It's a libation that most of us down during our late teens and twenties. But like all childish things, there comes a time to banish these cheap cans and brands forever. We argued over which beers should and shouldn't be included on this list, but we eventually came to a consensus. Herewith, are top ten cheap beers to ditch when you reach the big 3-0.
Disclaimer: Eschewing these brews and then becoming a beer snob is perhaps the most reprehensible of acts. Just order your beer and drink it.
10. Natural Light There's a lot of resentment, bitterness and cringe-inducing memories related to the beers on the list, but in defense of Natural Light, it's mostly a watery beer that one can drink a good six of before really feeling good about himself. It's a beer to start off with if you're already involved in a good rotation of getting drunk every other day. And if you're getting drunk every other day and older than thirty, there are all kinds of twelve-step programs for you. This is not to say that you can't indulge in some Natty Light during company slow-pitch softball games, with friends while watching the NFL, or even in the back of the room during your son's Cub Scout meetings. -- Nick Lucchesi 9. Stroh's Stroh's was swill, pure swill -- and this was the opinion of a guy who liked Milwaukee's Best. The stuff tasted like it was mashed with gym shorts and "fire-brewed" in hell. But when the company came out with the thirty-pack (it may have been the first to do so, although I'm not positive), Stroh's gained the love of teenagers everywhere who could now take "thirty friends" to the party for the price of 24. -- Jonathan Shikes 8. Olympia "It's the water" is printed on every can of this once-Northwestern brew that's often found at the bottom of the menu for around $2 or $3 at a bar. And I can speak from immediate experience (last night), that you can drink Olympia all night and not feel too incredibly hungover the next morning -- that is, if you can actually stand to drink Olympia all night. But whatever's in the water seems to work, even if the"Olympia" brand is actually brewed by SABMiller in California. -- Nick Lucchesi 7. Meister Brau Meister Brau holds a special place in my heart, if not in my head. It was one of the first beers I drank in mass quantities. Cheap and easy to come by, it's charm ended there as Meisterbrau tasted like the floor of a concert venue smells. In fact, even fresh from the can, it tasted like it was a day -- or a month old. Thankfully, Meister Brau doesn't appear to be on the shelves anymore, so my head and my nostalgia are both safe. (Beer Advocate gives this brew an "F") -- Jonathan Shikes 6. Hamm's When I was in college in California twenty years ago, six-packs of Hamm's cost $2.02 at the divey little liquor store near campus -- whether you had a fake I.D. or not. My friend and I would often begin our weekend by driving to the store and stacking up ten to twelve six-packs, loading them into our arms and carrying them out. A buzz from Hamm's came quickly, but the taste was somewhat, uh, bad. Which is why it was one of the only beers that I sometimes did a shot of tequila after drinking, rather than the other way around. -- Jonathan Shikes 5. Milwaukee's Best Confession: While many of my friends filled their fridges with Coors products -- we were from Colorado after all -- and made fun of "Milwaukee's Beast" (ironic in retrospect), I always preferred it and didn't understand why they made fun of the name. I know now better, but it's much too late to reclaim my past. The Beast lives on with me, whether I want it to or not. -- Jonathan Shikes 4. Steel Reserve They do, in fact, sell Steel Reserve in tall, slender, silver-colored cans. But if you're like many of a certain age, you only know Steel Reserve in its forty-ounce form. Yes, the bizarre trial of imbibing known colloquially as "Edward 40 Hands" often includes dual Steel Reserves. This foul, foul tasting beverage cannot even be saved by drinking at a very cold temperature. The "High Gravity" variety boasts a higher-than-normal 8.10 percent ABV, which when you're drinking a 40, is a whole lot of liquid disgusting. Don't do it -- not even once. It doesn't make you look working class or proletariat, just like a guy without a literal sense of taste. -- Nick Lucchesi 3. Coors Extra Gold The sign read: Extra Gold 30 Pack, $12.99. I had a long night of beer pong ahead of me, so I thought, "How could I not?" For the rest of the night and the following morning all I could think was, "How could I?" Imagine mixing grain alcohol, soda water and the water from a fish tank and you have a pretty good idea of what Extra Gold tastes like. Now imagine drinking said beer out of plastic cups at room temperature for seven hours. Then imagine having a temperature of 102 as a midget sits on your shoulder and pounds you in the head with a tack hammer and you can grasp what an Extra Gold hangover feels like. -- Kyle Garratt 2. Keystone Ice The "Light" in Keystone Light would imply the beer makers left some of the calories out that remain in the Ice version. What they also apparently left out was rotten bananas and urine. Keystone Light is plenty watery and foul, but Ice has hit another shitty beer level. We drank so much of this crap in college that the phrase "30 Stones" still triggers my gag reflex. There are many bad beers on Keystone Ice's level, but this is the only one with that special hint of brown, repeatedly stepped on banana. -- Kyle Garratt 1. Stag "Deer beer" as it's known. I went to a bar every Sunday night and early Monday morning for about two years that offered 2 for $1 Stags. It's a good hangover beer. No, not a good beer to help you kill a hangover, but a good beer to give you the most efficient hangover. Anecdotal research has proven time and again that downing a mere two of these and going to bed an hour later will provide a hangover that feels like Katrina and 9/11 happened in your skull with a mini George W. Bush freedom-punching your frontal lobe the entire next day. -- Nick Lucchesi
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