lab strains indeed make bad beer, and in some cases this is even known
to be due to a particular gene (in addition to genetically ill-defined
traits like poor growth, lousy sedimentation and high ethanol sensitivity).
Namely, a phenol-carboxylic acid decarboxylase encoded by POF1 causes
various innocent compounds in the wort turning into nasty things like
e.g. vinylguajacol. The result is what people euphemistically call
"phenolic off-flavor" (hence POF), less euphemistically a rather
disgusting smell reminiscent of rotting fruit.
I don't have a reference but try to run a search for papers by S.(?) Tubb.
Fatima (a former biotechnologist)