Koch’s Golden Anniversary: The Worst Beer in America?

Koch’s Golden Anniversary is proof that being a Gold Medal-winning beer really doesn’t mean jack shit. “Golden Annie” won a coveted gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 1987, but it has a current rating of D+ on Beer Advocate.

Tory hasn’t tried this beer before, and I have to admit that I’ve only had it once at a party when I was in college. But believe me, once was enough. It was, without a doubt, the worst beer I have ever tasted. It’s been several years since I tried it, but here’s what I remember:

1. The stench. As soon as you cracked a can, a funky skunky stench permeated the air. It was bitter, metallic, robust, musky.

2. The can.

I mean, seriously. Look at that thing. Nothing about that is promising.

3. The taste. If possible, it tasted worse than it smelled. It was musty, musky, murky. Not unlike swamp water. Bitter, pungent, and heavy. I was a prodigious beer drinker in college, and I could down cheap beers like Milwaukee’s Best and Keystone Ice without making a face. But Koch’s Golden Anniversary defeated me. I believe that out of all the beers I have ever opened, Golden Annie was the only beer I couldn’t bring myself to finish.

To date, no beer I’ve ever consumed has been half as bad as Koch’s Golden Anniversary.

What about you guys? Have your ever had the misfortune of tasting Golden Annie? And if not, what was the worst beer you ever tried?

12 responses to “Koch’s Golden Anniversary: The Worst Beer in America?

  1. In Iceland most of the beers, with the exception of Viking brand, were terrible. While I know I’ve had worse, Egil’s Sterkur, or Strong in english, tasted distinctly like how a wet dog or cat smells.


  2. What, precisely, is this the ‘golden anniversary’ in celebration of? Does this beer commemorate the year that Old Man Koch gave up all his dreams and, resigned to his lot in life, produced this? Or is it the anniversary of Old Man Koch’s marriage to Mrs. Koch (known among the Koch Brewery workers affectionately as ‘Old Lard Ass’)? I demand answers, T&T. And I’d also like to know where you bought this; not so I can drink it, but so I can avoid that establishment forever.

  3. I theorize that these terrible, no-name beers are made by large, well-known breweries. When a large batch gets skunked before they bottle it, off the “Golden Anniversary” bin it goes.

    I stick to regional craft brews whenever possible, and when it’s not possible, I’ve always been able to go with a large brewery that’s swallowable, if nothing else.

    Miller Lite is the only beer I’ve failed to finish due to taste. It was on dollar draught while bar-hopping in boston and someone else bought it for me.

  4. I hate to tell you this, Larry-Barry, but I’m reasonably certain Koch’s Golden Annie was bought from our beloved Smiley’s back in my college days. Not sure what Golden Annie celebrates, if memory serves it is a long since past 50th anniversary of their existence.

  5. I found it! It’s Pabst’s National Bohemian Beer. I had it in MD before I chose to drink Zhenka straight.

  6. This sounds like the article of some pussy who got made fun of in college because he couldn’t drink a beer

  7. Worse than Bohemian, is Boh Ice. So bad, they even omitted the “emian” from the label.

    It’s punishment in a can.

  8. christopher page

    We discovered golden anniversary in plattsburgh ny in1990. You walk into a deli with $7.60 and you walked out with a cold case of g a’s! They h ad cases stacked to the ceiling. I would love to find some today!

  9. Well officially, it was bottled by the Gennesse Brewing Co in Rochester NY for Koch’s. In about April of this year, Gennesse dicontinued it. According to a spokeman for the brewery here’s the skinny:

    I said:
    What has happened to Golden Anniversary beer? I used to be able to get 40’s at the corner store and now they say they don’t carry it anymore. I checked with beers of the world and another beer distribution center and they told be it has been discontinued for roughly four months. is there any way to still get some? i know it was horrible, but i need to have one more for old times sake… please help! thanks!

    They said in Reply:
    Thank you for your e-mail and support! Unfortunately Koch’s Golden Anniversary Beer has been discontinued and is no longer available for sale. The closest product we have to Golden Anniversary is Genesee Beer. I’m sorry I can be of more help.

    Guess it’s over, Rocky!

  10. We used to get quarter pints of Golden Annie in Clarion PA when I was in grad school. I think it was Thursdays, but that part of my brain was mysteriously damaged that summer….nasty, but you can’t beat the price for forgetting you’re in Clarion.

  11. It was a family staple in the early 90’s at $5 something a case. No one drank it for the taste. It was purely a beer for working in the yard or not wanting to spend to much on getting drunk in college.

  12. Back in the day, I would witness my parents (who loved Golden Annie) pour half a glass of tomato juice over California “Pickled hot mix” (cauliflower, carrots and celery (I think)) and add half a can of Golden Annie, making sort of a “mock” bloody mary. They ate/drank that crap like it was going out of style. On rare occasion I would witness my mother drink half the can then add her tomato juice right to the can and add a few shakes of salt. I would love to get my hands on some for old times sake and try it out. Who knows, maybe the taste for awful beer is genetic?! Any one out there ever mix beer and tomato juice?

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