Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Special Edition #4: Beer

Man, I drank a lot of beer. And I drank more cheap beer than good. I never even drank until I was eighteen--close to nineteen--even though it was perfectly legal in the late seventies for an eighteen year old to drink. And when there had been so much drinking, smoking available in those days. Sure, I had sips of my father's beer, but I didn't ever drink a whole can (I never went to high school parties; I hated high school for the most part), let alone get drunk. That is, till the summer a ways after my high school graduation.
But this isn't about getting drunk (or the seventies), it's about beer. It's about cheap beer.
Glorious beer.
In Iowa City--where I did my true initial beer drinking--we drank a lot of Old Style. Dog Style, we often called it. But eventually, Old Style went bigger-time and became more expensive. We--college students--then scurried about Dirty John's Market and the Quick Trip for off-brands like Rhinelander and Buckhorn. Ah, good bad beer.
In Des Moines we drank Hamms, PBR, Schaffer--drank Rolling Rock later on until they became an almost "Premium" beer-- and others I can't recall at this moment. Sure, there were the ubiquitous Miller Lites and Budweisers, but we sought out strange inexpensive brands: Grain Belt.
I Seattle, Brock, Matt and I would walk up to the Safeway on 1st Ave West and buy cases of Heidelberg beer (in bottles!) along with grits and bacon fatback and we were happy to do so (more or less). We drank Rainier.
In Grayton Beach, in Florida's panhandle, I recall I'd buy a six of Gobbel's Beer for like three dollars or less, take it home to my beach house and drink it all down. But in Grayton we also drank Heinekens, Negro Modelos and such. We were poor, but good beer was not unusual.
In Santa Fe was when I really quit drinking cheap beer almost exclusively. It was there I discovered Watneys and dark beers and other brews. In Seattle--despite the Heidelbergs--we drank great local brews and Hook ales and stouts and Anchor Steam and such: Seattle's a good beer city. The Northwest is a great beer region. In Los Angeles I think I drank Coronas, Tecates, as well as the usual American drivel.
And in Missoula we drank more Rainier than in Seattle, drank "Animal Beer" which was like Schiltz but I can't recall its name. But we also drank good European beers in Montana. And later, in Quebec, I was introduce to their local beers--Massawippi, Fin Du Monde, Modite and Belle Gueulle--as well as Belgium Chimay.
Ah, good beer. Gallons of beer. Bad beer.
Enough about beer.

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