1. Earning bottom honors this year is the Venetian Restaurant's house beer, contract brewed by Karl Strauss. Here is a picture and post from August. The picture tells this beer's story. It is hard to brew a beer that looks so unappealing, and its taste was no better than its look.
2. A close second was Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat. This beer is now Delta Airline's craft beer offering. (This swill and Amstel Light - the joy of flying Delta.) I had this beer in a Crown Room in Atlanta last July. It was awful. It had a strong taste of Juicy Fruit gum. Juicy Fruit may be fine on the playground, but not in a beer.
3. Finally, I had to include Pyramid's Thunderhead IPA. I had this late last summer in the Oakland Airport after a business trip to Northern California. I wrote then that it was undrinkable and had an aftertaste of puke. Any beer that has the taste of puke has to be included on the list of worst beers of the year. There are a lot of great IPAs in California and along the West Coast, but Thunderhead IPA is not one of them.
A few dishonorable mentions:
- Indian Wells Brewing Company's Amnesia IPA: The BeerAdvocate reviews (linked) say it all.
- Port Brewing's Shark Attack Double Red Ale: The promise poised by its quality little brother, Shark Bite, and the excellence of another double red ale, AleSmith's winter Yulesmith, made Shark Attack not the worst beer of the year, but a big disappointment.