Have a look at this review over at Ding's:
Almost immediately it feels as though one is drinking a sickly sweet, sugar solution that has been infused with honey and molasses. There are very brief glimpses of a little liquor/barrel notes and even a hint of acid funk, but within fractions of a second these are completely overwhelmed with sugar. It seems like underneath this glucose, fructose, sucrose attack, there may be some bitter licorice, but again the sugar is so violent it abuses any subtlety. The alcohol is actually conspicuous by its absence. Under different circumstances one might say ‘well hidden’, but actually in this case it’s a question of eating 10 lbs of pure sugar masking almost any other possible taste sensation. There really is absolutely NOTHING else here apart from a devastating sugar presence – literally nothing.
While I appreciate the point that Zak is making about the personal nature of favorite beers, I am coming to think that the reluctance of beer fans to criticize poor craft beers¹ is leading to a general perception that the identification and discussion of poorly thought out beers by reputable craft brewers is also a matter of personal opinion. It's not. We've all had them. Overly boozy ales. Beers made to highlight a certain odd barreling technique. Imperial pilsners. Beers that probably should not have seen the light of day or at least not a retail shelf. Don't get me wrong. I have no problem with experimentation. I just don't care to pay for the experiments of others. What is worse is when the experiment is an obvious failure but it is released - presumably to recoup expenses given the hit to its reputation the brewery can only know it would take if drinkers actually reported on the experience. I think Ding's review fairly raises suspicions in that direction.
Have craft breweries gone out of business due to their repeated failings as brewers of good beer? Probably - but maybe not enough of them. Not being mean. I have one in particular in mind which goes nameless as I prefer not to taint my blog with their name. Short of that, there have not to my mind been enough fairly minded calling out of a poorly made beer with the facts to back it up. Too often, criticisms are layered with attacks on the PR slant of the marketing, assumptions about intentions or frustrations with measuring stick debates about style. A proper review of a really poorly made beer is not about that. It's just about how poor the beer actually is.
¹aka bad good beer... as opposed to good bad beer.