As much as we love geeking out over yuzu-infused IPAs and sours from the newest Tasmanian gypsy brewer, we realize that such behavior can be insufferable to those who believe that beer need only be cold and copious. We also understand that not every bar is going to have 40 taps of small-batch ales at the ready, and sometimes you’ve got to go to a regular-ass bar and work with what you’re offered.

It’s important to remember that between Bud and barrel-aged stouts, there’s a whole world of brews out there, and the best of them can bring us together—the connoisseur won’t feel like he’s slumming it, and Joe Blow across the bar won’t feel like he’s drinking an experiment.

Herewith, we present the five ultimate bridge beers: Everyman brews with legitimate nerd appeal. These pours are all about balance, consistency, and heritage—three qualities that can easily get lost in the craft-brewer arms race to create the most insane beer ever made.