Consumer Reports top 3 rated beers

FRESNO, Calif.

On Independence Day, Consumer Reports features some small and independent breweries churning out some tasty offerings. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company prides itself on every bottle of beer it brews.

"Beer made at a craft brewery our size has soul, it has flavor, and it has an intensity of flavor that many large breweries just can't match, " said Scott Vaccaro with Captain Lawrence Brewing Company.

Adam Kaplan and experts at Consumer Reports conducted blind taste tests of 23 ales and lagers and found there were some distinct differences. One taster compared the lowest-rated ale, Magic Hat, to a peach-tea drink.

But consumer reports rated 13 craft beers very good or even excellent, including several India pale ales.

" India pale ales tend to be more floral and fruity than a lot of other beers, and they have an intense, lingering bitterness," said Adam Kaplan from Consumer Reports.

Stone IPA is top-rated, with complex flavors, but its bitterness might be too much for some people and so could the price, at nearly $11 for a six-pack. For much less, $7.36 for a six-pack, Shock Top wheat IPA is a Consumer Reports best buy. It is a little less bitter with a slight sweetness.

Samuel Adams Boston came out on top with a range of malt and hops flavors. A six-pack goes for $8.60. Dogfish head 60 minute IPA has a great mix of malty and hop notes, with fruity and floral flavors, and is more intense than most. It costs around $10 for a six-pack.

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