Gather round, young 'uns. Uncle kleph is here to regale you with another tale of life in T-town back in the day.Today's topic is beer, that frothy beverage that unites us all across the eras. And not just any beer but that eternal foundation of our college years, cheap beer.
You see, back in the 80s when we weren't doing the Safety Dance (I kid. We never did the Safety Dance. Screw those Canadians) we were doing our level best to drunj as you do today. And while wine coolers were all the rage back in those heady times, those were for getting your date drunk while you stuck with the brewskies. Nothing macho about it, it was purely economics doing their ceaseless magic.
Case in point, cheap beer. We drank it. A lot of it. You see when the checks from home arrived at the start of the month that's when everyone headed down the street to Bruno's for the premo stuff - Heineken. Seriously, that's was pretty much the only premium beer you could get back then, unless you counted Michelob, which I didn't and don't.
How bad was it? There was a hit movie about acquiring a truckload of that exotic brew... Coors. And if you could get you hand on a case of Corona's, they didn't have a single word in English on the label.
Anyhow, it really didn't matter overmuch because a week later you'd find yourself looking at the cash you had left and start moving down the level of quality. You might pick up a sixer or two of Budweiser or Miller High Life but you knew you were on borrowed time. By the second weekend of the month the case race between you and the guys across the hall in the dorm would be using Bush or PBR.
(This always started a philosophical discussion for us: was Bush the best of the bad beers or the worst of the good beers? And, while we're pondering things, why the hell did R.E.M. make it and the dB's didn't?)
By the midway point of the month you'd find yourself firmly in that substrata of beers where roamed the likes of Olympia, Schiltz and, at the very bottom, Milwaukee's Best. You had given up any semblance of argument that you were drinking for the "taste" at that point, but who the hell were you trying to kid anyway?
Of course Miller Light has a slight exemption under the Stabler clause.
Things are different today. Beermakers realized if they made halfway affordable premium beers, they could snap up that first-week-of-the-month market. Hell, the cooler at Egan's has more high-falutin brews than I ever imagined existed two decades ago. If Bo told me they were getting one made exclusively from bisexual hops and the Queen's of England's bidet water I wouldn't doubt it for a second.
At the other end of the scale you've also got a larger swath of choices when the budget gets tight. Crap beer sells and the big brewers ain't missing that market niche either. All the old standbys are still there but now you've got Keystone, Natural Lite and a whole assortment of beers that you'll drink but live in terror of the backwash. These brands try to act like they are embracing some pastoral ideal in their marketing but the fact of the matter it's what you drink when getting drunk is the point of the exercise.
So, in the spirit of unity I post the question to you all, what is the worst of all the crap beers you've been forced to partake of due to the cruel wheels of economics on our undergraduate budget? I think I've listed all the usual suspects but feel free to suggest your, er, favorite.