“Yes, yes, watch Budweiser Burn.”
~Fans of Good Beer
Back in 2012, we wrote an article listing the 10 top selling beers in America. We made the point that these beers, which include Natural Light, Busch, and a red cup of stale keg beer from last night’s party that inexplicably has a Band-Aid in it Bud Light are, in the general sense of the term, ass-numbingly awful. Some of you read this and said, “Yes, these are bad beers” because you like to use the internet as a safe space for correct and well-reasoned mindsets. Some of you read it and said, “Fuck you and your IPAs, GIMME AN ICE COLD BUD” which was both disappointing because someone singed off your taste buds as a child, and surprising because we never once talked about IPAs in the entire article.
In the four years since the publication of our scathing exposé, a lot has changed in America. We have a black president now (*terrified intern scrambles and whispers in our ear*) okay we apparently had a black president in 2012 too, but either way more Americans are making a point to drink good beers, and are starting to steer away from the beer companies that see their sales numbers plummeting and have to resort to commercials saying, “DRINK OUR BEER, YA PUSSIES.”
So naturally, when 247wallst.com came out with an article titled “10 Beers Americans no longer Drink” we were enthralled to see that the beers on this list, which documents the beers with the largest sales drop from 2009-2014, are beers that America should actively be drinking less of. It’s articles like this that make us feel like we’re finally being heard as Americans who want other Americans to stop drinking shitty swill, or at least to get get drunk enough that it doesn’t matter what they’re drinking before switching to it. And because the major sites that picked up the story weirdly decided to copy/paste only a handful of list items as a weird way to combine stealing someone else’s work while not going through the effort to give you a complete list, we’re going to post the full top 10 list list, only instead of looking into “market trends” or whatever, we’ll just focus on how these beers are bad, and how it’s a good thing that you’re no longer drinking them.
Good Job America! The 10 Beers Americans No Longer Drink (Are Awful)
We know this article is going to get blowback. While all these beers are seeing massive drops in sales as the market is being flooded by literally thousands of better beers, there are still millions of Americans who remember a simpler time when beer was served cold, you only had to choose between three drafts, and people didn’t get so up in arms when you’d “accidentally” say the n-word in casual conversation. Of course, this isn’t the 70’s anymore, and the past 20 years has seen a boon in craft beer that has brought us ales that can appeal to the tastes of any beer drinker, and lagers that manage to pack more flavor than “straw and beer backwash.” It’s truly a wonderful time to be a problem drinker in this country!
So we are here to celebrate the 10 beers that Americans are running away from as fast as they can, because we’re proud of you, America. You’re doing a good thing here. These beers all suck.
26% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Budweiser is trying to take over the goddamn world, and that’s the saddest goddamn thing. They’re currently owned by AB InBev, a Belgium-based conglomerate that’s responsible for making 25% of the beer in the world, which doesn’t include their recent $69 billion purchase of SABMiller. People get really defensive about Budweiser, because it’s an “American beer” that “puts hair on your chest” and “well at least doesn’t taste quite as much like warm dog piss as Bud Light.” But Budweiser hasn’t been an American beer since 2008, when Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev because when you see a check with enough zeros any loyalty you have to the family business usually gets drowned out by the loud “ca-ching” cash register noises you start hearing. Now, Bud Heavy was the #2 beer in America back in 2012, responsible for 12% of beers brewed in America, which we will admit is not the worst thing to have ever happened in America. Like, whenever someone dies, that’s probably more tragic than Budweiser being the second most consumed beer in the country, depending on if the deceased person in question was the kind of person who calls their waitress “toots” and tips 5%.
But thankfully, Budweiser is falling to earth. Americans drink one quarter less Budweiser than we did five years ago, which is exactly how it should be. If Americans actively must drink Budweiser, it should be served in dirty glasses for a dollar after a long day of work by emotionally exhausted people who have family waiting for them that they don’t want to deal with without having already downed ten bucks worth of beer. Any other consumption of Budweiser should be because it was free at your uncle’s barbeque, or because at least the Frat party you’re at didn’t cheap out and go with Natty Light.
9: Natural Light
26.6% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
In 2012, Natty Light was the #5 selling beer in America, which said a lot about how bad things got for the average American during the recession. Natural Light, a “sub-premium” offering by Budweiser, was the first light beer that Anheuser-Busch tried to widely distribute. The current Wikipedia photo for this beer, listed as of this writing as the worst beer in the world by ratebeer.com, is a pyramid of empty Natty Light cans in front of the star spangled banner, which we’re pretty sure technically counts as defiling the flag. We can understand why people would defend Budweiser, because sometimes nostalgia makes you blind, but if any of you read the sentence “Saying Natural Light tastes like piss is a bit hyperbolic because most people don’t keep themselves that well hydrated” and feel even a little bit like getting defensive, we will actively fight you. Granted, we’d probably lose, because we get the impression that your first move would be to blind us with chewing tobacco spit. But we’d still fight you.
Natty Light went from selling 9 million barrels a year to 6 million, and if that means that we have to wait 10 years for Natural Light to be off the market, well, we will wait patiently and with a smile on our faces.
8: Miller High Life
27.3% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Miller High Life, it would seem, has finally dropped out of the top 10 list of most consumed beers in America, which is just fine by us. Admittedly, most of our staffers would much sooner have this than be stuck with a Bud Light, but those same staffers would probably rather have a vodka enema than either. You might know High Life as “the champagne of beers” by people who have a very loose grasp on what any of those words actually mean. It’s actually the oldest Miller brand out there, with the pilsner first going to market in 1903. You commonly find it served in 7-ounce pony bottles, which is actually really good as a chaser for a bloody Mary, and a bit of kindness on behalf of Miller not forcing you to drink the additional 5 ounces you’d get in a normal bottle.
But we can’t rag too hard on Miller High Life. Their sales are shrinking, and our favorite thing about the beer, the beer-stealing deliveryman in that that “Take Back the High Life” ad campaign, passed away last year. Wow, that got dark really quickly.
29.4% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Poor Tecate. Tecate is one of the more inoffensive cheap beers out there—it costs less than Corona, and tastes better, but it’s struggling while Corona sales are going through the goddamn roof. Tecate might not be all that good, but that’s just not fair. Of the three Mexican beers you are most likely to encounter, Corona is typically followed by Tecate and it’s more successful brewery-mate, Dos Equis, which of course is Spanish for “Oh right, the one with the commercials I like.” Tecate and Dos Equis are both owned by Heineken, the third largest brewery in the world behind SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev (though by the time you read this it’s entirely possible that the merger between those two has officially moved Heineken to the number two slot) so it’s not like Tecate is some underdog getting beaten down by the system.
Tecate is ultimately very inoffensive and cheap, and while we’re not going to beat ourselves up about its drop in popularity, we will say that it’s a damn shame that Corona isn’t in this spot, because Corona is corn-beer garbage that costs three dollars per six pack more than it should and requires you to drown out the flavor with lime in order for it to approach drinkability. We know we’re off topic, it’s just important to us that you know how much Corona is garbage.
6: Old Milwaukee
38.1% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
A browse through beer drinker ratings of Old Milwaukee have such rave reviews as, “More mediocre than terrible, y’know,” and, “Nothing to think about it.” Old Milwaukee is not to be confused with Milwaukee’s Best, which is actually Milwaukee’s Worst, but names are hard. Old Milwaukee is, well, old, and from Milwaukee. It was first brewed in 1890, but was reintroduced in 1955 through the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company, who offered it as a beer for those people who can’t afford PBR (they are called “homeless people and 17-year-olds”). It’s standing on its last legs—after nearly a 40% drop in sales, only 600,000 barrels of it were shipped out in 2014, and we’d just have to assume that the vast majority of those were sent out to liquor stores with broken front doors that exist just a few hundred yards outside the borders of dry counties.
5: Milwaukee’s Best Light
40% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Milwaukee’s Best Light was how the devil responded when asked, “Can someone take a type of beer that tastes like trash water, and remove some of the alcohol from it so you can call it a light beer?” It seems like both The Beast and the Beast Light have had some pretty rough sales the past five years, which we think might indicate that American 20-somethings increasingly have realized that no one wants to play flip cup at their shitty party that has a fridge full of Milwaukee’s Best Light. There are two kinds of beer drinkers in this world—those who stopped drinking Milwaukee’s Best Light when they hit 19, and those who were a bit too excited to find out that To Catch a Predator stopped airing episodes in 2007.
4: Bud Light Lime
43% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
We are so glad that the whole Bud Lime thing turned out to be a relative flash in the pan, because not only is Bud Light Lime one of the worst crimes committed upon beer, but if it had stayed as popular as it was back in 2008 for much longer the market would have been flooded by shitty cheap beers with shitty fruit flavors added to it after the fact. Thanks to a marketing blitz and a possible instance of mass hysteria, Bud Light Lime was fucking everywhere when it was first released. “Finally,” said people whose tastes have matured enough since then to look back and feel ashamed of themselves, “something as shitty as Corona, without me having to take the time to jam a lime into it!”
Bud Light Lime came out right as the craft beer movement started to break out of its niche market shell and transform into a force in the American brewing scene. Budweiser’s executives saw this and thought, “Wow, we’re starting to lose clients to people that want their beer to taste like something. Well…lime is something, right?” Then they took a line of blow and bought Goose Island.
3: Miller Genuine Draft
54.5% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Every time you step into a bar that sells Miller Genuine draft, there is a small part of you that wonders if you accidentally stepped through a wormhole that sent you back in time. Miller Genuine Draft wasn’t even introduced until 1985, but everything about it feels like it came from one of those prison-dimensions from the Superman movies that’s forever set for the mid-70s. It takes the High Life recipe, but the beer is cold filtered instead of pasteurized. You might assume that it is the “non-light” version of Miller Lite, but you’d be wrong. We’re not sure if that last sentence is a compliment or an insult for Miller. Either way, only 1 million barrels of this shipped out in 2014, and MillerCoors has already closed the plant where the first Miller Genuine Draft was brewed, which was either a cost cutting measure or the brewing equivalent of an exorcism.
2: Milwaukee’s Best
55.7% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Milwaukee’s Best was first brewed in 1895 under the name “Gettelman’s Milwaukee’s Best Beer” before being bought out by Miller in 1961 and dropping the family name. You’ll notice that the Gettelmans don’t seem to be complaining about this lack of legacy. If anything we’d guess that they took less money if Miller promised to take their name off it. “Call it whatever you want, we’re just tired of the world conflating the Gettelmans with rancid alcoholic sink sludge.”
Milwaukee’s Best is fading away too, it would seem, shipping only 510,000 barrels of beer in 2014. The 247wallst.com article we’ve lifted this data from emphasizes how this beer, colloquially known as The Beast for non-flattering reasons we suspect you can figure out yourself, suffers from its decision to emphasize its marketing material only towards men. “Explicitly excluding one half of the market,” they say, “may partially explain the beer’s poor sales performance.” And while that is true, we have another guess about that—we’re pretty sure its poor sales performance is tied to the fact that the beer tastes like chugging a Busch Lite after you’ve puked and rallied.
1: Bud Select
60.4% Drop in Sales from 2009-2014
Bud Select is a beer for someone who is on a diet, but who also has friends that hate them and aren’t willing to tell them that Guinness still has less calories. A case of Budweiser Select is the universal answer to the question “How could this party get any worse?” The first person who ever drank a Budweiser Select died less than a month later, not because of anything inside of the beer, but rather because Darwin states that anyone who thinks drinking “Budweiser Select is a good idea” can only have made it 21 years without killing themselves in some idiotic manner out of sheer, unsustainable luck. Bud Select was a waste of an idea by a giant corporation that can still manage to ship out over a million barrels a year before this 60% skid brought it down to 475,000. The only thing worse than Bud Select is Bud Select 55, the “diet” version of this beer that has only 55 calories by having less than half the alcohol, giving it about as much of a chance of giving you a good buzz as making out with your alcoholic stepdad, while being only slightly less traumatizing.
We can only hope that the Bud Select ship will continue to sink, and we beseech you, America, not to get lazy in this endeavor. You must continue to spurn these shitty beers until they go away, or at least until people stop trying to take time out of their day to convince you that Bud Light is “not that bad, really.” We have a lot of work to do, but it’s a start.