Monday, January 03, 2011

Cheap Beer

Since I am an adult I rarely consider buying the cheapest of beers, even though I often end up with Miller Lite at sporting events. I spoke with a nephew of mine about what they drank at college and he mentioned "Beer 30". Beer 30 is of course a play on the old "What time is it?" gap and the answer is of course... "beer 30". Apparently you can buy a thirty pack of it (yes, a double-entendre) for about $10 bucks, which I guess would be 33 cents / can (or maybe 50 cents a can / with tax). If you want to be amused check out the reviews of this beer over at the Beer Advocate web site here is a sample:
This beer comes in a purple can. That should tell you something right off the bat. This is by far the worst tasting beer I have ever imbibed. The mouth feel is extremely thin and watery. It barely taste like beer. It just taste terrible and smells terrible, like dirty corn and urine
But hey, when you don't have much money, you make choices like this - apparently the competition is Keystone Light. We have our friend "Joe Strohs" who earned that nickname (not his real name) by bringing his clothes to college in a plastic bag and filling his closet with thirty packs of... you guessed it... Strohs. At the time Strohs was innovative by developing the 30 pack - after all that was 6 extra beers that you could carry with you at once.

I went on the lookout for "Beer 30" but apparently it isn't around in Chicago - but we have our fair share of competition for bad beer. Here is "Buck Range" which is $6 for a 12 pack, or at that magic price-point of 50 cents / can. I found this highly amusing as far as product placement, because it is right below beer I ACTUALLY drink - the Goose Island set of Matilda, Sophie and Pere Jacques. You get one bottle each (but they are twice as large, to be fair) for $24, or $8 / bottle. To even the ounces with the Beer 30 / Buck Range competition we'd be comparing $4 for an equivalent sized Goose Island beer against 50 cents for the competitors. That is an 8-1 price differential. In this instance, paying 8x the price is a good bargain, once you are old enough and well-off enough to afford it. Until then, it is the cheap stuff.


Dan from Madison said...

I am thinking it is time for crappy beer challenge 2 - this post has inspired me to do more market research. The tough part is finding singles of the brands to try. I will look into this.

Dan from Madison said...

Perhaps I should also record the prices this time to give a value per unit too. The winner last time, MGD, was WAY more expensive then some of the huge losers. Of course this is all relative.

Mark said...

You definitely need to go for the unknown regional crap beer for the next Challenge. I preferred Camo 16 in college - I don't think it's even made anymore. It was about 8% alcohol by volume (that's where the 16 came from) and was sold in 4 packs of 24oz cans for a couple bucks. You just had to remember to drink it fast before it got piss warm.

Mark said...

Ha, found it, but I could swear it was Camo 16. Extra Smooth

Gerry from Valpo said...

I nominate Steel Reserve beer for challenge #2. Give it a try.

In 1976 after we got married my beer of choice was Strohs in 16oz returnable bottles. A case went for $3.75.

Back then I could hardly afford the spit I swallowed.

Chris from Colorado said...

Steel Reserve! Here, Here! I second the nomination!

...and they come in 24 oz cans too!

Carl from Chicago said...

Dan maybe you can be less ambitious than 16 or 64 beers for this challenge because that is a LOT of bad beer to try.

Maybe something like an 8 team playoff roster of the bottom of the dregs.

Will have to go back to Champaign and get some beer 30 for you as well as some red white and blue

Anonymous said...

Beer 30 is available around chicago. i've seen it at a liqour store in joliet but never tried it.