We generally don’t like to get too negative here. It gives us wrinkles. But when a reliable beer rating site makes a well-informed, style-adjusted list of the worst beers in the world, we’re gonna tune in. Maybe share some of the list. Impartially. Mostly impartially.
Before you call snobbery — OK, it was a poor choice to wear a monocle today — we have to insist we’re not craft beer snobs. (We like complaining about craft beer, too!) Seriously, all beer has its place somewhere in our lives, often at certain fiscally insolvent junctures where an affordable 30-pack is actually a social lifeline. We’re not denying these beers have a place in our hearts, nor trying to suggest that if you don’t buy $15 six-packs of single-hopped Imperial IPA you must hate yourself.
We just like that the beers on this list have a heavy verbal emphasis on greatness, that a lot of the worst beers are self-identified “best,” “premium,” “genuine,” and “ultra.” It reminds us of those moments of urgent personal insecurity. You know the ones, usually preceded by flop sweat or a wardrobe malfunction, and you’re staring into a mirror saying things like “Who’s the champ? You’re the champ!” and “Everything’s gonna be just fine.” Possibly while crying. The desperation psych-up speech. That’s what these beer names are.
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Not that you can’t like, or imbibe, them. It’s a free country, and you know that because for a while there you could drink a can of “America.” But not anymore. Because everybody hated it.
It takes a lot to make it to the very, very bottom. Natty Light — aka “Natural Light,” formerly “Anheuser-Busch Natural Light”— has been working toward the depths of macro beerdom for almost 30 years. From all of us who relied on your buzz-inducing affordability for as long as we could stomach it, we salute you. Oh, wait, we mean to say “we pass out.”
Beyond being the No. 2 worst beer in the world, Natty Ice has its own Urban Dictionary page. Among the many, very thoughtful, descriptions: “what a skunk would taste like if it were liquid.”
Brewed for low carbohydrate content (which, surprise surprise, is what got a lot of these beers on the Top 10). What the marketing team optimistically describes as “clean” and “refreshing,” we call “insipid” and “depressing.” Plus, Sleeman sounds like the name of an ornery junior high school science teacher.
Milwaukee’s Best Premium
We usually get nervous when a business is verbally overly confident, e.g., “Harry’s Super Happy Dentistry Experience!” This beer — which pours out, as one reviewer poetically notes, like “a urine sample in a glass” — confirms our fears. No surprise, it’s historically known as “The Beast.”
Like a ’90s sitcom dad crashing a ’90s sitcom slumber party, Michelob Ultra is still trying to convince everyone it’s hip. Except no matter how many hopeful young actors they hire, nobody’s buying that a bunch of hikers would lug a cooler of Michelob Ultra to a waterfall.
Camo Genuine Ale
We’re wondering how a malt liquor from Vegas could get on the World’s Worst Beer list. Just kidding! We know exactly how it got there. It’s a malt liquor from Vegas. But don’t worry, at 8.6% ABV, you don’t have to drink too many to forget you drank any at all.
Budweiser Select 55
Conceived to be “lightest beer in the world” at 55 measly calories, so basically a step up from pond water. Though one reviewer was kind enough to compare it to “bunny pee,” which is at least adorable.
Milwaukee’s Best Light
Also known as “The Beast Light” (see Milwaukee’s Best Premium), so imagine a grizzly bear that’s declawed and defanged. Also, instead of a grizzly bear, it’s a teddy bear. With the stuffing taken out. That’s this.
Miller Genuine Draft Light 64
Another beer for the fitness-oriented and taste bud-indifferent, complete with a very short-lived #64ing social media campaign. Like, if you take the stairs instead of the escalator, you’re #64ing. Or if you use your biceps to throw away 24 unopened bottles of Miller Genuine Draft Light 64, you’re #64ing. It’s easy!
Bud Light Chelada
Ready for pre-mixed Bud Light and Clamato? Neither was anyone else. One reviewer said this “Best of Both Worlds” beer had “ocean water, funk, and clam taste,” which kind of sounds like the name of a band. A band we never, ever want to hear.