Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bonus Post: PBR and Beer 30 Light

I appreciate that beer, to some people, is merely another drink. Some people treat it as a vessel to a drunken paradise, and aren't really concerned about the taste it takes to get there. The more watery the better, in fact, because what's easier to chug than beer flavored water?

Back in Philadelphia, PBR - Pabst Blue Ribbon for those few of you who have somehow remained uninformed - was the favorite brew of the masses. Not because of its taste obviously; because it was cheap. More than once did I see vagrant hipsters at my favorite beer haunt - a great little beer bar called Prohibition; go there if you're in Philly - reaching into their skinny jeans and pulling out a few wadded up dollar bills so that they could order a PBR.

Never mind the amazing selection of rotating craft beers they had - it was PBR for them. It was revered as some sort of magical elixir for the downtrodden masses (which, incidentally, is how it's marketed in China), despite how damn awful it tasted. But that can of mediocrity transcended being simply a bad beer. It became a symbol of an entire culture - the hipster. Because, in addition to rejection of materialism and consumerism (which seems to cost quite a bit, if the hunt for my "Dirty Hipster" costume of last year's Halloween was any indication), hipsterism also consists of completely and entirely hating their own taste buds.

Oh, PBR. I drink you for your price tag and social pressure.
Yes. I am a beer snob. I'm at peace with this. I just couldn't get into PBR. Not even on a casual-its-what's-in-the-cooler-just-drink-it-you-asshole level. I'm not so far gone that I'll whine at a bark yard barbecue that opts for a limited selection of of Bud Lite and Coors (what sort of heathens are you!?), I really do have a hard time getting through a PBR. In Philadelphia, many bars offered a city-wide special - a PBR and a shot of  cheap whiskey for a very reasonable price. In these situations, I would often find a friend to trade my PBR for their shot. The taste was about as pleasant, but at least it was far briefer.

As my group of friends moved west, so did many of their beer tastes. Some evolved past cheap beer. Others did not. "If I never drink good beer," explains my friend Dan, "my taste buds will never know the difference." I suppose there's a depressing sort of logic to that. PBR is here (sadly), but it doesn't seem to have quite the prevalence it did in Philly. It's ok...there are substitutions, such as the one we're about to discuss courtesy of, of course, my buddy Dan. 

Beer 30 Light Premium Beer
24 oz.
Melanie Brewing Co., La Crosse, WI
ABV: Unknown. Probably a bit more than your average Snapple.

Yes. It's actually called "Beer 30." 


Yes. I actually exist. 

I imagine two of the most exceedingly white dudes on the planet sat around a table, wondering what they should call their atrocity of a beer and, after many rounds of shots, they landed on Beer 30. They then presumably pounded fists. 

Additionally, it's available around here in 99 cent Only Stores - supermarket sized stores that offer a wonderful combination of great deals and dubious produce that may or may not have fallen off of some truck somewhere. So, yes, this thing is 99 cents.

And I kind of want my money back. 

It comes in a big gaudy purple can and tastes almost kinda like beer. A little bit. If you imagine the sort of beer that you use for a game of beerpong with people you don't care about, and then leave that beer out in the rain overnight, you have a concoction that probably tastes like Beer 30. I'm sort of done here. Think about a beer you'd buy at the dollar store and ask yourself how good it tastes. 

But hey, you know what? I kinda like it better than PBR. 

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