Special Report

America's Least Favorite Beers

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Great beers are something wonderful, beverages whose creation is close to alchemy, somehow converting unassuming raw ingredients into magical elixirs.  

For many folks, however, a beer is just a beer – something cheap, thirst-quenching, and slightly alcoholic. Despite the rise of American craft brewing in recent years, it’s still the ordinary, mass-produced, distinctly non-magical stuff that accounts for the overwhelming majority of beer sales in this country.

Not surprisingly, beer connoisseurs (and just plain discerning beer-drinkers) generally don’t think very highly of these best-selling brews. To compile a list of America’s least favorite beers, at least according to this segment of the beer market, 24/7 Tempo reviewed BeerAdvocate’s most recent ranking of the worst-rated beers in the world, as judged by its readers. Beers are ranked in descending order, with the worst of all at No. 1. (On the other hand, these are the 30 best beers in America.)

The site asks reviewers to score beers on a scale of 1.00 to 5.00 in 0.25-point increments on five ratable attributes: appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and overall impressions. Ratings are then calculated by weighting the attributes differently, with the most important being taste, weighted at 40%. The weighting accounts for the fact that total reader scores don’t necessarily correspond with the order in which the beers appear here. The majority of these beers are produced in the U.S., but Canada, Mexico, and Australia are also represented, as beers from those countries are popular here. Scores are current as of mid-June 2023. Information on alcohol by volume, or ABV; beer type; and brewery also comes from BeerAdvocate.

Click here to see America’s least favorite beers

A number of the beers on this list are “light” (or “lite”). Two, O’Doul’s and Sharp’s, are almost alcohol-free. You’ll also find all the famous names here – Miller, Bud, Michelob, Coors, Corona, etc. 

It might be noted that one beer listed, Bud Light at No. 9 (two flavored variations are also included), has been a recent victim of the so-called culture wars. Long the nation’s most popular beer by far, Bud Light has seen a precipitous drop in sales since April, when the brand sent a personalized can to popular transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and she posted an image of the gift on Instagram. Prominent right-wing figures, including musicians Travis Tritt and Kid Rock, commentator Ben Shapiro, and several members of Congress, promptly called for a boycott of the beer, and numerous former Bud Light fans around the country vowed to never quaff it again. This week it was announced that Mexican favorite Modelo Especial had outpaced Bud Light in sales for the four-week period ending June 3, though Bud Light’s total sales volume remains superior. (In another example of anti-transgender sentiment, here’s a list of 31 states criminalizing gender-affirming health care.)

30. Molson Canadian 67
> Average score: 1.89 (66 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 3.0%
> Brewery: Molson Coors Canada
> Location: Ontario, Canada

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29. King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor
> Average score: 2.12 (593 votes)
> Style: Malt liquor
> ABV: 6.0%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

28. Bud Light Lime-A-Rita
> Average score: 2.12 (757 votes)
> Style: Lager – malt liquor
> ABV: 8.0%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

27. Hurricane Malt Liquor
> Average score: 2.03 (258 votes)
> Style: Malt liquor
> ABV: 6.0%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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26. Icehouse
> Average score: 2.08 (1,364 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 5.5%
> Brewery: Miller Brewing Co.
> Location: Wisconsin

25. Busch Beer
> Average score: 2.08 (1,915 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 4.3%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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24. Budweiser Select
> Average score: 2.07 (1,358 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.3%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

23. Sleeman Clear
> Average score: 1.86 (89 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.0%
> Brewery: Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
> Location: Ontario, Canada

22. Keystone Ice
> Average score: 1.72 (53 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 5.5%
> Brewery: Molson Coors Canada
> Location: Ontario, Canada

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21. Coors Light
> Average score: 2.06 (5,704 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Coors Brewing Company (Molson-Coors)
> Location: Colorado

20. Red Dog
> Average score: 2.04 (801 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 4.8%
> Brewery: Miller Brewing Co.
> Location: Wisconsin

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19. O’Doul’s
> Average score: 2.03 (662 votes)
> Style: Low-alcohol
> ABV: 0.5%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

18. Keystone Lager
> Average score: 1.9 (148 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 4.9%
> Brewery: Molson Coors Canada
> Location: Ontario, Canada

17. Carlton Cold
> Average score: 1.66 (51 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 4.9%
> Brewery: Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
> Location: Australia

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16. Corona Light
> Average score: 1.98 (2,178 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.1%
> Brewery: Grupo Modelo S.A. de C.V.
> Location: Mexico

15. Keystone Premium
> Average score: 1.85 (160 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 4.4%
> Brewery: Coors Brewing Company (Molson-Coors)
> Location: Colorado

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14. Bud Light & Clamato Chelada
> Average score: 1.92 (457 votes)
> Style: Fruit and field beer
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

13. Michelob Ultra
> Average score: 1.95 (2,722 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

12. Busch Light
> Average score: 1.94 (1,848 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.1%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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11. Bud Ice
> Average score: 1.93 (1,268 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 5.5%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

10. Busch Ice
> Average score: 1.85 (365 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 5.9%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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9. Bud Light
> Average score: 1.87 (6,614 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

8. Milwaukee’s Best Light
> Average score: 1.83 (734 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Miller Brewing Co.
> Location: Wisconsin

7. Miller 64
> Average score: 1.83 (839 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 2.8%
> Brewery: Miller Brewing Co.
> Location: Wisconsin

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6. Beer 30 Light
> Average score: 1.66 (105 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4%
> Brewery: Melanie Brewing Company
> Location: Wisconsin

5. Natural Ice
> Average score: 1.84 (1,577 votes)
> Style: American adjunct lager
> ABV: 5.9%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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4. Keystone Light
> Average score: 1.84 (2,186 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.1%
> Brewery: Coors Brewing Company (Molson-Coors)
> Location: Colorado

3. Sharp’s
> Average score: 1.70 (173 votes)
> Style: Low-alcohol
> ABV: 0.4%
> Brewery: Miller Brewing Co.
> Location: Wisconsin

2. Natural Light
> Average score: 1.75 (2,370 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 4.2%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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1. Budweiser Select 55
> Average score: 1.65 (626 votes)
> Style: Light lager
> ABV: 2.4%
> Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
> Location: Missouri

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