Band Beyond Desu
2013-07-05 11:38:32 UTC
rmgd...this popped up there, thanks to the Pisces Kid:
36 Cheap American Beers, Ranked
Wednesday 10:00amg 627,878L 1966
I realize you're going to spend Independence Day happily drinking whatever
cold adult beverage you're served, because you're polite and you're an
alcoholic. And I trust you'll have a fine old time no matter what you
drink. But that doesn't mean America's shitbrews are all the same. The list
below breaks down 36 of them, from worst to least-worst.
36. Keystone. This is the worst beer currently sold on American soil. It
sits behind chilled glass in a convenience-store fridge like a dumb rebuke
to the explosion of American beer variety all around it. In 1978 there were
89 breweries in the U.S.; today there are more than 2,400, and most of the
new ones are better than most of the old ones. In 2013 craft beer is no
longer the exclusive domain of West Coast weirdos and psychotic woodsmen.
These fine days you can score Samuel Adams or Sierra Nevada at the least
ambitious of convenience stores and Dogfish Head 90 Minute on the least
reliable of trains. And then there is Keystone, which first appeared to the
world in 1989, in Chico, Calif., home of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
Keystone separates itself from the rest of the crap pack by augmenting the
typical stale/sour flavor profile with notes of brown bananas and green
armpits. Keystone is worse than Heineken and murder.
35. Bud Light Lime. When Anheuser-Busch spit this one out a few years ago
it seemed like a pretty good idea, as terrible ideas go. The world never
needs more flavors of Bud Light, but the popularity of the otherwise
worthless Corona proves that folks love to limen up their beers. Barroom
fruit is repulsive—ever think about where your lime's been before it lands
in your drink? Nowhere nice—so if Bud Light Lime were any good at all, it
would be a little leap forward. But alas, the alleged lime flavoring in no
way resembles people food. Bud Light Lime tastes like green Froot Loops
soaked in thigh sweat.
34. Genesee Cream Ale. Man, do I want to like Genny Cream. Man, do I not
like Genny Cream. I'm a sucker for old-timey regional budget brew, but this
is awfully rough stuff. It doesn't even have the dignity to go down
swinging with a signature blend of gross flavors, a la Keystone. Genny
Cream is just the archetypal stale cardboard crud-juice.
33. Rolling Rock. Smells like three fat guys in a two-man tent.
32. Beer 30. Bonus points for the purple can. No points for anything else.
31. Miller High Life. This is what the bartenders and cool people in my
neighborhood drink, and god bless them, I wish I could too. The bottle! The
name! The "Champagne of Beers" tagline! But it's just too accidentally
30. Schlitz. I loved Schlitz until a few years ago, when they made a big
fuss about reintroducing the "Classic 60s Formula," which tastes yeasty and
sweet, like an infected donut.
29. National Bohemian. As one of the few Americans who's never seen The
Wire or flashed my tits at the Preakness, I'm largely shut out of the
Baltimore conversation, but I HAVE had a Natty Bo, which qualifies me to
say, Sure, I get it, hometown pride is nice sometimes. But you do know
there are other beers, right?
28. Game Day Ice Ale. Not as bad as 7-Eleven's private label ice beer could
be, but still: Do Juggalos have their own special beer? Because if not, I
nominate this to be the special Juggalo beer.
27. Miller Genuine Draft. Tastes like the brown ends of corn silk, plus
26. Bud Light. Tastes like printer paper and often gives the impression of
unfreshness, which is alarming given the high turnover. There's a very good
chance you and Bud Light will join forces at some point over the holiday
weekend, and that's all well and good, but please don't take it into the
bathroom with you. I used to clean bar bathrooms, and an overwhelming
majority of the bottles left in the john at the end of the night were Bud
Light. Bud Light dudes are afraid of leaving their beer unattended, as if
they have reason to worry about the fate of unattended beers. I suppose
there's something apt about these beers ending the night on top of a
urinal. It's like a little story about the nitrogen cycle.
25. Yuengling. Why are people so into Yuengling? It's quite popular among
the Pennsylvania ex-pat community, which is odd given that the beer sucks
and Pennsylvanians don't strike me as an excessively prideful or
24. Busch Light. This is for the sort of person who buys tube socks at the
bus stop. Like on the one hand, all right, good job holding it together
enough to get some brand-new socks on your feet. But then on the other
hand, I can't help but point out that if you'd been a little more rigorous
in planning your day, you wouldn't be buying socks at the bus stop.
23. Natural Ice. The soggy cardboard sensation fades after the first
several cans, turning Natty Ice into a serviceable alternative to sobriety.
22. Stroh's. The royal blue Stroh's can is truly majestic, but the beer
itself is disconcertingly greasy. It doesn't taste like much one way or the
other, but it's marred by a rubbery slickness that leaves your tongue
feeling like third-day deli ham.
21. Natural Light. I drank a lot of this in high school. Do high school
kids still drink cheap beer, or is it all the lemonade alcopop bullshit for
the lightweights and Four Loko (and the myriad Loko-alikes) for the bad
kids? Or worse yet, is it all reefer and pills? I sucked at being a
teenager, but I feel like I had the "drinking cheap beer by a fire in the
woods" part down cold. If they've changed that step of the program I'll
have nothing useful to offer my hypothetical future teens.
20. Milwaukee's Best. It's easy to mock the Beast, but it's all I drank in
college and I turned out.
19. Busch. Aw, come on, Busch isn't so bad. Let's say you're a stepdad,
probably named Ron, and you're a Bud man. Good living—until your Jet Ski
needs a new fuel pump and you're fresh out of Jet Ski fuel-pump cash. You
think you're fucked, but then you realize you can just step it down to
Busch for a few weeks and bang, back in the lake. Now who's too cool for
18. Keystone Light. Well I'll be damned if this isn't a marked improvement
over regular Keystone. The rotting fruit and flesh are stripped away to
leave a regular, boring light beer that's a viable option if you're looking
to drink your way into Speedo shape one beer at a time.
17. Old Milwaukee. This was the first beer I ever hated, but that was back
in my stupid youth, when I expected more out of life. Turns out Old
Milwaukee is plenty good enough for the likes of me.
16. Iron City. Weird that Mr. Rogers and Mr. Roethlisberger represent the
15. Simpler Times. This is Trader Joe's house lager. It's all right.
14. Name Tag. This is also Trader Joe's house lager.
12. Coors Light. Is Ice Cube broke? Seems unlikely, but it's the only
acceptable excuse for those shameful ads wherein the baddest rapper of my
childhood loses an argument to a fucking beer bottle. I had a Coors Light
last week, though, and it's better than I remembered. If you base your beer
choices on the CEO's politics—and I suppose you might as well—then you
probably have an opinion on Head Pete in Charge's staunch conservatism, as
well as the company's scummy labor history. Okie doke.
11. Medalla Light. Puerto Rican beer is American beer, buster. I drank a
hundred million of these on my honeymoon and I suggest you do the same.
10. Schaefer. When I was a very young buck, the Patriots played in Schaefer
Stadium. Now the stadium's better and so is the team, but I experience a
rare wave of nostalgia when I think of the bygone era when the stadium was
named for America's oldest lager and the tight ends didn't kill people.
9. Olympia. This one smells a little bit like the produce section of a
carpeted grocery store, but it goes down pretty smooth otherwise.
8. Lone Star. Shit, I wish I had a big, brash opinion about this one, but
it's the most middle-of-the-road thing ever to come out of Oklahoma's
southern sister. It's good in certain applications, such as when it's a
thousand degrees out or you're trying to avoid Corona and margarita
slushies at a license-plates-on-the-wall restaurant.
7. Rainier. This is on the sweet side of mediocre, but it's a bright, clean
kind of sugar that tells soothing lies about freshness and purity.
6. Miller Lite. My dad drank most of the world's stock of Miller Lite
before his untimely passing, but you can still get your grubby mitts on a
can or two if you know the right people and wait in the right lines. A lot
of suckers say it tastes like nothing, but I say it tastes like Barney
Miller and Little League.
5. Pabst Blue Ribbon. It took me a few years to come around on PBR,
probably because I was the sort of dipshit who worried about what message
my beer was sending. Now that I'm liberated from such petty concerns, I can
tell the world, "Hey, look at me spend $14 to get all-day drunk on clean,
nondescript beer that tastes like Budweiser is supposed to."
4. Utica Club. This has a fair bit going on, flavor-wise, which is risky
business. Less is usually much more in this price category, but UC is the
rare cheapie that pulls off its dangerous ambition. This Central New
Yorker's unique vegetal maltiness is much better than the phrase "unique
vegetal maltiness" suggests. I'll never write their marketing copy, but
I'll always drink their beer.
3. Coors. You don't see much yellow-canned original Coors Banquet Beer in
Boston, which is a small shame, since it's a half-step better than its
direct competitors. See above regarding Nazis and unions and what not.
2. Narragansett. This resurrected New England legend was prominently
featured in Jaws, then went away for a couple decades, and is now
prominently featured in my refrigerator.
1. Grain Belt Premium. I always think of Minnesota as a secretly sexy
place, and not just because of Kent Hrbek and Al Franken. Maybe it's all
the trout and music and Lutherans. Toss in a smooth, creamy, and dreamy
local budget brew like Grain Belt and it's a wonder Minnesota hasn't
seceded to form its own naked blond utopia. Grain Belt Premium is America's
finest cheap beer.
Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass.,
and has visited all of the other New England states if you don't count
Vermont. Find him on Twitter @WillGordonAgain.