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Best Cheap Beer

The economy is going south and the price of beer is skyrocketing. $7.49 a six pack is now the standard price in SoCal chain supermarkets of no-character, generic swill like Bud, Coors and Miller. Heineken and Becks as high as $10 for a six! Will i have to go back to drinking the Meister Brau, Milwaukee's Best and Natural Light from my youth?

I found a nice, cheap beer at Trader Joe's. "Simpler Times" lager brewed by Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wisconson. $3.99 for a six pack. full bodied, slightly amber colored and not too sweet. 6.2% alcohol.

I know you save money when there are sales on 12, 18 and 30 packs but I'm talking everyday price.

Any other bargains out there?

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  1. Natty Boh all the way. That said, I haven't seen prices like the ones you mentioned for Bud/Coors/Miller, although I don't really drink them either. I can still get any Sierra Nevada, including the excellent Torpedo, for $7.99 a six pack.

    16 Replies
      1. re: JonParker

        Ah, If only Nat Boh was avaiable everywhere! If you can't get it, I have seconded the vote for PBR...I think there are very similar.

        1. re: BigSteve

          I second your feeling about the limited availability of National Bohemian. They really need to expand their distribution area or build more breweries.

          1. re: Jobe1

            Had a friend who lives in Baltimore bring me down a couple cases of Boh. Impossible to find south of Bmore, even in Maryland.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Pabst's website for National Bohemian lists Maryland distributors in Rockville, Waldorf and Salisbury, a number of distributors in VA and NC (where the beer is brewed at the Eden MillerCoors facility) - as well as one each in DE and SC, and a number in PA.


              Of course. that's not to say that it still might not be "impossible to find" - since Pabst's websites are notorious for errors, and the company (now a "virtual" brewery that depends on mostly MillerCoors' breweries for its beer and otherwise a mere shadow of its former self even tho' it owns dozens of labels) isn't much for promotion or, probably, support for it's wholesalers.

              1. re: JessKidden

                Boh is available in some of the trendier downtown DC bars. Have not seen it in any MD bars/liquor stores outside Baltimore. As for Northern Virginia, it's not carried by Total Beverage or any of the major grocery chains.

                1. re: monkeyrotica

                  See (and this not aimed at you personally, since I read such things all the time in the beer corner of the 'net), simply because one does not "see" a beer in the retailers one visits, doesn't mean the beer is not available.

                  I supposed part of the problem is that modern liquor stores and grocery stores carry a much larger selection today than they may have 20-30 years ago, so one expects to see everything available after hitting half a dozen stores.

                  But, the fact that that Pabst website lists numerous wholesalers in the areas you mention (MD south of Baltimore, Virginia, etc) means that the beer IS (or at least WAS) available TO retailers, but unless they know of a demand they're not going to carry it. No retailer can carry everything (tho', looking at some shelves, it may seem that way).

                  And knowing the distributor is especially helpful.

                  "Hey, I'd like to buy a case of National Bohemian and I see you don't carry it. Can you order it for me?"

                  "Uh, I don't think I can get it..."

                  "You deal with (for one example) Loveland out of Richmond, VA, don't you? They supposedly stock it." http://lovelandinc.com/products

                  "Oh, sure they're my MillerCoors, Yuengling, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada supplier. I'll add a case of Natty Boh on my next order for you."

                  Of course, many of the modern day beer geeks pride themselves on only buying singles, so that method might not work if one is gonna stick the retailer with 23 bottles of a beer.

                  I know it's a sort of "antique" way to buy a beer and some geeks like the "hunt", but that's how we used to do it in the pre-internet era. If you're a "regular", most retailers won't even ask for a deposit --- and might even start carrying the brand as a regular offering when they know there's a market for it.

                  1. re: JessKidden

                    The fact that a brewer indicates they have a retailer in an area does not imply that the beer is available to retailers. For example, in Virginia we have a franchise law that gives exclusive rights to a brand in a given area to one wholesaler. That wholesaler is not obliged to carry every product with that brand name. It is quite common for a wholesaler to not sell every beer and package with a given brand name. In fact, today's wholesalers are looking for efficiency, and they are quite likely to not carry products that they don't think will sell at the volume they require.

                    1. re: Jim Dorsch

                      The link I noted above for the Locator page of National Bohemian listed distributors not retailers (unlike some other Pabst's sites like the ones for PBR and Old Milwaukee - their best sellers). Comparing the list of distributors for Natty Boh and some other Pabst brands like Schaefer and Ballantine in PA shows that there are different lists for each brand.

                      Comparing Natty Boh and Ballantine, for instance, shows 9 and 7 wholesalers respectively, with only 1 on both lists. Compare those two lists to Schaefer's (with 10) and it lists some other Pabst houses on neither of the other lists.

                      That, to me, implies that Pabst's distributors lists are based on the particular brand, not simply a list of distributors that carry some of the Pabst line-up. Also note that many states display simply "Not Available" when checking the many Pabst brands that are regional.

                      Again, as I noted, Pabst's websites are error filled (for a time, they even misspelled one of the biggest selling northeast beers as "Schaeffer" and have also referred to Ballantine Ale as Ballantine Beer [which they dropped over a decade ago] ) and often out of date.

                      1. re: JessKidden

                        Yes, it fills you with confidence when a company misspells its own brand name.

                        Where you can run into trouble with such information is a brand such as Sierra Nevada, in which case a wholesaler might sell pale ale and Torpedo, but not porter or stout, say. This has occurred in my area.

              2. re: monkeyrotica

                I have seen it at the occasional shop in AA County and PG County and even once or twice in FFx County but yes its not super easy to find. This is probably because demand for it is pretty low outside of Baltimore and who wants to carry a bad beer that doesnt sell nowadays. And I say this as someone who cut his beer drinking teeth on Naty Boh when I was a teenager. It was very much a local cult beer and we used to buy cases of the stuff (for like $7...) and take it to school and spread its fame among our beer drinking brethren. But now its an awful awful beer who is largely purchased by Baltimore area fraternity brothers and perhaps a shrinking number of aging Baltimorians who have been drinking it since the Kennedy admin. I do always find it fairly amusing though when I go to local beer festivals and theres often a vendor who sells any kind of Boh paraphernalia (shirts, hats, glasses, beer pong equipment, etc.) at fairly steep prices to a constant swarm of college age kids. So apparently the legend still survives...

                1. re: Insidious Rex

                  Along with Stroh's, Schlitz, and Schaefer, Boh is a staple among the $3 happy hour crowd in DC's hipper, trendier, and more vibrant neighborhoods.

                  1. re: monkeyrotica

                    You mean the hipsters on H street? More power to em I guess but I doubt I would pay $3 for a Natty Boh these days. Although I will admit to dropping $2 more than once on one at a couple Baltimore bars in the past year. But for nostalgia reasons only and it was actually on tap! And after choking one down I move on to a Loose Cannon or a Brewers Art to maintain the Baltimore cult beer theme...

                  2. re: Insidious Rex

                    I know you can get Naty Boh in Frederick. Along with Schaefer and other "cheap" beer. Here is the link for a place: http://www.yeoldspiritshop.com/index....

            2. re: JonParker

              Got a case of Natty Boh for $10.99, and it is now my favorite cheap beer.

              1. re: JonParker

                Ah, If only Nat Boh was avaiable everywhere! If you can't get it, I have seconded the vote for PBR...I think there are very similar.

              2. Full Sail Session Lager. 12 pack of stubby 11-oz. bottles goes for around $11 or so. It's a 100% barley malt lager, and quite tasty.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Josh

                  Session! I agree wholeheartedly. It's my go-to beer in clubs now, where it's becoming more available (in the type of music clubs where you usually only find the big-brewery adjunct lagers and maybe Guiness; maybe because of the retro-looking bottles? Whatever; I'm just glad to find it). Didn't know it was from Full Sail; that's cool.

                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    Anyone tried the Session Black (dark lager)? I enjoyed Session in WA and OR regularly and am glad to see it come back as an option to CA. I only see it in 12-packs so I'm a bit risk averse to buying a bunch cheap dark lager.

                  2. re: Josh

                    "Full Sail Session Lager. 12 pack of stubby 11-oz. bottles"

                    11 oz. bottles?! What happened to the standard 12 oz. bottle?

                    Ha ha.

                    I brought the subject up in another thread here, re: the recent trend in the market of shrinking long standard package sizing.

                    What's next? 10 oz. bottles?

                    Where does it end? :)

                    1. re: 2chez mike

                      The 11 ounce beer bottle (both stubby and longneck styles) was long a tradition on the West Coast. Here's an example of an Olympia stubby bottle from its original era in the 1930's when that bottle design was developed to compete with the newfangled "no deposit, no return", more compact beer can http://www.taverntrove.com/item.php?I... That Oly bottle ( also used by many other Western brewers as well) served as the inspiration for Full Sail's use of that bottle.

                      Oh, and 10 ounce beer cans were also once available, as well. http://www.thebeercanguide.com/wp-con...

                  3. I believe that a case of Bitburger cans is still under $20.

                    1. Budweiser American Ale and the Michelob craft beers are priced very reasonably.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Jim Dorsch

                        "Budweiser American Ale and the Michelob craft beers are priced very reasonably."

                        Budweiser "American Ale" is a step up from Budweiser. But at $7.49 a six pack. fpr that or regular Bud, here in SoCal, I have to disagree about it being priced reasonably.

                        1. re: 2chez mike

                          Where I live BAA is typically 6.99, compared to Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, et al, at 9.49.

                          1. re: Jim Dorsch

                            Where I live, BAA, SIerra Pale/ESB/Torpedo, and Sam Adams are ALL 6.99.
                            The Bud American Ale is a nice change to, owing to its very good balance.

                            1. re: The Professor

                              re: Jim Dorsch
                              Where is the general location for $6.99 Sam Adams? Here in NY

                              Capital region the standard price seems to be apx $10.00

                              1. re: feelinpeckish

                                I wasn't talking about Sam Adams. I said Bud American Ale is $6.99 in my area.

                      2. 12 packs of Sierra Nevada's seasonals are the best deals in craft beer today imo. Usually less than $14 with tax & deposit around here.

                        1. Funny that you mention the "Minhas Brewery." This used to be my beloved Huber Brewery, maker of Huber Premium that sold for $4.50 a CASE in St. Louis (1984). Believe it or not, the bottles were returnables - I used them for home brewing for many years. Man, you could almost chew the grain in Huber Premium!

                          As pennance I guess, Huber Brewery was also the producer of the "Berghoff" line, respected and flavorful beers.

                          Can you imagine $4.50 a case? Even Schaefer and Schlitz were selling for $6.00 or more at the time! Now that's some cheap beer...

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: MDBBQFiend

                            An old friend of mine lives in central Pennsylvania. They have these beer shacks there and you can still get cases of Genessee and Yeung Ling in 16 oz. returnable bottles. I haven't been out there for several years but I always remember it being a great bargain.

                            1. re: 2chez mike

                              I think Genesee (now High Falls- soon to be "North American Breweries") dropped the returnables awhile back, and Yuengling has shrunk their marketing of them to the immediate Pottsville area (from what I've heard). Straub's stuck with the package (even to the point of having to pay for new molds since no one else uses them) and The Lion still sells some of their old Pennsylvania local brands in them "when they get enough empties back from the distributors".

                            2. re: MDBBQFiend

                              "Huber Premium that sold for $4.50 a CASE in St. Louis (1984). "

                              Not as good a deal as one might imagine, if you believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Inflation Caculator", where they claim $4.50 in 1984 equals $9.14 in today's dollars. I'm not sure what the "cheap" beers go for these days but aren't some in the "10 bucks a case" range still?

                              "Believe it or not, the bottles were returnables"

                              Actually, the deposit bottle was one of the reasons WHY the beer was so cheap. Tho' they cost more for the brewery initially (heavier glass to hold up to multiple usage), they could be used numerous times unlike the one time cost of the "throw-away" bottle and so the cost of packaging (both bottles and case cardboard) could be spread out.

                              By you keeping the bottles - your "deposit" wasn't a purchase but more of a rental - you were costing the brewery money. (Think of it like the current situation where the keg deposits were often much less than the true cost of a stainless steel keg.) "Not getting back the empties" was one of the reasons why all but a handful of US breweries have dropped the package- now, of course, the cost of the glass is simply passed onto to the consumer.

                              Not blaming you or the other homebrewers for their disappearance, of course <g> (I did the same thing and still have several cases of steinie bottles - my favorites- in both 12 oz. and 32 oz. sizes- from Straub, Ortlieb, Horlacher and Ballantine).

                              Altho' I was told by an A-B employee that they gave up on the returnable/refillable bottle when those little "test tubes" of liquor became popular and people were "disposing" of the empty tubes inside the empty beer bottles and screwing up their bottle washing machinery. "Stuff" in the bottles were always a problem- as the once "complimentary" free bottle/can openers got smaller in the days before the twist-off bottle and "pop top" cans, THEY started being deposited inside the bottles- so the opener mfg's had to stamp little "ears" into the openers so they wouldn't fit inside the returnable bottles.

                              1. re: JessKidden

                                "Not as good a deal as one might imagine, if you believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Inflation Caculator", where they claim $4.50 in 1984 equals $9.14 in today's dollars. I'm not sure what the "cheap" beers go for these days but aren't some in the "10 bucks a case" range still?"

                                A standard case back then was 24 bottles/cans. I don't think 12 packs had arrived on the scene yet, let alone 18 and 30 packs. If there were 12 packs then, they were relatively new and not what a beer drinker considered a "case of beer".
                                "Actually, the deposit bottle was one of the reasons WHY the beer was so cheap. Tho' they cost more for the brewery initially (heavier glass to hold up to multiple usage), they could be used numerous times unlike the one time cost of the "throw-away" bottle and so the cost of packaging (both bottles and case cardboard) could be spread out."

                                Also, energy costs were a lot lower then. Another reason why beer has skyrocketed in price is because it's high water weight costs more to ship and deliver.

                                1. re: 2chez mike

                                  "A standard case back then was 24 bottles/cans."

                                  And ever shall it be. Don't know what gave you the idea I was calling a "12 pack" a case, but either way, it's difficult to talk "price" with folks from other parts of the US, since it varies greatly from state to state. Checking my local newspaper I see an ad for a 30 pack (i.e., a case and 1/4 <g>) of Schaefer for $12.99, not really much different (well, to my mind) that the "adjusted for inflation" of Huber at $9.14. 43¢ a can vs. 38¢ a bottle, especially considering the cost of the one-way can vs. the refillable bottle.

                                  I also reject the concept of "skyrocketing" beer prices today. Again, *adjusted for inflation* it's cheaper than it was 30-40 years ago.

                                  1. re: JessKidden

                                    "Don't know what gave you the idea I was calling a "12 pack" a case, but either way"

                                    It's just that $4.50 a case sounded really cheap. I was buying beer in NJ at that point and even the cheapest, Meister Brau in cans, was around $8.00 a case. I've been in SoCal for the past twenty years and in the past 3 or 4 years the non-sale price of beer has almost doubled.

                                    1. re: 2chez mike

                                      We always did cases of Genny 12 Horse Ale for $4.99 when we were poor. Now I like the Yeungling but you can't get it in KY. Down there we drank Lemberger Weissbier & Labatts Blue for $7.99/6 and Harp Lager, also $7.99, go figure!

                              2. re: MDBBQFiend

                                Don't forget they also bought the rights to "Rhinelander," which was sold by the case in bar bottles and never for over $5/case [as late as 1993 in Iowa City, IA]. It was actually drinkable too.

                              3. Do they fill growlers in your state?

                                1. Costco has 24 cases of Stone Pale Ale and Sierra Nevada Pale ale for about $25. Hard to beat that.

                                  17 Replies
                                  1. re: DougOLis

                                    During the holiday season my local Costco (Austin) had cases of Sierra Nevada Celebration for the same price as the Pale Ale, which was around 23. Best deal ever; I think it was probably a mistake, but I certainly wasn't going to clue them in.... I ended up getting 3 cases; sadly, I'm almost at the end of my supply, though I've done my best to nurse it along as long as possible.

                                    1. re: Bat Guano

                                      I believe they're all line priced these days, with the exception of Bigfoot, of course.

                                    2. re: DougOLis

                                      In California?.......I haven't been to a Costco, but I am assuming the pricing on the Stone and SN can't be that close here on the east coast.......if so I'll have to join.

                                      1. re: Saddleoflamb

                                        I paid $26.49 for Celebration and (I think, can't find the receipt) the same for Torpedo on the East Coast (NJ) and I didn't need to join no !@#$ "club" (see Marx, Groucho for my opinion of those clubs). <g>

                                        Sierra Nevada beers like Celebration, Bigfoot and now Torpedo, are certainly among the best values one can find in the world of "good beer". They are one of the very few brands I'll routinely buy despite my preference for "local" beer (and their excellent distribution means it's usually fresh, too).

                                        1. re: JessKidden

                                          Thought Costco was a membership club.....is this where you paid the $2649? Cheapest I've seen/heard for the torpedo was $32 and change....

                                          1. re: Saddleoflamb

                                            No club. I've never even SEEN a Costco (are they on the East Coast?) much less been inside one. Found the receipt - it was $26.99 a case for the S-N Torpedo in New Jersey at Joe Canal's.

                                            1. re: JessKidden

                                              Costco is definitely in NJ...they used to be called Price Club. I know there's one in Edsion on Rt 27, and another in Somerville/Bound Brook area near the Patriots ballpark, just off Rt 28.

                                            2. re: Saddleoflamb

                                              Yeah, Costco is membership only and this was in California so I'm not sure what kind of deal you would get back there.

                                            3. re: JessKidden

                                              It is a little known fact because of the squirellyness of Texas' liquor laws, you can go into a Costco and buy alcohol without being a member. The real Costco, not just the liquor store next door. The only caveat is that you can't buy anything else.
                                              The is perhaps the only place where our liquor laws have benefited me, though i am a member now so it doesn't matter.
                                              When you check out some of the cashiers don't know about it and they have to get a supervisor.
                                              This is probably Texas only.

                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                Minnesota is the same way. The liquor store must be separate from the retail food store, and they will sell beer to anyone.

                                                1. re: Loren3

                                                  Same in Massachusetts. Can buy booze and beer at costco without a membership.

                                                    1. re: abqperson

                                                      Well, in Texas, the COSTCOs themselves don't sell booze, only beer and wine. (No grocery store does) You have to go next door to the Liquor store to get the hard liquor.

                                          2. re: DougOLis

                                            How does the Stone PA compare to the Sierra?

                                            1. re: throwbookatface

                                              A matter of opinion of course, and a question only you can answer for yourself...but for my money while Stone beers are by and large ok, none are really what I would term outstanding.
                                              I've come around to realizing that Sierra Nevada just still does it better.

                                              Of course, your results may vary.

                                              1. re: throwbookatface

                                                I don't think the Stone PA is quite as hoppy as SNPA, it tastes more of grapefruit to me. I think it's a very good beer. The Stone IPA is also quite good. A lot of people are crazy about Arrogant Bastard.

                                            2. if you are one of the lucky states yuengling lager can be bought for 6 bucks a six pack

                                              8 Replies
                                              1. re: cockscomb

                                                Yuengling is my pick, too. I'm in upstate NY and can get it by the case for less than $17. I prefer IPAs, but I've been buying more Yuengling lately to save some money. What's even better is that it's a much better beer (at least in my opinion) than the mass-produced cheaper beers.

                                                1. re: writergeek313

                                                  Absolutely. Seek out their Lord Chesterfield Ale as well...not bad for the price and has some nice hop character. They've changed it a bit lately, I think, but for a long time I found it very reminiscent in some ways of the old original Ballantine Ale...maybe not so much "nose" and not quite the bitterness, but very good hop character nonetheless. I remember buying Yeungling products back in the early/mid 70's for around 1.20/sixpack. Seems they got "hip" and the price changed, what seemed like overnight, to about twice that. In any case, they are quite the "comeback" story, since they were on the verge of closing in the 70's...now they have three breweries and seem to have a bit of a cult following. It's all good...they make solid products and are a cut above other yellow water beers, at a good price to boot.

                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                    In college in the late 80s, we would get Lord Chesterfield for $2.10 a six pack. Five years later, it was twice that price and much more widely available.

                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                      In college in the sixties, we wouldn't drink Yuengling, because it had the reputation as a cheap coal miner's beer.
                                                      In Maine today we buy what ever is on sale.
                                                      Wife just brought back a six pack of UPTA Camp (translation: up to the cabin) beer on sale.

                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                        Around that time I was getting Lord Chesterfield for about $40 for a half barrel keg, cheaper than even Killian's, so that was a good party beer for us.

                                                        These days I get their Porter for $5.50 a sixer, and it's still a heck of a value, imo. That and the B&T are my budget beers of choice.

                                                        1. re: TongoRad

                                                          I remember cheap kegs as well (usually the Premium). Funny thing is, because of the price, people used to turn their nose up at us when we had them at parties - they'd even prefer to go where others were "serving" Stroh's. Lately, I have been loving the under $6 six packs of their "retro" Bock beer - a great value.

                                                          BTW - Given you date to that place and time, do you remember the Tap Room in Reading or the birth or Mrs. Stoudt's???

                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            I was conducting the bulk of my beer enjoyment on Long Island and the Catskills in those days (we could get the Yuengling kegs by special order), so I never got to Reading. I think I became aware of Stoudts by like 1990 or so, when the bottled product hit our area. Their Honey Maibock was a favorite of mine.

                                                    2. re: writergeek313

                                                      I was able to score 3 cases on vacation and my brother from Philly brought me 2 more. I'm down to my last case and had to give away 8 to my friend for plumbing work. Don't know if I can last until Thanksgiving when I travel back east. Yeungling is definitely my favorite cheap brew. I'd drink it over a lot of premium beers as well.

                                                  2. 12 pack of Miller High Life is $5.49 at Rite-Aid in SD..
                                                    Stone Pale Ale Arrogant Bastard..case is $23 at Costco..
                                                    Mission Pale Ale at Trader's is $5.99 a sixer.
                                                    Mi Pueblo Mex Market has 30 pack Miller Lite for $10.99..that is a deal!

                                                    1. Wittekerke from Belgium sells for $4.99 a six at my local Trader Joe's, pretty tasty if you like Begian wit bier.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: juantanamera

                                                        Huh, I tried that beer last summer and found the citrus flavors quite artificial tasting.

                                                        1. re: Josh

                                                          Wittekerke isn't my favorite wit, Jolly Pumkin's Calabaza Blanca is, and I also really like Ommegang's and Lost Abbey's versions, but those are all more expensive. I don't recall any artificial citrus flavors in the Wittekerke, and I thought it was pretty solid for the price, and conveniently packaged in cans. To each his/her own.

                                                          1. re: juantanamera

                                                            For a (relatively) lower cost wit I like the Avery White Rascal. Maybe there's some variation in the Wittekerke. I just remember thinking, especially as it warmed up, that it tasted kind of ersatz.

                                                      2. I read a few of the posts and it seems that people see $1.25-$1.50 a can a deal. When I go out I drink Mich Ultra, for one reason and one only. I drink a lot of it nd I can't drink heavy dark beers when I'm out.

                                                        If I had to buy a beer strictly to save money, I'd buy Pabst Blue Ribbon. I have no idea what the price is, but I can't see it being more than $9 a 12-pack. I know in NH a few years ago, we were drinking $1.25 cans at the bar. It's better than bud, coors, michelob, and miller. So strictly for price, it's a good cheap beer!

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: jhopp217

                                                          Guinness is nearly black in color, but is lighter-bodied and lower in calories that many "light" beers (though probably not Ultra).

                                                          1. re: jhopp217

                                                            you're right. It tastes better than the big 3 American lagers, at about half the price.

                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                              i just want to clarify. No way am i saying this is a great beer, but if the style you like is Bud, miller, Coors, then it's definitely better.

                                                            2. re: jhopp217

                                                              I just saw Pabst in cans for $6.50 a twelve pack. I used to drink it a lot but haven't had it in years. Maybe I'll give it another shot.

                                                              1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                $11 for a 24 pack today at CVS. I bought one. Not such a bad beer, really.

                                                                1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                  There is a beer store near me that sells Pabst in cans for $10.99---and that's for a 30 pack!

                                                                  1. re: jayjay

                                                                    that's pretty amazing. I think 12 is about 7.99 here in NoVA.

                                                                2. re: jhopp217

                                                                  In Maine, I judge a convenience store if they sell single 16 oz. PBRs for less that a buck. Many do.
                                                                  "Red Neck, White Sox and Blue Ribbon Beer", heee haw, a classic C&W song.

                                                                3. My local shop in CT just put on sale BARONS from Australia, $4.99 per six.
                                                                  The lager is clean, light bodied, crisp.
                                                                  ESB has a bit more mouth and a touch of hops on the finish
                                                                  Black Wattle Seed Ale is almost like a cross between a stout and a brown. Similar to a more roasted flavored Newcastle.
                                                                  I mean...how can you go wrong with a craft beer @ $5 a 6pk???

                                                                  1. My local supermarket here in NYC has Old Milwaukee for $3.99 a six pack. Cheapest beer at local Traders Joes is $5.99 a six pack. I like their dark imported Mexican beer, Trader Jose's, also a buck a bottle.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BluPlateSpec

                                                                      I tried their Trader Jose premium lager which I suppose is akin to Corona in that it has no taste whatsoever.

                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                        My experience with TJ brand beers is that they are just short of interesting.
                                                                        However, at those prices, they don't really need to be.

                                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                                          I used to get and enjoy Mission Street IPA I got at TJ's but they haven't had for months.

                                                                          1. re: BluPlateSpec

                                                                            Yeah, the Mission Street IPA -- supposedly it's made by Firestone Walker in CA. -- is good. I could go for a drier malt character and a little more ABV, but the Mission St. brew is still a bargain. I don't know of a better IPA for that price.

                                                                            1. re: Kenji

                                                                              Mission Street IPA and PA are indeed made by F/W. If you look closely, you'll see Paso Robles as the place of origin. The Old Stockyard Stout is another very good beer, made by Goose Island. But the best bargain at TJ's might be their seasonal winter ale at $5 for a 750ml

                                                                              1. re: chuckl

                                                                                Agreed, this year's version is excellent and once again brewed by Unibroue.

                                                                                1. re: chuckl

                                                                                  We had a bottle of the 2009 TJ's seasonal winter ale that we opened on this Thanksgiving and it was very nice. On the bottle it says that it improves with age and this was certainly did.

                                                                            2. re: Tripeler

                                                                              Most of the German-style brews made for TJ's by Gordon Biersch -- e.g., the golden bock, the pils, the marzen, the pale wheat beer -- are, in my opinion, efficient but unexciting. There's a winter doppelbock among this lineup that is slightly more interesting. I quite like the dunkelweizen too; it's probably the best of the lot.

                                                                        2. PBR, and I aint even joking. We get that on tap by me.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. For the last year or two, Coors six packs of regular long neck bottles have been $3.73 at all the Rite Aids in Ventura, CA. Coors Lite bottles are regularly priced ($6.99+-). Is that true at Rite Aids elsewhere? Anyone know why they leave the price so cheap? I almost think its a Rite Aid computer pricing glitch that was never corrected.

                                                                                1. re: joshekg

                                                                                  Now you're talking.

                                                                                  Been brewing at home for almost 38 years and while I like quite a few commercial beers, I have very rarely had one that I could honestly say was better than good homebrew.

                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                    " I have very rarely had one that I could honestly say was better than good homebrew.

                                                                                    Even counting say the Trappist Ales?

                                                                                    1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                      Not my favorite style, I'm afraid... I drink them very rarely.
                                                                                      So I guess that's a "yes".

                                                                                      I do have a lot of respect for the style though, and glad that it's kept alive.

                                                                                    2. re: The Professor

                                                                                      I definitely enjoy many commercial beers and probably won't brew some styles due to time / space constraints (Russian River Consecration comes to mind, sour beer blend aged in oak), but you can't beat it on price.

                                                                                      Yesterday I brewed up a low alcohol Saison (should be around 3%). 5 gallon all-grain batch cost $20 so approx $2.25 / 6 pack. My brew before this was a Barleywine (8%) which cost around $4.50 / 6 pack.

                                                                                      Obviously there are some startup costs involved (mine were around $100) and it takes time to brew, but if you enjoy it it can be a lot of fun.

                                                                                  2. I think eye of the hawk at trader joes is a great bargain for i think $7.99 a sixer

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: chuckl

                                                                                      our local Liq store has Eye of the Hawk and Black Hawk stout at 6.99 and Red Tail and Blue Heron at $5.99. Humbolt's Red Nectar and Hemp Ales are also $5.99. DesChutes brews were all $6.99 for a few weeks. Full Sail had been 5.99 for a long time,went up 50 cents.
                                                                                      Nice the got specials on a lot of my favorites.

                                                                                      In times of no money I can deal with a quart of Miller,but it's not 99 cents anymore.

                                                                                      1. re: rerem

                                                                                        Yes. Miller High Life is $2 a quart and the big cans of Bud(24 oz.) the same. Best quart deal going around here are quarts of Caguama from El Salvador at $2 a quart. A much better beer IMO.

                                                                                    2. At BJ's (membership store) in my area you can get a 28-pack of Sam Adams Boston Ale for $24.99 - probably this will be my everyday drinkin' brew this summer. They also have (or have had; some are seasonals) craft packs of Michelob, Sam Adams, Blue Moon, and Shipyard for equivalent - slightly upwards of a buck a beer.

                                                                                      Our really cheap house plonk/cold one after yard work/too many bills this month beer is Labatt's Blue - usually $17.99 for 30 cans at the supermarket. Good cold with a wad of lemon or lime in the glass, and cans with drinkable beer inside are great for camping and such, and easy to lug to the redemption center.

                                                                                      1. Simpler Times is a good cheap beer. It's definitely the best in that price range. The price breaks down to about $0.06/oz. Though PBR ends up being about $0.04/oz., I will agree that simpler times has a lot more depth. That doesn't mean I will stop drinking my PBR-lol.

                                                                                        1. Back when I was in a poor college kid in SoCal, the best of the cheaps was Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve. I seem to remember it being a bit like a Negro Modelo and could always find it for a hair under .75/bottle at supermarkets.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: cali2ia

                                                                                            I remember that there were always great deals on Henry Weinhardt's beers at the Safeway supermarkets in CA. They came in a variety styles, and one of them was an amber-colored brew w/ a distinct Cascade hop character.

                                                                                            IIRC, the "Private Reserve" was a pilsner...

                                                                                          2. If it's brewed in Monroe, it's made by Huber and must be good. i will look for it.

                                                                                            1. I was told @ NorCal TJ's that both Wittekerke(my white go to) & Simpler Times(my camping go to) aren't coming back. Stock up now :(

                                                                                              Side note, they are also discontinuing a Vino Verde, "Espiral"(?) that was I believe 3.99 a bottle...sad.

                                                                                              1. I normally pick up Yeungling. But if I'm looking for dirt cheap, Natty Light is what I go with. I kinda like that it is completely unpretentious and doesn't try to be anything it isn't.

                                                                                                I don't normally mind stepping up in price a tiny bit and getting something better, like a Sierra Nevada. It depends in the context of how I intend to drink it...

                                                                                                1. Full Sail LTD Series Recipe No. 3 (pale blue label says :well looky here, a crisp new pilsner style...) is very tasty and my local Trader Joe's currently sells it for a very reasonable $6.49. A great malty flavor that reminds me of good crusty French bread, a light touch of caramel, and a pleasant hop bitterness, nicely balanced, really enjoyable. I don't have much experience or expertise in 'authentic' pilsner, so I can't say if it's true to style, but it is truly delicious and a great value.

                                                                                                  1. Somehow I don't think anyone has mentioned Narragansett yet - New England specific, but if you live here, it's affordable and/but better than you would expect. I've been paying $5.99 a 6 pack and haven't been hunting too hard for a bargain.


                                                                                                    1. a little surprised to not find lionshead on here. a case of 24 bottles is about $11ish and it is a decent beer and has puzzles on each cap...for when your bored at a gathering or on your porch!

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: pie22

                                                                                                        Busch Lite 30 pack for $13.99. The right price for times like these. I used to drink Sierra Nevada pale ale...
                                                                                                        I have lost some weight since I cut them out. The amount of carbs per bottle is equivalent to a loaf of bread.

                                                                                                        1. re: foodsnob14

                                                                                                          "Sierra Nevada pale ale...The amount of carbs per bottle is equivalent to a loaf of bread."

                                                                                                          Damn. Must be some small loaves up there in Connecticut. There's 19g in one SLICE of the bread I bought yesterday (Vermont Bread Co.'s Organic Multigrain)- more than a bottle of SNPA (14.1g).

                                                                                                          (Not that I've ever paid attention to carbohydrates - in either bread or beer. <g>)

                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                            Perhaps it was a gross exageration about the amount of carbs, all I know is that my waistline is a lot smaller since the switch. Although from time to time I do enjoy a good home/micro brewed beer.
                                                                                                            Here is an article that applies to this thread.

                                                                                                      2. I'm back to what I was drinking when I was a teenager....Pabst Blue Ribbon. I had been on Sierra Nevada for a few years, that along with Guiness will allways be my top picks (for commercial beer anyway). I'm getting PBR for 6.49 a 12 in the Charlotte area, while I can't find Sierra for less than 15 a 12!

                                                                                                        1. Scmidts beer. I get it locally (central NJ) for 2.99 a six pack, 3.99 tall boys, or 12.99 for the "Animal Pack," i.e, 30 pack! You cant beat it for the money, cheaper than Pabst and just as "good!"

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Bill VonDoom

                                                                                                            There has been a real resurgence of the retro brands, at least in NJ. It reminds me of a funny, old song by the Pleasure Seekers, called "What a Way to Die." I think it's avaiable to sample/buy on iTunes.

                                                                                                            1. re: Bill VonDoom

                                                                                                              As a displaced "Jersey Guy," I miss the Schaeffer's, Rheingold's, and Piehl's of my mis-spent youth. Dad drank Schmidt's 16 oz bottles almost exclusively.

                                                                                                              1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                                                I Googled Rheingold and it has been resurrected. here is the website:
                                                                                                                http://www.rheingoldbrewingcompany.com/ . I love the Old brews of bygone era's. Not a fan of millercoorsbudweiser. Schaefer is also still brewed from a contracted Miller plant in Texas. Piels is as well. I can get Schmidt here on the west coast were it was big yrs ago.

                                                                                                            2. Speaking of bad cheap beer, does anyone know if Black Label (Carling?) is still being produced and sold? I cant find it anywhere around me but I see reviews of it on Beer Advocate as recently as June so it must still be out there somewhere. Specifically Id like to find it in the greater Boston area if possible. Anyone have any leads?

                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                It's another Pabst-owned brand now (going the familiar Carling>CarlingNational>Heileman>Stroh>Pabst route) but I notice they don't have a website for the brand yet. http://www.pabstbrewingco.com/portfolio/ (You'll have to go throught their age-check first), so official distribution info isn't available. This fan site, however, does list some distributors and retailers http://heymabelblacklabel.com/id32.htm including MA.

                                                                                                                It's an odd brand now that the once "worldwide" Carling empire has been broken up. In Canada, it's a Molson-owned brand since the 80's (IIRC) and in the UK (where it's one of the biggest brands), it's one of the former "Bass" brands that's now a Coors-owned label (so, since it's now MolsonCoors, both "halves" of the company brew a "Carling Black Label"). In the US, it's marketed by Pabst but one assumes that it's brewed in a Miller plant (well, techincally MillerCoors), as are most (but not all) of their brands.

                                                                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                  Thanks for that Jess. Called up Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville. Looks like they may carry it at least. This was my Dads regular. So we gotta honor the old man once a year by tracking it down and making a toast.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                    I lived for a short time in Newton MA back when the Carling plant in Natick was still open. IIRC one of the early books on US breweries called it "one of the most beautifully situated breweries in America" (or something like that). I barely remember it- but it was on a lake (as was the Carling brewery in Frankenmuth, MI, too, I think).

                                                                                                                    I can't say I ever drank much Black Label back then (tho' I did buy their Red Cap Ale whenever I came across a six-pack that looked like it might be fresh)- being in New England, I was big on the Narragansett-brewed ales- Croft and Pickwick (sister brews of my "house beer" at the time as well as "my old man's beer"- Ballantine Ale).

                                                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                      the carling plant was on the shore of lake cochituate, on route 9 close to its intersection with speen street in natick. there was also a ford assembly plant near by and a drive in movie theatre. they had tours of the plant and you could drink fresh beer until the next tour came through, they were not that concerned with checking ones i.d. in those days and the drinking age was eighteen. toured the plant many times in the afternoon on the way to an evening of trouble. actually i was a 'gansett guy in my heart, but free beer?!? come on...

                                                                                                                    2. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                      They have it at supreme liquors at central sq. IIRC the 18 pack is roughly the cost of normal cheap beer 12 packs.

                                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                        Yeah I found it at Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville. They too only had the 18 pack so I still have about 15 of them in the fridge... But thanks to everyone that helped with recs.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                          BTW, why is it that it seems like a lot of the time when someone mentions a specific liquor store, it is one in the boston/cambridge/somerville area? Are we just a region of drunks? :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                            Am trying very hard not to make any Irish cracks...

                                                                                                                            And it didnt help that you had a massively popular syndicated TV show that took place in a Boston bar for like 13 years!

                                                                                                                            1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                              "Are we just a region of drunks?"

                                                                                                                              yes, and a region with one of the best cocktail cultures in the country.

                                                                                                                    3. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                      It is sold at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland for $2/can. I guess it makes sense. It's a cheap beer that isn't well known enough any more to carry the negative stigma of PBR or Bush.

                                                                                                                    4. Miller High Life-12 pack bottles-$7.49 at CVS in SoCal.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                        Coors Extra Gold always works for me. It's not sold all over the country, or so I'm told, but it's pretty refreshing. A few years ago it was $11.99 a 30 pack, now it's around $15.50-16.00. Yet I don't like Coors Light!

                                                                                                                        1. re: jethro

                                                                                                                          Can't go wrong with the 24oz can of Miller High Life at 7-11

                                                                                                                      2. Local store has Shiner Bock or Bohemian Black for $19.99 per case. Seems like a good deal to me.

                                                                                                                        1. In my local Costco (Austin, TX), you can get a case of SNPA for 19.99. Bud Light was 17.49.
                                                                                                                          $1.50 difference between these 2 beers, that's whacked.

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                            And I'm almost sure that Corona would be even higher than both. They want 30 bucks for a case for it where I live. Please.

                                                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                              I think for what you get SNPA is maybe the best value in good beer. Good find

                                                                                                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                Agreed, amazing that SNPA is priced so similar to 'premium' macro swill. A classic beer for nearly the same price as a crappy beer.

                                                                                                                              2. Bought a 30 can case of Stroh's for $13.99, and thought that it was not too bad. At least it didn't taste bad like Heineken and Beck's.

                                                                                                                                1. I've recently discovered Tap Room No.21 while searching for a cheaper beer. It's brewed in Rochester, NY. They make a really nice Lager, a mild Amber, and I'm sure others. I'm able pick them up at my local supermarket for $6.99 a six pack.

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                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gurrdy

                                                                                                                                    "Tap Room No. 21" is a "dba" for Genesee Brewing Company ("Rochester, NY" on a beer label of an "unknown" beer means Genesee brewed it)- it's a contract deal for a company called "Winery Exchange" which specializes in supplying grocery store chains with private label alcoholic beverage brands (which also means the beers will usually only be available at one retailer's stores in a particular region).

                                                                                                                                    IIRC, City Brewing in Lacrosse, WI also does some of the Winery Exchange US beers (they also have some Euro and Mexican imports as well).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: drlee_susquespine

                                                                                                                                      Can't mock it...it's good stuff. Admittedly I haven't had it recently, but it was always one of the best examples around of a Vienna style lager.

                                                                                                                                      As with other 'big brewery' beers, there is a lot of undeserved prejudice against it. I always liked its balance.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                          You're right I suppose... it's priced in these parts in the same ballpark as Warsteiner or Hacker -Pschorr (which seem to sell for less than most other imports). So it's definitely not PBR cheap. I guess it's only cheap compared to some of the 'craft' specialty beers. Still a good value though.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                            Tecate must be the cheapest Mexican beer, although it bears scant resemblance to Dos Equis Amber. Modelo cans are priced reasonably, too.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                              I actually enjoy Tecate as my cheap beer. Especially on a warm sunny day. It's about $20 for a 30 can case at Safeway here in NorCal. I'm not fan of PBR though.

                                                                                                                                              Like Dos XX too, and love the new ad campaign

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                BTW a drink we've discovered and introduced to our friends is tecate (or corona or pacifico) beer with limeade, such as Simply Lime added. 3/4 beer to 1/4 limeade. Lemonade works too. It's perfect for a warm day!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                  Have you tried Bud Light Lime? There's also a Michelob Lime Cactus flavor. Don't know how these compare, but both would save you some money compared to Corona, et al.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                    Though I know I should probably refrain, somehow I cannot . . .

                                                                                                                                                    Simply stated, that just sounds vile - like something you'd drink if you lost a bet or were half naked in the snow trying to pledge a fraternity. Or, maybe just really, really high???

                                                                                                                                                    With the abundance of excellent beers available, why would you ingest something like that? If you don't like the taste of beer, there are tens of thousands of combinations of liquids that permit inebriation - certainly one of them must be appealing to you?? But to take a tinny, watery beer and further desecrate it with a sugary, syrupy-sweet yuck?? Make's me shudder. All I keep thinking is "Two wrongs don't make a right."

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                      It's nothing like the "lime" beers. Those reek of artificial lime taste. And is actually popular in many countries. It's like a shandy, and the recipe itself came from a cuban friend of mine, and some of my central american friends are also familiar with it. The limeade or lemonade is usually fresh squeezed, or as close as one can get. And I use tecate, which is quite cheap here.

                                                                                                                                                      We all like it, and it is the popular drink of the summer amongst my friends on those rare days it's warm here in SF. And it's cheap and refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                      And to MGZ, yes I drink many different beers; and a lot of the locally brewed yummy beers. This is not the same thing. Not saying you should like it; after all if you don't it leaves more for us!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                        It might actually improve the flavor of a beer like Meisterbrau. :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cosmogrrl

                                                                                                                                                        Pretty simple...Just drink what you like!

                                                                                                                                                        There IS an abundance of beers out there, but navigating through the growing glut is more of a crap shoot every day. "Small", "Craft", and "Local" are no longer guarantees of getting good beer (mainly it's becoming primarily a guarantee of expensive beer. LOL).

                                                                                                                                                        For what it's worth, during my college years 40 years ago my beers of choice were IPA, Bock Beer, and a variety of characterful imports (I was always the odd man out for back then).

                                                                                                                                                        But still, every once in a while I'd down a Heinekin or two with a shot of Rose's Lime Juice added. And you know what? It was damned refreshing. Lime in beer is certainly nothing new, and it certainly doesn't have to be in Corona or any Mexican beer for that matter. If that's your thing, you can do it with ANY light lager (they all taste the same anyway).

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                            I remember tracking down EKU 28, Swiss Lowenbrau and Augustiner during my formative beer years.

                                                                                                                                            2. Trader Joe's recently introduced "Red Oval Classic" lager from Wisconsin at $3 a six. I like it even better than the Simpler Times. Cleaner and dryer.

                                                                                                                                              1. I've gotta say, I'm normally a guy who sneers at cheapy beers, but like a lot of people, I am a closet hypocrite. Let's call it a guilty pleasure -- like a crappy tv show you'd never admit you like-- but I have a soft spot for Milwaukee's Best, aka: "The Beast". 30 pack can for ~$18 on sale.

                                                                                                                                                That said, I'd love to try a Yeungling, but being in CA, I doubt that it'll be easy.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Aircooled

                                                                                                                                                  Drank the Beast all throughout college. 10 empty cases (bottles) = one fresh case! Can't beat that when your a student. BTW we swore that the Beast tasted better in bottles than in cans.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Aircooled

                                                                                                                                                    BTW the savings i get for booze alone pays for my membership at costco. Plus the savings on meat. Of course I live in the big city (San Francisco) so YMMV.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I haven't read the whole thread, so forgive me if this has been mentioned. Narragansett Lager is one of the better cheap beers out there. It's only available in New England, but if you live in the area you should give it a shot.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I remember when I was waiting tables at a sports bar in 2008 and they finally allowed Yuengling in the state of Georgia. It was like floodgates had been opened. I had never heard of it and assumed it was some sort of Asian beer. Wrong! A pretty good cheap beer, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                      But I will say, after a recent summer road trip through CO led us to the great Coors Brewery in Golden, I developed a newfound love for Coors. NOT Coors Light.. the original formula, the good stuff in the big yellow cans, Coors Banquet.

                                                                                                                                                      After an hour of walking through the brewery, I felt like it had been an hour of alcoholic foreplay.. fondling hops, caressing copper kettles... by the time we finally got to the tasting lounge, I was salivating for some of that beer. And you know, it did seem colder, fresher, more Rocky Mountain-er.

                                                                                                                                                      Though that was probably just the altitude-induced buzz setting in.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I found a new $5.99 six pack (cans!) that is certainly worth noting. The Butternuts line of beers: Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, and a Heffewiesen. The Stout is particularly tasty. NY State craft brews at Miller Lite prices. Pretty cool!!!


                                                                                                                                                        1. Up here in the NW, we've got it pretty good when it comes to cheap beer as well. I usually avoid the hipster sub-econo beers (PBR, Hamm's, etc.) and go with stuff like Sessions, Kokanee, or Oly grenades. There all about the equivalent in price to the big domestics.

                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kazy Ctn

                                                                                                                                                            I don't think Hamms is hipster beer (I'll agree on PBR). My fav. of the NW is Oly and Schmidt aka animal beer. I drink Hamms because that is sold in all the stores around my neck of the woods. I do go to the distributor sometimes to get 12 oz. Oly and Hamms special light (can't find these in the store). I'm starting to like Shlitz M.L. for that quick buzz.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BTroll

                                                                                                                                                              PBR is now "hipster" beer? Wow! LOL!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 2chez mike


                                                                                                                                                                Not really- the phenomenon was reported (by no less than The New York Times, in 2003) as first occurring about a decade ago.


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting. It was a very common beer in the saloons and taverns in NJ when I came of drinking age in the early 1970's.Like 30 cents a glass and 40 cents a bottle back then. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, you don't have to tell me. I'm probably a few years older than you, but I lived my pre-school years in the shadow of the giant Pabst Steinie Quart Bottle water tower that overlooked the Parkway (altho' I can SWEAR I remember when it was still a Hoffman soda bottle. Pabst bought the brewery from Hoffman in '45 and continued to own the soft drink brand for a while after that. Have never been able to pin down when they re-painted the tower from soda to beer.)

                                                                                                                                                                    And my first serious romantic relationship was with a young woman who's father drove a PBR delivery truck out of the brewery- even tho' our early "relationship" was rocky, I list that as one of my early steps into "beer geekdom".

                                                                                                                                                                    I don't know, maybe we don't have "hipsters" in NJ (or we're just too old to travel in those circles and go to those bars?). Or our hipsters didn't see the "irony" in drinking a beer even they could remember as a locally brewed national brand?

                                                                                                                                                                    I've only seen a very slight re-entry into the local market for Pabst Blue Ribbon, and don't really see any particular "type" drinking it. Gotta say, tho', when my local craft bar ran out of stuff I was interested one day, I said, "Ah, gimme a Pabst" and was somewhat shocked at the $2 price (as opposed to the $5 craft I was drinking). Don't know if that's "hip", but it sure is cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                      Cool story.Yeah. I kind of remember seeing that giant PBR bottle when my parents and me would drive up north on the GS Parkway to visit relatives for Thanksgiving and Christmas in the 1960's.

                                                                                                                                                                      If I remember correctly, as late as the early 1980's, Budweiser had a giant "Flying A" neon sign, occlouded by steam, that you could see to the west when dirving up the NU Turnpike towards NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                      Grew up in NJ and been living in SoCal since 1989.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                        Hoffman Cream Soda, the drug of my youth!
                                                                                                                                                                        Even in Bah Habah, Maine, I can get a draft PBR for 2 bucks. Sure as hell beats Stella in a bottle.
                                                                                                                                                                        I have yet to (re)discover the best cheap beer in New Mexico. I'm sipping on a Roswell Alien Amber Ale as I type. As refreshing light ale for a hot day; but $6.99 a six pack.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                          Hoffman's soda. Another blast from the past.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                            Hoffman Ginger Ale was the best, not overly sweet like Canada Dry and just the right amount of spice. And White Rock with the little pixie on the bottle was great too.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BluPlateSpec

                                                                                                                                                                              Pixie? That was no pixie, that was Psyche (of Greek mythology)!


                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                            Jess, PBR pretty much started its "hipster" fueled resurgence in the city in the late 90s. Like most things trendy, it spread into Jersey later and can be found all over now. Lot's of nightly specials for your "grandather's beer" these days throughout the Garden State.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                          Out west, PBR or Blue Ribbon has been a staple for decades, looks like Johnny Russell has had a few:

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Kazy Ctn

                                                                                                                                                                      I think it is funny that nobody ever calls it Pabst.

                                                                                                                                                                      The other day I was reading a report and it used the term PBR but not in the context of beer and it confused the hell out of me. It probably meant something like Performance-Based Regulation.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                        That's all I, and everyone else, called it way back when. "I'll have a Pabst".

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, I, too, have always just called the beer "Pabst" and, a quick "edit>find" turns up about half a dozen references to it as just "Pabst" in this thread alone. The "PBR" nickname dates back to at least the 1970's (there were POP ads with a slogan like "PRB me ASAP" or similar) and may have been somewhat "regional" in origin.

                                                                                                                                                                          And I'd guess on the internet (where grown adults actually write "u" for "you") it's probably popular because it is a few key strokes less that spelling out "Pabst"- much less "Pabst Blue Ribbon". In addition, I use "PBR" on the 'net to distinguish that I'm talking about the beer and not the company, Pabst.

                                                                                                                                                                          But (and yeah, I do have a point) when I had a small general store in way-upstate NY along the Canadian border in the late '70's, the most popular beer I sold was one the locals all ordered as just "...gimme a sixpack of Blue". I thought, first, they might have meant the local Genesee Beer (which came in a blue cardboard wrap-around sixpack holder) and used to distinguish it from their Cream Ale (green packaging).

                                                                                                                                                                          Others are probably thinking, "Labatt BLUE, dummy, you're 10 miles from Canada!" But I don't remember much Labatt up there at the time (yeah, I know it's a best selling beer there now) and what I do remember was the 50 Ale and we didn't sell any imports anyway. (We couldn't even sell Michelob because of it's high price.)

                                                                                                                                                                          Turns out they wanted Pabst BLUE Ribbon. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                            As for the Genny, we upstate locals always called it Genny White, because it came in white cans with a red logo, to distinguish it from the Cream Ale, which of course was Genny Green (sometimes, somewhat sarcastically, "the Green Dream"). Drank my share of Pabst, too, but I don't remember ever calling it 'blue.' Doesn't mean it didn't happen, though!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. I'm in love with the Simpler Times. In CA it's $2.99 for a sixer! The Pilsner is a little too sweet for my tastes, but the lager it just right. Bready, and tastier than some $7-a-six beers I've bought before.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: throwbookatface

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm with you on Simpler Times; it's a remarkable deal. And I certainly like it more than Bud, Coors, et cetera. It's my current favorite pale lager in its price range.

                                                                                                                                                                        If I were living in CA., it would probably be a different story. In the CA. TJ's, I used to find Czech and German lagers for three or four dollars a sixer.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Kenji

                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah. I rememmber that. These days, though, they start around 5 or 6.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: throwbookatface

                                                                                                                                                                          If they have it at your TJ's, try the "Red Oval Classic", also $2.99 and from Wisconsin. It's even drier than the Simpler Times Lager.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                            I've tried the Red Oval Classic. I know it's got some fans on this board, but I didn't much like it. It's too light & bland for me, and what little taste it has is of some odd adjunct grain. I much prefer the Simpler Times.

                                                                                                                                                                            I picked up some Mission St. IPA at TJ's today. It's no rival to SN Torpedo, but it's a very respectable IPA for its modest ($7 before taxes) price.

                                                                                                                                                                        3. Modelo Especial...only canned beer I drink!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. I dont see why drinking PBR is a bad thing. That has always been a great beer at a great price. I am new to this beer post thing, new to brewing, and dont know half of the beers i see on this thing, but i know that beer is awesome, and ill try anything new out there. Back to the subject, i would drink a PBR before the economy went to shit... cheep beer yes, But great beer i give a hell yes.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Trader Joe's "Red Oval" lager from Wisconsin, $2.99 a six, is now called "Name Tag". Same logo and printing on the can, just the new name inside the red oval logo. Anyone know why this is?

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                                Probably because "Name Tag" is catchier and more unusual.
                                                                                                                                                                                Either way, what's in a name?... it's a decent enough beer at a very good price.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. When I lived in Northern California (Roseville) in 2004-2005 I would often buy cans of Steel Reserve for about 40 cents each at the local supermarket. It was a strong lager, about 8%, and I would call it a poor man's Duvel. Not bad for the exceptionally low price. But not great, either.

                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                  40 cents a can?! Now that's cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                                    closer to a buck fiddy in my neighborhood

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 2chez mike

                                                                                                                                                                                      This was on sale, and in 2005. Standard 12oz can.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm talking about a 24oz can for a buck fiddy these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jim Dorsch

                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the Stockyard Stout at Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Easiest to find: PBR.

                                                                                                                                                                                    if you live in the south and have access to GO Groceries: Utica Club sixers for $4.99

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you have access to an Aldi: Wernesgruner (east german pilsner) for about $4.99 a sixer.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I buy Sam Adams on sale at Stop and Shop for $13.99 for the 12-pack. I will always get their seasonal mixes, 2-each of 6 types apropos the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For cheap everyday drinking I usually go with Milwaukees Best Premium ($11 a case) or Gennessee when I can find it ($13 a 30 pk) but my favorite mid-price brand would have to be Leinenkugels ($8 a 6pk)......I just discovered it on a trip to WI and so far I like all of the types I've tried with the 1888 Bock and Oktoberfest being my favorites.......Only problem is here in NC, you can usually only find the Sunset Wheat......It's not bad, but others are better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I was surprised not to see baltika on this list. Made in st. Petersberg russia, their lagger baltika 9 is particularly awesome. At around 10% alcohol you really only need one or two. You being in socal you should have no problen finding it at any bevmo for about $2.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cannibal

                                                                                                                                                                                            There are several varieties of Baltika always available at the Jon's Market chain in Los Angeles. Plus some other little known eastern european brands. Anywhere between $1 and $2 a bottle(1/2 litre) depending which ones they have on sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Simpler Times lager or pilsner is the best bang for your buck hands down. I have not seen it in any market retailer other than Trader Joe's here in CA. It is cheaper than domestic commercial brews (ie. Bud, Coors, Miller) and usually half the price in the 6-pack range ($2.99 / 6-pack here in the lower Bay Area). Most domestic brews here are $5+ per 6-pack and mircobrews are $7-$10 each.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Simpler Times offers a fuller taste than domestic beers by a good margin. However it lacks the interesting specific taste notes which makes a true microbrew unique.

                                                                                                                                                                                            For the value though, you definitely can't complain. Simpler Times are happy times indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely worth a try. You won't be out more that 3 bucks.


                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mmilledge

                                                                                                                                                                                              In Ontario, I go with a quality Laker light. mmmmm $26.40 for 24

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NorfolkGuy

                                                                                                                                                                                                Brick Brewing looks like my kind of brewery. Hows that laker taste? Oh and for those who like Genny beers they have it now in the PNW. Parent Co. bought out a few micro breweries out here so they decided to break into the "cheap" beer market. I really like the Genny light and the ice. I have two of the regular in the fridge. I think I'll have one after work. Taking a trip up north to stock up on "animal" beer aka Schmidt. MMM now thats a cheap beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BTroll

                                                                                                                                                                                                  > "animal" beer

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They need to do a red-tailed monkey called Schmidt's Guenon (Cercopithecus ascanius schmidti).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL that would be funny...the exotic series. By the way have you had "animal" beer before?

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. PBR.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Deschutes is like 8 bucks a six pack. I think that's pretty cheap. All their beer is killer.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I thought that Simpler Times was one of the worst beers I ever had in my life. Sweet like Canada Dry. Yuck!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I miss the oddlots special that I used to be able to get in Kalamazoo, MI. I moved away last year, and this is one thing that I miss about that beery town...A local distributor would put up a shelf of oddlot single bottles at the diciest Felpausch in town and put up an inexplicable "DISCOPACK!" sign. You got to build your own "discopack" case for $10. The beers ranged from Heinekens to imports like Polska, Kinfisher, and Tsingtao and, if you were lucky, a handful of microbrews, particularly from local kingpins Bell's. That was the best cheap beer EVER. I really don't know how or why it happened...if these were all bottles close to expiration date or what? Sometimes it was out-of-season items, like Bell's Winter White as spring was kicking in, etc. Needless to say, a mind-boggling bargain. LOVED the Disco Pack!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. i'm pretty sure this isn't the best cheap beer. I haven't tried it, and probably won't anytime soon, but at 2.99 per six-pack something called Big Flats has got to be the cheapest beer i have seen in a long time. I have only seen it at Walgreen's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I asked some guy working there and he said he tried it out of curiosity and it was about like Busch. So if you like Busch, you can get this for even cheaper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Big Flats is exclusive to Walgreens. I believe its made by the same company that owns Genesee. Ya its cheap alright.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BTroll

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That it is exclusive to Walgreens is appropriate. Maybe should be labeled "for medicinal purposes only".

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought a six-pack in February .... Nothing special, but passable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My curiosity got the best of me last weekend. After a hot day putting up a fence, it certainly wasn't the worst beer i have ever had. It had no discernible hop taste, a little malt taste. About like Bud, Miller, Coors. After one of these, i then moved on to a tasty summer beer, St. Arnold's Lawnmower (Kolsch).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would humbly call it a post-lawn mowing beer at best [Big Flats] and would thus be unfair to compare it to what I assume to be a properly executed Kolsch ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wasn't really comparing. More like getting in a plug for the St. Arnold's Lawnmower (that's the name, not my categorization of it).
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have no problem occasionally drinking something like the Big Flats as a post-lawn mowing or weeding or whatever beer. Some beer aficionados would say they'd rather drink water than something of that calibre, but i say it has it's place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I picked up two six-packs yesterday. Total cost: $6.29 for twelve beers. My go-to cheap beer is PBR, which runs me $8.32 a twelve pack, and Big Flats tastes no better or worse. If I still mowed my own lawn, I'd definitely use this stuff to mix cheladas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Big Flats has its place and we discovered it while in Orlando and needed some cheap beer to go around the lazy river at the fancy schmancy resort..

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was delicious and wish it was sold here in San Diego!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To me, Big Flats tastes about the same as the cheap beers sold at Trader Joes for a buck more a six pack.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's good to know, but for now we don't have a Trader Joe's in ATX, or in-n-out burger either.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When that day comes that we finally get both, i just don't know what i'll do. Probably explode from all the happiness that i've yet to experience.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Sarcasm intended)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Honestly, once when i was in Chicago i picked up a sixer of Simple times, Happy days or something like that from TJ's and didn't like it that much. It didn't taste as good as my occasional Schlitz or PBR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Simple Times Lager, for me, had a bad biscuity flavor. It was really yeasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Name Tag Lager (for $2.99 a six pack) had a metallic aftertaste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    La Playa Cerveza (for $3.99 a six) tasted too much like Miller High Life; watery and corney.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Big Flats was the least offensive of the bunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  beach: No Walgreen's in SD? Big Flats is a Walgreen's exclusive ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You mean I can get it here at the local Walgreen's in SD?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Love that I can get a case for $12...great for beach/golf/pool/yard work.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks hawky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I had to go looking for Big Flats at the local Walgreens. They were tucked away in an obscure corner of the refrigerated section.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My Walgreen's won't refrigerate it. I guess that space is too precious for the big Flats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or they want to discourage customers from buying the cheap stuff and pay the extra couple bucks for their refrigerated imports.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the $8.32 before, or after, tax and return refund charges?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Hamms is the beer I have been hooked on this last summer. Very refreshing and @ $10.49 for a 24 pk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. While at said Trader Joe's, buy a sixer of Peter Pils 16oz for 5 or 6 bucks AND get a 12'er of sessions for under $20...Yep that works...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Brewing your own beer is fun, cheap and easy. Best of all, you make it in 5 gallon batches. You can either bottle it yourself which is so much easier than it sounds or, keg it (which is even easier). For years I was intimidated by the concept of "brewing my own beer". It really is as easy as boiling some goop, cooling it down quick, dropping in some yeast, and letting it go for a week or two. I've got at least 9 kegs of beer in the garage that range from hopped out IPA's to mellow German style lights and everything in between. You talk about taste... wow. It blows the doors off anything you can buy at the store. Think about it... fresh vs. preservatives and months old. It's like the difference between watching SDTV and going to the movies. Your beer will be SO much better. Once you have the equipment (around 100-200$) the ingredients to make a 5 gallon batch are about 20-30$. That will fill approx 50 12oz bottles....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dashmatrix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My eldest, 32 and my youngest, 22 have "liberated" all my beer makeing equipment, including 2 Boot's Chemist home brew kegs. I used it A LOT in 10 years in Norway and Finland. Slowin' down, just "Pop a Top Again"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dashmatrix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So true about brewing your own. I started in 1971 & have been making my own ever since. It took a while to really perfect the process but once I got the hang of it, I all but stopped buying commercial beer. Regarding the economics of it, brewing from grain rather than extracts can bring the price of a 5 gallon batch to under $10, depending on the type of beer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It sure beats paying $9.00 for one sixpack of so called "craft" beer that doesn't taste any better than the home made stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dashmatrix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have been homebrewing at least once a month for over 10 years now and I wouldn't describe the process as being as easy as you make it sound. It's a lot of work - mostly cleaning - you really have to love it to stay on a regular schedule. Time invested is the biggest hurdle for most - about 3-4 hrs to brew an extract batch or 6-8 hrs for all grain. Then monitoring the fermentation, and bottling, cleaning bottles and equipment etc., takes another 2-3 hours of your time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With all grain brewing I figure I am paying about half the price of most commercial craft flagships when I include ingredients, energy/water costs, depreciation on equipment, ancillary costs, etc. With extract brewing like described above, I would expect to pay more - you need ~6lbs. of extract to brew a 5 gal. batch of 5.5% abv beer which will run you $25-30 by itself - hops are about $2.50/oz when purchased by the oz. and can use anywhere from 2 ozs. for non hoppy styles up to 10-12 ozs. for a good ipa. Add in bottle caps, irish moss/whrilfloc, priming sugar, and other "hidden" costs (replacing tubing, broken hydrometer/thermometer, etc.), and you are up to at least $40-50 for two cases of beer without any allocation for what you think your time is worth. Although not quite as cheap as described above, but still a great deal though for fresh beer - if you are making good beer that is...I couldn't drink most of the homebrew offered to me over the years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Boxer Beer is the best REALLY cheap beer. Sells for $14.99 for a 36 pack. Yep, you read that right, a 36 PACK. I've only found it at one place in the Twin Cities. Eden Pariaire Liquor (off of Hwy 212 & Valley View Rd) in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The 36 pack is so heavy that the box starts to tear just a bit as you're lugging it to the cash register.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BoxerBeerFan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Geez, and here I thought Milwaukee Special Reserve Ice was cheap at $14.99 for a 30 pack. The problem with most really cheap beers, though, is that you better drink them quickly while they are still ice cold. As soon as they start to warm up a little they turn skunky fast. They're good for slamming down a few in rapid succession on a hot day, but not if you drink your beer at a more leisurely pace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Had my first Brooklyn Lager yesterday. Pretty good! What are the prices where you live?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Two beer writers taste a month's worth of cheap beer so you don't have to:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: barefootgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I feel like I need to go out and try a Schlitz Red Bull...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So the way I read the Ohio article, many beers tasted were inoffensive, but only Lionshead and Schlitz Red Bull got any kind of high marks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had the opportunity to taste some Lionhead recently. I was pretty surprised at how refreshing it was, and apparently, it's priced _very_ inexpensively. I don't consume very much storebought beer, but I'd consider adding this one to my short list of beers to buy if I run out of the homemade stuff (which, thankfully, is rarely).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess. And yes I actually picked up a Red Bull and a Genesee Cream Ale (while getting gas...) a couple weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised with both. The Red Bull was very drinkable if not terribly exciting but considering the price I would certainly put it high on my list of cheap beers worth drinking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: barefootgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have to disagree with their assessment of Genesee Cream Ale being a very inoffensive beer. I tried it recently and the taste of the hops is too overpowering. I should have got my first hint when I popped open the first can, smelled it, and it smelled vaguely of perfume. The bitterness of the hops just dominates this beer and gives it an herbal flavor that is strong to the point of being nearly undrinkable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's hilarious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A lot of beer drinkers (particularly the beer snobs) totally slam Genny Cream Ale for not being hoppy _enough_. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just boils down to personal taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's why articles like the ohio.com one (and best/worst lists in general) are very often an exercise in futility. " Fun to read and debate, but ultimately just meaningless fluff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "...One man's poison is another man's nectar."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't see how anyone can say GCA isn't hoppy enough. It is so bitter it makes me cringe and make a sour face whenever I take sip. Getting through that 30 pack was hell for me and my previous 30 pack was Milwaukee Special Reserve Ice, which I also didn't like but was at least more balanced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jobe: Apparently, you haven't dipped your toes into the "Jump The Shark" hops movement in microbrewing these days ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was gonna say give this man an Alpha King.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Better not...it might push him over the edge...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Insidious Rex

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When one flavor overpowers everything else in the beer, it is NOT a good beer. If this Alpha King you mention tastes so strongly of hops that it masks the taste of everything else, then it is NOT a good beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Unless you like hops. Then its a well made IPA (even if Three Floyds insists its a pale ale).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, according to even the brewery itself, Genesee Cream Ale's International Bitterness Units are in the double digits!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "IBUs - 12" from http://www.geneseecreamale.com/Americ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JessKidden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 IBUs!!!!! LOL.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder what the count was for Genesee's old "12 Horse" Ale. That was a pretty nice brew, with a good hop character.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reading your reaction, I wonder if there was another problem with the GCA that wasn't related to the hops or what you sensed as "bitterness." It could have been some other defect (infection, being heatstruck during shipment, etc) that gave you the impression.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My local beer shop in Iowa sold Genesee Creme Ale in six-pack bottles for $4.99 last Spring. It was the first time I had run across it in my part of the world, so I tried it. Frankly, the only thing I remember about it was thinking that it was OK for the price. I did recall the "different" bouquet, but I don't remember the hops being memorable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are you sure that wasn't regular Genny vs. the Cream Ale? Your description sounds nothing like the GCA I've been drinking since I was 16 - and I remember regular Genny being a bit more challanging to drink when I first started drinking beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The funny thing about this whole discussion is that jobe1 misread the story. The writers didn't call GCA "inoffensive." They called Genesee that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In fact, one writer noted the hoppiness of GCA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9. Genesee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              $3.50, six-pack, 16-ounce cans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Slogan: American owned. American brewed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RA: No real flavor, which I now know after this experiment isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MB: Very inoffensive. If this were a politician, it would be an independent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10. Genesee Cream Ale

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              $4, six-pack, 16-ounce cans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Slogan: None.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RA: The unsalted corn chips overpowered the flavor of this beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MB: You get some hops, which is more than I can say for most of the beers in this bunch. A poor man’s IPA, a very poor man’s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: repete

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                THis should have been the slogan for GCA ---> The screamers will knock your friends out...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I've been looking for cheap beers recently and tried a few before settling on Yuengling Premium Beer. It's not as good as more expensive offerings from Yuengling, but considering it's an adjunct lager (or American style pilsener if you prefer), it's not bad at all. I picked up 2 cases of 24 12oz cans for $12.99 each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW, Meister Brau? Are they still making that crap?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I don't mind Yuengling, but I can only get it when I'm on the East Coast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jobe1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yuengling Premium is not bad at all. Unfortunately, I can't get any nearby (northern VA). All they sell is Yuengling Lager, which is vile. Stale, with a skunky finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yuengling Black & Tan is my go-to cheap dark beer. It's a mix of Premium and Porter; good round flavor, with just enough hops for me (not a big hop head). $10 a 12 pack at Rite Aid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Trader Joes is the best bet for cheap contract beer. It's got ingredients like the 8$ six pack but costs less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you want to save money start home brewing. You will brew 10$ a six pack quality beers and it will cost you about 1$ a beer to make. Less if you go lower alcohol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DillMuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...and far less if you go all grain as opposed to extract.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DillMuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Problem is, you end up with 5 gallons of beer all in one style. For me that would be an issue, for others maybe not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chuckl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it''s a "style" you like, 5 gallons on a single "style" it's not really an issue. I don't think I could ever tire of a good ESB. 5 gallons=roughly 40 pints...that's basically month's worth of beer. If it's not consumed within a month, all the better since it only gets better with some age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In any case, I brew pretty much every three weeks or so, and vary between three or four "styles". Roughly half of what I brew is designed for long aging, but overall, even there variety isn't a problem, especially with my brew cycle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's always several options when I decide to pour one, including at least one stash that has had a full year or more of aging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I mostly brew just one style - IPA - but over the course of a year, I get more variety in that style than I would by buying commercial IPA's. I have a basic malt profile that I vary slightly based on my desire/season or the type/amount of hops I want to use. Every batch I switch up the variety of hops in the boil and since I brew 10 gals at a time and keg 5 gals. at a time, I can dryhop the first half differently than the second in the keg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would get severely bored with beer if all I had to choose from was the same commercial IPA's over and over again year after year. I can see how beer geeks who drink a different beer every serving might not want to drink 5 gals. of the same beer - but my ticker days are long over and I appreciate a quality known experience over always needing a new experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. We were in Orlando a couple of weeks ago and went to a Walgreen's and saw this super cheap beer called Big Flats for $2.99 a sixer..being that it was so frigging hot as hades outside and wanted some swill going around the lazy river pool and couldn't care less if the waterfalls sprayed your beer and we all were surprised how decent this beer is..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. For the Summer Miller High Life had abandoned the gold can and is brightly Red, White, and Blue as part of their campaign to honor those currently in military service. And the tall boy now comes in a six-pack instead of a four-pack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last month Ralph's supermarket, in Los Angeles, was offering Port Republic Lager for $9.99 a 30 pack. Haven't seen beer for 33 cents a can since the 1980's. I was hesitant to try at first but then decided to spring for the "light" version. Highly drinkable. Especially during the recent and continuing heat wave. Dry finish. No sweet or acrid aftertaste that can come with cheap beers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No longer on the shelves, though. Probably a special promotion for overstock.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Where I live in the Southeast the $7.49 pick six for an area owned grocery includes some good foreign beers like Newcastle Brown Ale, Harp's, Guinness, those guys (etc.). The breweries that have been in business for hundreds of years need to stay in business so I'd say stick with the good stuff they've spent time developing.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: perrottwilliamson

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If only they were still the good stuff you alluded to...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Personally, price doesn't much enter my beer buying decisions. I'd rather have one superb beer than 24 cans of swill.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Looking at this slightly differently: Cheapest great beer: Hard to beat Lagunitas Hop Stoopid if you like a great IPA at a very fair price for the quality.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree. It is a great beer, and one that is fairly strong, so you can't drink much in a single sitting. Plus, it is superbly crafted to exhibit the complex hop flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's definitely rich and you absolutely have to pour it into a glass... I see people drinking high-end crafted brews out of bottles all the time and that's a big mistake. Like wine they have to aereate... draft is best if you can find it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TombstoneShadow

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really hate to see people drink good beer straight from the bottle. It is all wrong. Draft is certainly good if the bar where it is served knows how to treat the beer well and keep the lines clean.