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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nine of the Worst Cheap American Beers

As a dedicated middle class drunk, I have had ample opportunity to become acquainted with many less-than-expensive malted alcoholic beverages. In other words, I've gotten drunk on a lot of cheap beer and malt liquor. Sometimes I still do from time to time, although these days I can afford decent booze and don't need to slum too much. I still know what I know, though, so I thought I'd share my opinion on nice nauseating beverages which you may or may not be familiar with.

1. Natural Light

It wouldn't make any sense to start this list with
anything BUT Natural Light, the most high-profile
and most widely available of the cheap-ass beers
in the U.S. "Natty Light" is made by mega-corporation
Anheuser-Busch, providing us with yet another
example of the evils of corporate capitalism. Natty
Light's alcohol level is actually a bit below
the average of most mass-market pale lager beers
(the average is 5%; Natural Light is 4.4%). And yet,
this swill can pack a punch, especially if you haven't
developed a taste (or tolerance) for it. It can be
surprisingly smooth and it has only 95 calories per
serving, which is pretty decent. But it's still cheaply
brewed crap, so if you have more than 3 or 4 of these,
prepare for nasty headaches the next day. I used to
drink this fairly regularly in my poorer days, then
stopped for a while. The other day I bought a 12-pack
for old time's sake. After 2 cans, I felt like taking a
4-hour nap. At 32, I'm already too old to drink this
shit. If you're college-age, though, you probably
live on this garbage. Okay, if you're college age and
so poor you eat out of dumpsters.

2. Red Dog

Ugh. Jesus.
Red Dog is made by Plank Road Brewery (which is really
Miller, but they would rather not associate their main
brand with this liquid feces). It is around 5% alcohol,
and it is bitter and somewhat harsh. In my experience, the
hangovers from it are actually not all that bad. That's
probably because I never managed to drink more than one
or two. I'm not entirely sure that's it NOT made from
dog piss. No, that would be an improvement. If you have
to drink this, make sure it's very cold.

3. St. Ides

This is the first malt liquor on our list. And with good
reason, as it boasts 8% alcohol. I first became acquainted
with St. Ides about 15 years ago when I was living in New
York City. I was passing a convenience store on my way
home from work late one night and saw a poster advertising
a 40oz bottle of this sh*t for 99 cents. So I figured,
why not? Why not indeed. It tasted like someone dropped
a shot glass of beer into a bucket filled with kerosene.
I was so f****d up when I was done I passed out. The next
day, I woke up thinking that maybe I had leukemia or Lou
Gherig's Disease, or something. I was achy, irritable
and dehydrated. That's all you need to know about St.
Ides. Also, Ice Cube used to endorse it.

4. Pearl Light

Pearl Light is unique among the beers on this list in that I could not get drunk on it. I bought a 12-pack of this stuff years ago and halfway through drinking it, I realized, much to my horror, that I didn't even have a buzz. Pearl Light used to be brewed by Pabst, but is now contracted out to Miller. Not much else I can say about this "beer". Apparently, it has a long history in Texas.

5. Steel Reserve High Gravity

I drank Steel Reserve only once, I believe. A lot of
people drank it once. I remember drinking a couple
of 16 ounce cans of this stuff a while back, and
felt dizzy and weird almost immediately. Usually
a beer buzz is pleasurable, but sometimes it's
uncomfortable and strange. And it's not just me.
A former co-worker, who is about 6 feet tall and
weighed close to 300 lbs, told me he once downed
a can of Steel Reserve while sitting, then stood
up and the room started spinning around. And he was
the kind of guy who had a good tolerance for
alcohol, too. It still ambushed him and kicked
his goddamn ass. Steel Reserve is labeled as 8%
alcohol (in most states) and is made by...wait for it!
...Miller. This is their third entry on this list.
Sadly, it won't be their last.

6. Milwaukee's Best Light

Milwaukee's...Best?? BEST?!? I would really hate to
have to sample Milwaukee's worst. I would get a couple
of 32oz cans at the store for a dollar each a few
years ago. I was obviously going through hard times
if I was drinking this sewage. It is thin, watery
and very carbonated. If you're a high schooler or
broke-ass college student, this beer probably seems
like a pretty good deal. And I suppose it is a good
deal for what it is. Which is trash. To its credit,
after downing 64 ounces of this at a time, I didn't
feel like I was going to die. I just felt like I'd
wasted my time. Oh, and by the way, know who makes
this? F****G MILLER.

7. Bud Ice

Made by Anheuser-Busch. 5.5% alcohol. Comes in a
40oz bottle. Tastes like anti-freeze. Bad hangovers.

8. Olde English

Ahh, Olde English. Just about everyone I know seems to have a story about Olde English, usually involving vandalism, fistfights, the police, sexual assault and/or vomiting. I haven't had this swill in years, and God willing, I will never again drink it. "Regular" Olde English is about 6% alcohol, although other varieties of it go as high as 8%. Out of all the malt liquors out there, this one seems to be the one that most white people will drink, if they drink any malt liquor at all. I'm not sure why that is. My memory of drinking it is that it started out smooth, then tasted a bit harsher and then...well, I can't remember. Oh, and guess who makes it? It starts with an M and ends in an R, and rhymes with "killer".

9. Busch

As the name suggests, this is brewed by the mother
f*****s at Anheuser-Busch. Think Budweiser is boring
and tasteless? Try this stuff. It'll make drinking Bud
Light feel like an orgy of flavor is going on in your
mouth. While it's certainly cheap, it's not the kind of
beer that will give you a decent buzz, even after 3
or 4 of them. The taste is not any worse than say,
Natural Light, but if you're going to be cheap anyway,
just buy f*****g Natural Light. Actually, if Natty
Light is a 19-year old frat boy, Busch could very
well be its balding, beer-bellied 47-year old dad.
Same genetics, just slower and lamer.

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