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There ain't nothin' finer than an ice-cold LONE STAR
February 27, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Lone Star Beer. Immortalized in song, it bills itself as the National Beer of Texas. Once brewed in what is now known as the historic San Antonio Pearl Brewery, it's still brewed in Texas, though Texas anti-hipsters will be chagrined to know that Lone Star's latest owner (since 1999) is Milwaukee-based Pabst. Still, it's the cheapest beer in Texas, and the bottles have an extra perk: a rebusnot this guy on the inside of the cap. (A good bartender or waitperson'll bring you that with yer longnecknot this one.) This guy has collected nearly all (he's missing TWO!) of the 400+ puzzles and their answers. Metafilter, it's beer-fifteen.
posted by fiercecupcake (62 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh man, Lonestar is piss water. Stick with Shiner.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:25 PM on February 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


Old German is the new Pabst.
posted by asfuller at 4:31 PM on February 27, 2009


This takes me back. Living in San Antonio as a teenager, when our out-of-state relatives would visit we'd always taken them to see the original brewery and the original Buckhorn Hall of Horns (now apparently relocated downtown). At the time, the Hall of Horns was at the end of the brewery tour; I was too young then for samples...
posted by Robert Angelo at 4:34 PM on February 27, 2009


I like Lone Star - such a bargain. There's a couple lone stars in the beer can house. Yay beer!
posted by dog food sugar at 4:35 PM on February 27, 2009


Metafilter, it's beer-fifteen

Sitting in an airport bar waiting for my flight to a bachelor party. You are so right you have no idea.

Lonestar is piss water. Stick with Shiner.

Also this.
posted by Big_B at 4:36 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lonestar is piss water. Stick with Shiner.

Also this.
posted by Big_B at 7:36 PM on February 27 [+] [!]

Yup.
posted by rosswald at 4:39 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Haffenreffer also had rebuses inside their caps, as did many other brands, it seems. I remember the rebuses got harder the more you drank.
posted by not_on_display at 4:40 PM on February 27, 2009


I remember Jax doing this also.
And I'll stick with St. Bernadus or Shiner Black.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 4:41 PM on February 27, 2009


Lonestar sucks.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 4:44 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


You folks comparing Lone Star to Shiner Bock and finding it lacking are kind of missing the point.

I honestly don't know what I'd do without cheap beer that tastes pretty much like water. Without it, I might have to...drink water.

Shudder.

The rebuses are fun but they do get harder as you get drunker. I like Session Lager because its caps have rock-scissors-paper in them and when it's too hard to play that, you *know* you're done.
posted by padraigin at 4:57 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm always gonna have a soft spot for Lonestar, but yeah, Shiner is the Texas beer of distinction.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:57 PM on February 27, 2009


The rebus thing is a ripoff of This is Hell's only sponsor National Beer.?


Twist-Off Knowledge © is the creation of the National Brewery ©. National Brewery © makes National Beer ©, the only beer that comes in a can with a twist-off cap. Inside the cap is a hieroglyph, a pictograph, a rebus if you will, that imparts onto you, the soon-to-be-drunk drinker of National Beer ©, a little bit of Twist-Off Knowledge ©.

Twist-Off Knowledge © is deciphered live on the air during each and every Saturday morning broadcast.

Twist-Off Knowledge © is the product of a crack team of researchers who are sealed in a dark oak-paneled office where light barely leaks through crusted windows high atop the fresh spring water tower in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, the home of America's Most Disastrous Forest Fire - and National Beer ©.

Make sure to ask your local barkeep for National Beer ©, the official beer of This is Hell.
posted by hortense at 4:58 PM on February 27, 2009


T+☡ R E Z As π
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:01 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Um, I know a guy who basically uses Lonestar for his evening/mid-day meal. Almost hilarious yet consistent. Refer to previous comment re: Things to do in Austin. Special agent password... "Ave you any news of the iceberg".
Otherwise Lonestar has -zero- redemtion other than being cheap, tasting like crap whether hot, cold, fresh , old, or found floating in lake of the 3' chop Travis. Geez, kinda like Texas! Bwaaaah!

Beer is stuff made with other than rice as the primary ingredient; exclusions to Far East brews.
posted by buzzman at 5:01 PM on February 27, 2009


Shiner Bock is Lance's favorite. Lonestar not no much.
posted by fixedgear at 5:06 PM on February 27, 2009


BrotherCaine: T+☡ R E Z As π

Drink another. And another.
posted by not_on_display at 5:06 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lone Star: two words one beer.
posted by likesuchasand at 5:09 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


You folks comparing Lone Star to Shiner Bock and finding it lacking are kind of missing the point.

We're (count another in the Shiner column here) kind of focusing on the "You're going to drink beer, may as well drink a good one" point, I suppose... :-)

As a transatlantic import to Texas, I was very pleasantly surprised to discover Shiner. I was even more pleased to discover recently that it's available (though not cheap) up in Maryland, where I'm due to be moved later this year. Thank heaven for small mercies...
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 5:10 PM on February 27, 2009


Shiner is the better beer, but I drink much more Lone Star.

Kind of like, Citizen Kane is the better movie, but I've seen Die Hard thirty times.

Plus, $3.49 for a sixer of longnecks? Hell yes.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:12 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


As bad as it got, it never got so bad that I sank to drinking that shit. It's just carbonated water with ~4% alcohol & some yellow food coloring.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:15 PM on February 27, 2009


lonestar sucks.

pearl sucks.

shiner is the correct answer.

(session's also nice, if kinda hipstery, with its cool lil' red stripe style bottle)
posted by leotrotsky at 5:17 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


what other beer is going to have both phrases "the national beer of texas" and "drink texas cold"?

of course shiner is better - but lonestar is better than mad dog and icehouse.
posted by nadawi at 5:20 PM on February 27, 2009


I like good beers, and in general I find Lonestar to be decent for what it is - a cheap, crappy, American-style lager. For a long day of getting progressively more drunk (as is necessary for making barbecue at home), I'd really much rather have Lonestar than its Budweiser or Miller (or Coors or whatever) counterparts. It's also so damn cheap that I can buy a 12-pack of it for the price that I normally pay for a 6-pack of most anything else.

That said, it's really not good at all and there are many more beers that I'd much rather have. Texas has a surprisingly large number of craft breweries that churn out excellent beer, and many are close to where I live in Austin (also just a quick shout out to St. Arnold in Houston - not that close, but makes excellent beer).

Lonestar is piss water. Stick with Shiner.

I'm not a big fan of the Shiner Bock, though I do like the Black and the Hefeweizen. Shiner Commemorator, their 100th anniversary beer, is totally where it's at though. For the price - a little more than the other Shiner beers, I think - you get a fairly strong, really well balanced and flavored brew. I hope they keep it on for a while.

But yeah, in short: Lonestar sucks but it's cheap so whatever. Shiner is pretty good. There are better in central Texas.
posted by malthas at 5:29 PM on February 27, 2009


To skip over the wine (I mean beer), women, and get to the 'song' part, I ended up with that Red Steagall album as a record reviewer back in 1976 and, although I'm not particularly a big country music fan, I loved it. Still do; I sometimes listen to it two or three times in a row. (The title song is YouTubed here; my favorite on the record is called "The Walls of This Old Honky Tonk."

p.s. Somebody send that poor man puzzle bottle caps #15 and #352, and complete his collection.
posted by LeLiLo at 5:40 PM on February 27, 2009


Yes, Shiner is much better than Lone Star but for drinkers that are looking for a cheap buzz I think you can argue that Lone Star is much better than Natural Light or Old Milwaukee's Best which seems to be the roughly equivalent beers for that target group.
posted by vuron at 5:42 PM on February 27, 2009


Lone Star beer is my kryptonite - even a few sips of it will give me a raging headache, especially if it's in a can.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:42 PM on February 27, 2009


all of this anti-lonestar sentiment is killing me! it's foamy, it comes in a bottle (or a can, the better to drink at the swimming hole, my dear), it contains the requisite amount of alcohol, and it will set you back all of $2. at a bar! plus, the new old-fashioned labels are miles classier than other beers of its ilk.

there are better premium beers than shiner, but in the world of cheap as hell alcoholic water, loner is king.
posted by bogushorse at 5:46 PM on February 27, 2009


Lone Star was only latterly brewed at the Pearl Brewery. In my day (early '70s), it had a brewery of its own, and one could spend a pleasant day in San Antonio drinking free beer first at Lone Star and then at Pearl. Agreed, both beers embodied all that is bad in American beer (basically, piss & water & a dash of hops), but you couldn't beat the price. And they weren't the worst Texas beer. That dubious honor went to Texas Pride, hands down.
posted by ubiquity at 6:01 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh no. No. Shiner is complete pisswater. Distinction? Like lukewarm milk. To be fair, Lonestar's like water, but dammit, Shiner's for the frat boys. I'd take a Lone Star at the Showdown any day.
posted by theefixedstars at 6:03 PM on February 27, 2009


I've found the Wisconsin equivalent of Shiner is Spotted Cow. Now, this is only a comparison of taste and baffling popularity, because New Glarus otherwise makes deeply decent beers.

Like other posters, I can't take the anti-lone star thing. For some reason, it makes my wistfulness about the difference between the Austin I grew up in v. the Austin of now more acute.
posted by theefixedstars at 6:10 PM on February 27, 2009


Back in the day (mid-90's), we would go to this local dive (Chicago) that served Lone Star. Every Wednesday for about a year me and my roommate would go and drink a truckload of this shit. The reason we did was because this Harley dude bartender absolutely hated this swill. So at the end of the night, we would slur 'so what's it gonna be Pat?' (This is after drinking at least 18-24 Lone Stars between the two of us). He would say 'I don't know, how about six'. We would tip him good, but man, he just wanted that stuff to disappear.
posted by repoman at 6:22 PM on February 27, 2009


Shiner good
Lonestar bad (but better than Budweiser)



I am taking a stand!
posted by Neofelis at 6:31 PM on February 27, 2009


He likes Texas.
He likes beer.

He likes Texas beer.
posted by eriko at 6:32 PM on February 27, 2009


Oh no. No. Shiner is complete pisswater. Distinction? Like lukewarm milk. To be fair, Lonestar's like water, but dammit, Shiner's for the frat boys. I'd take a Lone Star at the Showdown any day.

I can see you're not from Texas. Lone Star is almost as fratted up as Natty Lite.

It's not really a dark beer. Drink it cold.
posted by cmoj at 6:56 PM on February 27, 2009



Oh no. No. Shiner is complete pisswater. Distinction? Like lukewarm milk. To be fair, Lonestar's like water, but dammit, Shiner's for the frat boys. I'd take a Lone Star at the Showdown any day.
posted by theefixedstars at 6:03 PM on February 27


I spent several years of my life drinking Lone Star at the Showdown; hell, I could crawl home, I lived right next door at the co-op.

Lonestar is perfectly fine, for American beers. Better then bud or miller, better than the crappy Milwaukee shit which is comparably priced. We used to buy pitchers, put limes on the rim, and challenge people to tell us whether it was Dos Equis or Lonestar. It was very difficult to tell and 3 bucks less for a pitcher.

Shiner, never liked it much. Not enough body or flavor to support the color, always a letdown.

Sadly the Showdown is defunct... now a Woodrow's
posted by Cycloptichorn at 7:05 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I drank a Lone Star for the first time a couple weeks ago. It was pretty much like all the beers of that caliber, except that it tasted like Texas. Sometimes, even the combination of tradition and marketing can impart a sense of terroir, and I'm all about that.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:15 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levi's each night begins a new day
And if you don't understand him and he don't die young
He'll probably just ride away
Mamas' don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys*


I'll have you know, that a real German beer drinkin', hard drivin' Hurensohn named Jens, went to Austin and declared Lone Star a pretty goddamn good beer. For an American beer, that is.

Just sayin'.
posted by chillmost at 7:31 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still love Austin airport, because you can get Salt Lick BBQ, a big Shiner on tap, and sit back and watch the bands play while you wait for your plane.

The airport experience just doesn't get much better than that, frankly.
posted by markkraft at 7:32 PM on February 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


ubiquity is correct, Lone Star and Pearl each had their own breweries for many years. The old Lone Star brewery now houses the San Antonio Museum of Art. Anyone remember the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum or the Hall of Texas History Wax Museum (scroll down)?
posted by Daddy-O at 7:35 PM on February 27, 2009


Oh no. No. Shiner is complete pisswater. Distinction? Like lukewarm milk. To be fair, Lonestar's like water, but dammit, Shiner's for the frat boys. I'd take a Lone Star at the Showdown any day.

I can see you're not from Texas. Lone Star is almost as fratted up as Natty Lite.


Oh please, girl. And Shiner's not? We must have grown up in separate Texas-es. It happens.
posted by theefixedstars at 7:42 PM on February 27, 2009


(Also -- Shiner has the taste of lukewarm milk, regardless of the temperature)
posted by theefixedstars at 7:44 PM on February 27, 2009


I'm liking the Shiner packaging redesign.

The flat Shiner bock I was served the other night at the Hyde Park Bar and Grill, not so much. "We just serve it that way". ?!?!?!??!?!?! Who serves beer without bubbles? On purpose?
posted by marble at 7:45 PM on February 27, 2009


Oh, and I can't think of Lone Star beer without also thinking of Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother.

Here's Ray Wylie Hubbard telling the hilarious story of how he came to write the song.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:54 PM on February 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


theefixedstars - No accounting for taste, I suppose. but, obviously you're wrong and a bad person. If Shiner tastes like milk, I'll have it on my cereal.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:07 PM on February 27, 2009


My great grandfather was sent on a cattle ship to the US from Bavaria by his mother, who feared Bismarck was going to start a war. He worked at the Pearl Brewery as a lad, and at his uncle's beer garden (which was apparently close at hand). And then he worked for years and years as a postman. A socialist postman.

I've never had Lone Star, though.
posted by Netzapper at 8:10 PM on February 27, 2009


Pabst's revival as a "retro-chic" beer began in the early 2000s, at Lutz Tavern, in Portland.

Well, some of us "hipsters" have been fans for a bit longer. I remember drinking Lone Star in the late 80s in Scotland. From memory, it's most endearing quality was that it came from Texas. Not necessarily the most important property for a beer.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:20 PM on February 27, 2009


EatTheWeak -- how did you know? That makes me happy, and not just because you connoisseur of the vulnerable and defenseless. Of course people who eat babies drink Shiner. Why would you not enjoy beer upon your fresh young cornflakes?
posted by theefixedstars at 8:24 PM on February 27, 2009


Daddy-O, I'd favorite you a hundred times if I could.
posted by chillmost at 8:27 PM on February 27, 2009


Thank goodness no one mentioned Buckhorn ... now THAT'S cheap pisswater beer! (Put me in the Shiner Bock longneck column!)
posted by aldus_manutius at 8:37 PM on February 27, 2009


You folks comparing Lone Star to Shiner Bock and finding it lacking are kind of missing the point.

next time i bring a bottle of thunderbird to a wine tasting party, that's just what i'm gonna tell them
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on February 27, 2009


theefixedstars - I find the Shiner Dunkel goes best with baby. No older than eight months, and the trick is to marinate for two nap times.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:41 PM on February 27, 2009


I've drunk more Lone Star than I've drunk water. It's *supposed* to taste like piss, Shiner (sorry, old Texas friends) is *supposed* to take like shit, and Pearl is for girls unless you're a very tough guy and want to prove it.

Seriously, if you're paying attention to the quality of the beer in your hand, you're not paying attention to the road. Now shut up and drink and drive.

Lone Star, however, holds pride of place in country music lyrics. It just scans right.

It's another burrito, it's a cold Lone Star in My Hand. (Jerry Jeff Walker)
That's What I Like About Texas (drinkin' Shiner, Pearl, and Lone Star) (Dale Watson/Johnny Bush)
Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music (Red Steagall/Justin Trevino)

etc. ad infinitum . . .

Old Lone Star Beer commercial . . . (YT)
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:05 AM on February 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are we not going to talk about the radio commercials? Am I the only one who remembers? I'm from California, where I don't remember seeing Lone Star in the liquor stores, but for some reason the radio commercials were frequent (late '70s, early '80s):

Young person: "What's the matter officer? Party too loud?"
Cop (total deadpan voice): "Nope. Not enough Lone Star."

But the real reason I stopped here to comment is to note that my local Country-Western bar in Kyoto has Lone Star, of all things, on tap.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2009


Oops, there's a commercial from fourcheesemac, but without the coastal sarcasm.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:14 AM on February 28, 2009


This Twelve ton armadillo Lone Star ad started a silly fad for a while in Texas. Lots more commercials ("I know about the armadillo"), and people placing Lone Star cans in the paws of roadkill armadillos.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 7:17 AM on February 28, 2009


Yep, worst beer I've ever tasted.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:39 AM on February 28, 2009


We must have grown up in separate Texas-es.

I'll go with that. In Austin, I can imagine that Shiner wouldn't be cool enough for non-frat boys to drink. In Denton it's Natty Lite or Bud Ice for them, and Shiner is just kind of the default beer. In Midland, though, all bets are off, and the window of taste moves down, putting Lone Star at the top, and meth at the other end.

And because it hasn't happened yet:

I don't need no diamond ring
don't need no Cadillac car!
I just wanna drink my Lone Star beer
down in the Lightnin' Bar.

posted by cmoj at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2009


a long time ago a texan told me in college the following piece of wisdom

"smoke dope, no hope

drink lone star, you'll go far"

seeing as there wasn't a can of lone star within 500 miles of grand rapids, i resigned myself to my hopeless fate
posted by pyramid termite at 10:35 AM on February 28, 2009


(brow furrowed, trying too hard to think of some witty frank booth/jeffrey allusion to make here . . . argh . . . not coming . . . fuck.)
posted by barrett caulk at 12:53 PM on February 28, 2009


putting Lone Star at the top, and meth at the other end.

Actually, they go quite well together.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:49 PM on February 28, 2009


What are some regional analogs to Lone Star? Iron City? Primo? Me no drink barley pop, but I am fascinated by cheap beer brands that symbolize places.
posted by bonefish at 9:32 PM on February 28, 2009


What are some regional analogs to Lone Star?

Old Style, in Chicago?
posted by dirtdirt at 7:41 AM on March 2, 2009


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