Roundtable Discussion: The Most Overrated Beer in the History of the Universe (So Far)

Obviously all of us are mindless sheep without the brain power to keep from drooling on ourselves, let alone form our own opinions about whether or not a beer is good.  Well, not all of us are high functioning idiots, just you, the public, are.  Here at J Street, we are experts with the most exquisite taste and the fairest minds for judging the rest of society.  However, we use our extreme powers only to further the greater good of society.  That is the purpose of these round table discussions: so that you, the public, can see what it is like when the gods disagree in Valhalla.  Also, we have one track minds and that track is beer.  Choo-choo!  Beer train coming through!  May it’s headlight guide us out of this cave of ignorance.

This week we are discussing the most overrated beers.  We are going to define overrated as popular and/or pricey beers that people keep buying, keep ordering, and presumably yet incomprehensibly keep drinking.  The topic was my idea and it came to me when I was waiting for Pyzocha and Shintern at RFD.  While I was quietly enjoying a pint of Eliot Ness, a middle aged couple comes in and tries to order.  I will recreate their conversation perfectly from memory

Boring Old White Guy “Helen, this place is terrific!  They have Sam Adams on tap.  Have you ever tried it?  It is wonderful!”

Stretchfaced Botox Bitch “I don’t know, Harold.  Do they have Stella?  I don’t see any beers that are as good as Stella.  Oh barkeep!  Do you have any beers on tap that taste like Stella?  Have you ever heard of such a beer you plebeian!”

Then I stabbed both of them with my lazer eyes and they died horrible painful deaths and are now spending eternity in Hell.  END SCENE


Ok, I hate fancy pants beers.  Well, I hate sissy beers.  And I really hate Blue Moon.  Why? Because I like it.  It makes me feel like I am having brunch with Charlotte and Samantha after a walk of shame through Central Park.  This is not how I want beer to make me feel.  I want beer to make me feel like I have been chopping wood all day or  I just got back from a sniper mission where I laid under mangrove roots in a fucking swamp breathing out of a straw for 14 goddamn hours and never even saw my target because of piss poor goddamn faulty intelligence.  Fucking spooks, they don’t know shit! And Blue Moon doesn’t taste good, so much as it tastes refreshing.  And a fucking orange?  What the fuck, I want a beer not a salad.  Why are you drinking that you fucking Grad Student?  Does it make your poetry better?


My choice for the most overrate beer would have to be Guinness Stout. This “stout” has such bland and mild flavors I believe it is called a stout merely because it is dark. All I can think of when I head “Guinness” is a bunch of drunks on St. Patrick’s Day asking for one with the clover in the head.  There are easily hundreds of better stouts than this most famous stout; ones that have actual robust flavors and some body!  I think The Simpsons got it right when they called Guinness a combination of bog water and chocolate syrup.  This beer is definitely not worth the wait for a slow pour.

That stout is pretty flimsy!  (Get it?!!)


Stella Artois. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a horrible beer but certainly isn’t worth $6-8. I have a “Pretentious Beer List” that is made up of beers that are overpriced, low quality, over-hyped, mostly foreign, and usually ordered to talk about some study-abroad/vacation/soul-searching trip to another country where they consistently drank the highest quality of beers. Stella Artois is close to the top of that list, especially since it is seen as a shit beer in other countries (it sold for a pound and 35 pence a pint at the student union and a pound fifty at the cheap bars). In the UK, people use it for Shandies (50% lager 50% sprite/7-up); here, people order it, drink it down, and proceed to cough-up bull shit — all while paying $6-8 at a normal bar. I would be frightened to know how much one might cost at a club, wine bar, or lounge.

Pull up a seat friend, let me tell you about the time my gran-gran paid for me to go to Europe for a semester.  Crazy times!  You had to be there!


I would vote for Newcastle Brown as my most overrated beer.  I wholeheartedly agree with other picks that have been made, but throughout college I found that Newcastle was heralded as the beer-drinker’s perfect solution to paying too much for good beer.  True, it was better than Natty Light. And it wasn’t as expensive as a legitimately nice beer.  But I was always puzzled by the hype that some people created around Newcastle.  I find that it lacks any sort of real weight or flavor that one should be able to expect in a good brown.  Even for the price, I think there are far better beers that are equally accessible.

Hey bro!  My student loans are in.  Let’s have a good beer night.  No, a really good beer night!


Heineken.  Why is Heineken considered a “good beer”?  The only good answer I have for it is product placement and advertising.

You can find Heineken almost anywhere, most restaurants carry it.  It’s a pale lager, that doesn’t have a lot going for it.  It’s basically a fancier way of saying Coors.  It’s not good.

I consider Heineken to be the Budweiser of the Netherlands.  Basically a boring beer that if you can get the name out and get it to stick, you’ll be okay.

Their marketing is what makes them.  The beer comes in nice green bottles and they stand out compared to everything else, which in this case is quite possibly the worst thing you can do to a beer besides clear bottles.  Then you can get it in a mini keg, which Krups has made a fancy dispenser for, that really only dispenses Heineken products (and a few others that decided to throw their hat in the ring).  Many people use Heineken as the fall-back good beer.  Why?  Because it has an easily mispronounced name?  It’s crap.

Plus Heineken is the official beer of Chelsea FC, so double fuck Heineken.

From here a mention of PBR lead to a discussion to what overrated and/or overhyped actually mean.  The discussion was not resolved Red Stripe was also mentioned as deserving a place on the overrated shelf.  Anyway, overrated beers suck and vex me.  BEERS!  PROPERLY RATE YOURSELVES FROM NOW ON!

6 responses

  1. Awesome entry. All of these are indeed highly overrated. Of this list, Stella takes the cake. There are people out there who think Stella is a craft beer. There are also people who need to be hit with shovels. There is a significant overlap between those two circles in the Venn diagram of shovel-warranting.

    Most overrated craft beer in the history of the universe is undoubtedly the Brewdog/Stone Bashah collaboration. Terrible and over-hyped.

    September 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm

  2. Adam

    I offer full support of Blue Moon, Stella, and Heineken. However, I am a huge supporter of Guinness. I love Guinness and while it is most undoubtedly overpriced it is not overrated. It is always the best and most reliable stout out there. I’m not going to fawn over an $9 stout that tastes only slightly better and it’s only slightly better because I tell myself that for $9 it has to be better than Guinness.

    My most overrated beer has is a tie between Magic Hat #9 and Dog Fish Head 60 minute IPA. People go nuts for these “small batch” brews. Dog Fish is easily the genius, they charge $8 for 60 min, close to $20 fro 90, and the biggest number they can think of for 120 min. I don’t know how they get away with it. It’s truly remarkable how people will think that Dog Fish is the best beer ever. Magic Hat #9 just has enough hippy followers from Vermont to make it annoying to buy and or drink.

    September 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

  3. Great discussion guys.

    I would have to agree with the Blue moon only from the beer nerd perspective. If a brewery-implemented marketing strategy is to actually alter the flavor of your “craft” beer (adding fruit), then it doesn’t deserve any respect. To me, its like saying “hey, my burger is the best in the city….if you add enough shit to it.” Sure, I’ll take a Mcdonalds burger if you get me drunk enough and give me a keg of ketchup. Other than that, no thanks.

    I won’t hate on DFH or MH #9 too much because this old man remembers when those were very hard to find (finding those on tap in 2003 was like finding a girl who likes Rocky IV)…and I used to live 20 mins from Vermont. I think there’s a fine line between overhyped and just very popular. To me, overhyped lends itself to things that are hard to get and are sought after versus n00bs just thinking they’re in the know. So if thats the case, at least in this area, Fat Tire takes the underwhelming cake.

    September 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm

  4. Adam, where are you buying beer that a 4-pack of DFH 90 MIPA is $20?

    I’m stunned that in the same post you can lambaste the 60 MIPA and defend Guinness as “always the best and most reliable.” For those $9 stouts you don’t want to buy, you’re generally getting a stout that is more flavorful, true to style, and packs more punch (4.1% for a stout, are you kidding me?). I don’t think stouts are supposed to be session beers, but somehow that’s exactly what Guinness has done by putting out a product rich in “drinkability!” and a good marketing campaign. It’s a shame that Guinness serves as a lot of people’s introduction to stouts as it’s a really poor example of the complexity that the best representations of the style can have.

    September 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

  5. DutchDrinker

    I was looking for Heineken pictures and came here, i saw your opinion about Heineken. I agree it is not the best beer, but it is a simple beer. From tap it is a good beer and everybody thinks different about beers and what is te best beer. I vote for castle beer (South African street beer)

    April 11, 2011 at 11:26 am

  6. and fuck your hate against dutch beer because the rule the beers

    April 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

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