Saturday, December 11, 2010
World's Worst Beer
Those consummate beer-obsessives over at ratebeer.com have made a list and checked it twice - the 50 worst beers in the world.
Not surprisingly, it's heavy on light beers. I would have actually placed Corona Light much closer to the top of the list - I love Corona as a gentle summertime swig, but let's face it, it's practically a light beer already. If it were any lighter, it would float away in the breeze. But Corona Light? It almost begs the question, at what point is this not even really beer anymore?
The light beer that they currently place at #3 - Natural Light - would be my most likely choice for the uncoveted #1 spot, if one includes light beers. However, I find light beers so fundamentally useless that they literally do not count as beer in my world. To my memory, the only times I've ever bought light beer in my life have been for women.
But if we take light beers and low-carb beers out of the equation and solely address "real" beers, I'd nominate Milwaukee's Best as being up there in the running. And sure enough, the boys at ratebeer are with me - they've got it at #4, which would be #3 if you eliminated the light beers.
In my lifetime, however, I think the worst beer I've ever had is Black Label, which was so awful, we even recognized how awful it was in high school when our palates were virginal. And then there was the time when the designated beer-buyer mistakenly bought us a half case of Black Label Light - an atrocity of such proportions that even now, 28 years later, I want to track him down on the internet and berate him all over again for that.
Old German is another bad old drink from the good old days that certainly would rank among the most craptastic. I didn't even think this stuff still existed, but just now found a page about it on Beer Advocate.
I'm rather out of my element when it comes to the bad beers of today, though - I thankfully haven't had the need, the circumstances, nor the desire to drink anything from the degenerate end of the supermarket beer aisle. Occasionally I go do slumming a bit with mediocre common-man beers like Miller High Life or Rolling Rock, neither of which made ratebeer's worst-list.
(Funny how all things are relative, though - the first time I ever sat at the bar at the Middletown VFW Hall, I asked the bartender what beers they had. She said "oh, you know, all the basic ones." So I ordered a Rolling Rock and she furrowed her brow. "No fancy ones," she said, "just the basic ones." I got a whiskey instead.)
I don't even know what some of these beers are - never heard of Sleeman Clear, for instance, but it got to #6 on the list. Also never heard of Camo or Cave Creek Chili Beer; maybe I need to get out more. Or maybe not.
So what IS the worst beer in the world (say it like Keith Olbermann)? According to ratebeer, it's Olde English 800 3.2, which certainly sounds wretched - you take a disgusting "poor people's beer" like 800 and then reduce the alcohol content to a miserable 3.2. I have no idea what the thinking behind that move was, since the entire point of malt liquor forties is to serve a beer with high alcohol content, taste be damned.
All this talk of watery, skunky brew is makin' me a mite nauseous. I think I need to reach for a Duvel Tripel Hop or a Nemesis to remind myself of the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty of a serious beer for a serious man.
- - JSH