Swill Season

i’d really feel bad for my man here if he didn’t already know that a beer with “damngoodbeer.com” plastered all over the can would be abhorrent.

Shocking, isn’t it?! I am embarrassed to admit how much time I just spent writing about this filth. 


i’d really feel bad for my man here if he didn’t already know that a beer with “damngoodbeer.com” plastered all over the can would be abhorrent.

Shocking, isn’t it?! I am embarrassed to admit how much time I just spent writing about this filth. 

Swill #2: Clear Creek Ice

Beer: Clear Creek Ice
Style: American Malt Liquor
Brewed By: Minhas Craft Brewery
Found: Food Mart at Wilson and Magnolia 

Whereas my Big Flats post was in defense of swill, I have nothing good to say about Clear Creek Ice. Anyone who picks this up at the liquor store is already asking for a world of pain. The warning signs are numerous and clear enough. (Pun.) Let me spell them out for you:

1) Clear Creek Ice comes in 4-packs. In the craft beer scene, 4-packs usually signify that you’re purchasing a rare, sought after beer. See: pretty much any bourbon barrel-aged beer. Barrel-aged, this is not. The brewery sick enough to put out this beer knows that you won’t want/need more than 4 of these beers. In the course of a night, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish the fourth beer. I tried. The stuff is thick, sweet, boozy and creek-y. Awful.

2) The name, Clear Creek Ice, does not particularly evoke the best imagery. I can’t help but think about the creek that was near my grade school as a young lad. What a pit. I once found a bicycle in that damn thing. I was also once scolded by a cop for throwing large rocks into the creek. No rock was too big for tossing into that creek, I tells ya. You should have heard/seen the splashes. That is if the creek actually contained water at the time and wasn’t just a pit of mud. Regardless, I was/am a badass.

3) The website (DamnGoodBeer.com). Cute. Way to try to get a point across with profanity, you fucking idiots. The domain redirects to Minhas Brewery’s site which you only have to be 18 to enter. This is probably because anyone 19+ wouldn’t waste their time with one of their swills. (Snap!) Surprisingly, with a domain like that, the site does not look like it’s straight out of 1990. I thought for sure there’d be a dancing baby .gif. I suppose I was proven wrong. Congrats, Minhas. By the way, here’s something I did not know: Minhas is the oldest brewery in the Midwest. How they have survived for this long, I do not know.

4) Clear Creek ICE. Doesn’t that just say it all? Does a good ice beer exist? Hint: no. Let’s rattle off a few ice brews: Keystone Ice, Icehouse, Bud Ice and Milwaukee’s Best Ice. Guess what, they’re all shit. People don’t buy ice beer for the taste, they buy it to get drunk. But with a beer this painfully dreadful, it takes all night to finish 3.5 measly cans of the stuff. Let’s do some fuzzy math: 6.2% ABV x 3.5 beers divided by 3+ hours = not fucking drunk. What a waste.

Bringing Clear Creek Ice to a party is a great way of telling the host ‘The liquor store was sick of chilling this stuff for the past two years. Now, it’s your turn.’ 

Damn good beer, this is not.

Swill #1: Big Flats

Beer: Big Flats 1901
Style: Lager
Brewed by: World Brews
Found: At my friendly neighborhood Walgreens

When I started this tumblr, Big Flats was exactly the beer I had in mind. While there are numerous swills to discuss, very few are more prevalent than Big Flats, Walgreens’ private-label beer. In Chicago, it is tough to go a few miles without running in to a Walgreens. And as someone who enjoys convenient Chase ATM locations and $3 six-packs of beer, I thank you, Walgreens.

Big Flats, like most swill you will come upon, is a lager. While the name does not evoke thoughts of freshness and drinkability, it actually is a decent swill. Big Flats really is no better or worse than your standard macro lagers. The only difference is its status.

Uneducated beer drinkers have had the facts hammered home about their favorite light beers. For instance, did you know that Miller Lite is triple-hopped? Yes! Triple! For example, I was recently at a party where I was drinking some Big Flats. This received laughs from party attendees who were drinking Miller Lite. That’s correct, Miller Lite drinkers actually believe they were drinking a decent brand of beer, and one that is such a step up from Big Flats that it elicits laughs. One of the party attendees even works at Walgreens corporate and openly mocked the beverage. How can they possibly believe the shit that they’re drinking is better than the shit that I’m drinking? It’s shit.

The Big Flats can clearly states that it’s ‘Brewed from only the choicest hops’ and ‘It’s the water that makes it’. Yes, this marketing goes about as far as calling the beer Big Flats. But honestly, who cares when this stuff is so cheap? With an ABV of 4.5%, this beer will get the job done as thriftly as possible. The aforementioned Walgreens employee mentioned to me that Big Flats is quite popular in college towns. Obviously, these kids know what’s up. While purchasing Big Flats in bulk may be slightly more expensive than a 30 brick of Keystone, the marginal step up in taste more than makes up for it. Why would any non-college student ever touch Keystone?

Seriously, though, what right does a Miller Lite drinker have to be snooty about beer? You have chosen piss water based on loud marketing that has been in your face for years. The sign of a smart craft beer drinker is one who ventures out to the liquor store or bar in the hopes of picking up or trying something new. By choosing Big Flats, I have shown that I can think outside of the box when it comes to swill. I don’t need big business telling me what shitty brew I should be enjoying with my bros. Oh no. Not me. I’ll take Big Flats.

First swill purchased. More to come…

First swill purchased. More to come…

Pong Beer is beer for beer pong, and most likely swill

THIS is exactly what I am talking about. Pong Beer. Can it get more swill than that? Pong Beer is specifically made to be used during, what else, games of beer pong. Hell, a case even comes with two ping pong balls. Does this mean that Flip Cup Beer is right around the corner? Anyways, I’m currently on the lookout for a case of Pong Beer in Chicago. If anyone has seen it around, please let me know.

Must be the season of the swill

The American craft beer scene—crazy, huh? People are finally waking up to the notion that they no longer have to drink the yellow-tinted beverage thrust down their throats by top-dollar marketing companies for years. You see, we now have a choice about what beer to drink. While mainstream beer producers continue to try to sell us on their products’ supposed great taste, consumers are now realizing what a true ale, IPA, pale ale, stout, porter, etc. is meant to taste like. (It also doesn’t hurt that these brews have higher ABVs. Bud Light Platinum, anyone?)

The independent brewer is now in an exciting position. Beer enthusiasts are more than happy to line up for hours in the middle of nowhere just for the opportunity to fork over their hard-earned dollars to sample a limited-release beer.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Some take precious sick days from their jobs just to stalk beer delivery trucks at liquor stores. For what? Another one of those pesky limited releases. Seems that where once having a job was an ends to a means—with that means at least being a glass of a fancy beer—those who skip out on work are rewarded with a beer your hard-working ass will never get the privilege of sipping. Unless you have made friends with your neighborhood liquor store, you’re screwed. Sorry. Game over. But it’s OK; some dude will tell you all about what you missed on Beer Advocate or Rate Beer.

I love craft beer. Honestly, I do. Reviewing damn near 100 Chicago suburban bars for a suburban newspaper opened my eyes to the scene. If there was a beer on the menu of which I’d never partaken, I had to have it: Barleywines; real, thick stouts; chile beers (hey, why not?); hops by the barrel-full. I could go on, but you get the point. It seems that any group of guys with an idea and some excellent brewing recipes feel the need to enter the craft beer market. This article is absolutely insane and completely justifies my point. Over-saturation? Eh, not yet. More than half of these ‘companies’ will never get past underground beer events. Hey, I brew beer, who wants to throw some money my way?

So far, I’ve gone this far without talking about swill. (Unless you consider Bud Light Platinum #makeitplatinumy’allllll.) What is swill to you? Sure, it’s cheap, shitty beer. But there is a little bit more to it. Swill is the beer you stumble upon at the neighborhood liquor store at 1 a.m. This beer sticks out like the sorest of thumbs amongst shelves of Grandpa’s Beers (Old Style, Natty Light, PBR, Busch Light, etc.) Beer 30? What the hell is that? Iron City? Is this thing for real? Big Flats? You associated your beer with the word flat?!

This tumblr is for the Beer 30s of the world. The atrocious beer that can only be found at a truck stop in the middle of the boonies. The disgusting excuse for a lager that comes from a spring in Wisconsin that obese beavers must do nothing but shit in. Bring a case, or a four pack, to a party and watch partygoers mouths go agape. “What the fuck is that?” they may ask. Laugh as they struggle to finish a measly can of Clear Creek Ice. Grandpa’s Beer is not here to save you, hipster!

When beer is getting more complex and experimental, swill stands its ground, getting lost in the ever expanding craft beer scene. God awful beer is like the movies “The Room” or “Death Wish 3,” you know it’s awful, but you can’t look away. You need to experience it for yourself. To take it all in so that you can turn to your friends and confidently say, “Wow, that was truly an awful beer.”

Swill Season will profile the beers that you never knew (or wanted to know) existed.

It’s the time of the season for swill.