Nobody likes a beer snob. And in today’s craft-saturated world where $26 marshmallow gumdrop IPAs are commonplace, the elitists have more to mock than ever before. But instead, many have taken to the internet to cyberbully the macro brews they’ve been poking fun at for years.
Before we begin, it bears mentioning that despite the savage reviews, most of the labels listed below are extremely successful, widely available, and serve the humble function of “utility beer,” lagers designed for recreation and maximum crushability.
So without further ado, let’s dive into BeerAdvocate’s updated list of the 10 worst beers in the world as of 2023, all of which happen to be American light lagers. Huh, there seems to be a theme here…
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Editor’s Note: BA ranks Miller Genuine Draft 64 as the No. 1 worst beer in the world, but that beer was discontinued in 2012. It lives on, however, in spirit with Miller 64, which comes in at No. 7 on this list.
10. Busch Ice
Busch Ice gets its name from the signature “ice brewing” technique used in its production. Brewers freeze a base beer, remove some of the ice that forms, and thus create a higher-ABV, denser version of Busch Light. Even though some reviewers rave about this brew’s “silky smooth viscosity” and “surprisingly decent” taste, it doesn’t quite impress enough to dodge the No. 10 spot. Congrats, Busch Ice: You’re officially the best of the worst.
9. Bud Light
Pairing well with sports — and maybe food, if you’re drunk enough — Bud Light’s low rating may be something of a harsh commentary on light beer as a whole. After all, before 2022, it was the best-selling beer in the country for years. The main gripe that folks have with this brew is its lack of flavor, but that’s perhaps better than it tasting awful. Congrats, Bud Light: You’re officially the best of the worst.
8. Milwaukee’s Best Light
If this is truly the best Milwaukee has to offer, we sincerely feel bad for Wisconsinites. This less-than-stellar creation from the Miller team proves that America’s Dairyland doesn’t quite have the same success rate producing light beer as it does with fancy cheese.
7. Miller 64
The Miller 64 site promotes this beer as a happy medium between a light lager and an N/A brew, describing it as the perfect way to “enjoy a Dry-ish January with a lighter beer-ish kind of beer.” Realistically, it tastes like the dregs of last night’s Miller Light that got spilled on the pong table. While it initially hits the glass with a thick, foamy head, 64’s suds suffer from “lousy retention,” a telltale symptom of a rushed carbonation process.
6. Beer 30 Light
A product from Melanie Brewing Company, which has virtually no online presence, Beer 30 Light is allegedly undrinkable. While hopefully not as bad as Beers 1–29, this light lager apparently “tastes of sour wine, body odor, and skunked beer,” according to one unhappy BeerAdvocate commenter. Indiana is responsible for some world-class brews, but unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.
5. Natural Ice
Natural Ice gets its name from the signature “ice brewing” technique used in its production. Brewers take the base “Natty” beer, freeze it, remove some of the ice that forms, and thus create a higher-ABV, denser version of Natty Light. If, for whatever reason, you decide to purchase a case of these, drink them straight from the can. It’s best to keep those aromas trapped rather than actually letting them open up in a pint glass.
4. Keystone Light
Many of us fondly remember Keystone’s ad campaign featuring Keith Stone, the “always smooth” everyman superhero of bottom-shelf beer. But sadly, Keith couldn’t save Keystone Light from dismal BeerAdvocate reviews. One user refers to the product as “cheap horse piss;” perhaps that’s why it clinched the No. 6 spot. To that, our condolences, Mr. Stone.
Think of Sharp’s as Miller’s response to O’Doul’s. Clocking in at 0.4 percent ABV, this is a prime example of an N/A product failing in its attempt to put on a beer disguise. Reviews compare it to seltzer water with notes of “apple juice and canned vegetables,” rounded out by a “thin, watery” mouthfeel.
2. Natural Light
Natural Light slid down to No. 3 from No. 1 over the past few years, so Anheuser-Busch must be doing something right — or rather, less wrong. There’s no doubt that Natty Light is a household name in America, but maybe not for the best reasons. This infamous lager is easy on the wallet but an assault on the palate, sporting a “metallic” and “wet dog-like aroma,” according to BA users.
1. Budweiser Select 55
Advertised as a golden lager, Budweiser Select 55 takes Budweiser Select — a lighter and lower-carb version of Bud Light — and makes it even lighter; it contains less than half the calories found in a can of Coke. All that being said, one reviewer advises, “If you’re that worried about carbs or calories, drink water, it tastes better.”