Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do people actually drink this swill?

One of the things that concerns me about the pending trip to Yellowstone, aside from fly selection and hungry grizzly bears, is the selection of brews.

I'm no beer snob but I do react somewhat viscerally to anything that comes in a twelve ounce can. Beer I like usually comes in a bottle. Bass is my current go-to brew but I also like a variety of local brews with Berkshire Brewing Company's Coffehouse Porter being a nice change. I especially like that it comes in big bottles; more for me to share.

Recently the Urban Hipsters and their brethren, Rocky Mountain Angling Hipsters, have rediscovered one of the cheap beers of my youth, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Back in the day, this swill's beer's claim to fame was its price point though I think both Busch (does anyone recall twenty-five cent pitchers of Busch?) and Red White & Blue (also brewed by Pabst and even swillier cheaper) beer were cheaper on most nights.

Two weeks ago I spied a $6 six-pack of PBR sitting on the top shelf of the cooler in my local package store. I just had to see if this was still the beer from those days when cheap beer was the best beer so I grabbed a six.

I've only managed to sample five of the six so I can't say I've given the beer a true taste test but based upon my current sample I can say definitively that this stuff is: cheap, in a liquid state, and contains alcohol. From a flavor perspective, there is none. I suppose on some days, that's enough. 

One thing I had forgotten since I went to bottles is just how good an ice-cold beer can feels in the hand on a hot day. The can doesn't hold the temperature worth a damn (hence the rise of the "koozie") but if the brew is light it can be consumed well ahead of any temperature change.

And that may be the genius of PBR.

Without any appreciable flavor on which to linger, in an ice cold state this beer goes down quick. That both quenches the thirst and also sets you up for another without any lengthy wait. On some days, that's just perfect.


32 comments:

  1. Yuengling Black & Tan is my go to. Try it if you can find it. And yes, folks here in WV are still drinking the Blue Ribbon.

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  2. you can also pour it on a jelly fish burn.. or clean a paint brush with it... or induce vomiting... or...

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  3. You have summarized the attraction to PBR nicely. It's cold and it goes down fast. (There's no reason not to suck it down as there's nothing to savor). On a hot day, that's just what the doctor ordered. Swill, yes, but refreshing swill. There are a hundred other beers I'd rather drink (and I fear that I am leaning towards beer snobbery), but PBR does just fine on the stream.

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    1. I'm a coffee snob. I have more anxiety about that for next week than the beer.

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    2. "Swill, yes, but refreshing swill

      The man's a marketing genius -- have you just stumbled on PBR's next tagline?

      Life's too short to drink swill no matter how hot (or how expertly marketed as the blue collar beer of rebellion).

      Given its inevitable appearance in every fly fishing photo essay, PBR's as much an affectation as cars covered with stickers or a meat dress.

      Just say "no" to swill...

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    3. My marketing genius is pure gold!

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  4. Sounds like you and I are full of equal concerns. If we are talking beer, I like it strong, dark, and in a bottle. Coffee?...oh hell, don't get me started...I am a coffee prude of the highest order...and I drink a lot of it. I am also fond of bourbon, Knob Creek or Woodford reserve. And of course Jack...I am actually a card carrying Squire with the Jack distilery in Lynchburg. Betcha you didn't know you were gonna be trippin yellowstone with prudish southern gentry didja? However, if the need arizes, I will drink Miller High Life (bottle), cheap whiskey...but the coffee is a standard I will not adjust. A man has to have a few principles..........

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    1. We'll need to pick up some scotch on the way north.

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    2. and cigars...may as well cover all the standard vices...

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  5. You guys will get along just fine with Chris. He, too, is a man with few principles. Wait. I mean...

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  6. One word of caution, don't judge a beer by it's package anymore. Can doesn't equal bad and here I go wading into beer snobbery, but you can get plenty of good Colorado "craft" beers nowadays in cans, ready for the river. OB (the original), New Belgium, Ska, Avery, Upslope, etc. Lots of good beer in aluminum these days. But sometimes on a hot day a PBR does just hit the spot - I like the bottles ;)

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    1. I'd like good beer to be in cans. That way they'd be good to go in my pack all day long.

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  7. PBR is the Professional Boater's Refreshment, and definitely not frowned upon out here in the wild, wild West. At least not by swill-sucking low-brows like me.

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    1. I will have to purchase a boat and do further research.

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  8. Ill drink it. But i drink most beers! :D

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    1. I may have to do further research as well.

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  9. Yep, that's the essence of it. Thanks for sharing. Hipsters can't ruin it unless we let 'em.

    For a nice change, try it in a bottle. I always drink craft beers from a glass, and mostly drink craft beers. A couple months back I rediscovered the joy of beer in a cold bottle via an impulse sixer of PBR.

    Overall, I'm a Hamm's man. I think it's a Minnesota thing.

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    1. I'm a Bass man. I think that comes from being so close to our former colonial overlords. It's a New England thing.

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  10. I don't drink a lot of beer, but when I do it's PBR...the beer of choice in Hicksville!

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    1. Next time I'm out your way I'll have to visit Hicksville and drink some quick PBRs with you.

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  11. I try not to discriminate among the cheap swills...on the water, it seldom matters as long as there is something to drink that gets the job done. Cans in the field = good. Cans back at camp = not as good. But again, I don't discriminate.

    I'm sure there will be plenty of testing on the trip west...just don't compromise on that coffee.

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    1. I look forward to sampling the wares.

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  12. LOL - i think further comparative research may be necessary...PBR and Michelob are the brews that got me through college...ahhh the old days...thank god for micro brews!

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    1. Michelob. What's up with that bottle? Beer bottles shouldn't be shaped that way.

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  13. If you can't appreciate the simple greatness of PBR than you've obviously never struggled or gone to college. PBR is what it is -a cheap drinkable brew.

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    1. I have neither struggled nor do I have an education. Guilty.

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