The 40 oz. Malt Liquor Archive
August 22, 2003 7:43 AM   Subscribe

The 40 oz. Archive. Your comprehensive guide to the classic refreshment. St. Ides, Olde English 800, Ballantine...I'm working up a thirst just thinking about it. A Friday link if there ever was one.
posted by QuestionableSwami (22 comments total)
Sweet sweet beer. Man, that is awesome. Can't wait 'til quittin' time!
posted by tr33hggr at 7:49 AM on August 22, 2003

Is there a companion site for menthol cigarettes?
posted by Ayn Marx at 7:56 AM on August 22, 2003

QuestionableSwami, you have QuestionableTaste in beer, except of course for the wonderful Green Death.
posted by vito90 at 8:00 AM on August 22, 2003

Can we pour a little out on the curb for the mefites that didn't make it?
posted by thecaddy at 8:07 AM on August 22, 2003

Seeing my old pal Laser brought a tear to this Milwaukee boy's eye. Sniff...
posted by sharksandwich at 8:26 AM on August 22, 2003

We passed around one of these at my last party on Capitol Hill. A bunch of 30-something yuppies (but, hey, it WAS south east DC). The best part was when a friend's newly-emigrated-from-Iran wife tipped it back and took a big swig--she got lots of cred for that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:28 AM on August 22, 2003

Seeing my old pal Laser brought a tear to this Milwaukee boy's eye.

So would the bouquet. We had in Rochester (NY) as well.
posted by yerfatma at 8:45 AM on August 22, 2003


The carryout across from one of my apartments in college carried Big Jug -- the only 40 I've ever seen with 99ยข printed on the label.
posted by me3dia at 9:19 AM on August 22, 2003

When I was in high school in Calif., we called the 40oz a "bombshell." Anyone else?
posted by planetkyoto at 9:24 AM on August 22, 2003

posted by kirkaracha at 9:38 AM on August 22, 2003

i used to swagger in to parties with my girls when we were all double fisting 40s.

the boys loved it!

ahh, college. if i tried to drink a whole 40 now, i'd vomit profusely.
posted by sugarfish at 9:44 AM on August 22, 2003

Oddly enough, in 1995, the last year malt liquors were rated in the Great American Beer Festival, Olde English 800 received the gold medal, and Schlitz Malt won silver. (In '91 Big Jug Xtra won silver. Yikes.)
posted by me3dia at 9:44 AM on August 22, 2003

About two years ago DC passed a law that corner stores can't sell me my Red Bull after 10pm. Bastards. Might have saved my job, though.
posted by mookieproof at 10:03 AM on August 22, 2003

Um, what is this stuff? It's alcohol, yes? The equivalent of 'British sherry' and Carling Special Brew, beloved of tramps for its low price and intoxicating power? Or the gallon containers of sweet cider that 14-year-olds share on street corners?

i used to swagger in to parties with my girls when we were all double fisting 40s.

Again, I really want to know what 'double fisting' is. Because I have some very disturbing images in my head right now.
posted by riviera at 10:45 AM on August 22, 2003

The Great American Beer Festival is a farce. Golden Anniversary claimed to have won a gold medal some years back and that's really a foul-tasting laxative that someone bottles as a joke.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:48 AM on August 22, 2003

St. Ides...Finish it before it gets warm.
posted by euphorb at 11:13 AM on August 22, 2003

oh, uh. double fisting=a forty in each hand.
posted by sugarfish at 11:19 AM on August 22, 2003

Used to drink Old English in college as one of those ironic "look I have a truckers hat on" way. Needless to say I always woke up to many stories of the night before (as well as injuries to mend).
posted by Dr_Octavius at 11:28 AM on August 22, 2003

Um, what is this stuff?

According to the Great American Beer Festival: "High in starting gravity and alcoholic strength, this style is somewhat diverse. Some American malt liquors are just slightly stronger than American lagers, while others approach bock strength. Some residual sweetness is perceived. Hop rates are very low, contributing little bitterness and virtually no hop aroma or flavor. Perception of sweet-fruity esters and complex alcohols (though not solventlike) are acceptable at low levels. Chill haze and diacetyl should not be perceived."

According to the FDA: "The term 'malt beverage' is defined in the FAA Act as a beverage made by alcoholic fermentation of specific materials [27 U.S.C. 211(a)(7)]. Malt beverages are not characterized by specific alcohol content. All malt beverages meeting the definition of the FAA Act are within the purview of the BATF statute, regardless of alcohol content. Regulations pertaining to the labeling of malt beverages are found in Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 7."

However, the general consensus elsewhere (the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, for instance) is that malt beverages are of a higher alcohol content than regular beer. I was unable to find any such guidelines or definitions on the ATF's website.
posted by me3dia at 11:40 AM on August 22, 2003

(Incidentally, chalk my participation in this thread up to amusement and time for research, not great enthusiasm for the product. The stuff tastes like piss (not that I know what piss tastes like).)
posted by me3dia at 11:42 AM on August 22, 2003

Oddly enough, in 1995, the last year malt liquors were rated in the Great American Beer Festival,
Not true. Last year, they were judged in the American-Style Specialty Lager category (St. Ides Malt Liquor placed third) and American-Style Premium Lager (Schlitz Malt Liquor won gold). You could probably enter them into any of the GABF's 58 categories, though I suspect Green Death would have difficulty meeting the style guidelines of German-style Schwarzbier.

As for the definitions:
All beer is a malt beverage. Malt is the sugar that is cooked in water and then converted into alcohol via yeast fermentation. (Add hops, and you've got everything you need for real beer.)
Malt liquor is generally a state definition that usually indicates it's a beer with high alcohol. Curiously, the high alcohol is often the result of cheaper sugar fortification (not actual malt). In Texas, anything over 4 percent alcohol has to be identified as either malt liquor or ale.

Meanwhile, flavored malt beverages (a/k/a malternatives or alcopops), it turns out, contain extremely little malt. These brews (Bacardi Silver, Smirnoff Ice, etc.) begin with malt, then they're stripped of any vestiges of the original recipe so that flavorings contained in distilled spirits can be added. The feds have found that most FMBs derive nearly 100 percent of their alcohol from distilled spirits. (Pardon the self-link.)
posted by sixpack at 12:14 PM on August 22, 2003

Beer columnist? I didn't know such a beast existed.
posted by euphorb at 11:32 AM on August 23, 2003

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