RateBeer Forums

Top rated breweries that can't brew a basic beer to style

We were talking about this the other day in person. There’s a lot breweries out there these days that get lots of high rated beers in pastry stout/fruit sour categories but when it comes down to brewing, say, a regular porter without extra flavours, they can’t do it very well. J Wakefield is one of those, in my experience.

On the other hand, the Bruery, who usually makes their money on massive ass stouts with 400 ingredients, actually does pretty well when they go back to basics in my experience. So much that I wished they would stick to that more often.


Basic b**** be basic. I can’t instagram that.


A UK equivalent might be Wander Beyond. They started out doing crazy pastry stouts (many of which were actually amazing) and insane high abv milkshake IPAs and fruited sours. The few “normal” pales and IPAs they did amongst these were average at best and a couple were downright poor.
They don’t get anywhere near as much hype these days, and even their pastry stuff doesn’t seem to be as highly rated as it used to be. Haven’t bought any of their beers in over a year.

1 Like

Some of these offenders don’t even try to do regular beers. Sometimes makes you suspicious

I have the opposite problem, so many breweries in Ontario doing garbage pastry stouts, adding vanilla and lactose to their otherwise good sours, etc. Meanwhile their straight up IPAs and other stuff are actually good.

1 Like

Ahh, the good old days. Sounds like the place I need to be when the borders open and I don’t have to spend 2 weeks in my parents basement to go home to Canada. That way I can just ignore the junk and drink good basic beers. Feeling like a curmudgeon these days

Evil Twin NYC is an offender when it comes to sugar infused crap beer, but they also pull off German lagers well…

I feel the worst offenders in this category are the likes of 450 North, 903, and, dare I say, Burley Oak.

1 Like

I’m going for Omnipollo, I love their mental stuff, but I’ve not really been impressed by their IPAs and pales.


A lot of craft brewers nowadays trying to brew lagers… and failing. For example I know UK crowd likes to keep the hype alive, but Cloudwater lagers have been between ok to literally undrinkable.
Also surprisingly some juice companies can’t do a proper west coast style ipa. A couple of years ago they seemed to be everywhere, nowadays it is 100% roulette, whether you get some hazy shit without proper bitterness that calls itself “modern west coast ipa” or the real thing.


Other Half is an offender in the bad west coast IPA category. Mash Tun Time Machine was a joke. It is funny because in 2014 they made solid older school IPAs. That said their lagers are solid. Monkish on the other hand is still able to pull off a solid west coast IPA.

As could be predicted, Aslin is pretty horrible at make a bitter West Coast IPA as well. Commonwealth is kind of hit or miss with west coasters. I’ve seen them do it well, and also fail. But at least they do a lot of decent basic lagers and lighter belgian blondes and such, though you mostly only see them at the brewery.

And definitely Burley Oak @mansquito – agree on that one. Their basic beers are barely drinkable but they somehow pull of really nice fruit bomb sours.

First they came after West Coast IPA, and now they are coming after Black IPA! Many people seem to love this: https://www.ratebeer.com/beer/kees-black-ipa/894459/ but it tastes like fuking NEIPA with tiny portion of roasted malts.
I know Kees (at least Kees Bubberman, not sure how much he brews nowadays) can brew a good (base)beer, and good IPA. When Bubberman started with Kees it was one of my favorite breweries (also liked his Emelisse sutff).

1 Like

Almost everything in my mega flight at Russian River that wasn’t an IPA or sour was pretty bad.

A home brewer once told me why many pale lagers, and by extension other simple recipe beers, were so bad. There is no room for error. You are making a pilsner. You need malted barley, lager yeast, Saaz (for Czech) or Hallertauer or Tettnanger hops for German, water and nothing else. No room to hop it up, add chocolate, oats, maple syrup or fruit juice.

Tell that to my local brewer where I was sipping a cilantro lime pilsner the other day.

Add To RateBeer

Add A Beer
Add A Brewer
Add A Place
Add An Event

Manage Your Account

Add Premium
Edit Profile
Sign out

RateBeer Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter, RateBeer Weekly, a must for understanding new people, places and beers in worldwide craft culture.

Stay Connected

2000- 2017 © RateBeer, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service