Being underrated is great because you might be underestimated. You’ll also have the ability to surprise people with your untapped potential. On the other hand, nobody wants to be overrated. Being overrated comes with burdens and just generally sucks. Nobody wants others to believe they get more credit than they deserve. The same goes for the world of brewing. It’s better to be an underrated brewer and respected by your peers and the public than to be overrated and disliked.
Of course, it’s best to be “rated” and receive the accolades you deserve. Right in the middle. That’s the sweet spot.
In our neverending quest to learn from the pros, we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us the one beer they believe is completely overrated. The beer they think gets hyped too much or gets too much unwarranted positive attention. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad product, mind you. It merely means the beer might get more attention than it deserves.
Take a ride on the hype machine and tell us your pick for the most overrated beer in the comments below.
Daniel Condliffe, bartender at JSix in San Diego
I’m okay with the backlash on this one. I think Stella is a great example of marketing and creating a hype around an entirely average product. There’s a perception of it being sophisticated or a premium option to people who order it when a Modelo will hit a lot of those same flavors.
Laura Mitchell, bar lead at BEER PARK Las Vegas
Busch Light. When people ask me if we carry Busch Light, and we only have regular Busch, they turn their noses up every time, like, “No way, not even close to the same!” I don’t get it!
Ilan Chartor, spiritual advisor at KYU in Miami
The most overrated beer is Corona. Ironically, I love Corona. It doesn’t have much flavor or body, but it’s refreshing on a hot day.
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Evan Danielson, beverage director at City Winery in Nashville
The most overrated beer is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It’s fine, but I never really understood the hype.
Phil Testa, beverage manager at The Rickey in New York City
Blue Moon is the most overrated beer by far. I don’t personally enjoy this beer at all, but people tend to love it. For a witbier, it is fine, but there are far better ones out there.
Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City
First, I’ll just say that I love the Lagunitas brand. However with the trend in IPA’s I think the focus on their IPA has blown up and completely overshadowed the rest of their line – which includes some great stuff like their Porter or Sumpin’ Easy Ale.
Eva L. Caló, head bartender at Officine Buona Forchetta in San Diego
The most overrated beer is Coors Light. If I want to drink sparkling alcoholic water I would get a vodka soda (that would taste better).
Montauk Summer Ale
Josh Cameron, Head Bartender at Boulton & Watt in New York City
I might get in trouble for this, but I do feel that Montauk is a little overrated. It isn’t teven heir fault. It seems that everything from the deep haunts of Long Island has a summertime popularity not exactly derivative of the products themselves. I just say, order a drink because you like it, not because you saw someone else order it.
Golden Road Wolf Pup
Chris Jacobs, owner of SkinnyFATS in Las Vegas
Anything that is representing itself as a craft beer but is owned by a large corporation is in danger of being overrated. My example would be Golden Road. Being owned by Anheuser-Busch, it gets placed in every store and pushed onto customers.
Writer’s Pick: Heady Topper
Check out any list of “must try” beers and you’ll likely find Heady Topper from Vermont’s Alchemist. Now, there’s no denying that this is a great beer. It’s just that with 7,000 craft breweries in the US, there are many beers better that don’t get the hype Heady Topper routinely gets.