Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Frat-Tastic 15 | Greg's Roundup of Dirty, Cheap Beers

Hey there everyone! It’s been a little while since I’ve written any new content on here.  I have not been slacking off, too much at least.  I have compiled a nice little list of beers for you all. What kind of beers? Well, the dirtiest, cheapest, skankiest beers that are out there. The Dirty 30’s, the Frat Water, that $5 12-pack your uncle Jimmy always bought. Yes, those.  The beers you drink at a kegger or play Edward 40-hands with. After saying all of that, there were some that really surprised me and—dare I say it—some that I love and drink regularly.  The beers on this list range from “That is pretty decent” to “This tastes like donkey piss." (Which may be why Jess sat this one out.)

I procured these beers at the local gas station off Highway 80.  Of the 15 different beers here, most of them I had to buy in the 24-oz cans or in 6-packs.  I’m betting I looked like the raging alcoholic or college party boy of this nice little town of Williamsburg – where the liquor store is on the shunned outskirts of town and actually just went out of business last week.  It took me a little while to choke down get through all of these and rate them.  I’m going to start from the worst to the best.  You may disagree and that is ok with me.  I even encourage you to send an email and we can discuss beer. After all, that’s what this blog is about.

Name: Natty Daddy 1.48 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Malt Liquor | ABV: 8%

So topping off our list as the worst beer I have ever had and worst on the list... Natty Daddy.  This beer is awful.  It's light yellow (this will be a recurring theme), smells like plastic, and tastes just terrible.  The thing I noticed the most was how rough it went down.  It didn’t stop at that.  After about 5 ounces or so I started getting gut rot.  I have never had that happen before.  The only reason it rose above 0 to get a 1.48 score is that it doesn’t look that bad.  The makers are trying to get a cheap high alcohol beer. Well, they accomplished that – though I don’t know how many people could actually stomach it.  This is a beer I would recommend to my enemies and then laugh.

Bud Light Lime 1.69 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.2%

Well, you could call this beer if you really wanted.  I don’t think it qualifies.  If you like lime flavored things this actually is a good beverage to drink. I just can’t call it decent beer.  The first thing I noticed was that it smelled like laundry soap. I did not like it but I can see why folks would. If you don’t like beer, then this is the “beer” for you!

Bud Light Platinum 1.76 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 6%

Yes!  I’ve been waiting to review this.  It is pretty terrible beer but I love the fact they make a huge deal out of 6% alcohol.  Bud Light Platinum is almost up into "real beer territory" now.  This beer suffers from what a lot of the other guys with higher alcohol cheap beer do.  It tastes really BAD! You know how you say a beer is skunky? Well this one actually kind of smells like a skunk! Weird, huh? It does have some body to it, but it isn't fizzy at all.  Some people may or may not like that aspect of it.  Sorry Bud light Platinum, but your 2 older brothers have you beat by a long shot.

Keystone Light 1.84 | Brewery: Coors Brewing Company
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.2%

Keith Stone!  If any cheap beer got their marketing right, it's the makers of Keystone.  I love these commercials.  My favorite is the one where an eagle drops him off a salmon!  If you haven’t seen the commercials, shame on you. Go see them.  So this beer isn’t really all that good in any aspect. Except... it is fairly smooth.  If you do something mildly well, then market the crap out of it.  It is kind of smooth like Keith though – in a not-so-classy, red-necky but hilarious kind of way.  This beer may not be that good. It may fill tons of kegs with party beer.  But that makes Keystone "classy."  Well, kind of.

Miller Light 1.85 | Brewery: Miller Brewing Company
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.17%

Miller light. I don’t see a whole lot of people drinking this one.  It kind of smells like a doctor’s office.  In a sterile, I’m-going-to-get-a-super-virus type of way.  It’s light yellow and fizzy, but has no interesting characteristics other that.  I am actually at a loss for words with this one. It’s plain. 'Nuff said.

Natural Ice 1.9 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 5.9%

Natty Ice!  When you say Dirty 30, this is what I think of.  I’m guilty of buying a few of these in my college years.  It’s cheap, it tastes kind of bad, but hey! It’s darn good for beer pong and flippy cup.  It has a kind of sweaty taste, but the beer is so light that most people will ignore the sweaty-ness because it's cheap!  What do you expect?

Busch Light 1.91 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.1%

Ah, another Dirty 30.  Well actually I would call this a Dirty Keg.  Back in my college days, every kegger seemed to have Busch Light.  $5 for a cup.  "Dangit!" was all I could think.  It’s really light and really fizzy.  Imagine you took a Budweiser and cut half of it with water.  And there you have Busch Light. Aside from it having almost no taste, it actually smells pretty decent.  It’s kind of grainy and really fizzy.  Just don’t roll your keg or you’ll be waiting a while to get anything other than foam!

Bud Light 1.91 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.2%

Bud Light!  I have a buddy who loves this stuff.  This is his favorite beer... so Jess and I give him crap for it all the time.  They guy knows what he likes so I have to give him credit for that. It has an unpleasant grainy smell and it’s pretty fizzy.  It is smoother than Keith Stone is though.  Sorry Keith, Bud light beat your redneck butt on the smooth scale.   There are always deals at bars for Bud light.  So it’s cheap, kind of not-too-terrible, and everyone recognizes it. 

Coors Light 1.93 | Brewery: Coors Brewing Company
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.2%

I actually drink this stuff fairly often.  The gas station across the street pretty much only has this, so that’s what I get!  It has only a slight skunky smell and it tastes a bit sweaty.  It’s not as sweaty as Rogue Dead Guy Ale!   You can read our review on that and see what we thought about that one.  (Still can't figure out if we got a bad batch...) Coors Light has a pretty bad aftertaste.  If I’m gaming while drinking this, I usually have a bad taste in my mouth from our team playing like crap anyway... so it works out great!  It also gives you entertainment on the bottle.  The mountains are fun to warm up then watch turn blue as it cools down again. Easily entertained? Yes, I am.

Natty Light 2.15 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Light Lager | ABV: 4.2%

Natty Light is pretty high up on the list!  That’s a little strange.  Want to know how it got up so high?  It doesn’t taste bad because it doesn’t, well... taste.  I think those guys up at Anheuser-Busch were scheming up that little plan.  This beer can be summed up in two words.  Frat Water.  Those college guys peeing in the bushes at frat parties? Yup, too much Frat Water.  I can’t really say anything bad about it taste wise.  It isn’t unpleasant because it is bland.  That’s the only reason the score is so low.  It’s about as smooth as water.  It goes down easy. 

Milwaukee’s Best Ice 2.28 | Brewery: Miller Brewing Company
Type: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 5.9%

This was one of those beers that really surprised me.  I was expecting this to just be God-awful.  The name sounds bad and the can doesn’t help any either.  But it’s actually not too bad for a really dirt cheap beer.  For you ABV counters out there, it rings in at 5.9%.  Well, that is up in the territory Bud Light Platinum is toting but this one doesn’t taste like crap. Go Miller!  It has a thin malt smell and a pretty malty taste.  It has a dry aftertaste and it doesn’t go down very smooth.  You can’t have it all.  Want a decent party beer? Check it out.  

Budweiser 2.4 | Brewery: Anheuser-Busch
Type: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 5%

When I hear Budweiser, the song from Team America comes to mind.  'Merica!!! F*ck Yeah!  In fact, I think I need that song to help me write this portion.  Click the link if you need some inspiration.  Bud Heavy or the Diesel, as I like to call it, isn’t too bad for a cheaper beer.  It doesn’t have a lot of smell.  It's really grainy and is pretty smooth but abrasive towards the end.  Be careful, the Diesel can have unwanted consequences in the morning if you drink too much.  

A side note to any UK readers that we may have, or any others for that matter.  A couple years ago, I visited Wales for a wedding and Budweiser was crazy expensive.  It seems that people from the UK think Budweiser is the only American beer.  Nope, it’s American alright. But we have so much more to offer! If you want a good American beer, ignore this roundup of cheap beer and visit some craft brewers here.  They usually don’t ship international so to get a true feel for how good American beer is, you have to come over here and see for yourself. We'll show you around ourselves!

Steel Reserve 2.51 | Brewery: Steel Brewing Company
Type: American Malt Liquor | ABV: 8.1%

I like Steel Reserve.  I have never had it until now.  Good ABV and it’s cheap.  What else could someone ask for?  It is a lighter amber so it does have more color than the normal light, fizzy beer.  It does not have a lot of taste.  Remember Natty Daddy is 8% and it tastes absolutely terrible.  So, Steel Reserve didn’t do too badly.  It’s not extremely smooth, but you can’t beat the bang for your buck if that is what you are looking for.

PBR 2.69 | Brewery: Pabst Brewing Company
Type: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 4.74%

Whenever I am in a hipster mood, I swig down a couple of these bad boys.  West Towne Pub in Ames has White Trash Wednesdays.  Tall boys of PBR are a $1.  Beer I like for a dollar? Yes, please!  So why do I like this beer?  It’s smooth and it isn’t really unpleasant.  It isn’t the most flavorful, but it’s cheap, comes in any kind of container you want, and if you've been drinking it as long as I have... you can enjoy liking something before it got cool.

Miller High Life 3.01 | Brewery: Miller Brewing Company
Type: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 4.6%

Finally, my favorite light cheap beer.  High Life?  Really?!  YES!!  The first time I had this beer I was a newbie in the dorms at Iowa State in the Towers.  10th floor.  You know they are good buildings when you can see the water moving in the toilet bowl when you get a good gust of wind.  There were two guys playing washers in the common area and some random guy offers me a beer and asked me to join.  I tried this beer and was like “Hey, this is good.” And the guy who gave it to me said, “Well of course, it’s the champagne of beers!”  I don’t know if that much is true, but it is smooth and very fizzy on the tongue.  I usually have a 6-pack or 2 of these in my fridge.  If you like any of the beers above, I think you’ll like Miller High Life.  

In Anchor Man, they are drinking High Life while recalling the terrible brawl. “There were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!” – Brick

If you disagree with my list, that's just fine and dandy.  Keep it classy with your cheap beer. I know I will!

Get in touch if you'd like to meet 'n' drink or write a guest post!


  1. Ha! Fun post! A local favorite cheap beer around here in the pacific northwest is Rainier, I don't know if you can get it in Iowa but it's my favorite of the cheap beers, made in Washington state, or at least it used to be, I think they got bought out by a bigger company so I have no idea if they still make it in Washington. It is my brother's absolute favorite beer (he is a man of simple tastes, lol). He calls it Vitamin R, which has always cracked me up.

    1. Glad you liked it! I've never heard of Rainier, errr... uh, Vitamin R. ;)