Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Do you hate-drink beers?

Definition of hate-drinking


the activity of drinking a beer which you consider bad

"Hate-Drinking” is NOT the same as a guilty pleasure. You wouldn’t pick up a beer every week to hate-drink a really “bad” beer — that’s a guilty pleasure. Generally speaking, hate-drinking requires a beer with high ambitions and features a certain amount of aesthetic perfection ... yet fails consistently and badly enough to make it compelling.

-MacMillan Dictionary (adapted for beer)


What beers do we hate-drink and for what reason?

"I like the taste of Heineken, it tastes like... Heineken." -Unenlightened friend

In response to which one has no choice but to put the green tempered bottle to their lips and drink the beer that is known to taste like crap, err rather as defined by the above quote, Heineken. We do it so we can reconfirm that it is unacceptable. Like the tupperware container from that back of the fridge your roommate has shoved under your nose insisting, "smell it! It smells so fucking bad!" And inevitably, we smell it. It smells bad. And we'll do it again, my friends, no denying it- humans repeatedly smell, taste and generally love to sense things that make us cringe.

[caption id="attachment_1401" align="alignright" width="300"]14578-clockwork-l Do we hate-drink IPAs for their palate numbing effects?[/caption]

One might argue that extreme beers above 120 IBUs (impossible to sense, but possible to make) or with irrationally high alcohol content are consumed for the torture of the act. So perverse and obscene yet trending so hard that there is no chance of looking away.

Contrary-wise it helps if the hate-drink in question goes down quickly and the price is low: a typical beer like Corona is always purchased in large packages and is never without it's required additive, lime. Corona is hate-drank with such dedication that people have found a way to cope with the fact that their senses tell them it is skunked. Kinda like switching between The History Channel and True-Blood, you can mix it all you want but you are still watching a comedically lame vampire show.

[caption id="attachment_1412" align="alignleft" width="259"]The desired outcome of drinking Duff The desired outcome of drinking Duff[/caption]

Another phenomena of hate-drinking is more a feature of the human ability to non-taste for the sake of one's image. Duff beer (fictional Simpson beer brought to life) is often sold/purchased in France as a novelty item to impress tourists and locals (French) alike. Gauging from the TV show, Duff has no taste what-so-ever and is more than likely to lower your IQ and cause irreversible family trauma, yet here sells for a lofty price. Without fail, people drink Duff, then hop on twitter to tell all their friends how bad it is (just like any other macro lager). Then they order another one.

While we are hyphening things let's touch a bit on the a hate-drinking cousin: 'binge-drinking'. Binge drinking is the act of bathing one's insides with as much tasteless, ice-cold beer as possible. Homer Simpson is an icon of the binge drinking sport. But, with all due respect, ancient egyptians likely drank more beer then we did, so binge-drinking might be more natural to us then monogamy.

Moving right along.

My biggest run in with a hate-drink: Rogue's VooDoo Maple Bacon Ale (tasting review here). I hated it so much, I had to buy another bottle to share with my friends the epic face plant failure of Rogue. I'd hate taste it again if I came across it. Just to really, REALLY make sure it's still so fantastically bad. (Which, I'm sure it is).

What beers do you find yourself hate-drinking? Again and again, you sip, sample and possibly even order these beers for the sheer enjoyment of telling yourself (and those around you) that you hate it. Perhaps there is a once loved brew that (with your new found beer culture conscious) has developed into a parody of 'craft' beer. Or an aesthetically tasteful beer that has all things going for it in principle but doesn't live up to it's snazzy label design and marketing? Or maybe you just love to hate anything outside the BJCP style guidelines, I don't judge. Tell, tell! (but remember hate-drinking is NOT guilty pleasure, see above definition)




  1. I can agree with you about the Bacon Maple donut beer. I bought a bottle of it and was really excited to try it. Got halfway through the glass before pouring it - and the rest of the bottle - down the sink.

  2. Depressing, eh. Such a disappointment that the bottle is the best part of the beer.

  3. Is there a difference between drinking something on a dare and hate-drinking? For instance, someone brought VooDoo Maple Bacon to a tasting once and said something like "Everyone says this is horrible, we should try it!" and we all agreed that it was bad (well, actually, I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't want to drink an entire bottle or even half). But! It's not like any of us went back out and bought more of it, just so we could hate-drink it. Does that really count? Other examples: Ed's Cave Creek Chili beer (perhaps the worst beer I've ever sampled) and a 5 year old can of San Miguel Pilsner (there's a reason people don't age pilsners)...

    In contrast, I line up every week to hate watch The Newsroom. It's fun! And the difference between hate watching something and hate drinking something is that hate drinking produces actual physical distress... I'll try any beer once, but can't really see hate-drinking being as fun as hate-watching (not that I do that much either)...

  4. This reminds me of a brewery that my boyfriend has to try their beer at every event, even though he has never had a good experience with it! Each time I ask, "why???" He is eternally optimistic thinking one day, it will taste good to him.
    : )

  5. I'd like to take a homebrewers perspective on this. Or actually two.

    I hate-drink light american lagers. The drinkability is insane and I know how difficult it is, at least for a smaller brewery, to brew these without getting a lot of off flavors. Not that I buy them but I do admire the them.
    Or more I hate-brew them just cause they're hard to brew, but I have brewed them and have ended up loving what I've brewed even though they're just that, a low-flavor-low-aroma-beer with great drinkability.

    I'll be sharing this post for further discussion amongst Swedish beer geeks and brewers!

  6. Sharing is always welcome- even when it is low flavor, low aroma hate-drank lager beers. Cheers!

  7. Optimism! The hate-drinker's right hand demon. ^.^ But EBGirl doesn't get held down by happy thoughts like EBGuy?

  8. Good question! In my opinion, hate-drinking is more like a continued self dare. It is fun to hate-watch because you know that it will make you crinkle your nose and give you something to bitch about- same deal with beer.
    "This canned Guinness is effing horrible!... good thing I only paid a dollar fifty, eh."
    I don't think you would pay much to watch Newsroom, but the sour taste it leaves in your mouth is enough to keep you coming back for more punishment, given the availability.

    Hate-drink, love-drink, we all drink to drank beer!