KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A beer reviewer for The Concourse (a section on Deadspin.com that focuses on food, drink, and culture) believes that one of West Michigan’s most well-known beers is best described as “America’s Most Overrated Beer.”
In his post on Tuesday, writer Will Gordon praises Bell’s for its outstanding Two Hearted, an American IPA that consistently receives high ranks among craft beer enthusiasts. But when he transitions to focus on Oberon, his praise shifts to confusion and condemnation.
“I fully respect the way nostalgia and ritual can enhance a drinking experience,” writes Gordon, “but I still think it’s bonkers for people to get so damn worked up over the annual release of Oberon. Many places in Michigan and surrounding states go so far as to declare an Oberon Day, which this year fell on March 23. A holiday for a seasonal wheat beer is a hell of a thing. It’s a shame the people who invent such things wasted the idea on Oberon.”
Gordon then describes the alcohol content, flavoring, and mouth-feel of Oberon. Afterwards, he admits that using the word ‘overrated’ was more to grab attention, but his shock over Oberon’s high accolade remains.
“If Oberon weren’t such a cult favorite, it wouldn’t be worth reviewing, because it’s not good enough to bother seeking out, but it’s also not so bad that it needs to be strictly avoided. It’s … just some beer,” Gordon writes. After discussing the high praise on many beer rating websites, he continues, “I’m not trying to steal anyone’s happy memories here, but Bell’s Oberon is simply not a special beer in any qualitative sense.”