THE BEST OF THE WORST

Sir Barley McHops recently blessed us with a categorical listing of the worst beers on Earth.  I thought about picking apart that list, but I really didn’t like the idea of stating, “No, no, this one tastes like piss, not puke”.  Instead, I’d like to lay down some groundwork for the best beer to grab when you just want a beer and aren’t concerned about taste.  Those days when you’re mowing the lawn and need a bottle to sit in your beer holster (Yup, I’ve got one of those).  Kind of a ridiculous concept, since good beer and a glass are never all that far away, but I figure this will stir up some controversy and some hateful responses.  What more could I ask for as a blog author?

Keep in mind, these beers aren’t good.  No, seriously, don’t try to convince yourself that these beers are good.  They’re simply beers (Mostly lagers actually).  Mass-produced, mass-marketed, and mass-consumed.  That said, it’s not like I don’t find myself drinking these guys, especially in the summer.  I may be a beer snob, but I’m not a hypocrite.  Well, let’s just get to the list.  I apologize ahead of time if I force you to throw up in your mouth at any point.

8. Corona Extra: See, aren’t you glad I tossed out that warning about the taste you have in your mouth?  Listen up.  I will never say that this is a good beer or that it even resembles what should be considered beer.  If it’s blazing hot, if I’m near a beach, if I just want a few thirst quenchers, I’ll probably be grabbing a couple of these.  I don’t think I’ve ever brought Corona into my house though so I consider this the beer you grab at a crappy Mexican restaurant or when you’re on vacation (Notice when you’re in a Mexican restaurant, you won’t see any Mexicans drinking this).  And yes, that lime is needed to mask the flavor.  I feel sick just mentioning that.

7. Amstel Light: Do I even have to put in a description?  This beer sucks, but if you want a crappy light beer, at least it’s better than grabbing a Bud.  No?  Okay, I guess it’s just a Bud in sheep’s clothing but at least it costs twice as much.

6. Rolling Rock: Think of the crappiest bar in the world with the worst, stale, flat beer on tap.  If they’re offering a Bucket O’ Rocks (With free ice!), you’re not passing this up.

5. Miller High Life: Why did I start this list?  I offer up no defense of The Champagne of Beers other than the fact that it’s wet.  I drank a lot of High Life when I worked on my house so this may just be nostalgia creeping in.  It does come in a clear bottle so at least you’re assured of some taste.  That taste may be skunked beer, but at least it tastes like something (No apologies to every other Bud product ever conceived).

4. Newcastle Brown Ale: This beer may hold the record for quickest to skunk, but it’s not the worst beer to have around.  If I had a Bud drinker at my house, my dad for example, I wouldn’t be ashamed to offer him a Newcastle to at least lead him toward better beer.  Think of it as good beer’s gateway drug.

3. Red Stripe Lager: This is not the most well crafted beer in the world.  It’s not the cheapest either.  It is however a refreshing beer and that works for me.   Plus, I really like the little medicine bottles that it comes in (I also like the pounder cans, just call me crazy).

2. Shiner Bock: This is the famed beer of Texas.  Same as Mexicans don’t drink Corona, Texans don’t drink Lone Star.  If they want something with Texas roots they’ll grab this dandy from the Spoetzl Brewery.  Unfortunately, you’ll be hard-pressed to get this beer out of the South, but it’s worth noting if you’re ever in the area.  This could be the most one-dimensional beer on the planet.  Oh well, still tastes pretty good.

1. Yuengling: I can already hear the hate coming from my family, friends, and colleagues for sticking this beer on such a list.  This beer has an almost cult-like following in the mid-atlantic from blue collar workers, to college students, to yuppies.  That said, it’s not like the beer is really all that good – Just a light lager with a touch of sweetness on the finish.  When I travel a bit to the South though I always grab a case or two  (Not available in MA, or most anywhere else that doesn’t touch PA) .  This is the kind of beer that you want in your fridge at all times so you have something to pop open when you have a bunch of stuff to do.  Washing the car, mowing the lawn, painting the house – Yuengling will never be far from my reach.

Alright, let the heckling begin!

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5 comments

  1. Great list. I am a beer snob myself and prefer to drink micro-brews from my local brewery, but every once in a while one just wants a cheap, no frills beer.
    I know this list is not about taste, but personally I would love to see Reading Beer on there. It’s cheap and easy to drink (my friend who won’t touch most full-bodied, dark beers is a fan) and definitely one of the “best of the worst” in my mind. It’s like Heineken, except it doesn’t resemble pee quite so strongly. It’s also experiencing a revival (the brewery closed back in 1976 but recently began macro-brewing their micro-brew), perhaps due in part to the lousy economy and a need for cheaper, yet still drinkable, beers.

    1. Great stuff, Grirova…we always love hearing about classic, local beers being revitalized. Word on the street is that Rheingold Beer, a New York legend, will soon be revived. And of course, the famous Rhode Island staple, Narragansett Beer, rose from the dead a few years back after decades off the market.

      Also nice to hear that Reading is actually somewhat drinkable. That’s always a bonus for cheap, local brews.

    2. I’m a big nostalgia guy so you immediately sent me on a web-spiral reading about Reading Beer. As McHops mentioned, Narganset is a great example of a beer that’s making a revival in the New England area. This was my dad’s beer back in the day (Along with Carling Black Label) and he just gets a great smile on his face every time he cracks one open. I’m sure Reading Beer has the same following.

      After reading this post I could really go for a delicious Schaefer. Now that’s nostalgia drinking at its best…uh, I mean worst.

  2. Interesting list. On the one hand, none of these beers are good. On the other hand, I’ve drank all of them in some quantity so clearly you’re on to something. Yuengling and Newcastle are the outliers to me. I’ve purchased a good amount of Yuengling (particularly their Black & Tan) for parties since it’s considered “decent” beer and it’s cheap. Newcastle is even more maddening since when it’s fresh and on tap, it’s actually pretty good. But it goes bad so quickly that I’ve probably left more Newcastles unfinished than any other beer (except Bud Light of course which is what we drank while playing pong in College). I like how you equate it to a gateway drug…that sounds about right to me. It has just enough character that you can consider it a “real” beer, but it’s not so complex that anyone can’t enjoy it.

    Amstel and High Life…I can’t defend those, brother.

  3. […] mind (And the dollar) flocks toward the refreshing.  I’ve mentioned before that I’ll reach for something cold and bottled on the hottest days because it’s simple and fills the need at the time.  Red […]

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