It's St. Patrick's Day, which means it's time to slap on a piece of green clothing, sample the Irish staple of corn beef and cabbage, and pop open the top on a bottle of beer.
In honor of the tradition, YouGov's BrandIndex, which measures daily brand perception among consumers, released its annual ranking of the best perceived beers among consumers over the past three months.
The list included on-tap favorites Bud Light and Miller Lite, but also specialty beers such as Sam Adams, Dos Equis and Yuengling. And while most of the labels on the index also ranked as the top brands in terms of shipments in 2013, the lists are not interchangeable.
Coors Light, which dropped off YouGov's list this year to No. 11, had the second-most beer shipments in 2013, following only Bud Light, according to estimates from Beer Marketer's Insights. Sam Adams and Guinness, which both made the top 10 among consumers, failed to crack into the top 20 in terms of market share.
Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov's BrandIndex, attributed the discrepancies to price, distribution and size.
"You can practically get a case of Budweiser for what you might pay for a six pack of Guinness or Sam Adams," Marzilli said of purchasing beer in New York City.
It's also harder for smaller breweries, such as Sam Adams, to compete for space on tap handles in bars, or to produce as much volume, Marzilli said.
Despite these challenges, Sam Adams achieved its top spot on the list by being "one of the flagship beers" in what consumers think of as the growing craft beer market, Marzilli said. He also noted that in urban markets, such as New York City and LA, beers that are perceived as craft performed better—a fact he attributed to higher earnings.
In the mass market, Budweiser and Bud Light are still riding the success of their popular Super Bowl ads, which tend to give the brand a 20 percent to 30 percent boost each year, Marzilli said.
"You still see that bounce in their scores," he said.
Click through to see the top 10 best perceived brands among consumers, according to YouGov's Brand Index.
Scores, known as a brand's "Buzz score," range from 100 to -100 and are calculated by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A score of zero means that a company has received equal positive and negative feedback from respondents. The index interviews 5,500 people, 21 or older, each weekday for three months to draw its conclusions.
—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson
Posted 17 March 2014