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Why it is OK to say "Their Beer Sucks"...

… If that is what you think.

The way I see it, when you bought that beer, you also earned the right to express your honest opinion about it in any way, with any words and through any channels you see fit; whatever that opinion might be.

There are people, though, who disagree, like this bloke here. Fortunately, he isn't nearly as ludicrous as to believe that beer is a privilege and not a birthright, but still.

He gives several reasons why you should never say 'Their Beer Sucks', let's see what they are:

It's biased

I don't quite get where he's going with this. It seems to come from the objectivity delusion most reviewers suffer from. And shouldn't that apply also to "Their Beer is Great", or that opinion is never biased? Whatever. He explains it saying that Even though you may think that a beer isn’t good, there are most likely others out there that do like that particular beer. So? They are free to disagree with my assessment, as free as they are to say that my favourite beer sucks. Believe me, I've no problem with that, my preferences and tastes don't need the approval of anyone.

It's disrespectful and It's hurtful

Both are the same, and refer to the people who worked very hard to make that beer—the poor things! Gimme a bloody break! They are adults working in an industry. Nobody likes seeing their work slagged by someone on the internet, I know, but for better or worse, it's part of the rules of the game. They should either grow a thicker skin or find a job where they will get a medal for participating. (On the other hand, making beer that doesn't suck would be a good way to substantially reduce the risk).

It’s flippant

I partly agree here. If you're saying that a beer sucks, it's proper to say why. But, as someone said in this thread on my FB page, sometimes you can't be arsed with writing an essay. The beer just sucks; if the brewers or their fanboys want to know why, they can always ask.

It’s (potentially) damaging

Not just to the brewery in question, but to the whole craft beer world as a whole. In this day and age of quick tweets, instagrams, snapchats and one-liners... This is just stupid (sorry, mate, nothing personal, we all say stupid things every now and again).

There's no way a “Their Beer Sucks” review or two can have any impact in the industry whatsoever; especially with all the circlejerk around the Craft Beer brand. I don't even think it can affect the fortunes of an individual brewery! I've never heard of a brewery going out of business because a blogger twitted in untappd that their beer sucked.

He then goes on to starting with a good point; it's a pity that he does it in such an obtuse manner, almost. I'm not against anyone taking a sensory analysis course or reading books or guidelines, but I don't think it is something anyone should do to make their opinion more legitimate.

Now, if you want to make your opinion more valid, it's better to be informed before even getting your hands on a beer. If you don't like sour flavours, perhaps you should avoid Lambics; if you can only appreciate complexity and intensity, perhaps you should avoid Desítky. If you do choose to drink those beers, however, don't complain about their intrinsic characteristics, it's your problem, not the beers'. (This assumes that you've been given the tools to make an informed decision, which is often not the case)

Unfortunately, though, there's plenty of crap beer out there—and I'm not speaking about stuff I don't quite enjoy, but stuff that shouldn't have left the brewery, or even been brewed to begin with. It's beer that wastes shelf-space and time; and even the best informed among us will inevitably buy some of it with a disposable income most have worked very hard to earn. There's absolutely nothing wrong with calling those beers out, without pulling any punches. If that hurts the feelings of the hard-working brewers that made them, so be it. I'm not sorry.

Na Zdraví!

PS: The one thing I'm against is getting personal. The slagging should be limited only to the product. Unless you have a good reason to also slag the brewer, that is, like serving you rotten beer at their own brewpub.


  1. Precisely, if brewer servs rootten beer to me, its personal!

  2. a very relevant twatty beer doodle:

    Completely agree that you should always speak as you find otherwise people will get the impression that either
    a) you find every beer equally good, therefore your palate isn't good enough to discern the differences and your reviews aren't worth reading
    b) you're writing a good review because you want to stay in the brewer's good books (for future free beer etc) and your reviews aren't worth reading

  3. Fair points. Also, I'm a lot happier with "this beer sucks" than with something mealy-mouthed and passive-aggressive like "a lost of the beers that I had from certain much lauded craft breweries sucked". At least "this beer sucks" is a concrete statement that you can argue with if you don't like it...

  4. The minute a brewery wants to take my money for their beer they lose the right to be all precious about my opinion. If you don't want negative reviews, stick to homebrewing.

    1. True. The fact is (at least in the state where I live) _most_ of the small brewers should have kept in in their basements and not gone commercial.

  5. Talking beer is like talking sports--anything goes. Both topics are fun and preferences are subjective. Beer does not require overly academic, wine-snobbish analysis to be enjoyed. Be that kind of drinker if you want to be, but most of us know what we like by what our own taste buds tell us, not by what someone else's equally subjective opinion is.


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