Stella Artois was introduced in 1966, and is currently owned by AB InBev. It was originally brewed in Leuven, Belgium and is the best-selling Belgian beer across the world. Clearly, it is one that many people enjoy. If you’re a part of this group but you’re looking to branch out a little, we’ve got you covered.
Below, you’ll find 8 beers similar to Stella Artois, some with the same flavors and some with some added or different flavor notes, for if you’re ready to experiment a little. Apart from the flavor, we’ll also have a look at the ABV, IBUs, calories and more.
What does Stella Artois taste like?
Stella Artois is best labeled as a European lager. These are generally mass-produced and made in a way that they will appeal to the largest group as possible. As a result, it is actually relatively easy to find a beer similar to Stella Artois.
This beer is brewed with four ingredients: water, barley, maize, and Saaz hops. These hops are what gives Stella Artois its subtle hoppy bitterness, along with some floral aromas. There is also a sweetness to this brew. It has a dry but crisp finish. Overall, it’s a relatively inoffensive beer that is easy to drink.
In terms of numbers, Stella Artois has 4.6% ABV, 24 IBUs and 137 calories per 12 fl. oz.
Although Stella Artois is the best-selling Belgian beer internationally, Jupiler is the most popular in Belgium. In fact, Jupiler holds a staggering 40% of Belgium’s market share, compared to Stella Artois’ 8%. The reason for Jupiler’s popularity is partly because it is low in price, but also because it is easily drinkable.
The ingredients used to make Jupiler are malt, maize, water, hops, and yeast, just like Stella Artois. There are no special additives, making the two beers very similar.
Lastly, this blond beer has an ABV of 5.2%, 25 IBUs, and 160 calories per 12 fl. oz.
2. Harp Lager
Created by the brewers of Guinness, this beer is considered a lighter version of Stella Artois. It is brewed in Dublin, Ireland, and was initially launched in 1959. It is a very smooth, inoffensive beer, which makes it a good option if you plan on drinking more than one.
In terms of aroma, this beer smells hoppy and malty but does not have any special, added aromas. It is, however, not watery. There is also a slight sweetness to it, rather than bitterness.
It has an ABV of 4.5%, 21 IBUs and 121 calories per 12 fl. oz, all relatively similar to Stella Artois.
Heineken is another European pale lager that you have probably heard of. Drunk in 192 countries, it is highly accessible.
The flavor is slightly different than Stella Artois, as Heineken does not have the added maize, but as it is still the same style, it is worth a try. There are also some notes of green apple. It is golden in color and has a mildly bitter taste. Overall it is a crisp beer with a good balance of bitterness and sweetness.
This lager has an ABV of 5%, slightly lower than Stella Artois, along with 19 IBUs and 149 calories per 12 fl. oz.
4. Grolsch Pilsner
Grolsch is the second largest distributor in the Netherlands, right after Heineken. In fact, it got its name from the town the brewery was founded in; Groenlo. This beer is more bitter than both Heineken and Stella Artois, and as a result slightly more complex.
Overall, this lager is a crisp pilsner, brewed with Emerald and Magnum hops. It has a slight hint of sweetness to it but, as said, is mostly bitter. It also has a hoppy aroma.
In terms of ABV, this beer has 5%, along with 28 IBUs and 140 calories per 12 fl. oz, all slgithly higher than Stella Artois.
5. Peroni Nastro Azzuro
Next on our list is another European Lager, but this time from Italy. Peroni Nastro Azzuro is smooth like Stella Artois and nicely balanced between bitter and sweet.
It has similar ingredients to Stella, with malted barley and maize, giving us a similar flavor profile. It is pale golden in color and, overall, a refreshing and crisp beer.
Peroni Nastro Azzuro has an ABV of 5.1%, 24 IBUs and 145 calories per 12 fl. oz.
6. Maes Pils
You’ll likely enjoy Maes Pils if you like pilsners. This beer was initially brewed for Antwerp’s Universal Exposition by Alken-Maes. It is brewed with Saaz hops, just like Stella, and is the third best-selling beer in Belgium, right after Jupiler and Stella Artois. Though it was initially independent, it is currently owned by Heineken.
Maes Pils has a slight bitterness, with grassy and floral hops. It also has a dry finish. It might taste a little more skunky than Stella Artois, but the fact that it is so affordable makes it a great option for parties or if you know you’ll drink a few.
Maes Pils has an 5.2% ABV.
7. Carslberg Danish Pilsner
Lastly, we have another European pale lager; Carlsberg Danish Pilsner. This beer is lighter and crisper than Stella Artois but still full in flavor, with a strong hoppy aroma. It has tasting notes of apple and florals.
Per 12 fl. oz, there are 157 calories, 18 IBUs and 5% ABV.
Carslberg changed its ingredients in 2019, as they found their slogan of ‘probably the best beer in the world’ wasn’t true. The company has since shifted its aim from quantity to quality, and it appears this change was well received; whereas other pilsners are often criticized for their lack in complexity, Carlsberg is actually pretty well reviewed across the internet. It appears this beer is one that will be liked by most people.