“Everyone has his faults which he continually repeats: neither fear nor shame can cure them.” -Jean de La Fontaine


I have yet to meet an Alehead who doesn’t have a guilty pleasure beer or two. Many (if not most) are sincerely reluctant to admit that they actually enjoy some macro lager or other, or perhaps a local micro that’s poorly rated but reminds them of a particular time in their life. Or perhaps there’s an activity (being out on the boat, going camping, pre-gaming for a concert, sneaking into a sporting event in the pockets of your cargo shorts, etc.) that you’ve always associated a particular beer with that you wouldn’t really think to purchase for any other reason. In my case, I definitely have beers I drink for beer pong purposes that I rarely otherwise consume. Ditto for duck hunting with the boys, or even hanging out with a particular group of friends.

And so, this week’s conundrum may require the Aleheads to swallow their collective pride a bit. Fellas, what beer do you enjoy in spite of its generally poor reputation?

Multiple beers appreciated for various reasons are acceptable.



Enjoy? No. This beers I drink to remember. Elephant Malt Liquor Carlsberg Brewery – This beer is why I delay drinking european beer for 5 years and craft beer for 10 in my life. I drink to remember the pain of past mistakes. Is like battle of Leningrad when my father had to eat paratrooper and drink goat.







Many malicious epithets have been hurled my way over the years regarding my beer-drinking habits (and my other habits as well). But perhaps none are as accurate as the common taunt of “beer snob”. I’m the worst sort of beer snob…the kind that won’t drink a Bud/Miller/Coors product out of sheer pretentiousness. The kind that even eschews brews like Yuengling and Shiner Bock because they straddle the line between craft and macro. If a beer has been condemned amongst the ale-literati, chances are it’s on my blacklist. Sure, there are a number of craft brews I enjoy with slightly more gusto than the rest of Alehead Nation. North Coast’s Brother Thelonius and Hoppin’ Frog’s Mean Manalashi haven’t exactly received rave reviews on Beer Advocate, and they’re two of my personal favorites. But I suspect selecting a beer with a B+ average is not exactly what Beerford had in mind when he conjured up this Conundrum.

So there’s really only one legitimate response to this question. I answered it in one of our very first articles…back when Aleheads was just three guys and a dream. Check out this post and you’ll understand why the snobbiest of the Aleheads has a soft spot in his heart for the much-maligned, much-reviled, much-despised…Harpoon Winter Warmer.



I just want to state for the record that these allegations are completely false. I did not have relations with that beverage…

Oh wait, yes I did:

“DRINKING GAMES OF SKILL AND CHANCE” ADMISSION – Long ago in a dank New Hampshire basement, many Aleheads spent countless hours keeping the cold and boredom at bay by playing a complex form of beer pong know as Ship. To lose at Ship means to consume 7+ ten ounce beers in the space of about an hour (with the option of many more if things go wrong, as they are wont to do). Games are often played back-to-back, so the amount of beer becomes staggering; then you start staggering. This is obviously a totally different experience than savoring a complex ale for flavor and balance. At times like these you need a beer that is:

  • Bland and flavorless
  • As inoffensive coming up as it was going down
  • Crappy, corny, adjunct lager

Thus, to paraphrase the Most Interesting Man in the World: I don’t always play Ship, but when I do, I prefer Bud Light.

“ANY PORT IN A STORM” ADMISSION – Sometimes I find myself having a meal at some Applebee’s-knockoff or steak franchise where the wait staff all possess the mandatory amount of flair. There is no craft beer to be seen. The cheery decor does nothing to assuage the fact that I really want a beer. In these cases I look for the best of the worst on the house draft list. Past champions have included Bass Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9, or if you’re lucky sometimes Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I suspect with the acquisition of Goose Island by Anheueser Busch that the Honker’s Pale Ale will soon top this category nationwide. I know I should boycott anything A-B, but I also know that put into a risky situation (i.e. Me wanting a beer and the best beer available being Honker’s) and no Aleheads nearby to judge or scold me back to the righteous path, I will fold like laundry.

“THE BEER-TAIL” ADMISSION – I’m loathe to drink anything from the syrupy-sweet Lindemans’ Lambic lineup straight-up… but cut about 4 oz of the fruity beer with a pint o Irish stout like Guinness, and it’s a different story entirely. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself.

You can thank me later.



I personally don’t find Michelob AmberBock to be appreciably worse than many supposed “craft” breweries mildly sweet, malty amber ales. It’s not a style I reach for with regularity, and if I’m digging through a cooler and see AmberBock and Fat Tire, I’ll grab the Fat Tire–but I don’t truly think the AmberBock is a far worse beer than the former, besides being made by Anheuser Busch.

Having said that, being made by Anheuser Busch does not help it’s chances when it comes to my store purchases. Pretty much the opposite.






Since I wrote a post defending the merits of Miller High Life, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not ashamed to swim in the bottom of the beer world barrel. Not that I’m pounding down ringers of Schlitz or a deuce-deuce of King Cobra mind you. Your everyday macro lagers though? Sure, throw them my way when the time is right (Painting, mowing the lawn, ball game) and I’ll drink em’ with nary a frown on my bitter, bitter face. With that in mind, I don’t feel that I’m admitting much by telling you that my fridge usually has a smattering of Yuengling bottles and any number of cans from some “domestic” powerhouse. My admission though, at least on these pages, is far worse. You may ask yourself, what’s worse that admitting that you actually drink this crap? I’ll tell you what. Admitting that you do so while shoving a piece of fruit in the bottle.

I’ll admit that I drink Corona with a slice of lime shoved into the neck of that dastardly clear bottle. Yes, only when it’s hot and only when I’m outside doing something fun like camping, fishing, grilling, etc. So what? Corona tastes like shit and I know that the lime is certainly necessary to mask that awful taste, but there’s just something that works for me. It helps if you crush your taste buds with an Imperial IPA before consuming your first Corona though. Just a tip to keep in mind.



Long before I became a grizzled and jaded old Alehead I was once a bright-eyed young fellow who saw the world through rose-colored glasses and thought any beer that wasn’t Budweiser or Red Dog was a good beer.  Thus when I wasn’t buying the biggest, cheapest 30-packs I could find I occasionally splurged for some “good beer.”  And that good beer was nearly always Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve.  Weinhard’s was originally brewed in the mid-1800’s in Portland, OR.  It changed hands a number of times in the latter part of the 20th century, and today is owned by (big surprise) SABMiller, with some of its beers being contract brewed by Full Sail.  While its status as a quality microbrew has long gone by the wayside, its recipe remains unchanged, and I often keep it in my fridge or bring it along to outside gatherings for folks who want something “good” that’s not overtly associated with one of the macros.  And honestly, when I’m working out at the cabin with my dad or hanging out around a bonfire by the river it still tastes pretty damn good.  In that kind of situation I can pretend to myself that this is still brewed in Portland at the old Blitz-Weinhard brewery, and that I’m contributing to keeping Oregon brewing alive and well, safe from the encroachments of some evil empire based in Milwaukee , WI or Golden, CO.

14 thoughts on “FOR SHAME

  1. “Working” in the cabin? I didn’t realize pouring your Dad another Wild Turkey constituted “work”.

    And for the record, the “evil empires” you are referring to are actually based in South Africa and Canada respectively. None of the Big Three are headquartered in the US anymore.

    Buy American! Drink craft beer!

  2. Yes yes, I’m aware that the macros are headquartered elsewhere. But since I’m pretending that Weinhard’s is still headquartered in Portland, and that it’s not owned by a macro, I’m also pretending that the macros are still American.

    If you mess up dad’s Wild Turkey bad things happen. It’s truly in your best interest to work at it. Dear Jesus forbid I should ever bruise the soda!

  3. Beer pong has always been a strictly Miller Lite affair for me. And in the tradition of “any port in a storm”, I will also go for the Miller lite. But this being Pennsylvania, I can usually take refuge in Yuengling lager. Occasionally a Magic Hat #9, though that’s rarely available without better craft offerings, so that happens rarely these days.

  4. “My name is Tom Raper, and I’m an American citizen. The thing I wonder about America right now is the direction we’re headed. Right now we have all these bailouts, and buyouts, and eatin’ outs, and Aunheiser Busch just got bought out by some Arabs, uh, that probably don’t even have a country. They’re just out here gettin’, their just so greedy that they’ll take anything. The only thing I think of when I think of my kids growing up in this country, they say Dad, what do we have left that’s America owned and I say son I mean there’s not much to choose from but that’s what we have Pabst Blue Ribbon for. Pabst Blue Ribbon has been around for two hundred years or more. That’s longer than George Washington. What I like it the best about this beer is, uh, the taste. It’s not like smooth. It’s not drinkable. But that’s what it’s good about it. When you drink it down your throat it gives you a good feeling like George Washington is actually going down your throat to fight the Brits, and the Redcoats, and the Indians. So that’s why I tell my son if you’re gonna buy anything American owned still, buy Pabst Blue Ribbon. And I actually tell the, uh, clerks at the convenience store when they ask for his ID, I say no, you check this state. He’s from Missouri. That’s an American citizen, he doesn’t- he could be four years old, you sell him this because he’s buying American and he’s stimulating the economy. That’s what we need right now, stimulate the economy. Buy Pabst Blue Ribbon and help save America. Drink it ya asshole.”

  5. Red, while I certainly appreciate your sentiment regarding drinking American beer, here at the Aleheads we prefer to reserve our hate for beer-related issues (and each other). Please in the future refrain from making negative comments about the race/creed/color/country of origin of other individuals or groups. The one exception is Nebraska. You can rip on Nebraskans all you want.

  6. “is like battle of Leningad when My father had to eat paratrooper and drink goat”.

    “drink goat” is my new favorite meme. I’d like to order two tee shirts.

  7. OK, just don’t tell anyone.. a straight up plain Miller High Life….not that I have not downed my share of RWB’s….I at least try to gulp a Canadian beer because it sounds so european… Labatt’s! wow, is it easy to sound like a hick!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s