The Worst Beer in the History of the World

Please tell me I am not the only one who did this in her younger days.

That is: you cut off the edge of a big watermelon and scooped out the innards, leaving a melon cauldron of sorts, and dumped in a bottle of cheap vodka. You added some Sprite, pilfered from the dining hall. You allowed it to marinate for a couple of days. Then, you poured a nice big glass over ice, expecting it to taste like a Jolly Rancher. Instead, you discovered that watermelon-plus-booze is a foul combination. (But you and your friends probably consumed it anyway because, hey – you weren’t going to let a $15 bottle of Monarch go to waste.)

No? Just me?

You could be forgiven for repressing such a memory, as I apparently did when I picked up a six pack of watermelon-flavored beer a couple of weeks ago.

WATERMELON-FLAVORED BEER. I know. A lapse in judgment on my part.

I never would have given 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon a second look if I didn’t have quite a bit of respect for the brewery. Their standard IPA is solid and their Back in Black Ale is excellent. I figured that they wouldn’t bother releasing something undrinkable. I figured wrong.

It is, in fact, the Worst Beer in the History of the World.


Strike One: The first time I cracked open a can of Hell or High Watermelon, it was a sunny Friday afternoon and I was refinishing some furniture.

(Side note: I refinish furniture now. It’s, like, a thing. I enjoy it immensely even though it’s probably the worst use, ever, of my time. It took me three weeks to spruce up a pair of nightstands that I probably could have purchased new for under a hundred bucks.)

Anyway. I had been working on my project for a couple of hours and was parched, so I took a big swig of this beer, right out of the can.

I was not expecting it to taste like rotten ass, and hence, I nearly spit it out – which totally would have ruined my primer job and made me hate this beer even more. But I choked it down. Barely.

Unable to find words for what I’d just experienced, I tossed the rest of the can and resolved to try the beer again later. Maybe the paint fumes were messing with my head.

Strike Two: The second time I cracked open a can of Hell or High Watermelon, I enlisted help.

Some friends were over and we were having drinks on our roof deck. I stated my hypothesis – that I’d discovered the Worst Beer in the History of the World – and begged them to try it and tell me whether or not I was crazy. I brought up a can and passed it around.

Paying more attention this time, I was able to better grasp the specific qualities that made me want to retch. Hell or High Watermelon starts out fine: you take a drink, and it tastes like a normal light beer, crisp and bubbly and a little bready. But then it hits you: this very faint fake watermelon flavor that tastes like…perfume. Fake watery watermelon perfume. Perfume that would be marketed to tweens in a bright pink plastic bottle. And sold at Sears.

The consensus around the table seemed to be more “meh” than “oh my god you have indeed found the Worst Beer in the History of the World, someone should probably pay you a bunch of money for this making groundbreaking discovery.

But no one thought it was actually good. Or if they did, they were too polite to interrupt my impassioned anti-watermelon rant to say so.

And I’ll admit this: the can was polished off, by someone, at some point that evening. Hmm. So I guess the jury’s out on whether I’m crazy.

Strike Three: The third time I cracked open a can of Hell or High Watermelon, I did it to be absolutely sure.

Calling something the Worst Beer in the History of the World is an act that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so I gave it one last chance. Today, actually, over lunch. I poured it in to a proper pint glass and sipped it like it was an aged barleywine, pausing between tastes to stick my nose in the glass, trying to pick up a scent that might somehow enhance the beer’s flavor.

Um…nope. Still tasted like watery fake-watermelon perfume. Still disgusting.

Three strikes. You’re out, Hell or High Watermelon.

Bottom line: Hell to the no. What were you thinking, 21st Amendment? (Purchased at Greene’s Beverage, $10/6)

Lesson learned. Watermelon and booze don’t mix.

Or I guess I should say: learned again. Because apparently I have the World Memory in the History of the World.

Anyway. I’ve got three cans left if anyone wants them. I won’t be drinking this again come hell or high…something.

31 responses to “The Worst Beer in the History of the World

  1. Sounds disgusting.

    That said, I picked up a couple of singles of Shiner’s Ruby Redbird grapefruit summer ale…. First bottle I tried, it was barely cold and I was not impressed. I didn’t finish it.

    But the second one? It had been properly chilled, I’d just finished cutting some grass and I swear there’s never been anything more refreshing poured down my throat. I literally chugged the rest of that single beer like it was water, grabbed my keys and went straight to Green’s to pick up a six-pack. Which was gone by the next day. LOVE. Another sixer will be my first post-work purchase tomorrow.

  2. You know what, I have had this one and did not hate it. But I would only drink one, and it was on draught, which I guess made a difference. I typically do not like beer from cans, even good beer from cans.

  3. It is my favorite beer. Ever :(

  4. I live in SF (where their brewery is), this beer is SO much better on tap and straight from the source. Come to my city and give it yet another chance :) plus, it’s a cool brew-pub

    • If I came to SF, I have to say there would be a million other amazing beers on my list ahead of this one, but I’d give it another shot, I guess.

  5. I love fruity stuff, and I specifically love watermelon, and I obviously love beer and San Francisco, so this should have been perfect for me. And to be honest, the first time I had it, it was at a street fair, and it was a beer and cold and that was kind of all I needed. But then I started trying to figure out where the watermelon flavor was, and I couldn’t find it. So then I was just drinking a light beer, for some reason. I think we bought a 6-pack of it, never finished it, and then maybe took the leftovers as our beverage contribution to a party. (sorry, friends!)

  6. Ew. I’ll take your word on Worst Beer in the world.

    In unrelated news, I still have that picture of us at Gansett. You can grab it on FB, or drop me a line at if you want the actual file. 2 months ago today!!

  7. Ick. I hate watermelon flavored stuff and all I can think about right now are watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

    The worst beer I’ve ever had (which is relative, I mean if we are talking cheap college beer, that’s another category) was Trader Joe’s Bavarian. Back when the Wii came out, we made up a drinking game to the bowling game. Open frame had to drink 1/2 a beer, loser of the whole game had to drink a TJ’s Bavarian.

    (oh and hai! I’ve been reading just haven’t been commenting on my phone in the middle of the night :) )

  8. oh yeah, me and my roomie made fruit soaked vodka, we called it spodie?! and yeah, it was totally nasty.

  9. I had the same reaction! I really wanted to try this beer because it always sells out at the Oregon Brewer’s Festival. I picked some up at Whole Foods… and then died inside. No bueno.

  10. I seem to have this problem with EVERY non-citrus-fruit-inspired beer I’ve ever tasted — the fruitiness charges through tasting like fake-nasty ass. Friends will go crazy over raspberry this or strawberry that and I always figure it is just me being dumb at alcohol or having poor taste. Either way, I go out of my way to avoid those beers now. I’ll put this one on my No Drink list too.

    • Huh, not sure that first sentence makes any kind of sense due to my dash abuse. I meant, citrus-inspired beers = okay or good, but other fruits = NO.

  11. I have to say that I bought this for Memorial Day and I really enjoyed it. I love wheat beer and I thought the watermelon was discreet. My husband, on the other hand, thinks it is awful.

  12. I think watermelon flavored anything is vomtastic to begin with, so this just sounds like hell.

  13. Haha. I like Hell or High Watermelon. It’s a little bit of an acquired taste, and isn’t for everyone, obviously. This is about as good as it gets for Watermelon Ales. I’ve had some bad ones that I’d hate for you to try. One that tastes like of mix of watermelon moonshine and schlitz. Anyways, different strokes for different folks. Their IPA is great!

    • Maybe I should have called this post The Most Polarizing Beer in the History of the World. It seems people love it or hate it!

  14. Yes! I’ve been waiting for this post! And your first Hell To The No rating! Agreed it was not worth drinking, though I have a vague sense that I’ve consumed worse beers. Fruit beers, apart from the traditional Lambics (where you know what you’re getting into), really don’t do it for me. I think they’re beer for people (ahem, college girls) who don’t like beer.

  15. I saw the title and my immediate response was going to be “All the beer in Texas?” 😉

    I’m a beer snob from Oregon so I’m looking or hoppy IPAs and not really the stuff that tastes like water (or watermelon)!


  16. I never poured vodka INto a watermelon, but I have eaten watermelon slices that were soaked in vodka and they were delicious! Any kind of fake flavoring sounds like a turn off- what’s the point?

  17. I was just at Tasty Beverage in Raleigh and the people in front of me were buying the watermelon beer! She was all “Have you tried this?! It is so good!” I just said “No… I’ve heard so much about it lately….” Ha, ew.

  18. Worse: trashcan punch. You dump Everclear into an actual trash can and then drop in big chunks of fruit. Lather, rinse, black out.

    This reminds me of the legendary Four Loko post from DBR:

    Also, may I ask just how the hell you already have friends in Hotlanta? It took me months to trick people into coming over to my house when I moved here, and those first people I didn’t even like. Am I just an introverted asshole or what?

    • I wish I could say I was some sort of friend-making savant…but alas, the friends referenced in this post are pre-existing friends from college who happen to live here as well.

      So yeah, you’re probably an introverted asshole and so am I. :)

  19. Perfume? Ewwww. And to think, I almost purchased it for a cookout. I’ll try and learn from your mistake instead. Thanks for the review.

  20. Ha! My husband just sat down and passed me his beer to taste. I looked at it and thought, wow, where have I heard of this beer before?? Well yes, it was your Hell or High Watermelon… at which point my husband looked at me like I was crazy for knowing a beer from a blog I read.
    I have to say, I didn’t hate it. There is a weird aftertaste, but I wouldn’t call it perfume. I could drink one, but probably not two.

  21. Hahaha I just read one of those big bloggers site (hint its not broccoli and brownies but its…) and she is raving about this beer- so funny!

  22. Well, just had a taste of this raunch in a flight last night. Horrible. It tasted like someone farted in the glass. The only other beer that was as bad in my opinion was something called Tiger Ale from Singapore – and that had formaldehyde in it.

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