Thursday, March 31, 2011

The “Worst” Beers in Oshkosh

Most Thursdays this space is taken up with notes about notable beers currently pouring in our town. This Thursday is going to be different. Instead of harping about “Good” beer, today it’s going to be all about “Bad” beer. Or should that be “Popular” beer? Perhaps it’s no coincidence that some of the best selling beers in Oshkosh also happen to be some of the worst beers. That is, if you you believe the rankings compiled by the top two beer review sites, Beer Advocate and Rate Beer. And Oshkosh is hardly alone in it’s love for lousy beer. These are some of the best selling beers across America.

So here they are, the five “Worst” beers that you can currently purchase in Oshkosh ranked from the very worst to the somewhat less worse based upon amalgamated scores of the lowest rated beers on the Beer Advocate and Rate Beer websites.
  1. Michelob Ultra (BA-3/RB-5)
  2. Natural Light (BA6/RB-3)
  3. Natural Ice (BA-9/RB-2)
  4. Bud Light (BA-5/RB-11)
  5. Budweiser Select 55 (BA-10/RB-6)
Notice a theme here? Each these beers are made by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the foul monolith that earlier this week bought out Goose Island Brewing. Expect to see Honker’s Light Ice Ultra Ale coming soon.

For the sake of pure research I thought I ought to go out and actually give the worst beer you can purchase in Oshkosh a spin. Here’s what I found: Michelob Ultra is an innocuous waste of water that doesn’t even rise to the level of bad. It has a very light aroma of canned corn and tastes like seltzer water. The most notable sensory aspect of the beer is auditory. When you pour it out, the carbonation goes into a state of terminal flux and the beer sounds like a five-year-old with a mouthful of pop-rocks. I suppose what’s most offensive about this beer is its price. I paid $5.69 for a six-pack of Ultra and that’s about the going rate. For that kind of money you can get a six-pack of something pretty damned good from Point.

All right, so Michelob Ultra may be quite bad, but for my money, it’s just not bad enough. If you’re up for something really bad, I mean something harboring actual flavors that will offend and repulse, I’d suggest Axe Head Malt Liquor by the cunning Minhas Craft Brewery of lovely Monroe, Wisconsin. Here, my friends, is a bad beer you can literally sink your teeth into. This gummy, astringent syrup comes in a 24oz “King Can” and if you’re able to empty it you’ll achieve the royal glow usually reserved for inbreds and other genetically impaired types. If you want to have some April Fool’s fun, pour it into a goblet and pass it off on the nearest beer geek as a Belgian Triple. You’ll fool them until that moment when the piercing sting of caustic alcohol hits the back of their throat and then slices up their innards. Now that’s fun!

It’s time for us beer snobs to get out of our comfort zones and explore some of the truly “unique” flavors the beer world has to offer. Get off your high-horse, comrade, and take a stumble down the low road of flavor and liver damage. After all, there’s more to life than good beer... but not much more.


  1. HA! For some reason I decided to try a sixer of the 400 pound monkey from Left Hand brewing. An English IPA. I have 5 of them sitting in my basement if you want them. Awful aroma and the taste of the aroma lingers the rest of the day. HATED IT. My wife laughed at me because she knew how much I paid for it.

    I will stick to the American IPA.

  2. Hilarious post, Lee...I'm now getting strange looks @ the airport cause I'm laughing at my phone...or was I getting strange looks b4 that!?

  3. Ah truly bad they are. Makers of the overall worst beer in the world, Lazy Mutt.

  4. Hey, Josh, I’d suggest giving that 400# Monkey another shot. That Belgian yeast makes it a little funky, but it grew on me.

    Sandy: Thanks! Be careful in that airport, though. You don’t want to attract attention. They might discover all that beer you're smuggling :).

    Scott, at the last SOB meeting, someone (Larry) told me you loved Lazy Mutt. What’s that about?

  5. I'll be honest. I agree with josh. 400 monkey is awful. I would rather have a can of mountain creek.

  6. Lee, I took your advice and my verdict on the 400 Monkey is that I do not like it. Thanks for recommending I try it one more time. I am longing for something else right now...

  7. Hey, Josh, no one can say you didn't try. And you're in good company with Jared, he knows his beer. If you're looking for a good IPA, they have Racer 5 from Bear Republic on tap at Olbio's now.

  8. Yeah...the problem with beer smuggling is that 50# limit to your suitcase. I only managed to get 6 bombers in there and it was up to 47#. I need a lightweight suitcase. I was in the biggest liquor store i've ever seen, and had to limit myself to 6 about awful!! :)

    OH! And Westpfahl is extremely adamant about Lazy Dog being the "worst beer in the world"....and that that fact is made even worse by the fact that they give you 2 extra bottles in their "6-packs". It's a running running joke. ;)

  9. wow...proof read!

  10. We don't need no proof readin here! Sandy, my ENVY meter is clockin' out. As for our friend Scott, he ought to check out the Minhaus Swiss Lager. He thinks Lazy Mutt is bad... that beer'll learn him.