ at turnhouses, if it’s there, I grab it. I love the full flavor and easy drinking, plus when it’s served in a glass bottle, it’s a bonus.”

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Greenskeeper Session IPA by Land-Grant Brewing Company, Columbus, Ohio: A solid, hoppy brew. A nice nod to the folks who keep our courses running, too.

Guinness Draught by Guinness, Dublin, Ireland: Said one of our raters: “On a cold day fighting the elements, whether it be wind, rain, hail or your limited talent, there really is not a more perfect post-round beer than a Guinness.”

Heady Topper by The Alchemist, Stowe, Vermont: The author’s favorite beer. A bit stronger, but perfect for after the round. 

Heineken Original by Heineken, Amsterdam: Said one of our raters: “I like my beer to taste like beer, and of the commonly available beers, this is my favorite for the course. My dad drank Heineken up until he passed in 2018, and every time I crack a cold one, I cheers it to him.”

Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment, San Francisco: Said one of our raters: “This submission was offered by my brother-in-law. It’s been around for a while, but on a hot summer day, there are not many better options.”

Par Punch by Workhorse Brewing Company, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania: Light, refreshing, crushable. Perfect.   

Spotted Cow by New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus, Wisconsin: Said one of our raters: “After a golf trip to Wisconsin, I can personally verify this beer is perfect on the course (and any other time).”

Summer Shandy by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin: Said one of our raters: “Summer favorite on the course. Light, tart and refreshing.”

That’ll Play by Cushwa Brewing Company, Williamsport, Maryland: Said Coleman: “This light lager with lime was brewed with two purposes in mind: Be a perfect summer crusher on and off the course and to Make Golf Fun Again! Local legend has it that there is a peach version that comes out every April.”  

Two Hearted IPA by Bell’s Brewery, Comstock, Michigan: Said one of our raters: “A classic IPA brewed in the West Coast style that pairs perfectly with bar fare after a round.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.