November 2nd, 2010

Go-To Brews: A High Salute to Low Standards.

The Chronicle recently released their list of “50 Worst Beers”, and while we certainly mean no offense to the guys at the Chron (Hey, we’re a fan of anything with the word “beer” in the title!), we take a little issue with kicking the underdog. Sure, these brews set the bar low. They’ve probably been responsible for many a dubious choice when courting the opposite sex as well as those mediocre grade point averages for all you current and ex Uni’s out there (“Where did you learn this?” “I learned it from you!”), but that’s no reason to discount their value.

So many paradigm shifts in our common experience can be traced back to these fifteen beverages, you might say that these are the beers that built America. For better or for worse, the beers we’ve selected have both stood by us and betrayed us. Got us in to trouble and out of trouble (mostly in to). Caused some hook-ups and caused some breakups. So instead of beating the dead horse, we’ve decided to give a little credit to these wonderful societal catalysts. Today we sing the praises of blue collar brew.


Mickey’s (aka: The Mouse, Steamboat Willy, Fight Juice)

Tastes Like: A bare knuckle brawl in the back alley between an Irish pub and a Landry’s. You’re done kid- you’re washed up! I’m throwing in the towel!

Best Paired With: All-night benders of Caddy Shack while quaffing down Spamwiches. I don’t know why she left you either.

Likely to be Seen at: Post Dropkick Murphy’s shows, rugby parties, and behind the protein powder in Marc’s pantry.

Unofficial Slogan: “My name is Russel Crowe and I approve this message.”

(aka: The Eskimo, Igloo, Seal Sweat) “Ice brewed below freezing.”

Tastes Like: Getting drunk with an Eskimo. Not a cuddly, parka-donning native of the north, but an angry Eskimo that keeps trying to steal your wallet.

Best Paired With: Freshly skinned and delicately prepared whale. Preferably narwhal, but in a pinch, gray whale is known to bring forth the many dynamic flavors and aromas of this fine brew.

Likely to be Seen at: Aeros games and Sarah Palin’s snow-mobile rallies.

Unofficial Slogan: “Icehouse- It’ll get you drunk!”

(aka: Schlitz & Giggles, Holy Schlitz, Fury)

Tastes Like: The rust forming on your dad’s old band saw and the grease on your mom’s riveter gun.

Best Paired with: Leftovers from Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, Totino’s Pizza, or key lime pie.

Likely to be Seen at: The auto repair shop, Richard’s desk drawer, and around the debris piles at construction sites.

Unofficial Slogan: “Back alleys or back yards, it’s always Schlitz.”

(aka: Ronies, El Burro, Import) “Miles Away From Ordinary” It’s exactly three miles to the nearest Tex-Mex restaurant.

Tastes Like: Dried lime, the salt that collected on your paint job from this weekend’s excursion to the Sea Wall and sun tan lotion.

Best Paired with: Egg salad sandwiches, tamales or coffee cake.

Likely to be Seen at: The aforementioned Tex-Mex restaurant near my house, really.

Unofficial Slogan: “Have this with your quesadilllla.”

Keystone Light
There isn’t exactly a Keystone Original (aka: Stones, Rocks, Keys)

Tastes Like: College. Specifically that time you tried to hook up after that foam party in the bathroom of a Denny’s only to find out it was an IHOP. You were so wasted.

Best Paired With: A shameless reluctance to maintain dignity. Also, Camel cigarettes and frozen pizza rolls.

Likely to be Seen at: Any sport tailgate (excluding polo), floating down the Comal River, stacked high in coolers that those idiots should have written their names on. They’re our beers now, bro-hams!

Unofficial Slogan: “You’re never too old to shotgun a beer in public.”


Miller High Life
(aka: Lowlife, Moonriders, Shampain)

Tastes Like: The water at the bottom of the john boat your dad made you bail while he got drunk and fished. Hints of hot ham water.

Best Paired With: Cut up Vienna Sausages covered in chili. Sardines. These delicacies can also be substituted/enhanced with Cheez Whiz, with or without crackers.

Likely to be Seen at: Gramma’s birthday party that time you had to sit at the kids’ table even though you’re old enough to sit with the grownups. Why do I have to sit there every time?! Cousin Marty won’t quit mouth breathing. This sucks- I’ll be in the car!

Unofficial Slogan: “The Champagne of Beers (If You Have No Idea What Champagne Tastes Like)”

Old English
(aka: The Gentleman, Michael Caine, Guvnah)

Tastes Like: A Detroit street corner. Melancholy. The color gray.

Best Paired With: Cheez-its and NWA. A fire in a trash can. Brown paper bags.

Likely to be Seen at: Church picnics in Compton and impromptu games of Edward Forty-Hands that may pop up in dorm rooms nation wide.

Unofficial Slogan: “It’s not that old. It’s not that English. It’s just right.”

Natural Light
(aka: Natty, al Natural, Natsters) “The Smooth Pilsner with All Natural Ingredients” If I want all natural, I’ll drive my Subaru to Whole Foods and purchase the first bare footed yuppie in need of extra cash.

Tastes Like: Courage.

Best Paired With: Turkey legs from the Renaissance Festival or Marzipan.

Likely to be Seen at: The barbecue I’m having tonight, yogi parties or crushed and dried in that grass field next to your house.

Unofficial Slogan: “Beer’s beer, I’ll take mine in the can.”

Bud Ice
(aka: Buddy, Icesycle, Iceman) “Premium Ice Lager”

Tastes Like: That time we were skating on Lake Salamonie up in Wabash County, Indiana, you fell through the ice, and drank yourself to dry land. Cold does not a better product make. Ask Hank Williams.

Best Paired With: White cheddar cheese curds and Dairy Queen’s Half Pound Flame Thrower Grill Burger

Likely to be Seen at: The nearest Elk Lodge, Paul’s fridge, or hidden above the ceiling tiles in your dorm hallway.

Unofficial Slogan: “Don’t take it below the hard-deck. Jester ain’t dead.

Coors Original (aka: The Brute, The OC, Rocky Mountain High)

Tastes Like: You dismount your horse high in the Rocky Mountains. You take in the scenic view and fill your lungs with crisp, piney air and your mouth with cool, clear water from a nearby stream. That’s when the bear(s) attack. Yeah…it’s like that.

Best Paired With: 100% range-fed buffalo steak and a side dish of cowboy justice

Likely to be Seen at: Prison rodeos, the Alaskan gubernatorial acceptance speech, Oklahoma casinos

Unofficial Slogan: “Coors Original-The Official Beer of Coors Original”


King Cobra (aka: The Snake, Venom, Kingster)

Tastes Like: Their tag-line reads “Smooth Tasting,” that’s about as descriptive as, “Yes, I’m that guy with the face.” We’ll say like stepping in tar at the beach. Then realizing you’ve got no baby oil. In frustration, you try dragging your feet in the grass. This grass has stickers. KC!

Best paired with: Frito Pie, Tater-Tot Casserole or the leftover remains of a Beaver Burger from Beaver’s.

Likely to be Seen at: You won’t see it. It will be in this brown paper bag.

Unofficial Slogan: “King Cobra: It’ll bite you in the &*%^$ face!”

Pabst Blue Ribbon
(aka: First Prize, PBR, Hipster Sludge)

Tastes Like: The oil caught beneath a hipster’s bangs, rolling papers, and three day’s stubble.

Best paired with: Chicken Tikka Masala or Stephan’s meatloaf blanketed by sweet, sweet onion rings.

Likely to be Seen at: Etro, my wedding reception (It’s on the house! You’re welcome.) or the Loop Scoop holiday party.

Unofficial slogan: “When you just want to look like you don’t care what you’re drinking, reach for Pabst.”

Milwaukee’s Best (aka: The Beast, Milwaukee’s Worst, Pride of Wisconsin)

Tastes Like: Victory. The kind of victory that can only be achieved through screaming at a pregnant lady on your company softball team for not pulling her weight. Sometimes you have to suck it up and dive for a fly ball.

Best Paired With: Leftover pizza omelet. Do I really have to explain what that is?

Likely to be Seen at: Although the skeletal remains of this rare and elegant monster can be found scattered about the beds of 1986 GMC Sierras, it is reportedly still found in abandoned tree-houses and that weird, sage green refrigerator you and your buddy found in eighth grade that smells like head cheese.

Unofficial Slogan: “The pride of Milwaukee. It’s all we have.”

(aka: GW, Rossdale, Butch)

Tastes Like: That styrofoam cup of tea you dropped in the deep freeze with the deer you killed last October. Yeah, it’s still there. Go fetch it.

Best Paired With: Tortilla chips dipped in room temperature salted butter or blueberry waffles.

Likely to be Seen at: The 61st Street Pier in Galveston or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s pool house cabana bar.

Unofficial Slogan: “And God spoketh to him through the burning Busch. Yeah, that was us.”

Steel Reserve
(aka: Steely Dan, Iron Man, Blue Steel)

Tastes Like: Smooth wrought iron, your grandfather’s breath after a day of horse-back riding and the sweat off a bull’s horns.

Best Paired With: Taco Bell Gorditas or a bag of Jack n’ the Box $1 Tacos

Likely to be Seen at: Amateur wrestling matches, Roller Derby or on Lake Livingston in your uncle’s skiff at four in the morning (Coffee’s for closers, you’ll drink this, maggot).

Unofficial Slogan: “When gasoline is your only other option!”

— The Loop Scoop


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