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July 20, 2010 8:30 AM   Subscribe

Oppressive treatment of Chinese hipsters reaches new highs. Do you like PBR? Seriously? Then you'll have no problem paying $44 a bottle for it.
Price does not include required champagne flute
posted by yerfatma (128 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Okay, where can I get a bottle of this? My wife is 8 month pregnant and all she wants when it's okay for her to drink again is a PBR. This would surely class up the occasion.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:33 AM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's really the only choice.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:40 AM on July 20, 2010


I was in China awhile back and noticed that Taco Bell was a sit-down restaurant. The wait staff was wearing sombreros and serapes. All I could think was "poor waiters."
posted by jquinby at 8:41 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Laugh it up, but I totally expect this to be launched in the US as well. And ridiculed at first, then suddenly held in high esteem. The shows will have to start stocking plastic champagne flutes specifically for it.

Next, it will be reborn in draft form.



Isn't this basically how most imports end up over here?
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:41 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


That gallery of historical Pabst ads is pretty interesting. I was opening pages to post a list of the sexually-undertoned ones but after this one they nearly all are. (I don't know what these guys are thinking and I hope (see what I did there?!) this one is merely sexual and not scatalogical.)
posted by DU at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2010


From the YouTube comments on the video I linked: " Fuck that shit,Stone IPA! Fuck PBR, I've got disposable income. "
posted by paisley henosis at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Audiophiles:Monster Cables::Chinese beer drinkers:PBR
posted by griphus at 8:44 AM on July 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Finally, we have our revenge for the pee-pee in our Coke.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:47 AM on July 20, 2010 [23 favorites]


(And just for the record: this is not a champagne flute, it is pretty traditional Pilsner glass.)
posted by paisley henosis at 8:47 AM on July 20, 2010


paisley henosis: "From the YouTube comments on the video I linked: " Fuck that shit,Stone IPA! Fuck PBR, I've got disposable income. ""

It's funny. I've never actually seen anyone with Disposable Income Problems drink PBR. Usually because if the PBR is a dollar, the Rolling Rock is two and I may not know much about beer, but I know which tastes less like backwash and urine.
posted by griphus at 8:48 AM on July 20, 2010


Isn't this basically what happened with Stella Artois outside of Belgium?

And they bought PBR, right?
posted by MysticMCJ at 8:49 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


At Royal Oak in Brooklyn, the PBR is called "Sweet Ups" and goes for 6 dollars per draft. Not as outlandish but still.
posted by Jagz-Mario at 8:50 AM on July 20, 2010


In Canada, Stella Artois is billed as a fancy-ass beer, but in the UK my brother was saying it's what wife-beating trailer-park boys drink.

When I was in Japan last I paid almost 10 bucks for a Canadian. Seriously.
posted by chunking express at 8:51 AM on July 20, 2010


When I lived in Japan I kept getting the giggles every time a local ordered the top shelf import beer, Budweiser.
posted by Babblesort at 8:52 AM on July 20, 2010


In Canada, Stella Artois is billed as a fancy-ass beer, but in the UK my brother was saying it's what wife-beating trailer-park boys drink.

Same in the US. People look at me strangely when I tell them that back home Stella is called
"wife beater" and drinking too much of it is termed "committing Stellacide". They'll find out.
posted by ob at 8:53 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't this basically what happened with Stella Artois outside of Belgium?

This would explain a lot. I find Stella to be terrible but it its a prestige beer in certain American joints.
posted by Jagz-Mario at 8:54 AM on July 20, 2010


When I lived in Japan I kept getting the giggles every time a local ordered the top shelf import beer, Budweiser.

LOLOLOLOL point laugh LOLOLOL

Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:55 AM on July 20, 2010


Well, it is a very nice bottle.

Over here, Sutter Home is priced higher than some quality French wines. And not just higher because of the alcohol imports tax; it outprices Kendall Jackson even. I have no idea why this is. To me, "Sutter Home" is synonymous with "cloyingly sweet white zinf served in a red plastic cup".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:56 AM on July 20, 2010


I've never actually seen anyone with Disposable Income Problems drink PBR.

Despite the memes about PBR-loving trustafarians, DIP is still the main reason why people drink PBR.
posted by Jagz-Mario at 8:56 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was in China awhile back and noticed that Taco Bell was a sit-down restaurant.

Well, it was the only survivor of the franchise wars.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:57 AM on July 20, 2010 [13 favorites]


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

Compared to the Japanese beer Asahi? Yeah right. That's like comparing cold cider to a bottle of cold piss.
posted by Malice at 9:03 AM on July 20, 2010


uncleozzy, I LOL'ed so hard that soda came out my nose.
posted by contessa at 9:04 AM on July 20, 2010


Stella Artois was the only non-Czech beer I could get in Prague.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:04 AM on July 20, 2010


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

Technically impressive, sure. They make vast oceans of the stuff, and it's always the same. It's the drum machine of beers. Which has somewhat less impact than King of Beers, I suppose.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:06 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


"In Canada, Stella Artois is billed as a fancy-ass beer, but in the UK my brother was saying it's what wife-beating trailer-park boys drink."

I've heard it referred to as 'wifebeater' but really 'trailer trash' folk will drink Special Brew or cider.

Their ads have long been very glossy productions, though - at one point they had the tagline 'Reassuringly expensive'.
posted by mippy at 9:10 AM on July 20, 2010


Am I the only one who finds Stella to be completely unpalatable after it has dropped a degree beneath "ice cold"? Same goes for Heineken, actually.
posted by griphus at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pope Guilty

Any link to these francise wars in China you refer to?
posted by infini at 9:11 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's funny. I've never actually seen anyone with Disposable Income Problems drink PBR. Usually because if the PBR is a dollar, the Rolling Rock is two and I may not know much about beer, but I know which tastes less like backwash and urine.

The nice thing about being a beer drinker in the US is that my liquor store down the road has hundreds of different beers in single bottles for sale from $1-5, which range from terrible to the best I've ever tasted. And some of the best brews are at the lower end of that price range. Slapping a $44 label on a bottle of liquid that could be sold for a buck is more of a wine industry kind of thing.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:12 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stella Artois was the only non-Czech beer I could get in Prague.

What were you doing drinking non-Czech beer in Prague!?
posted by millipede at 9:14 AM on July 20, 2010 [19 favorites]


I wonder if the 44 in 1844 will influence teh brand's uptake in China. If a shop keeper would rather you didn't buy something so that he wouldn't have you give 44 kwai change (to avert the bad luck of the number 4, which sounds like death) then I'd wait a little before assuming this is going to be a rollicking success and topple the likes of Hennessy VSOP et al
posted by infini at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Heineken out of anything other than those little kegs is crappy to me.
Now, my recent DIP beer is Dale's Pale Ale. What a great beer that is. Made me love hoppy again.
posted by joecacti at 9:17 AM on July 20, 2010


Wow. I guess we now have proof that you can do pretty much anything with the right amount of marketing.

And, yeah. European beers are indeed upsold here in the US, but not quite on the same level as this. (Stella is the most notable offender, IMO...It's considered a pretty low-class drink by many over there. However, Europeans are intelligent enough to know that most American macrobrew exports are crap.)
posted by schmod at 9:18 AM on July 20, 2010


When I was in Japan last I paid almost 10 bucks for a Canadian.
Yeah, anything more that 5 bucks is a ripoff. Europeans at least are reasonably priced at ~2 dollars.
posted by joecacti at 9:19 AM on July 20, 2010


Pope Guilty

Any link to these francise wars in China you refer to?


They weren't just in China
posted by Rubbstone at 9:21 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Usually because if the PBR is a dollar, the Rolling Rock is two and I may not know much about beer, but I know which tastes less like backwash and urine.

I've never tasted urine, but I've had PBR and Rolling Rock and in my imagination those both pretty much taste like what I would think urine tastes like. So you've either intrigued me or enlightened me. I can't decide.
posted by Big_B at 9:23 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]



When I lived in Japan I kept getting the giggles every time a local ordered the top shelf import beer, Budweiser.
posted by Babblesort


Some years back, I brought a sixpack of Bud to Paris, and people begged me to give them one to keep, and fought over the empties.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:23 AM on July 20, 2010


I haven't seen any indication that the writers of these articles actually tried the drink. It might actually be quite different from standard PBR. It could be the nectar of the gods. The color of the beer in this picture looks promising (compare with this.)
posted by naju at 9:25 AM on July 20, 2010


PBR isn't that bad, really. If you want whiplash-inducingly, gaspingly bad, you should try Amsterdam Navigator. Cheap and high in alcohol content, it seemed the ideal choice for the frugal 20-something, but the taste is special combination of something like the bottom of a dumpster on a summer day in Baltimore and the inside of a cap of hairspray. And the worst part is, unlike other forms of cheap alcohol, chugging down a can doesn't kill the taste. It just gets worse and worse. Shotgunning is not definitely not recommended.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:26 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Say what you will about Budweiser (not bud light), but one thing is certain. AB does their homework. Anywhere in the world they brew, they convert the local water to St. Louis, Missouri water. You can drink a Bud from anywhere and it will taste *exactly* the same.

That said, Bud is no Stone. It's obviously a faint echo of Budejovice Budvar. It isn't even in the same class as the basic Pilsner from cross-town microbrew Schlafly. But for all its lack of sophistication and panache, it is a solid, and eminently predictable (in the good sense) beer.

PBR is supposed to be drunk from cans, after you run out of Stag.
posted by notsnot at 9:27 AM on July 20, 2010


Well.......Iiiiiiiiiiiii drink trappist style beer brewed with yeast cells extracted from the sweat of the Panchen Lama ....what? the Dalai was bottled in '98 darling, it's not ready, too heavy with topnotes of oppression, you'd be SO gauche to drink it before 2017 when it's due to mature .......... yes, I do have a case, yes it is stored in a cellar with the requisite picture of the Karma Pakshi, what to you think I'm some kind of PROLE?..........this? this is a glass made of a ground-up statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha.....yes I know the Bodhisattva Maitreya pitcher is nicer, but I LOANED IT TO A FRIEND and besides, it's Spring and eeeeveryone knows you dont drink out of Bodhisattvas till fall it's just not done............and what is it anyway with the questions - yes, I know trappist monks are from Belgium, but this is the twenty-first century, and a Lama is a form of religious - lets not get all prescriptivist about our fermented beverages now.....I'll open a bottle for you...what? no, you may not drink it while eating it with your pork rinds.....come here, have some of my diviiiiine white-lipped deer salumi.........
posted by lalochezia at 9:28 AM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


The color of the beer in this picture looks promising (compare with this.)

You can whitebalance piss to be the same color as a fine trappist ale.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:29 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Their ads have long been very glossy productions, though - at one point they had the tagline 'Reassuringly expensive'.

I opined only the other day, when watching a Stella ad, that it really is the Ferrero Rocher of beers.
posted by ob at 9:29 AM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


My old man used to buy PBR in 16 oz. returnables, and I think it cost about $12 per case at the time. It probably wasn't even worth that, but I drank it with him anyway. Today, he's graduated to Bud. When you drink as much beer as he does, you pick your battles. I love the old 16 oz. returnables for bottling homebrew. Sweet irony...seeing skinny-jeaned dweebs lining up to buy it in bars when there are fantastic brews on tap.
posted by VicNebulous at 9:30 AM on July 20, 2010


Usually because if the PBR is a dollar, the Rolling Rock is two and I may not know much about beer, but I know which tastes less like backwash and urine.

I think you mean PBR, but I'm not totally sure ... (trust me, the answer here is PBR.)

In my opinion, PBR and Old Milwaukee are still the two best beers in terms of taste per price. (Stroh's was another that's now basically Pabst.)

Despite the memes about PBR-loving trustafarians, DIP is still the main reason why people drink PBR.

Agreed. I buy PBR because I'm cheap or I only have a few bucks in my pocket. I hate Stella Artois. However, if it cost the same as PBR, it wouldn't be nearly as bad an option.

Just for the record, I prefer darker beers like Newcastle or Downtown Brown. If I'm gonna drink a light beer I like a Belgian beer or Racer 5. I like a lotta hops in the light beers.

But if you're drinking cheap beer as ice tea in the summer sun (meaning 7 or 8 cans or so) for me it's: Old Milwaukee > PBR > Lite by Miller > Tecate > Natural Light > Busch > Keystone > Olympia > Burgie's.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


You can whitebalance piss to be the same color as a fine trappist ale.

Of course, but that's the only evidence I have to go on right now. Any Chinese MeFites want to take the $44 plunge?
posted by naju at 9:31 AM on July 20, 2010


PBR isn't that bad, really

It's really not. It's far-and-away my cheap beer of choice. If I'm drinking for quantity, it's PBR or Stroh's every time. Stroh's is a bit of a dark horse, but it actually, no-kidding, almost tastes like hops. For $8 a 15-pack.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:32 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Hamm's will jump on the band-wagon and re-bottle their swill for foreign markets?
posted by wcfields at 9:34 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweet Ups was PBR? Huh. Back in the day, that was the cheapest available beer at the Royal Oak. In 2004/2005 I think it was four dollars.
posted by josher71 at 9:37 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the 44 in 1844 will influence teh brand's uptake in China.

And the price is $44 as well? That's a lot of death, and a particularly high death-to-wealth ratio of 4:1.

I'll know that the end times are truly here when West End Draught is rebadged as a premium brand. I've never tried this PBR stuff but it can't be worse.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 9:38 AM on July 20, 2010


I opined only the other day, when watching a Stella ad, that it really is the Ferrero Rocher of beers.

Well put.

"The ambassador's receptions are noted in society for their host's exquisite taste that captivates his guests"
posted by mrgrimm at 9:39 AM on July 20, 2010


Old Milwaukee > PBR > Lite by Miller > Tecate > Natural Light > Busch > Keystone > Olympia > Burgie's.

I was so dishearten to learn that Oly isn't even brewed in the Northwest anymore after reading the wiki. Guess it's not the water. That being said, I've always felt like it had a metallic taste.
posted by wcfields at 9:39 AM on July 20, 2010


the taste is special combination of something like the bottom of a dumpster on a summer day in Baltimore

So they're just recycling used Natty Boh?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:40 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who finds Stella to be completely unpalatable after it has dropped a degree beneath "ice cold"? Same goes for Heineken, actually.

Heineken? Fuck that shit!
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 9:41 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

What...what are you talking about? Do you even know stuff?

This isn't saying much, but I really think PBR tastes better than Budweiser. It's a little sweet and slightly malty, whereas the only thing I taste in Budweiser is carbonation and rice.
posted by invitapriore at 9:41 AM on July 20, 2010


Stroh's is a bit of a dark horse, but it actually, no-kidding, almost tastes like hops. For $8 a 15-pack.

Back in my day (way back in the early '90s) when the original Stroh's brewery was struggling, we used to get 30-packs for $15, with a $5 rebate. That's 33 cents a beer.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:42 AM on July 20, 2010


Same here, mrgrimm! It was the choice in case beers. That is, before the fateful day when Mickeys and their infernal widemouth pull-tab bottles came to town.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:45 AM on July 20, 2010


Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's a totally different beer [pdf]:
“We just produced China’s first real specialty beer, an all-malt, reddish brown strong (15.7 plato) ale, dry hopped with Cascade (38 IBU) and aged in new uncharred American whiskey barrels,” Mr. Kornhauser reports. “It's being bottled in a nice looking 720-ml brown bottle with an enamel label and it is called Blue Ribbon 1844, a reference to Pabst’s founding date. It will only be sold in China, and it’s going to sell for over $20 a bottle!”
posted by av123 at 9:45 AM on July 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


stroh's used to be my go to beer back in the 70s and 80s - it's not as good as it used to be but beats the shit out of bud - but not a lot of places carry it in michigan

i like pbr - for cheap beer, it's pretty good

the best american macro out there is schlitz' 60s gusto formula - believe it or not, back then, some of the major beer companies actually knew how to brew something decent - if only some of the other companies would resurrect their old formulas

and 44? - this is basic psychology at work - not only can you buy a status symbol beer at a horrible price, you can thumb your nose at death when you're doing it - whoever thought of this knew exactly what they were doing
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's 33 cents a beer.

We got some PBR on sale a couple of years ago--maybe 2006--for not much more than that. Something like $11 or $12 a 30-rack. Damn near bought the store out.

For what it's worth, on the cheap beer front, Trader Joe's Simpler Times private label is awful. The "Pilsner," at 5.5%abv, was a little better than High Life: less corn, more malt, still too sweet. I didn't try the "Lager," at 6.2%abv, but I imagine a sticky-sweet ice beer disaster.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:49 AM on July 20, 2010


When I lived in Japan I kept getting the giggles every time a local ordered the top shelf import beer, Budweiser.

Ha. I remember the very last day of my first trip to Japan, I was at an izakaya grabbing my last lunch in-country and I saw Hamm's Beer for sale. I thought, how is this possible? Hamms went defunct a few years back. It was selling for the same price as Japanese beer, which wasn't too surprising since it was a really cheap US brand. So I ordered one. It was skunked.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:51 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's like how Americans think Fosters is popular in Australia, when in actual fact its mere availability is a sure sign you have walked into a tourist trap.

(I notice they're now selling VB at the local Beer Store... NO THANKS.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:53 AM on July 20, 2010


I wish Stroh's was readily available here. I miss that fire brewing. When purchasing shit beer for parties, Schaeffer's tall boys are also in the PBR/ Stroh's/ Schlitz won't-make-you-blind continuum.
posted by yerfatma at 9:54 AM on July 20, 2010


And I agree that the Trader Joe's private label stuff is some sort of prank.
posted by yerfatma at 9:55 AM on July 20, 2010


What...what are you talking about? Do you even know stuff?

Budweiser is the pinnacle of the science of brewing, but yeah, it's a long way off from the art of brewing. Just take a look at the difference between the head brewers of AB and the microbreweries in Beer Wars: the AB guy is much more a quality-control, engineer a beer to match a marketing idea than to develop something interesting.

Although, there is an amusing anecdote about AB in Papazian's Microbrewed Adventures that's really worthwhile. Basically, it just shows how AB brewers don't even think on anything less than the GAZZILIONS OF GALLONS scale.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:55 AM on July 20, 2010


And in fairness, me and my friends thought we were tasting some sophisticated, quality beer when we started drinking Asahi. Japanese people I've since met have called it the beer of poor students who don't know any better.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:55 AM on July 20, 2010


We just produced China’s first real specialty beer, an all-malt, reddish brown strong (15.7 plato) ale, dry hopped with Cascade (38 IBU) and aged in new uncharred American whiskey barrels

Holy cow. This is exactly the kind of thing you couldn't sell under the Pabst name stateside. Good on them, in that case.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:59 AM on July 20, 2010


dry hopped with Cascade (38 IBU)

That is rather hilarious, as dry hops contribute nothing to the IBU level.
posted by rkent at 10:02 AM on July 20, 2010


In Canada, Stella Artois is billed as a fancy-ass beer, but in the UK my brother was saying it's what wife-beating trailer-park boys drink.

I knew it! I've never understood why people would pay $8 a pint for such a shitty beer. Now I know (and they will too the next time one of my friends buys it). PBR is a pretty decent beer. I would definitely choose it over Bud, but probably not over Miller Lite if the price is comparable. I can't get Stroh's out here in California, but I well remember those little brown bottles from when I was a kid in Michigan. When they stopped making it with Detroit River water, it lost a lot of its flavor.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:13 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Budweiser is the pinnacle of the science of brewing, but yeah, it's a long way off from the art of brewing.

Believe me, I know, I live in St. Louis. But the implication there, in the context of the beer being consumed rather than produced, was that brewers regarded it as one of the world's most artful beers. False.
posted by invitapriore at 10:14 AM on July 20, 2010


In China the color "Blue" is significant. For a number of reasons.

1. It's a royal color. Sort of like Purple to the Romans. A sign of prestige.

2. Foreigners translates as "ocean people", which is where outsiders first came from. The ocean is blue and China's future is tied to that, it's a sign of prosperity and forward looking. An antithesis to Red. If you look at Google Earth, most of the new factories being built have blue roofs.
posted by stbalbach at 10:15 AM on July 20, 2010


uncleozzy, I LOL'ed so hard that soda came out my nose.
posted by contessa at 12:04 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


Really? Because I wasn't a huge fan. Of course, I'm not really big on racist playground rhymes.

Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:18 AM on July 20, 2010


On Bud being a technically impressive beer: I think this is very true. Anyone who's brewed an all-grain pilsner or lager will surely agree with me that it's one of the trickiest of non-Belgians to get right. It's very light colored, so there's no dark color to hide your mistakes. The malt and hop balance is very finicky, the fermenting and aging temperatures have to be just right, etc etc. If I was going to try to brew beer at an industrial scale, I think lager would be the very last style I'd consider. But Anheiser Busch has figured out how to produce just stupendous tankers full of it, continuously, and every last bit the same.

It's not craft beer, no. It's not trying to be. It's trying to be a light, consistent, mass-market beer. It isn't what you'd call artistic, or surprising, or flavorful. But it is what it is, and you have to give them credit for producing a lager at that kind of scale.
posted by rusty at 10:26 AM on July 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


...not only can you buy a status symbol beer at a horrible price, you can thumb your nose at death when you're doing it...

That's why my diet comes primarily from dented cans I buy at Dean and DeLuca.
posted by griphus at 10:32 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jagz-Mario: "At Royal Oak in Brooklyn, the PBR is called "Sweet Ups" and goes for 6 dollars per draft. Not as outlandish but still."

$6 for a cheap domestic? Yow. I don't think that I'd drink much if I lived in Brooklyn. The bar around the corner from me charges $3 for Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada.
posted by octothorpe at 10:33 AM on July 20, 2010


No, you'd just pick better bars than the Royal Oak.
posted by griphus at 10:37 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


rusty, thanks for the perspective. I think I might just resent Budweiser a little bit because Budweiser is a cornerstone of St. Louis pride for a lot of folks, and I guess I just wish we could focus on being proud of things from St. Louis that are actually cool and awesome instead of a bland mass-market rice lager.
posted by invitapriore at 10:37 AM on July 20, 2010


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

What...what are you talking about? Do you even know stuff?


lol beer noob
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:40 AM on July 20, 2010


I spent Saturday doing a small-town barhopping tour for my friend's bachelor party. I think with the exception of the last stop, we had either High Life or PBR at each bar, whichever was available in that order. Now, I can go for beer snobbery and have a lot of expensive brews I love (and a handful of beers I have no interest in, including most in green bottles and those of the Busch/Busch Light/Natty Light families) but those two made for a good run and were appreciated choices.
posted by mikeh at 11:01 AM on July 20, 2010


Maybe, but that's not even relevant, (A)H(W)O. I think your statement is still wrong in that the beer isn't what's impressive, it's the circumstances of its production. I'll happily drink the stuff, but considered in relation to other beers I've had, without regards to name or producer or production method, I don't think "impressive" is a word that comes to mind.
posted by invitapriore at 11:05 AM on July 20, 2010


PBR is great for what it is: the pop of beer. I will drink it all night long, even when there are "fantastic brews on tap", because I want a low-alcohol, neutral beverage to wash down my pizza, not some hopped-up, high-sugar-content hangover-inducing fancy-pants hand-crafted-tap-knob garbage.
posted by Aquaman at 11:15 AM on July 20, 2010


Wait, you would pick something over a mythical garbage option? What a strong stance.
posted by yerfatma at 11:17 AM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I want an American style lager--which is when I'm out of homebrew and the special beer store is closed--then I'll drink a BPR over anything else. BPR is one of the best beers of its style. I just don't really like its style.
posted by Hoenikker at 11:19 AM on July 20, 2010


This post has come full circle, if there's anything to be learned, it's that you never like what you have, but somebody else will covet what they don't.
posted by darlingmagpie at 11:19 AM on July 20, 2010


yerfatma, don't pretend you don't know what Aquaman means.

Nobody on a serious drinking spree is going to down a shitload of double-IPA beer, Belgian-style ales, or super-sweet stouts. Those are fine beers, but they're not session beers. I made the mistake of ordering one of those with chicken wings once and realized the folly. Let the beer fit the circumstances.
posted by mikeh at 11:20 AM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

I was on a boat cruise on the East River recently and PBR was the cheapest beer they had in stock, so we were pretty much tied to their selections for over 3 hours. I had about 4 or 5 PBR's when they ran out and had to spend $5 on a can of Budweiser. I'd being telling a lie if I said it didn't taste like the finest craft brew a man could ever want. The difference in the two cheap beers is quite a gulf.
posted by yeti at 11:43 AM on July 20, 2010


(I wish Bud was brewed with more malt and less rice, too, for what that's worth. I don't give them much credit for cutting ingredient costs to the bone for the sake of cheapness above all. But that, while it's largely the cause of what is not impressive about Bud (the taste), is incidental to what is impressive about Bud. If that makes any sense at all. I think what I'm trying to say is the beer is impressive, given the circumstances and volume of its production. It could be way, way worse swill than it is.)
posted by rusty at 11:59 AM on July 20, 2010


Actually, Budweiser is recognized by many master brewers as one of the most impressive beers in the world.

Well, it's "impressive" that they can convince so many people to drink it, certainly...

When I lived in Japan I kept getting the giggles every time a local ordered the top shelf import beer, Budweiser.

Are you sure that it was U.S. Budweiser and not European Budweiser? There is a "Budweiser" sold in Europe -- I've seen and had it myself in Hungary, Austria, and some places in Bavaria, although its range may be much greater than that (WP says it's Czech) -- which is a perfectly fine pilsner. It's what U.S. Budweiser ought to be and probably was before Prohibition.

In the U.S., Euro-Budweiser is sold as "B.B. Bürgerbräu", but in Europe and some other markets it is called "Budweiser" or "Budweiser Bier". I don't know who own the trademark in Japan, but they might not be drinking the same swill that you'd get if you ordered the same thing in the States.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 PM on July 20, 2010


Oh it was U.S. Budweiser for sure. In the famous red and white can.
posted by Babblesort at 12:09 PM on July 20, 2010


At Royal Oak in Brooklyn, the PBR is called "Sweet Ups" and goes for 6 dollars per draft. Not as outlandish but still.

Hmm. I used to live right around there. I could basically see Royal Oak from my bedroom. IIRC, Sweet Ups was something completely different from PBR, which they also served (a lot). I always assumed that it was a microbrew or something, since Sweet Ups is also the name of another bar from the owners of Royal Oak.
posted by defenestration at 1:15 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless that was just a dry joke of some sort?
posted by defenestration at 1:16 PM on July 20, 2010


Nevermind, some Googling pulls up that Sweet Ups is PBR or worse depending on what they have.

If that's true: what scumbags! Not sure if they've ever scammed me—don't remember ordering it—but that'ss super lame.
posted by defenestration at 1:19 PM on July 20, 2010


Nobody on a serious drinking spree is going to down a shitload of double-IPA beer, Belgian-style ales, or super-sweet stouts.

Disagree strongly. I've been through most of a case of Franziskaner in a night, just because it's so damn friendly. Same for any number of other good beers. It's not a great habit, but I wouldn't say Schaefer is the only "Beer to Have When You're Having More Than One".
posted by yerfatma at 1:27 PM on July 20, 2010


I once brought back a St. Louis beer from Botswana (it is their national brand which tastes kind of like Bud) and sold it for $35 on ebay. One man's piss is another's collector's item.

Also, about the person who said taco bell is fancy in china, so is Pizza Hut. I had a I'm-feeling-homesick meal there and watched the little Chinese kids struggle with forks and knives, it was adorable.
posted by treeshar at 1:40 PM on July 20, 2010


Ya, when I was in China KFC was a popular 'date-spot.' Very weird.

I don't take beer seriously enough to really care. Feeling cheep = $3 or less....expensive = $6 or less. I generally walk away feeling pretty good.
posted by rosswald at 1:46 PM on July 20, 2010


Ya, when I was in China KFC was a popular 'date-spot.' Very weird.

I learned this myself when I invited a girl from Shanghai that I worked with to grab a bite to eat with me at KFC. I felt decidedly sloppy and under-dressed when I came to pick her up and she was in a white evening gown and heels. At first I thought she misunderstood me, but no, she was really psyched about going to KFC. I remember thinking, "Wow, this girl really likes KFC, that's very cool." We had a nice dinner, and it was over the cole slaw that she told me KFC was a date spot in China. We both had a bit of a laugh at my momentary embarrassment. She went back home a couple weeks later, and seeing a KFC always reminds me of her.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 PM on July 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


PBR was my first beer, out of a keg at a punk show. I really don't know if it's "good" or not, but I love it, and my home town had to pass a law to stop bars from selling it for less than a dollar.
posted by keratacon at 2:07 PM on July 20, 2010


Nobody on a serious drinking spree is going to down a shitload of double-IPA beer, Belgian-style ales, or super-sweet stouts.

Well sure. After all it's going to be hard to fit into your skinny jeans after drinking real beer.
posted by Big_B at 2:21 PM on July 20, 2010


In Budapest, the horrible Sutter Home and ilk "imported" French wines were leagues more expensive then the perfectly nice, perfectly charming local stuff. A decent wine from America was just absurdly expensive.

Location location location.

And If I'm drinking PRB it's cause one or both of the following things are happening.

1) I'm planning on drinking all night but I remember things the next morning

2) I have exactly $17.50 to my na,e.
posted by The Whelk at 2:23 PM on July 20, 2010


A couple of guys I know always ask the bartender for "A glass of your very finest Lion's Head." Annoys the shit out of the bartender.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:25 PM on July 20, 2010


Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one.
posted by ambient2 at 2:45 PM on July 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if you want sessionables, then any good hefe or witbier is certainly better than macro swill. Hell, 'round these parts, Sweetwater brewery offers some middlebrow selections that are orders of magnitude better. Their current summer brew is about the most sessionable thing around. They name their beers like a 5th grader would, though.

Personally, if I want to drink pilsner all day long, I go for Victory Prima Pils. Very nice.
posted by Theodore Sign at 2:46 PM on July 20, 2010


Related story from Australia: looking at the imported beer section for something I hadn't tried before, I came across this Canadian beer I had never heard of. It was well above the usual price for cases, even for imports, so I thought 'how bad can it be?'. Some time later, my cousin from America would see me drinking a bottle of this beer and question why on earth I'd drink a Labatt in Australia. I would be clued in to just where it stood in the beer heirachy (I was only just 18 at the time and ignorant of such international beer knowledge).

It wasn't that bad, truth be told, although not quite worth the price it was at.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 2:49 PM on July 20, 2010


ambient2: "Schaefer is the one beer to have when you're having more than one."

The most rewarding flavor in this man's world!
posted by octothorpe at 2:50 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Trader Joe's Simpler Times lager is not bad for it's price. Also, Trader Joe's has their Christmas Ale which are bottled by Unibroue, and are cheap and delicious.
posted by mike_bling at 2:54 PM on July 20, 2010


> for me it's: Old Milwaukee

Old Swill. I second that emotion. Can't get it where I live now, but whenever I go to where I can get my hands on a can that thin bubbly takes me right back to college days, kicking it on the quad, oh you know.
posted by chavenet at 3:01 PM on July 20, 2010


I've been through most of a case of Franziskaner in a night, just because it's so damn friendly.

Which, unless you're drinking something high-proof like Optimator, is absolutely nothing like the beers I mentioned. I'm assuming you're referring to their Weissbier or Pils, which are both sessionable and excellent with food, or for mass consumption. I'm not as much into consuming a large amount of wheat beer anymore, but I sure have in the past. Both of these are good options, but neither is "hopped-up, high-sugar-content hangover-inducing fancy-pants hand-crafted-tap-knob garbage."

I've had nearly two full (750ml) bottles of Chimay in a night. Don't do that.
posted by mikeh at 3:12 PM on July 20, 2010


Ha, went to a restaurant one Saturday after watching the NCAA tournament during the day. No one told me the bottle of La Fin Du Monde I ordered would be 32 ozs. It would have been nice if they'd at least pointed it out when I ordered the second. It was pretty close to La Fin. I at least saw the screen go black for a bit.
posted by yerfatma at 3:15 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


LA Fin Du Monde does what it says on the tin.

(I liked having a glass of it with a pipe in Montreal, makes the rest of the summer day go by in a gallic gauzy dream)
posted by The Whelk at 4:55 PM on July 20, 2010


PBR is still shitty beer, even by cheap beer standards (Schlitz and Schaefer are way better) and people who pay ridiculous prices to drink it are generally to be avoided.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I miss pumpkin ale.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:28 PM on July 20, 2010


Halloween's not that far away.
posted by jonmc at 5:30 PM on July 20, 2010


Hey that Dogfish peach stuff is pretty good, actually.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:39 PM on July 20, 2010


I had the Dogfish raspberry one. It tasted kind of like alcoholic donut filling. In a good way. But it didn't have the alcohol content printed on its label anywhere, so after a few regular beers to coat the throat I got 3/4 of the way through a bottle of it before googling it and realizing I was drinking 18% alcohol beer. I don't remember much beyond that.
posted by jonmc at 5:43 PM on July 20, 2010


Your favorite beer sucks and is WAAAAY too expensive.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:01 PM on July 20, 2010


BMW and Mercedes do this in North America.
posted by juiceCake at 6:02 PM on July 20, 2010


rusty: (I wish Bud was brewed with more malt and less rice, too, for what that's worth. I don't give them much credit for cutting ingredient costs to the bone for the sake of cheapness above all. But that, while it's largely the cause of what is not impressive about Bud (the taste), is incidental to what is impressive about Bud. If that makes any sense at all. I think what I'm trying to say is the beer is impressive, given the circumstances and volume of its production. It could be way, way worse swill than it is.)

Actually, at least when they added the rice, it was much more expensive than barely. They did it not to cut costs, but to lighten the body and color, even though it cost more. If they had wanted to cut costs, they would have used corn, but they felt that that left undesirable flavors.

No cite, sorry, but some guy on BeerAdvocate posts the exact text, which was testified to the US Senate, on a pretty regular basis.
posted by paisley henosis at 6:58 PM on July 20, 2010


Yeah, Schaefer is better than PBR, I must say. And cheaper, at least where I live.
posted by ob at 7:26 PM on July 20, 2010


paisley henosis: I didn't know that. I guess it makes sense though. Beer with a lot of corn is just awful. (a little is good in a pilsener though)

Since we're talking about session beers now though, I have to put in a plug for Guinness. The dark color is misleading, it's surprisingly good in large quantities. Irish stout in general is a very light, low alcohol beer, really. It's basically a mild ale with some dark grain thrown in for color.
posted by rusty at 7:42 PM on July 20, 2010


For a year during college I lived with three of my good friends from back home. That year one of my friend's parents divorced and his dad moved onto our couch for a month while finding a place to live. One night he was admonishing us for drinking too much and, without a hint of sarcasm or irony, said, "One day when you boys get older you'll enjoy drinking beer for the taste." He then proceeded to pull out a six pack of Milwaukee's Best Light and we died laughing.
posted by alpinist at 9:09 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


To join in on the "do you or don't you drink belgian style ales in a session" argument: Some people do in fact drink lots and lots of the stuff in a session -- people like me and a couple of my closest friends, for example. I don't necessarily hold it up as something everyone should do, though, in fact my realization that this was not a typical beer session for most caused me to back way, way off the sauce recently.
posted by thedaniel at 9:34 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Heh. This is pretty great, thanks.

My experience with the import/domestic thing happened when I was traveling through Europe and kept running into Amstel. Here in the US (Seattle anyway) Amstel seems to be thought of as a sort of classy alternative to something like Budweiser. Over there it was at every single bar, sometimes the only option. I've learned to order what you like, or order what's cheap — no judgment either way, but at the same time, don't think you're going to impress anyone either way.

The best part was that in Greece, on Santorini, Amstel was cheaper than water at the store by my hostel. Boy did we keep hydrated.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:22 PM on July 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just for the record, they brew "sessionable" beers in Belgium, too. It isn't all huge behemoth beers over there any more than all American beers are all DIPAs at 15% or all UK beers are old ale / barley wines.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2010


People's Beer of Richmond Red China
posted by armage at 8:16 AM on July 21, 2010


http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2010/07/pabst-in-china-continued.html

there is more to the story!
posted by treeshar at 9:56 AM on July 21, 2010


There is more to the story! -- now as a real link.
posted by chunking express at 10:51 AM on July 21, 2010


What I don't get about China these days is that it's supposedly still Communist, right? But of late they (they being the -- WTF??? -- Upstart Chinese Richie Riches) seem to be voraciously conspicuous consumers of all things Western and decadent, on a rate and scale that are often alarming even by American standards. Oh, and meanwhile there are still a zillion Chinese people still living in poverty.

Is this something I can blame on Nixon?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:25 PM on July 21, 2010


Here in Chicago, you can get a 30-pack of Miller High Life for $16.33 after tax. That's $.54 a beer, people. PBR is old news.
posted by nonreflectiveobject at 5:39 PM on July 21, 2010


We went camping a few years ago and brought a few cases each of PBR and High Life. Yes, the High Life was cheaper. But it was awful. We very nearly came to fisticuffs over the last few PBRs.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:30 PM on July 21, 2010


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