It's no surprise that Americans love their beer.
Despite having a relatively old legal drinking age compared to the international standard of 18, America still ranked among the drunkest countries in the world in 2021. The previous year, legal consumers in the U.S. drank an average of 26 gallons of beer per person.
Craft beers, in particular, are growing in popularity in the U.S. In 2021, craft beer sales rose nearly 8%, compared to 1% for the overall beer market. A dramatic jump in the number of breweries nationwide began around 2010, increasing from 1,813 that year to 9,247 as of 2021.
But as it turns out, Americans also hate their beer. Beer Advocate allows users to rank and leave comments on any beer commercially available, and critics who pick up on watery taste and over-carbonation do not mince words.
Ironically, many of the worst-ranked beers are also the most bought nationwide, including Corona Extra and Bud Light. This could be because American drinking culture uniquely prizes low-quality, light-bodied beer that can be drunk quickly in large quantities. America has a more dysfunctional drinking culture than most other countries. The fraternity system and massive sporting events (not to mention tailgates) are just two examples of cultural staples that eschew other countries' fondness for moderation and pacing when drinking.
Overall, however, the rise in popularity of craft beers may very well mean that these rankings will soon be reflected in sales numbers. This shift has already begun: over the past decade, regional breweries have stolen a more significant portion of national annual beer sales from global giants. In 2010, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors (formerly MillerCoors), two of the largest beer companies in the world, comprised roughly 77% of total beer sales in the U.S. In 2020, that share was less than 60%. As tastes become more refined, average beer prices are increasing as well, reflecting consumer demand for a higher-quality product.
So which beers are Americans "hate-drinking?" Stacker compiled a list of the worst-rated beers in the world, using ratings from Beer Advocate. This list was created by choosing those with the worst rank among beers with more than 100 ratings. To diversify the beers' origins, Stacker selected a maximum of five beers per brewery for ranking.
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