Last week I had an epiphany… Life is far too short to drink cheap beer. Unless, of course, that’s what you prefer. Me? I’m fine with certain cheap beers. Miller High Life is currently my favorite low-end brew but, when I was in college, I drank an awful lot of Old Milwaukee. What it lacked in terms of quality, it more than made up for in terms of price. But I actually much prefer beers along the lines of Newcastle Brown Ale. So what’s the problem? Around here, a six-pack of High Life goes for less than four bucks, whereas a six-pack of Newcastle goes for a good bit over eight bucks. But then it finally dawned on me. I like good beer. And we can afford good beer. So I’m going to drink good beer. And that brings us to the question of the day, dear readers… What’s your poison? Good beer or cheap beer? Or maybe a good, cheap beer? C’mon, jump in and leave a comment. Name names and spread the word about your brew of choice.
Life’s Too Short to Drink Cheap Beer
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138 Responses to “Life’s Too Short to Drink Cheap Beer”
I seldom drop responses, however I looked at a few of
the responses here Life?s Too Short to Drink Cheap Beer.
I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me or does it give the impression like a few of these responses come across as if they are left by brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I’d
like to follow you. Could you post a list of every one of all your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin
BECKS 24 0Z
To me it’s simple, if you truly love beer then you drink quality beer (microbrews). If you’re an alcoholic then you drink garbage like Old Milwaukee and Miller. I have a deep passion for great beer, words like “cheap” aren’t and shouldn’t be in my mind when it comes to enjoying a real beer. People are brainwashed in a real way when it comes to beer, all they know as beer is what they see on their tv screens. There is beer of epic quality and taste out there people, WAKE UP AND SMELL THE HOPS!!!
The BEST beer in the world is the one you find in the fridge, WHEN YOU REALLY WANT a BEER. You need it, you find it, you sip it and then you say. . . AHHhhh. : ) I have over 1500 Bottles in my collection, so I have a point of reference. I prefer “DARK” beers and have paid as much as $135.00 for a bottle (Sam Adams Utopias), I LIKE BEER! And, in MY (humble) opinion, Rogueâ€™s Shakespeare Stout is close to the perfect brew. BUT!!! I always have an ample supply of Miller High Life cans on hand. $14.99 a thirty pack is HARD to resist.
When my kids were young, I bought cheap beer. Now they are on their own so I buy good beer. Warsteiner is my stple, Caguama Cervesa is another since it’s always discounted at Kroger. Today I’m into Yeungling Black and Tan.
If you’re ever in Texas, try Live Oak.
We have a local beer where I am from called Lions Head. It comes with the saying “cheapest head in town”. Usually you can get 24 bottles for 10-12 bucks; not bad right? Although I have been on a Molson Ice kick right now, Lions Head its a good taste with an out-of-this-world price! I live in west PA, so my usual alternate would have to be Yuengling, we are home of americas oldest brewery after all!!!!
I’ve just stumbled upon this article even though it was published in Jan. 2006.
I have a slightly different philosophy, which is …
Life’s too short to drink INFERIOR beer.
What’s the difference? Well, according to Consumer’s Reports, in a blind taste test Old Milwaukee is rated #1 in taste of American beers! (it’s true, look it up) Proving that price doesn’t always equal quality.
My favorite store bought beer (expensive)is “Midas Touch” by Dogfish Head brewery. I drink it in a champagne glass. My second favorite is Harp’s (Not Sharps) and I do agree that Home brewing is an excellent way to make beer just the way you like it at a minimal coat. By the way, this also holds true for wine. For years I have been making wine that is the equivalent of $13-$22/bottle store bought for a home brewed price of $2-$2.50/bottle. Treat your friends.
Old English 800…
I drink beer for the taste which means I don’t drink a lot of them and seldom the very cheap beers. But I’m always willing to try a beer regardless of the price. Who knows – maybe you’ll get lucky and find a great beer at a really good price.
Lite beer I just don’t understand and I’m a runner. I see these Michelob Ultra commercials and just laugh. The last thing I want to do is run 10+ miles and reward myself with a lite beer. I tried an Ultra once and swore I had better tasting water in Mexico.
Hey! What’s so wrong about Old Milwalkee?? It’s my favorite!
My all time favorite is a seasonal one – Jack’s Pumpkin Spice … in the fall when I can find it I try to stock up …I love it !!! Otherwise I like the darker brews – Mic Ultra Amber – Yeunling – Becks Dark ….so yeah I do like the better stuff.
Now the husband on the other hand ….Busch drinker ….yuck ….but then again he has to buy his own and with how much he drinks he couldn’t afford the good stuff …LOL
Going to do some searching for some of the beer suggestions mentioned by you all – maybe I’ll find a new favorite !
I was fortunate to be born and raised in the Mohawk Valley in NY State where I started my drinking career with Norvic Beer (very cheap and every can/bottle tasted different). I graduated to Utica Club and Matt’s and now that I have a couple extra dollars to spend on great beer, I drink any of the many varieties of Saranac that is made in Utica. The price is reasonable (about $6 a 6 pack) and the quality is absolutely fantastic.
one word…XINGU…NO ITS NOT ASIAN…Dark Brazilian Beer, best described as black silk
two words …TURBO DOG…abita brewery, La
NEW CASTLE ….ANY TIME
I’ve made the same decision — now that I’m older and rarely drink too many beers at one time, I don’t mind spending a little more for a good beer. Lately my favorite beer to buy is Blue Moon.
@Joe Kennedy (post #37)
Ah McMenamins’ Terminator Stout that is the best. Problem is that it doesnt keep bottled up. If you are ever in Oregon stop on in.
After making my own beer for the past 10 years, I will not go back! Hey, afterall, you can create your own taste, strength, and batch size. 5 gal, 10 gal, 15 gal….
From an average of $15.00 – $25.00 per 5 gal (30 bottles) you cant go wrong. The more fermentable sugar you use in the batch, the more alcohol content you get. Typical “Cheap” beer is anywhere from 3.5% to maybe 5%. My basic brew, “Lawnmower Beer” averages 6.5% and trust me, tastes a whole lot better.
I have experiemented with everything from Clones, to all grain kits mixing and matching to my tastes and have not had a bad batch yet. You can get into the craft for an initial investment of around $75. If you save your old bottles, you save on the bottle cost and most off the shelf kits come with the caps. If you want to spend a little more, I reccomend the old Pepsi or Coke 5gal containers. A dual tap kit will run you around $300 w/a 15lb CO2 bottle.
Make your own beer. Cheaper and way better.
Get ready to dream of affordable beer, or food and fuel for that matter. Comrade obama and his useful idiots have taken the beach and are moving inland. “CHANGE” is most certainly coming our way…..somebody voted commie, not me! It’s gonna suck being us soon.
I am fifty something and have been a lifelong beer lover. I have tried hundreds of brews cheap and not so cheap. I have a lot of favorites and most of them are lager. Here are a few
Moosehead- smooth Canadian
Landshark- well balanced but a little sweet
Modelo- Them boys south of the border know how to make beer!
Old Milwaukee- the best tasting affordable beer out there
Rolling Rock- best in hot weather
Many have posted that Yuengling is good. Where is it available? Have not seen it in Michigan
I Agree with Texas beer snob somewhat, sometimes you don’t want to think too much about beer, you just want to get drunk. Especially now in these bad economic times, where everything is becoming increasingly expensive. You have to be willing to drink cheap beer sometimes, if you go out to see a band or go out with buddies chances are your’e not going to find a lot of variety in beer except for the big macrobrews. I started out drinking regular stuff such as Budweiser, Miller Light, etc and still do If I go out, sometimes that’s all you need, But I also like good Micros as well, just depends on my mood I guess and how much I have left to spend!
Until last week, I only drank “good” beer. I only drank beer brewed by a bunch of monks or had hints of coriander and orange or had a cork or a thingamajig rolling around the bottom of the bottle or a long, unpronouncible, Eastern European name that I have to point to when ordering. I always looked at people in confusion and horror when they ordered yet another PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon).
So last week I was completely stressed and even though I don’t usually drink in the middle of the week, I stopped at a store for beer. As I was headed for the hefeweizen, rows of forties caught my eye. “Why not? Why can’t there be something cheap and easy in my life.” I stopped careing about what microbrewery it came from. Or if it would pair well with spicy, Asian food. Or if it was the special, seasonal, novelty brew. Or if I had the proper fruit to garnish and enhance its flavor. All I had to consider was whether to drink it in the paper bag or out of the paper bag.
It was refreshing and uncomplicated. It was not bitter, skunky or an “aquired taste”. And it was only $2 for a big ass bottle!!! Save the Guiness for Christmas because next week I am going to do a flight of cheap beer – Mickey’s, Lone Star, The Beast, PBR, Stones, Colt 45, etc!
My ephiphany is that life is too short to waste time and money looking for the perfect beer.
I like RedHook ESB. It’s an English style bitter ale. I wish it would catch on more in the bars here in Spokane, Wa., because there’s nothing outside of a few Actual English beers that can stand up to it. Dead Guy Ale from Rogue brewery is real good too, and although it’s designed to be a German “Marzen” style ale, it tastes like a good English Bitter. A lot of the micros are too sweet for me, and the IPA’s are TOO bitter, but the ESB”s I really like.
My cheap beer of choice? A Russian Imperial Double Stout. Where to buy it? You can’t. I brew it myself.
I once did the math and found that I could (after the initial investment in equipment of about $150.00) brew up about 5 gallons of HIGH quality beer for about $15.00. (My favorite costs about $20.00 for the five gallons) That more than makes up for the initial investment in a very short time and you get GREAT beer.
It’s a fun hobby, and your house smells like fresh baked bread for a week. Mmmm….
You can use the same equipment to make wine, and mead, too.
Try it. It’s easy and will save you money. Plus, you can explain the science of it to your kids and they’ll be fascinated by the bubbling air-trap during fermentation.
Being a good old Pennsylvania boy, I don’t have to go far for good cheap beer. I Just look for Yuengling. Yuengling Lager is the choice of most but they also have a very satisfying Dark and Tan. Lord Chesterfield Ale is a hit in this household with a crisp, semi-dry flavor and little or no aftertaste. It’s not necessary to pay $8 for a 6-pack of micro brew or import when there are so many great domestic brews available.
Be American, Buy American.
if i’m going to be drinking a 12 pack or more, bud or bud light is always best… or if need be, busch light. when i’m willing to spend the extra money, some of my favorites are: landshark, stella, mich amber bock, or one of the sam adams.
I’m careful with my money, but beer is one thing I will NEVER go cheap on. In the winter, I like a nice malty ale like Sam Adams Boston Ale, Bass Ale, or Guiness. In the heat of summer though, I like to thin it out and go with a nice, crisp, hoppy beer like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Harpoon IPA. Beer….is there anything it can’t do?
Here in Texas what cheap beer you drink depends on if you live in a city or a small town. In the hill country the cheap beer is keystone light. In cities like Austin the cheap beer of choice is Lonestar. My cheap beer used to be Lonestar but now Miller Lite is about the same price in certain clubs. My go to beer of choice is Fat Tire. You can get it anywhere now in Texas, even my relatives podunk town has it at the local market. Luckily for me Austin has a few local brewers that make good beer which is on tap at most local bars. Live oak pilsner is a great example of a good local brew. It’s hard to drink that cheap stuff like lonestar anymore, backwards beer conversion not possible!
I love that people have been commenting on this article since it was published in Jan ’06! I guess people are passionate about cheap beer. I am sitting here with two 12 packs of Bud Lite next to me, but only because they were on sale for $6.79 each and in these economic times, I couldn’t resist. I’m usually an MGD or Miller Lite guy.
Drink Erdinger if you can get it (German)Quality Beer.
High Life is my daily beer. On the weekends sometimes I’ll splurge and pick up some newcastle or sam adams seasonal. Sammy’s not bad, but I sure miss Leinie’s and Summit back in Minnesota…
You are right! Life is too short to buy cheap beer EXCEPT when your beer is readily available to your 18+ children and their friends. When the kids moved out I started buying good beer. They can have some if they come over.
There are tons of great beers for each style, ESPECIALLY in American Microbreweries. I won’t speak for wheat beers, belgium ales, and alot of other styles I haven’t drunk in a while, but here are a few that I believe are standards for the style:
Lager, Pilsner – Pilsner Urquel(Czech)
Irish Stout – Guiness (well, there are better, but it is a standard and easily available)
Pale Ale – Mirror Pond Pale Ale (Descutes Brewery)
ESB – Redhook – well, again there are better, but this one goes down easy and is sort of a west coast standard.
American India Pale Ale (IPA) — I tried so many fantasic IPAs at the Mammoth Brews and Blues festival recently that I can’t even give an answer here, probably because I couldn’t remember the names (age + alcohol related problem, probably). I know San Diego had the most microbreweries with great IPAs. (California is a bit like Oregon for great brewpubs) Stone IPA was one of them, but the best was – I wish I could remember! What I drink regularly is a home-brewed IPA that is a clone of Great Basin Brewery’s Ichthyosaur Pale Ale, so for me that’s the everyday standard.
I gotta say, the best beer is the one that works for you. I can drink an American lager on a hot day, but for the most part, I agree with the “life’s to short/why not live a little” theory. Even an expensive beer is cheap in comparison to a good wine, and with the variety available these days from great Microbrewies, you can pair different styles with all types of foods for exceptional gourmet experiences.
BTW, I brew both beer and wine. Most of the microbreweries and many boutique wineries were started by homebrewers, so it’s not surprising we don’t drink bud, coors or millers much.
Good beer only for me now! I enjoy Stone IPA! I live in near San Diego, and Stone Brewing IPA is hoppy with a delicious finish! I started drinking beer with Coors, Bud and Schlitz! Does anyone remember Hamms? I now enjoy good hoppy beers. I drink Fat Tire and my buddy’s home brew now.
However- sierra nevada has to be my favorite. If i gotta go cheap- here in miami – Presidente goes for $8 for 12. You can’t go wrong with Old Millwaukee- Its the taste as great as it’s name. Natural Light is pretty good too.
Dogfish head- That’s great beer- Preferably 60 minute ipa
How about home brewing? I’ve done it before and it is real easy, not much harder than making soup. I made a lot of good IPA’s and Stouts for about $25 for 2 1/2 cases (it is probably more now). Lots of information on the net.
I am of the opinion that the American brewing industry has never really recovered from prohibition. They legalized the weak stuff first and people got used to it.
Since I don’t drink as much as I used to (cuz I’m married). I spend more and drink less of:
3. Sam Smith’s Pale Ale
4. Sapporo (when we eat out)
No particular order or preference.
Oh and life’s too short to drink ANY cheap booze.
I’m lucky. I live within stumbling distance of the great basin brewery with is a brew pub in Sparks (Reno) Nevada. If I want a really great beer I can walk down and not worry about driving home. 🙂
price of good beer goes up because the price of hops and barley go up. mass producers of beer don’t raise their prices as much because they don’t use as much of the quality ingredients. they use cheap substitutes
Frankly, beer is so caloric I drink the good stuff just to keep from going from large to extra large.
The Belgians make some lovely stuff, but it is crazy expensive — especially with the weak dollar.
Best mass produced beer in America today: Siera Nevada.
Coors Light and Rolling Rock are my old standbys…I like Magic Hat #9 if I want something different. I really don’t like anything heavier than that.
I’ve drank my share of both cheap and good beer, for the money Miller Lite is the best of the cheap, and Smithwicks is a decent affordable beer. As far as the Jack drinker, try Basil Haydens and coke, Much smoother and better than Jack.
I dislike beer…. every beer I have ever tried. When I was old enough to start drinking, my mother took me out and we got wasted… but the point was for me to try anything and everything… she said, “There is no point in drinking something that you think is nasty just to get drunk… getting drunk should be a by-product of drinking something you actually enjoy”. (I am sure she didn’t mean for me to go out and get plastered all the time, but I was 21, and I am sure she knew I would get drunk a time or many in my lifetime)
For me, it is Jack Daniels and Coca Cola. I know that doesn’t have much to do with good beer; but if I am going to drink something, I will always pay the price for Jack Daniels.
I’m fond of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. All Sam Adams for that matter. Know what? Just ’cause you like good beer doesn’t mean you can’t still be frugal about it. I try to pick up seasonal cases of beer at BJ’s when they have them. Mmmm…
I’m an all grain homebrewer. It costs me between $9 and $11 bucks per 5 gallon batch. (About 2 1/2 cases worth). I drink cheap excellent craft brew that I make that is often better than the stuff you buy like Red Hook, Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Moose Drool, and others. Plus you can brew it to suit your own tastes!
Words of wisdom I learned long ago… “there are two types of beer in the world, cold beer and free beer. Free beer is always better!”
BTW, think that Yeungling is the one of the better price/quality/flavor beers around. To cut the price even more I buy it by the quarter barrel keg for a draft beer set up I have in a second refridgerator. The CO2 tank runs about 3 to 4 kegs before having to refill, about $30. At $45 for 7.5 gallons, doing the math gives me $0.89/pint. I also get coolness points and rarely have to “make a beer run” in the middle of the big game.
A couple of tips. 1) keep a hand pump handy. It really sucks to have a full keg and run out of CO2 during a big game. Plenty of beer and no way to get to it. 2) you will drink more, no matter how you rationalize this to you wife…. with beer on tap in the house, you will drink more than just buying a 6 pack at a time…. This may lead to a quick extra 10 pounds.
I make my own beer, I’m drinking a homemade chocolate stout as we speak, it’s a hobby that you really get to enjoy 🙂
Some of my favorites in no particular order:
Hebrew Jewbilation (no, I’m not making this up)
La Fin du Monde (belgian light ale but made in Canada)
Most trappist ales i.e. Chimay
La Chouffe du Chouffe
Berliner Kindl Weiss
Sweetwater IPA, 420, Festive, Happy Ending, Donkey Punch (my favorite local brewery)
Dogfish Head 90 minute Imperial IPA (hoppiest beer I’ve ever tasted)
I haven’t seen any mention of “Mamba” from the Ivory Coast in Africa, it comes in a champagne sized bottle and one is all you need. My personal favorite is Black & Tan made with Guiness and Harp. It must be the Irish in me!
I couldn’t agree more…”too short to drink cheap beer.” I never touch the mass produced stuff. Seriously do you want to drink rice (Bud) in your beer?
My two favorites:
Allagash White – A great wheat beer
Old Rasputin by North Coast Brewing – Best stout I have ever had.
I’ve been in Portland, OR for almost 15 years. And I’m not going back. Not to LA, and not to cheap, crappy beer.
There’s a small chain in the area, by the name of Mcmenamins. Their Terminator Stout and RetroPorter are the best, comparable to Guinness (I’m Irish and have raised a pint in the 7th floor pub at the top of the St James brewery in Dublin).
Totally agree with Dani when she said that IC (Iron City – Pittsburgh!) Light is the best cheap beer, ever. But in Eastern PA it’s getting harder and harder to find. And for some reason here, it’s about $20/case at the places I can find it, so it’s not that cheap.
Lionshead (out of Wilkes Barre, PA) is a very good cheap beer. At about $11/case, it compares to IC Light and Coors Light.
Pennsylvania has some good beers at a decent price. Yuengling, which has been mentioned by a few already, is probably the best of the bunch. On the more expensive side, Rolling Rock, Stoudt’s and Victory (right near my house) are also pretty good beers. There is a brew pub near Altoona called Marzoni’s that had awesome beer. They’re about a 3 hour drive though, so I won’t be getting it anytime soon.
When I don’t want a cheap beer though, my favorite is definitely Magic Hat #9. Not from PA, but that’s fine with me as long as I can get it here.
Widmer DropTop or Terminator Stout.
Yanjing. State Beer of the People’s Republic Of China. Incredibly, it TASTES like a knock-off of High Life. Almost there, but not quite. Not at all bad, though.
If you can find it, it costs $7. Per CASE. Really.
Warsteiner… 12pack 8.99-9.99 on-sale, quality beats the quantityâ€¦
Iâ€™m old for beer marathons, one or two are just fine. I’d go with quality.
Life is too short to drink crappy beer, i concur. I call myself a beer snob and basically my rule of thumb is don’t drink yellow beer. It is one of the few things I alway stick to and it has become a semi-hobby for me!
Fuck that shit… PBR!!!!
Ive been drinking quite a bit of Stella Artois lately runs about $18 bucks a 12 pack at the local Albertsons supermart in So. California. Costs a bit more but for me it is just a solid beer.
Im not too picky when it comes to beer I don’t think many men are, but when it comes to watching my Chargers play on Sunday I want the good stuff baby. Try Stella you won’t be disappointed.
yeah I am with you on that—my cheap beer of choice is good ole bud light—in the can of course—cheap beer in a bottle is just wrong. But my fav of course is good ole heniken. But i have been know to frequent killians,barvaria,fosters,red stripe just to name a few–they are great
Guys (not to exclude gals, of course),
What are you talking about? Price has little to do with it. For me, I was a young Navy SEAL on my first deployment to Vietnam in the early ’70s. We had worked hard to load up some underwater obstacles with demolition and had just been picked-up by our our Chief in our little IBS just outside the surf zone.
SEAL chiefs know how to take care of their men. While we had been snorkeling around loading demo, he had gone back to the main ship and picked up something “special.” When he picked us up, we were surprised and delighted to see a keg of Old Milwaukee and several cans of salted peanuts.
As the sun sunk over the shoreline, we bobbed around in the IBS, drinking beer out of canteen cups and eating fistfuls of peanuts. At just the right moment, our Chief yelled “fire in the hole” and the demo blast was both impressive and beautiful.
For me, NO AMOUNT OF MONEY can replace the memories associated with only one beer, Old Milwaukee. So go ahead and waste your money on whatever you want. No worries! But for my Chief, SEAL buddies and me… we’ve got good memories of kicking ass in Vietnam and to this day, a certain awareness that only Old Milwaukee can get it done.
I will pretty much try anything, but lately I’ve been drinking a lot of Stella Artois, and Blue Moon… well worth the extra few dollars.
In college it was PBR. After college it was Black Label. Now it is Milwaukee’s Best Light:)
In college I used to drink a lot of beers in one sitting, so cheap beer made sense, but these days even the thought of drinking a 12-pack in one night makes me a little queasy.
Dos Equis or Guinness
In my younger days in South Dakota there wasn’t alot to do, so we drank! One 4th of July, I and 8 others bought 12 cases and headed for the river at or around 9:00 am – honestly I had to make another beer run for 10 more cases at noon! Needless to say it was quantity not quality! Old Mil Light and Busch Light were typically the flavors of choice and it wasn’t uncommon for each of us to drink 35 plus beers each in a outing. We quickly became idiots, but that was made it fun, not to mention it made the not so cute corn fed women look attractive!! So we had that going for us!!
Early college days aside (until I discovered the brewery tour Sweetwater in ATL (4 pints and a keeper pint glass for $3)), these are the beers I drink and love.
Any Sweetwater (excluding Blue)
Hacker – Pschorr Hefeweizen (best on tap in Germany)
Sierra Nevada (Porter if avail)
I am not seeing enough pale ale love here 🙂
Oh yea, Harp is wonderful but my preferred drink is red wine.
I may be a year and a half late but your post is great advice. Appreciate the good stuff while you can. Thanks.
I grew up with High life, MGD, Budweiser.
When I was younger, I would stick with Bud, I can’t stand light beers, but now, I prefer:
As far as cheap beer goes, I only buy when I don’t have much of a choice, but my personal fav’s would have to be Miller High Life and PBR. If I just want to get trashed (not since college days) and don’t care about flavor, I’ll go for a natty ice.
Either way, I prefer stronger more flavorfull stuff these days, like:
Sam adams, any kind is good, boston lager my go-to fav
Bud Select – good for cheap beer
Sam adams for the win though, it’s just great stuff..
Both, my wife bought me an exotic beer of the month (actually 2 6 packs, last time was an organic ale and an organic porter for Montana, yummy!) and I buy a cheap local one (Kokanee) as my regular “working” beer so to speak. Best of bother worlds.
I am a college student.
I drink good beer. It’s more expensive, but that just means I drink less. I get more enjoyment out of one bottle of good beer than two bottles of cheap beer, so I’ll go with the good beer.
I’ve stumbled into this conversation, rather like walking around in a cocktail party, looking for financial information, and overhearing something very interesting. So my few cent’s worth on beer: Grew up drinking Moosehead, when it was an Ale, not the beer version sold in U.S. Drank lots of Sam Adams when I moved to the U.S. Eventually married a Czech, who took me home and introduced me to GOOD beer. Popovicky Kozel (readers in Ontario can get the bottled version, a mere shadow of its on-tap parent), Pilsner Urquell (mentioned above, but fresh on tap), Staro Brno( Imagine sitting in the beer-garden at the brewery. Or, I’ll post pictures of it!)We are trying (so far without great success) to brew a Czech-style pilsner here in south Florida at a brew-on-premises shop( 72, 12-oz. bottles per batch). Mostly not buying any beer from the stores anymore, even if the b-o-p stuff isn’t as good as we wish. Occasionally finding Shipyard Ale in south Florida, and we like that. We like Sleeman’s, noted above, when we visit family in Canada.
In college I drank…….oh wait, I didn’t go to college.
You would love the Pacific NW. We shower and swim in good microbrew. If you make it to Portland you must visit at least 2-3 brewpubs a day just to get a feel.
I read about other homebrewers. If you haven’t already tried give it a shot. You may be suprised.
I agree with you whole heartedly. My beer of choice is Blue Moon, and in the colder months I’m sipping on New Belgiums Fat Tire. I can’t drink anything domestic, not because I’m snobbish or anything like that, it’s because I need taste, and after drinking great tasting beers for so long, anything domestic just tastes like bad water.
i actually prefer coors light.
i have really cheap taste in wine too!
Funny, but the title is my tag line on another beer site. Personally, I have been hitting the Belgian beers hard, and I recently bought 8 bottles of Westvletern 12. Oh, now that stuff is GOOD! But very spendy, about 20 bucks a bottle.
For a cheaper version of the same beer, I would try the St. Bernardus 12. Also the Achel Brune is very tasty. For a standard Belgian, I like Hoegaarden and Duvel. Corsendonk is another really good one.
When I go micro, I usually go with my local standby…Bridgeport IPA. I also dig the Alaskan Amber, which is more of an Alt beer than an Amber.
I can’t believe I missed this post! I found this through Money and Investing.
Hm… For me, my old standbys are Rolling Rock and Yuengling, the staples of my PA days. I hardly drank when I was underage and I didn’t get a taste for beer till I was older. I drank a lot of Sam Adams in college. I was a cheap date, so I was cool with nursing just one or two for the night. I always figured that I should go for taste rather than inebriation. I am lucky to weigh little, so what’s a dollar or two more for a beer if I’m only having one? At least I’ll drink all of it and not waste a drop.
Lately I still go for Yuengling. It’s yeasty and tastes like pretzels! But I like Guinness if it’s on tap. That’s usually my first choice for beer. But if I’m at a place that stocks a lot, I’ll go for Pyramid Hefeweizen (extra lemons please!), Lindemann’s Framboise, Berliner Weisse (with cherry syrup), Wyder’s Pear Cider, Bass Ale, Red Hook IPA.
Also, nickel, given that you enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale, it is imperative that you try the Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale.
I just want to add a couple of comments to this thread. The first is that I completely agree life is too short to drink cheap beer. While my wife and I live a fairly frugal lifestyle, one area where we won’t make a sacrifice is on good spirits (she is a wine connoisseur and I revel tasty beers and a semi-periodic glass of scotch). We’ve realized that by cutting out spending on frequently eating out, completely cutting out Starbucks, etc. that we don’t feel guilty when we spend a few extra nickels imbibing good alcohol.
As for incredibly tasty non-cheap beer, the beers from the Samuel Smith brewery are absolutely incredible. I suggest the Old Brewery Pale Ale, the Nut Brown Ale, the Tadcaster Lager and the Oatmeal Stout. These are some of the greatest beers in the world; there is no intended hyperbole in that statement. (For those who care about such things, they are an independent brewery, they employ the Yorkshire Square method for brewing, their water is pulled from a 250-year-old well, they have used the same strain of yeast since 1900, they are very environmentally friendly and all of their beers are vegan.) To find a local distributor, contact Merchant du Vin but as a starter try your local Trader Joe’s.
Guinness is good for you (and most definitely for me!)!!!!
Cheap beer in the midwest was always Old Style, but the best lately is Alaskan Amber-Alt style beer, brewed in Juneau. good price too.
Livin in the great state of Texas. The cheap beer of choice is an ice cold Lone Star on a hot Texas summer day.
I am a Guinness man normally but if I am on the Cheap its the Lone Star. In addition to being good and cheap they have puzzles in the cap. I can’t figure it out but some how the hardest one is always the last one in the six pack no matter which one I start with. 😉
broke ass cheap beer- Natural light aka Natty Light or “the champagne of beers”, Miller High Life by the box in 32oz!
got a little money on you but none in the bank-
Miller Lite or Bud Light
Top 5 regardless of price
DOS EQUIS (WITH A LIME)
HEFEWEIZEN (SHINER OR PYRAMID)
BOHEMIA ( A LIGHT MEXICAN BEER THAT PUTS CORONA(PISS) TO SHAME
APRICOT WEIZEN (PYRAMID)
Can go cheap some days but prefer better beer. BBR cans is my cheap choice, cold it’s good, drinking a sam white beer now. Favorites probably Steelhead Extra Pale, but dig Sierra Pale & Guiness & buy Hoegardden when ever I see it.
Sleeman Honey Brown and Cream Ale – Both are excellent brews
Guiness is an all time favorite.
I will post others as I sample these brews but of course now I am going to be inspired to drink way to much 🙂
I built a blog that was to be my “losing my beer belly” at http://www.beerbelly.ca
Good beer. I personally drink a german beer called ‘ DAB ‘ if you havent tried it be sure to look for it its the biz!.. the other is James Ready beer thats nice.. and cheap.. but dab is 9 bucks
I go for what I like vs cheap
Yuengling – you gotta try the Black and Tan – its dark and well brewed – and I can’t get it in Georgia – I have to get my in-laws in Pennsylvania to bring two cases for me when they do come down and visit.
That’s the best beer I’ve tasted – but I do like Samuel Adams – they’re pretty good.
First, I live in Utah, behind the Zion-curtain, so high-end beer is metered out only by individual bottle at the State run liquor stores. Gut-rot capped at 3.2% (by law) is available elsewhere. So, I’ll drink a cheap beer (Bud, Miller, Coors, Nat) if given, but I’d never pay for that swill. The ‘cheapest’ beer I buy is Henry Weinhards (6%), which at $1 bottle at the liquor store, is price comparable to the so-called micro-brew that is mass-produced by the big labels. When I can afford it, my personal favorite is the venerable Pilsner Urquell, but at $2.85 bottle, it’s a luxury indulgence. Utah is not the ideal state for beer lovers.
Hey nickel try this experiment, pour highlife in a glass swirl it around a bit and take a big sniff..
Highlife smells terrible, I used to drink it, but, ever since I took a moment to actually smell it, I put it away in favor of other beers.
I was stationed in Germany for 3 years recently and by far the best beer we had was Kulmbacher on tap…very cold and very smooth. Of course any beer at Oktoberfest is awesome!!!
definitely coors light…..light by name, price and nature AND it beats that bloated feeling!! cant get much better 😉
Ahhh, to make it easier on yourself just remember this. Though the beer is twice as must it usually has at least that in alcohol, AND flavor-with the exception of malt liquer-which doesn’t fall into the same story. If i were to dabble in rice beer from designed for the depression era then I might have to agree with miller, high life preferably:)
I must admit: I was a High Life junkie all through college. I still drink it if it’s almost payday and my checking account is bone dry. However, I have spent the past couple years discovering the best microbrews that are available in my area. I’ve found some really good stuff and some really bad stuff. I’ve even found several restaurants that have a “tour of beers” to participate in. Out of all this, I regret none of it. I’ve honed my beer-stincts and can pick out the subtle flavors out of the finest of beers. And I still enjoy kicking back a few Miller Lites with the boys on the weekend, but nothing beats a good specialty beer.
I love good beer, although I don’t quite drink as much as I used to 🙂 Currently, the fridge has Fat Tire Ale, Gordon Biersch, and Sierra Nevada (I live in California and these are all local).
My taste for cheap beer was wrecked in China of all places, where I lived near the first microbrew in Beijing. The place specialized in ales and stouts, and had generally wonderful beer.
I do want to do the Germany and Holland beer tour someday…
Back in the day, i drank Natty 24/7. Now i get a hangover just thinking about it. IC (Iron City – Pittsburgh!) Light is the best cheap beer, ever. Miller Lite will do when IC isn’t available.
But I looove beer – i work part time at a microbrew bar and restaurant. Best Perk? Free draft beer after every shift. I love, love, love Rogue Dead Guy Ale in the winter, Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat in the summer, Dogfish Head’s Punk (pumpkin beer) in the fall and Franziskaner’s Hefeweizen in the spring.
Hoegaarten and Blue Moon are two separate beers…Hoegaarten is lemony, Blue Moon is orangey – as well as the fact that Hoegaarten is an import and Blue Moon is owned by Coors.
Life is too short to drink cheap beer. Having said that, I have severly shortened my life by drinking way too much cheap beer when I was younger. Now, like the other Micro snobs I’ve found beers that I’ll gladly spend a few $$ more, or even double at times, to give my cheap beer punished taste buds a dose of taste that makes you think of bald headed monks running around rolling wood barrels off horse drawn carts. I buy 2 sixes of Dead Guy Ale twice a year. The rest of the time I drink, have drank, the beers mentioned here. But what about mixed beer drinks – like Irish Car bombs. God, I love those!
PBR me ASAP!
Ja, und Beck’s!
For Cheap stuff, I go for some PBR (in bottles) 12 pack for 8 bucks. Good for BBQ’s.
The good stuff, I usually go for something local (I’m in ST Louis), for me it’s a Schafly brew or O’fallon micro brew.
ps— I know Bass is not exactly “domestic”… my prior post makes it sound like that, tho
I second Grolsch and the beauty of traveling. . . as others mention, I found beer disgusting prior to living in the netherlands for 2 years. After enjoying cheap domestics like Grolsch (yay for #36!), Amstel, and Heineken… there was no going back (also, the netherlands close proximity to Belgian makes sampling lovely brews like Duvel/Hoegaarten/etc.) much less costly (and they tend to be fresher than what most of us can get stateside.
However, Dutch beer holds nothing to Czech and German beers. Czech beer is among some of the best in the world (I’ve been told), and German beer is brewed to exacting standards (with stringent patents on brewing recipes/techniques). A few that I enjoyed were Augustiner and Franziskaner. Augustiner is a helas (sp?)… something similar to a pilsner. Franziskaner is a wheat beer (tasty stuff)…
The Belgian wheat beer that I mentioned before (Hoegaarten) is best enjoyed with a slice of lemon in it, sitting on a terras, enjoying a rare sunny day in a land of endless rains….. ^_^
FWIW, I guess Hooegarten is sold here as “Blue Moon”…. no idea about the quality though… weiss bier definitely has a distince taste to it, though.
Damn…. this blog entry makes me miss that time in my life. Best domestic option I’ve found = Fat Tire… Bass Ale is also okay… both are best enjoyed at a Happy hour where you can get a “tall” for around $2.00, imo.
If any of you are in the southeast, there’s a wheat beer brewed in NC called Blue Moon which is pretty good and cheap.
They say travel broadens; absolutely correct. In Europe, I discovered that I loved beer. It was American factory beer I hated. Now my waist has broadened significantly.
We buy Newcastle at Sam’s Club for about $22 for 24 bottles. That helps make the good beers affordable.
i’m surprised no one has mentioned coors original. it’s not bad at all, cheep, and better than any lite beer. after that i would say miller high life then maybe bud. as far as quality beers go, sam adams, blue moon, and newcastle.
My current top 7 pilsners (out of 20 so far):
#1 Weihenstephaner Original Pilsener
#3 Spaten Premium
#4 St. Pauli Girl
#6 Paulaner Lager
#7 Rahr & Sons Blonde Lager
All are crisp pilsener-style lagers that finish clean and are mild to medium hoppiness.
Weihenstephaner is particularly good because it covers a wide range of flavors that never veer off course. It starts with a slight honeylike malt flavor with banana esters and finishes with just enough hops to clear the palate. Very tasty and refreshing (but packs a wallop… beware!).
Beck’s and Spaten Premium aren’t nearly as adventurous, but they make quality everyday brews that are true to the pilsner style without any real deficiencies.
St. Pauli Girl would rank #2 based upon flavor alone (excellent), but the funky aroma knocks it down to fourth place.
Grolsch is what Heineken SHOULD be making. Mercifully free of skunkiness.
Paulaner Lager has similar characteristics to Weihenstephaner Original (slightly more malt character, diverse flavor), but isn’t quite as refined.
Rahr & Sons is a local brewer in Fort Worth, Texas. They make good beer. Their blonde lager is a perfect alternative for Bud/Miller diehards. It is similarly light in hops and alcohol content and has that typical “watery” mouthfeel), but the quality is way up there.
Deja Vu…heard this quote many years ago in context of a guy from Norway. The full comment was something like “Life is too short to drink cheap wine and dance with ugly women.”
This is not my quote so please don’t flame me. I am just a messenger.
I also like good beer. However, I’ve found the perfect way to enjoy good beer cheep! I started brewing my own. I can brew beer on the order of Newcastles for about 15 to 20 cents a beer. I can make a good basic ale for as little as 10 cents a bottle. Even if you use a kit that requires no boiling you can make good beer from about 40 cents a bottle. Using the basics and brewing from barley, hops & yeast alone gives you the abilitity to make the kind of beer you like at the lowest cost. Join a homebrew culb and get some real beer!
I also like good beer. However, I’ve found the perfect way to enjob good beer cheep! I started brewing my own. I can brew beer on the order of Newcastles for about 15 to 20 cents a beer. I can make a good basic ale for as little as 10 cents a bottle. Even if you use a kit that requires no boiling you can make good beer from about 40 cents a bottle. Using the basics and brewing from barley, hops & yeast alone gives you the abilitity to make the kind of beer you like at the lowest cost. Join a homebrew culb and get some real beer!
I have to say, my most expensive beer was had this summer. My friends and I did a tour of Europe and while in Germany I had my best beer ever. German wheat beer is unlike anything I have ever tasted. For those who have not traveled abroad for a good beer, let me tell you, it is worth it. American beer, and even imported German beer is nothing compared to what you can get from a tap in Germany. As far as drinking beer in America, I am a sucker for microbreweries. I am still young and little jaded by starting my real years of drinking by going to Europe, but I have yet to find a GOOD beer I like in a bottle. I do however enjoy drinking a Miller High Life here and there.
For Good Beer its gotta Be Oberon by Bell’s and Blue Moon. But for cheap beer its gotta be Stroh’s or King Cobra…..
I was the ultimate beer snob – imports, micro, homebrew, etc. Then I bought a house. Ever since then Pabst and High Life have helped me swallow that mortgage much easier.
well I think miller high life is pretty discusting how ever you spell it. but my favorite cheap bear is coors bear lite and reg so yep its smooth and goes down easy…
I’m with bettis on this one… there are beer specials every night of the week. We have a wood-fire pizza joint that has buck fifty domestic drafts on Mondays, where any other night of the week I’d pay $5 a pint. I also keep tabs on the specials of my favorite stores and stock up when appropriate.
Life is too short and cheap beer is too nasty to do otherwise.
I admit I’ve been a bit of a “beer snob” in the last decade (since the days of cheap beer in college because that’s all we could afford).
Now I’ve actually had times at a restaurant that I’ve made the “beer or soft drink” decision solely on whether they have high enough quality beer for my tastes (if not, I’ll go with a soft drink).
Personally, I’ve developed quite a taste for micro-brews (and I’m sure this is at least in part due to the fact that I’ve brewed my own beer in the past).
high life is the greatest stuff ever… It used to be 6 bucks a 12 pack until they raised the price to 7.50….. u can get milwake’s best (beast) for 5 bucks a 12 pack or a 6 pack of red dog 16oz for 3 bucks…. nattie ice goes for 6 bucks a 12 pack over here….
Guiness or Mackeson (the only beer that is excellent with chocolate chip cookies.) Schlafley’s Coffee Stout. Beer and coffee, a perfect combination. Only wish I could drink it in the morning at work.
don’t get me wrong, i can handle a $1 pbr from time to time. there is a time for everything. however, i am a drink-special specialist. you name a day of the week, and i have a restaurant in town that has drink specials on that night. who needs $1 pbr when you can get a $2 draft newcastle? not me! i’ll take the newcastle eight days a week.
There’s really only one “common” beer that I buy regularly, and that’d be Miller Genuine Draft.
Outside of that, I sort of take turns purchasing Dos Equis, Heineken, Bass ale, and Foster’s.
Good beer story: Whilst out shopping for a decent beer (we were on vacation, way away from home) in Minnesota, I entered a pretty tiny, backwoods liquor store. Nothing appealed to me at all; everything seemed to be of the Old Milwaukee and Budweiser ilk. I asked the counter attendant if she had any imported beers. Her response:
“Imported? You mean like … from Iowa?”
I think I ended up buying a 6pk of Sam Adams.
I think my college experience must have been an anomaly. Old Milwaukee? Miller?..cheap beers? These were considered ‘expensive’ in my day.
The ‘cheap’ beer standards in college for me were..
Carling Black Label
At the time (early 90’s) none over $6/case.
That said, times and tastes change. A good way to enjoy good beers is to buy those craft brews by the case.
For nickel’s wife..
I haven’t seen michelob dry in awhile, but I can regularly get Asahi Dry here in DFW. Most places carry it. Not for certain on your territory though.
I’m a big fan of “Fat Tire” which is becoming increasingly easier to find here in Ca.
I do reflect fondly on my college days, though, when the most important was what we could get in a keg for the least amount of money. We drank a lot of “Natty Light” (aka Natural Light) back then.
Does anybody know what happened to “dry” beers such as Michelob Dry and Asahi Dry? They weren’t super cheap, but they were good. I can’t seem to find them anywhere although I must admit I haven’t looked very hard.
Wife of nickel
I drink good cheap beer by brewing my one. However, I splurge occasionally on a good import. Life’s too short to go through it drinking bad cheap beer.
Here’s a topic I can go on and on about. For cheap beer, I’ve always been a fan of Mickey’s by the 40oz’s. It’s delish. Admittedly, Miller High Life’s not bad.But I find Bud Lite for about the same price, might as well go ahead. I usually look at the grocery store ads for a good deal on Bud products, and can usually easily strike a deal. The grocery store’s have the best prices. For the *GOOD* stuff, I used to choose Newcastle, Bass, Harp, but I’ve found some new favorites. Shiner’s Dunkelwiezen is excellent, and it tastes almost like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout which is great. I like YDCS’s nice refreshing wet flavor, and it’s “thin”. I’ve been a fan of Chimay, Corsendonk, and Lindemann’s for over a decade now though. But if you’re wanting good brew for a good price, it seems like Bud’s in the “sweet spot”. Also check Central Market if you have one near you.
I agree with Blaine. Yuengling is my “cheap” beer of choice. Next in line is JW Dundee Honey Brown beer. These cost roughly $5 a six pack in my area. When I lived on the tundra, Moosehead was my poison of choice, but it’s a lot more expensive on the E. Coast.
For good bears, nothing tops Pilsner Urquell.
I’d rather go without than drink cheap beer (let alone CHEAP beer). So I guess I am a microbrew snob as well (but also count in the major-brews of other countries). I’m a huge fan of any good porter, stout or nut brown in the colder months. And in summer I prefer lighter brews like an Sam’s seasonal, a good spicey hooegarten, heifeweizen and my old standby – magic hat #9.
We drank popov vodka in college (though I seem to remember kegs of old milwaukee around) and THAT is some seriously bad swill. ::: shudder :::
There’s cheap beer, like Miller High Life, and then there’s CHEAP beer, like Old Milwaukie. I gotta stay away from the latter. I still have a soft spot for all the Bud Light I drank in college, but now i’m a microbew snob – Pyramid, Widmer’s, or Red Hook please.
Only a half dozen more responses and you’ll have a new most talked about article…and in a shorter span of time, most likely. Wonder what that says about your readership…
My beer of choice is Belgian – Duvel, Delerium Tremens, Chimay, etc… Although, I can drink Newcastle any day.
But my real vice is Pinot Noir. Now there’s an expensive liquid.
Funny that you just posted this as just last week I went over to my neighbors house to watch a movie and he actually had “The Beast,” Milwaukee’s Best. I was amazed as I know he makes good money and like beer. He said that it was on sale this week so he picked it up.
I am not actually cheap enough to get bad beer…I loves me some Sam Adams. If I am having a party or something were I need to get a lot of beer, I will just get Coors Light, but that it as cheap as I go.
Guinness Stout — it’s Gaelic for genius!
Very happy that they got the 15-pack of pub cans back in Costco.
Suffering from the same dilemma – being a “good beer” afficionado, AND a cheapskate – I turned to brewing my own, mainly out of cheapness – and then it grew into a hobby just for the sake of itsself (so the money may or may not actually be being saved, here 😉 …).
I’m also a Newcastle fan, in addition to Guinness, and many others. 😉 Sure, there’s some manner of capital investment for a beginner’s set-up (~$100-$150), but a simple extract set-up can get you brewing for ~$1.00/12 oz bottle or less – a 5 gallon batch (2 cases) runs me from ~$30, for a lighter summery brew (Belgian Witbier) to $70 for my heavy, high-content, couldn’t-buy-in-a-store-if-you-wanted-to-anyway Christmas Ale.
If you can afford a little more capital (maybe another $100-$150, give-or-take) once you’re into it, and don’t mind spending just a LITTLE more time at it in order to go to all-grain brewing, your cost per batch goes down dramatically. 6 lbs of malt extract extract could run you $20-$25 (the bulk of the cost of an extract batch), but the grain for a similar batch (maybe 10-12 lbs) is peanuts – way less than $1.00/pound – so the cost of that component is way less than $10/batch.
The beer you can brew, if you keep good notes and are careful about sterility, is oustanding, even with an extract set-up. So say my beer-swilling buddies, anyway, who also appreciate darker/heavier ales. 😉
AND, if nothing else, it’s a great hobby. 😉
It has been very difficult to resist Good Beer since we moved to Colorado. Our current favorite is Flying Dog In Heat Wheat, but Fat Tire is always a good standby. We can get them for under $7 a six pack if we shop around, but most of the corner local liquor stores have them for around $7.50. And then there’s always Happy Hour at the Flying Dog brewery when we want it on tap.
Yuengling when I can get it, but I can’t get it regularly now that I live in Maine. Any time I travel (or have a friend that’s travelling) through New York or Pennsylvania I pick up a case or two of it.
I am lucky in that I live in the state with the second most craft breweries. There are 3 breweries within a few miles of where I work, and 3 more within a mile or two of where I live. Mainer’s like good beer. My favorites have to be Shipyard and Gritty’s for the local stuff.
I also brew my own beer. I have not been doing a whole lot lately since I don’t want to have to travel with a full carboy, and I am hoping to buy a house in the next month or two; I’ve been hoping that for almost a year though. My last batch of light beer doesn’t taste very good (I experimented a bit too much) but it works great for cooking (I just made a few more pounds of beef jerky with it this weekend). My normal light recipe is what we are going to give as wedding favors and is probably my favorite recipe. We have a porter aging in our closet right now that is ready to be bottled.
Miller High Life is actually pretty good. Sometimes, when it is on sale, you can buy Miller High Life for $13.99 for a 30 pack of cans. I’m not a fan of canned beer, but it isn’t bad.
I go through phases where one beer is my favorite. Right now, my favorite would be Negra Modelo, which is $7+ a six pack. I don’t buy too much of it.
I don’t drink (I had my fill in college). But can I name some other vices? They are:
1. McDonald’s pancakes
2. Diet Coke (free at work, thank goodness)
3. Raw cookie dough
Moose Tracks ice cream would be on the list, but I get all I want for free, so I’m not counting it! 😉
In college, my beer of choice was Natural Light. Good ole natty light, we could get a case of 24 for around $8 when we bought in bulk and I loved the stuff.
Now, I’m a fan of Yuengling, $10 for a 12 pack of bottles can’t be beat.
You have nothing to complain about…cheap beer out here is $2 a can…must be why I drink sake