Personal taste, by definition, is largely subjective. But when it comes to beer, while everyone may have a different favorite, there is broad consensus on which beers are the worst.
24/7 Wall St. examined data from beer review site Beer Advocate to identify the 25 worst beers in America. With a weighted score of only 1.86 out of 5, Natural Light is the worst beer by popular opinion, while O’Doul’s low alcohol brew rounds out the list of the worst tasting 25 beers with a weighted score of 2.31 out of 5.
The majority of the beer brands on this list are classified as light lagers. Such light beers are characterized by fewer calories, and often lower alcohol content. While these beers may appeal to many fitness conscious drinkers, it appears that cutting calories often means sacrificing taste. Other beers on this list include those flavored with fruits or vegetables, like the Bud Light & Clamato Chelada, or are some variety of malt liquor, like Olde English 800.
Despite low public opinion, many beers on this list are also some of the biggest sellers. Bud Light, the sixth worst tasting beer with a score of only 1.94 out of 5, has also been the best selling beer in America since it overtook Budweiser 2004. Anheuser-Busch InBev shipped 36.7 million barrels of Bud Light in 2015. Coors Light, the second most popular beer in America, shipped 17.1 million barrels in 2015. Coors Light is tied with Natural Ice as the 10th worst tasting beer by popular opinion, with a score of 2.06 out of 5.
Every beer on this list falls under the umbrella of one of two parent companies: Anheuser-Busch InBev SA and Molson Coors Brewing Company. The two companies have a combined 69% share of the U.S. beer market.
The popularity of many beers on this list is likely the result of their low prices and aggressive marketing campaigns. Molson Coors spent $788 million on advertising, promotions, and sports sponsorships in 2016 alone. Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch has shelled out a total of $2.6 billion to make Bud Light the official beer of the National Football League from 2011 through the Super Bowl in 2022.
Americans’ willingness to drink inferior tasting beer may be waning, however. Lately, beer drinkers across the country are increasingly choosing craft beers over more popular mainstream brands. While craft beer sales still comprise a very small share of the U.S. market, sales of these small scale beers grew by 12.8% in 2015, following double-digit growth in each of the preceding seven years. The rapid growth in craft beers — small, independent and traditional brewers — could reflect a growing emphasis on taste.
Meanwhile, sales of many of the beers on this list have fallen in recent years. Though Bud Light and Coors Light remain the most popular beers in the United States, total shipments have fallen between 2010 and 2015 by 9.7% and 5.4%, respectively.
To determine the 25 worst beers in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 100 beers with the lowest weighted ranking on beer review site, Beer Advocate. To be considered, a beer needed to have at least 350 ratings. Sales data were provided by Beer Marketer’s Insights. All other company information came from publicly available financial documents.
These are the 25 worst beers in America.
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