Fill It or Spill It

Beer Thought: What is the worst brewery?

In Beer Thought on May 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I’m trying something new for this post.  I thought I’d take a break from reviewing beer this week and do an “editorial”.   Someone asked me an interesting question recently and I couldn’t answer it right away.  So, I thought about it and wanted to post it for everyone to read and ponder.

On twitter, @blacksheepsquad asked me what is the worst brewery?  I had never really thought about it before.  I know there are beers that I dislike and definitely styles of beers I don’t care for, but never which brewery I don’t like.  The easy answer would be the macros because those beers are awful, but it isn’t the right answer.

If you notice, on the blog I don’t have many “Spill It”s and that is almost on purpose.  The reason I don’t is: I won’t spend money on things I don’t like.  I’m not going to spend money on let’s say a sixer of lagers because I don’t particularly care for them.  Every once in a while I will try beers I don’t like to either reinforce why I don’t like them or to try a particularly special one.   Honestly, who wants to pour a beer knowing they won’t like it?  Not me.

I usually drink beer  based on the mood I’m in.  Chances are if it is 90 degrees outside, I probably won’t be drinking an imperial stout.  So, I have my favorite beers within a particular style.   I may prefer an IPA from one brewery and not like their stout or vice-versa, but does that mean it is a bad brewery?  Does that mean it is a bad beer?  Probably not.  What I dislike someone else may love.

In terms of breweries, I also have my favorites just like anyone else.  I love Dogfish because of the far out things they do with beer.  I don’t like all of their beers, but I can always appreciate the attempt to try something new.    There are plenty of breweries I have never tried and might make the greatest beer ever.  Sometimes it is more than beer that makes you like a brewery.  Maybe it is a hometown brewery or you like that the brewery is eco-friendly.  Conversely, you may dislike a brewery for reasons other than beer.   I recently had a bad experience with a brewery’s rude beer rep, which made me decide to never drink their beers.  (if you follow me on twitter you know who it is).

In this world of craft beer, I don’t think there is a worst brewery.  There are too many kinds of beer that too many people make for there to be a worst brewery.  Craft beer just by its name implies a dedication to the craft of beer making.  If a brewery made bad beer then it would probably go out of business pretty quickly.   Drinking beer is too personal an experience for me to name a “worst”.  My advice, try as many beers as possible from as many breweries as possible.


  1. People who drink with me regularly know that there are a few breweries I don’t “get”. One in particular whose shelf product never clicks with me, one in NY that I’ve given plenty of chances and they’ve disappointed me every time and another is a brewpub whose beers are the among the worst things I’ve ever tasted. But all are sold members of the craft beer community and have very loyal followings. So what do I know I guess?

    At the end of the day, people are going to like what they like and if I review a beer that I don’t like, I take great lengths (probably even to much) to make sure that people reading the review understand the difference between “I don’t like it” and “it’s a bad beer”.

    Because I agree. People who make truly bad beer, rarely last. Great post.

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