Friday, February 20, 2009

Shitty beer is shitty

Had another lake-effect blizzard last night and a water main break. Made me think about shitty beer. Not sure why, but there you go.

The Goat is holding a draft Pabst in this picture. I have a lot of respect for that.

I like bars that have Stroh's on tap. I was in one once and they had the Stroh's and they had deep fried dill pickles. The pickles were shitty, but I ate them anyway.

In college, we used to buy Old Dutch beer for $4 a case. You had to return the bottles. Schlitz is shitty beer.

Today, I'm taking all the leftovers in the fridge and putting them in one bowl and that'll be my lunch.

My dad used to drink Carling's Black Label. "Mabel? Black Label!" was the tag phrase in the commercial. Mabel was a cute barmaid chick who brought around trays of Black Label.

When I was in Jamaica, you could get Red Stripe beer for 15 cents a bottle in local joints. The same beer was $4 a bottle in the tourist resorts.

Getting your hands on a case of Coors used to be a BIG deal in places like Cleveland.

Natural Light, Milwaukee's Best, Old Milwaukee, Blatz, Hamm's, Genny Cream Ale. I know my shitty beer.

Guys who fix water mains during blizzards can drink any damn beer they want. You can only hope these guys get a lot of head, but that's just me.

Michelob used to be special occasion beer. Heineken was even better. Top shelf? Well ... Tonight, let it be Lowenbrau. Do they even brew that stuff anymore?

Erin go write book now.


jonas said...

1) Genny Cream Ale For a shitty beer. Funny thing, down here in VA, the grocery sells it in the "micro brew' section. No joke.

2) Yes, Lowenbrau is still around.

3) Back in the day, I made the (un)fortunate discovery of $8 cases of Milwaukee's Best Ice. I think I've outgrown that taste. I think.

4) I used to think PBR was the worst beer I'd ever had, until I tried Black Label.

5) 30pks of Genny Screamers can still be had for ~$15.

hoosierboy said...

I used to drink a lot of Black Label, it was my Gramps favorite. Dad drank Blatz when I was little, probably because it was cheap.

I have had my share of Little Kings and Kroger Cost Cutter beer (which was Falstaff -- a true shitty beer), Buckhorn and Hamms. Weidemans was the worst swill.

Funny, some of the worst beers come from Ohio -- Falstaff, Weidemans, Little Kings...

Mostly as a youngster I drank Strohs. Lots and Lots of Strohs.I do not think it tastes the same in teh blue can -- I liked the brown one.

Dad started buying PBR when my brother and I began drinking up his beer in a vain attempt to discourage us from emptying the garage fridge. I liked it. Honestly PBR on tap is good.

Now you have me in the mood for a beer.

hoosierboy said...

The Ohio thing was not a dig, just a comment.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hudepohl was an Ohio beer as well.

Remember the white Stroh's can? It was in between the Blue and the gold one. I miss the cursive lettering too. The blue Stroh's can is shitty.

Erin O'Brien said...

Actually, the blue Stoh's can is shitty and lame.

B.E. Earl said...

I like all kinds of beer, they all have a place and a time where they taste great. Well, most of them. PBR is still a favorite of mine.

Our great find in college was cases of Piels longnecks for $4.99 at the local grocery. Makes me a bit ill just thinking about how much of that crap we drank.

Anonymous said...

we can joke about politics but now your into some serious shit. I have tasted all those you have mentioned and I am now a Sam Adams beer drinker. Three years stationed in Germany spoiled me.

James Old Guy

The Fool said...

Now, mixing all the leftover shitty beer for breakfast truly is "Breakfast of Champions." ;)

deangc said...

O'Brien, come on up here and I will show you some beer. The reason most Canadians don't like American beer is that the brewing styles are different: Canadian is more British in style, American more German. German beers tend to be lighter in body, which means less flavour (yes, flavOUr). The worst American beers are thin rancid bitter afterbrews to my tastebuds.

Anonymous said...

Ah, ya missed a real shitty cleveland's. My boyfriend worked at the plant on Quincy. Every friday the employees could buy cases of the mislabled, not up to QC standards beer in the returnable bottles. Two bucks a case, I think it was. We didn't need to buy furniture, our house was decorated in early Schmidts cases. The real bottom of the bottom was the yearly not-for-public-sale of their bock beer. the memory makes me shiver...

ps my daddy was a strohs man, too. my personal shitty beer is busch lite. i hate the fancy shit.

Anonymous said...

btw, i also tended bar and if you whistled at me to bring you a beer you'd be risking a longneck over the cranium.

poor mable.

i do love old commercials, though!

Kirk Jusko said...

C'mon Erin, that commercial looks like it's from the 1950s. You can't possibly remember it!

As for the taste of beer, well, people hate it when I say this, but I drink it strictly for the buzz. I'm not sure what the point is otherwise. I mean, when you were 13 and you and your buddies snuck some beer to drink behind the garage without your parent's knowledge, did you first say, "Oh, boy, I bet this'll taste better than Pepsi!"

That's just my opinion, of course. I know if you drink a lot of it, you eventually develop a liking for the taste. I have a friend who used to be a very heavy drinker, primarily beer, but whatever else was availiable, too. He's been in AA for ten years now, but you know what he drinks? O'douls. That's nonalcoholic beer, in case you never heard of it. So he's obviously developed a taste.

Erin O'Brien said...

Schmidt's! Ha!

No, I don't remember this commercial exactly, but that wasn't really my point. Just was posting a quirky old beer commercial. I do remember some Mabel, although I don't think she was animated. And I sure as hell remember all those Black Label bottles.

This is like the "beer memories" post.

I do think that nothing tastes better than an icy beer on a hot hot day. Trick is to keep it to one or two.

Kirk Jusko said...

That wasn't your point?

I'm going to have to go back to school and take a few remedial blog reading courses.

James said...

I didn't think that Americans drank beer?

When I was over there last most people drinking cold glasses of fizzy water with a hint of alcohol.

It almost looked a little bit like beer in the same way that Sarah Palin almost looks a little bit like a sane human being rather than a nutjob who would nuke the entire world several times over within a minute of actually getting into the Whitehouse (seriously, thanks for not voting her in you guys, we all owe you a pint for that one for sure! But then again you do allow her to rule Alaska, and that has to earn you like negative ten bazillion points, so lets just call it even, yeah?)

Anyways, why is it that Americans water their beer down so much?

Have you never tried Guiness?

Stella Artois perhaps?



Even American whiskey is watery. I tried Southern Comfort once; the stuff was velvety, seriously! It sort of slid down my throat like liquid cashmere! What the heck is that at all about?!

Everyone knows that real, proper, whiskey should hurt. It ain't called the 'fire water' for nothing!

C'mon America get your act together! You're making us all look silly!

The Russians are laughing at us over their vodka...

Glass Houses said...

PBR is my favorite. Black Label is not bad.

The Spitfire has a thing called the's 12 horrible cans of beer, including many mentioned above. If you drink all 12 you get your picture on the wall.

I've never tried it.

Mojito Libre said...

I personally like High Life. They don't call it the Champagne of Beers for nothing!

And, yes, I'm somewhat of a beer snob, but an ice cold Milwaukee's Best on a 90 degree Saturday afternoon after landscaping the yard is just about perfect.

Alan states said...

Heritage House Beer - sure fire hangover. Proof you can have just one!

Dan said...

And yet no one here has mentioned one of the shittiest beers ever, Old Frothingslosh... you know, the Pale Stale Ale with the Foam on the Bottom. Blargh.

Was it just me, or was there no comment about Schaefer? The beershits alone made me want to hop on the wagon after a night of that nonsense.

Dan B.

Dad said...

Out west we have Rainer Beer. They used to have a commercial when I was young that went like this. Raaaaaaa neeerrrrrrrrrrr Beeerrrrrrrrrrrrrr to the tune of a motorcycle shifting gears as it rides up a mountain road. Presumably in the Rainer Mountains. Add that to your list of shity beerrrrrrrr. Oh and Keystone!

jonas said...

James, James, James....

A few points.
Some of us can, have, and will drink Guinness...pint for pint, centiliter for centiliter with anyone.
Stella may be old and famous, but its not any heavier than most American macro brews. It is, however, a generally better beer. Same for Heineken.

That said, we do indeed brew a bloody ton of shite beer. I think Benjamin, Adorno, and Horkheimer have a missing essay on this.

Southern Comfort, as you'll note, isn't whiskey. It's a "whiskey-flavored liqueur". Look up hows its'll see its supposed to be sweet. Not endorsing it, just pointing out that its not actually a whiskey.

While the Anglos may have given the world whiskey, we on this side of the pond improved on said spirit. Its called BOURBON. Its heavy, its mean. Its ours. Yes, have some.

Hal said...

For a time at OU, a returnable case of Tap Beer (brewed in Columbus, I believe), could be had for $4.99.

That was some shitty beer.

Then there was Red, White & Blue, which looked vaguely familiar to PBR, and tasted like it too - shitty.

How about Buckhorn, and anyone who was anyone rode the Goebel train!

Shitty beers all.

We settled on Old Swill, and then during my stint on Chicago (where Old Swill could be had or $7.99 a case at the Jewel a couple of blocks) we ambled over the Stroh's (the white can).

Stroh's and Old Swill are shitty, but they rule.

Then when I landed in Seattle, I discovered Rainier Beer (some at the Comet Tavern on Pine Street called it "Vitamin R"). It was a local brew (no longer), and boy was that shitty.

As was Keystone.

As was Milwaukee's Best.

A lady friend hipped me to Henry Weinhard, a pretty decent and only mildly shitty beer.

Then I discovered Red Hook (local), THomas Kemper and Pyramid, and Widmer, and Sierra Nevada, and the uber righteous Arrogant Bastard Ale (brewed in San Diego), and I've been a microbrew snob ever since. I've tried to remain loyal to my Cleveland shitty beer roots, but I just can't do it. Microbrews taste so good, and shitty beer is...well, shitty.

But here's some more shitty beer:

Leinenkrugel, Duke, POC, Robin Hood Creme Ale, Generic (remember the white cans with "BEER" written on them? Brewed by Falstaff)...

Hal go to gym now...

Erin O'Brien said...

I can't believe I forgot about Goebel!

Harry Finch said...

It ain't summertime without Genny Cream Ale.

For a good winter drink that turns those lake effect winds into church hymns, I recommend a Swim the River, a concoction which Jonas and I have discussed over the years. One shot American Honey (a Wild Turkey bourbon liqueur), one shot Jim Beam, one shot root beer.

jonas said...

Ahhh, the 'River'...

HF, always the voice of reason.

Elisson said...

Get off the table
The quarter's for the beer!

Amy L. Hanna said...

This is one of those days where I waft in and feel like I'm eavesdropping on a rather contentious happy hour in the Comment Row.

Therefore, my brews of choice will remain classified.

goat said...

Fellow Ohioans'
How can you not mention 3.2% alcohol beer? That in and of itself makes ANY beer shitty.

jonas said...

I'm sure it's the same other places as well, but Colorado also has (or did have) the "you can only buy 3.2% beer in the grocery store" law as well.

Never understood it.

Kirk Jusko said...

I mentioned O'douls, which I thought was 3.2. Maybe it's 3.1.

My father once brought home a can of Old Frothingslosh. I didn't really foam at the bottom. It just said that on the can. I guess you could call it tounge-in-cheek beer (just take a gander at bathing beauty Miss Frothingslosh, whose picture was on the can)

Erin O'Brien said...

I sure do remember Miss Frothingslosh.

jonas said...

O'Douls is an NA beer. Its not 3.2 or 3.1...more like .05.
Several Euro beers make NA beer (St. Pauli Girl, Clausthaler, etc). If you have to drink NA beer, go Euro.

Not that I'm old enough to really remember, but has the crowd forgotten "Billy Beer"?

Kirk Jusko said...

Oh, man, I'm old enough to remember Billy Beer. Never drank it, but it was named after, and hawked by Billy Carter, a forgotten figure today, he was President Jimmy Carter's stereotypical redneck brother.

He also appeared a couple of times on HEE HAW.

Kirk Jusko said...

"President Carter just appointed his brother Billy Secretary of Beer."

--Joan Rivers, circa 1977

Hal said...

And there was Billy Beer, too.

Is 3.2 available anywhere else?

Dad said...

Utah is the capitol of 3.2 beer. You can only get full strength stuff in State run liquor stores or private bars. Ironically, I know some people that always pick up several cases when they are in Utah for the lower alcohol content. If your are a beer nut, you can drink more of it when it's 3.2. Go figure!

Erin O'Brien said...

I don't even want to hint at how much 3.2 beer I drank.

Sure I remember Billy Carter and his beer.

beer beer beer!

Anonymous said...

People can always drink Bud Light. That is probably lees than 3.2 and king of the current shitty beers

jonas said...

Bud and many macros upped their alcohol content towards the 5.0 range when the fad of "ice" beers took off. Thank you, Canada.

So, according these guys (, Bud Light is at 4.2%, and Bud "Heavy" is at 5.0%.

In fact you'll note all but a small handful of beers have anything under 4.0%

Interestingly, Michalob's "Ultra" (ultra shite), their lo-cal beer, is 4.2%. Alcohol, as you know, has a ton of calories because is basically mutant sugar. So, they put that crappy beer in smaller containers (smaller than 12oz) and water it down, instead of reducing the booze. Hmm.

Retraction: O'Douls has .5%, not .05%

James said...

Jonas, Jonas, Jonas...

Whiskey isn't from the "Anglos" its Celtic (i.e. Scottish & Irish) silly!

Yeah, you're right Stella is light but then again its a Belgian beer with a French sounding name and hence poncey.

Which brings us neatly to Bourbon. I put it to you that the very suggestion that its an improvement on Whiskey is a kind of blasphemy. Americans just don't do proper booze, this is the country that invented the appletini for goodness sake!

Give it up!

jonas said...


"Anglos" being short hand for people who live on small islands and still feel some sense of superiority over those to whom they lost a country. I suppose that's not very specific, historically speak tho, is it?

"American just don't do proper booze".
Indeed, the appletini. Is that better or worse than the contribution of Pimms and other such "lets make booze taste like something else" beverages that have now invaded this continent in the form of the ubiquitous "malternatives" (Mike Lemonade, Twisted Tea, etc.)? Yes indeed, that you very much for that.

jonas said...

That of course should read "thank you you very much for that".

James said...

My objection to "Anglos" has nothing to do with it not being historically specific. It's just wrong. The English don't make whiskey. Simple as.

The English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish are all very different groups of people, I'm sorry if you don't like it, but that's just how it is.

If you want a word to use when referring to people who live in Britain then may I suggest you consider trying "British"? We've been using it for the last few centuries now and it seems to work pretty well.

As for Pimms, well that's all about context. If you sat outside a quaint English country pub with a nice big jug of Pimms on a summer day then you'd get it. Outside of that context it wouldn't work.

I've actually never heard of mike lemonade or twisted tea? I guess that these are American drinks that have sneakily dolled themselves up in British gladrags in an attempt to capture a bit of dastardly old-world charm..?

jonas said...


Yeah. Simple as.

"British" in empire. Yes indeed, the Irish, Scots, and Welsh must certainly love that moniker.
Sorry I got the brand of hegemony wrong. Glad we set that straight.

James said...

This will be my last response to you because I do not want to foul up this blog with an argument but at the same time I really can't bring myself to let you have the last word (very immature I know).

Now listen mate, and listen good:

I. Am. Welsh.

Surprisingly enough, I know how to refer to my own nationality, and I am telling you, now, in a very straightforward manner, that the word to use is British.

I know that you're not trying to be insulting, but the word "Anglo" has a number of very negative connotations with regards to welsh people, it is something of a racial slur, and I object to it very strongly. I'm sorry if the history of my people is inconvenient for you but nonetheless I must insist that you do not refer to me as an "Anglo".

As far your brand of hegemony remark. The Empire rolled up 60 years ago. Long before I was even born. I do not accept responsibility for events that took place before my birth. I wasn't there and I wasn't calling the shots.

Furthermore, in the last 60 years Britain has changed considerably, it is now a modern liberal democracy.

There is an old saying amongst my people that a man is truly known by that which he hates.

I find it very revealing you choose to hate a nation that widely regarded as a responsible and positive force in this world.

Now, regarding whiskey; well done. You've managed to find an example of an English distillery. Frankly I don't particular care. When you say offer someone a glass of whiskey it is assumed that it will be Scottish or Irish. Whiskey is just not an English drink.