Industry Pros On The Most Overrated And Underrated Beer Styles

, Industry Pros On The Most Overrated And Underrated Beer Styles

The craft beer industry doesn’t want for opinions, it’s a passionate community and everybody’s got a take. So we recently asked our friends in the biz to weigh in on what they thought were today’s most OVERRATED and UNDERRATED beer styles.  And here is just some of what the beer professionals we asked, thought.

Patrick Rue – CEO & Founder, The Bruery (Placentia, CA)

Overrated: Hazy, “juicy” IPA’s – “I won’t dispute that they aren’t delicious, but why are we treating this like a monumental shift in beer?  This is a slight twist to the already well established American IPA category.  Maybe I’m getting too old…”

 Underrated: Pilsner – “This style is picking up a lot of steam and I don’t think it’ll be underrated for long.  Pilsners can be very complex, and yet be very simple and approachable at the same time.  I somewhat doubt there will ever be a “cult” pilsner that beer enthusiasts will wait in 5 hour long lines to obtain, but I do think the future looks very good for this style.”


Diego Rodriguez – Brewer, Cervecería Barbarian (Lima, Peru)

Overrated: IPAs in general

Underrated: German Sour Beers


Jeff Hancock – President / Co-Owner / Head Brewer, DC Brau (Washington, DC)

Overrated: Berliner Weisse – “I love a well-made Berliner Weisse but this recent flood of brewers making them all at once needs to mellow out. It’s great that the craft beer drinkers pallet is more open to sour offerings but you can only drink so many of them without having serious bubble guts.

Underrated: “British Bitter(s), whether it be an ordinary bitter, special bitter or extra special bitter. These beers seem to have been forgotten about in the current craft beer climate but they exemplify what a balanced, true session-strength beer should be. Most are very complex, implementing tried and true English brewing methods and techniques that highlight sturdy English malts with delicate English hops to create highly underrated quaffable beers.”


Cyrena Nouzille – Proprietor & General Manager, Ladyface Ale Companie (Agora Hills, CA)

Overrated: “Personally, I’m not an IPA-with-added-fruit person.”

Underrated: “The Belgian Blonde ale is so simple, approachable and universally appealing for casual consumption as well as easily-paired with a variety of dishes. Not too hoppy, not too sweet, just right for Goldilocks and the three bears.”  


Sassan Mossanen – Founder, Denali Brewing (Talkeetna, AK)

Overrated: IPA – “Too many breweries plowing through poorly balanced beers with an over use of hops.  At times covering up process flaws with hop abuse”  :-0

Underrated: Berliner Weisse- “Living out in the country it is sometimes nice to have a beer that takes me back to the cobble stones and beer halls of the old world.”


Adam Frantz – Head Brewer, American Brewing  (Edmonds, WA)

Overrated: Fruit IPAs -“These beers are the latest gimmick. You take the same IPA, add a different extract to it every time, and there you go, watermelon peach IPA. I think people like the idea of their favorite fruits being expressed in their favorite beer styles, but often, in my opinion, these beers taste syrupy and are underwhelming.”

 Underrated: Pilsners – “Specifically craft pilsners. These beers are often passed up by the typical craft consumer that is looking for more flare in their beer, but craft pilsners are arguably one of the hardest styles to pull off by the brewer and can be as hoppy and flavorful as some IPA’s. Whenever I go to a brewery and they have a pilsner available, I order at least a sample. You can tell a lot about the experience of the brewer, their attention to detail, and their technical aptitude just with that first sip.”


Jeff Gill – Founder and CEO Tallgrass Brewing (Manhattan, KS)

Overrated: Session IPA – “A few nice beers are out there in this style, but many wind up being bitter, watery brews reminiscent of experimental variations on Metamucil.”

Underrated: “Dortmunder baby. Believe! So delicious.” 


Shaun Salyards – Lead Development, Fort Collins Brewery (Ft Collins, CO)

Overrated: Fruit Beer- “I know people are thinking IPA, but I don’t agree.  I believe it’s the fruit beer. While I very much enjoy a well-crafted fruit beer, so much of what is currently trendy is so overwhelmed with fruit that there isn’t any complexity left in the beer itself. What happened to balance? What happened to contrast? Count me as uninterested in this trend.” 

Underrated: Hefeweizen – “It’s so often dismissed now as ‘beginner’s beer’ or ‘easy drinking.’ While both statements are true, hefe’s don’t deserve to be dismissed- the complex yeast character really is something that is hard to control as a brewer, and it’s even more difficult to do well. A well-put together Hefeweizen really is art.”


Ali Aasum – Communications Coordinator. Ninkasi Brewing (Eugene, OR)

Overrated: Pumpkin beers – “My beer preferences are easily swayed by the time of year, but when beers become more about the spice than the balance or basic ingredients, I default back to an IPA. That being said, there are many beers out there that use real pumpkin and omit the spice that are quite nice. Ideally, a successful beer in this style is not too sweet, subtle hint of spice (if used) and slightly warming—not a spice bomb. I love to see breweries who get creative during this time of year without throwing in all the spices and calling it day.”

Underrated: Sours – I’ll admit, this is probably on the list of many for overrated, but when a sour does it right, man does it get it right. The main thing about this style is education. There are so many variants within this style that can turn on or severely turn off a palate. I’ve converted many of my self-described wine-o friends to beer purely by introducing them to a sour that marries tart fruit and the bubbly nature of the style.”

About is the nations' leading source for the Best Craft Beer News, Reviews, Events and Media.
Scroll To Top