The 10 best (and worst) cheap beers to get blottoed on

I’ll admit it, every once in awhile, I crave a refreshing  frosty barleypop (or 20), and today is one of those days.  After some careful scrounging of the sofa and loveseat, my bankroll is at an eye-popping $2.11.  Due to limited funds, the said beverage will have to be low-end, and luckily we live in a country blessed with a menagerie of budget beers.  If I want to watch game 3 of the NBA Finals in style, I’m shit out of luck, but if I want to get shammered and wake up with a graveyard of empty cans around me, here’s the best bets.



This camel piss flavored beer that hails from “the land of sky blue waters” was a cooler staple for fishermen all over the Midwest in the 80’s.  Hamms comes in a few varieties, but all are guaranteed to leave your head spinning the next day, and your bowels drained.  Stay away at all costs, no matter what you’ve heard from grandpa. Verdict: No dice


Ahh the beer made famous for “Generation Xers” by Rod Farva.  Schlitz still has a strong following for their variety of malt-liquors, and back in high school, we would chug Red Bull forties on a regular basis seeing they were 99 cents a pop.  In retrospect, the cost-to-buzz ratio on those babies was pretty high, but the mere thought of a malt liquor induced hangover makes my liver cringe.  I don’t need my brain to feel like it got scrubbed by a brillo pad to save some coin.  Verdict: I’ll pass

Easily the coolest commercial  for ANYTHING

Meister Brau

The Meister was my first experience in cheap beer not necessarily equalling successful party.  Back in college, a liquor store had MB on sale for $3.99 a case, so naturally EVERYONE bum-rushed the place and cleaned it out quickly.  Happy with our purchase, we scuttled home to throw an epic party. 

I’d like to say the party was epic, but the only recollection I have about that weekend was the day after, when there was a 20 minute wait to use the shitter from 8 AM to 12 PM.  Guys and girls alike were purging the nasty pig venom beer from every orifice imaginable.  Perhaps it was a bad batch, but I refuse to touch that sewage nonetheless.  Verdict: Fuck off


If you learn anything from this, I hope it’s to stay away from Meister Brau

Natural Light

For the record, I am not a big fan of Anheiser-Busch.  My loyalties lie in Milwaukee, and that’s that.  Despite my bias, Natty Light is actually a pretty good beer, that tastes great for the price tag attached to it.  My friends used to joke that Natty  is the “Roy Jones Jr. of Beers,” meaning it is pound-for-pound the best out there when all factors are considered.  I will argue that point, but definitely see validity in the connection.  Verdict: Tempting, but no


These pretzels are making me THIRSTY!!!!


I’ve only had one experience with Schaefer’s, but it was a good one.  I tagged along with a buddy after the promise of “roadies” was delivered on his part.  The cheap bastard bought a 6-pack of Schaefer’s, and that was my lovely supply of roadies for a 2 hour trip.  This is wrong on two fronts:

A) He bought the cheapest shit they had

B) He bought only a fucking SIX PACK of the cheapest shit they had

Needless to say, my spirits were low for the first leg of the trip.  After choking down a few cans, I convinced myself that it wasn’t that bad.  By completion of the sixer, I was singing a different tune. 

Verdict: Would love to, but probably can’t find it anywhere


Well done Schaefer’s, well done

Old Style

It would be a lie if I told you that Old Style has never touched my palate, but, as a die-hard Sox fan that has the occasional run-in with a yuppie Northsider drinking this elephant shit smelling garbage, I will vouch for the beer’s overall douchbagedness on several levels.  Nothing gets my blood boiling more (exception: whiskey) than pampered sorority girls and frat guys painfully gagging down this sculch in Wrigleyville bars because it’s iconic of a certain franchise, all while calling me a “trashy Southsider.” According to the aforementioned failed logic, these people should be chewing Doublemint Gum the whole game too.  Get serious people…..Verdict: Eat me


Betcha these were sucked down mercilessly after Game 3 of the NLDS

Keystone Light

30 packs of ‘Stones were always fashionable back in college, for it was one of the lighter beers ample for chugging games like Beer Pong and Flippy Cup.  Did I really just make a reference to FC?  Jesus, someone shoot me.  I spent my pre-party time at the pong table, so don’t crucify me just yet like the insecure Cub fans will for ripping Old Style.  Keystone Light is pretty damn watery, and a 30 pack may get you to another planet, but it’s not worth the risk, although going for the vaunted “orange cans” that are randomly placed in cases is always fun.                Verdict: Nostalgic: Yes, Satisfying: No

Bitter Beer Face is no joke

Special Export

Easily the most misleading beverage to grace this list:

1: The name is regal

2: The bottle is elegant

3: The price is majestic 

4: The taste is absolutely un-fucking-bearable

Special X is a disgrace, and fails to acheive any sort of reliable market-niche.  Rich people won’t touch this “smelly dickwater cleverly put into a bottle” because it’s cheap, and poor people won’t touch “that pussy-ass import shit” because it appears to be fancy.  Sometimes you have to go by word-of-mouth, and I’m giving it to you right now: STAY THE HELL AWAY Verdict: Rather have herpes


Looks can be deceiving….

Falls City

Is it cheap? CHECK

Does it come in cases? CHECK

Does it smell like a hobo rolled around in a cesspool, pissed himself, and then had a hooker queef on him? CHECK

I’ll spare you the gory details, but this beer tastes like a mix between your Uncle Fred’s colostomy bag drippings and the asshole of a skunk that has been splattered on a Texas highway for 3 months.  Verdict: Are you fucking high?


Once is enough….

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Saved the absolute best for last.  PBR is the shit.  Anybody who disagrees may be lucid and sane, but dead-wrong.  I could go for a “Case of Ribs” all day everyday, but the doctor said it isn’t a good idea.  The price is a little high compared to some other cheap beers, but Pabst blows them all out of the water from a taste perspective.  There honestly was a shred of doubt that I would be coming home without Ribs for the game, but luckily this chat we had convinced me otherwise. Verdict: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!


PBR gets two plugs.  Don’t like it? Go drink a Special X.

Feel free to contribute any of your favorite cheap beers, share your experiences with them, and as always, “Stay thirsty my friends.”



  1. Comment by Josh on June 9, 2009 2:54 pm

    My dad, reminiscing of corn field keggers in 1970’s Wisconsin, remembered a little rhyme about the local beer they’d get hammered on: Schlitz gives you the shits.

    I occasionally pick up a six pack from the local Fry’s. Turns out… he’s right.

  2. Comment by Josh on June 9, 2009 2:55 pm

    Also, why do frat guys tend to love Natty Light? I was tailgating down at U of A last fall, and our spot was behind a frat house. Literally, a pickup truck pulled up and they off loaded about 10 cases of Natty Light. Vomit.

  3. Comment by Josh on June 9, 2009 2:57 pm

    And one last comment – I watched Blue Velvet just because of that clip, and I was so angry that I downed a six pack of PBR in half an hour, hit my head on the corner of my desk, and passed out for three hours. PBR FTW. Blue Velvet FTL.

  4. Comment by Steelhead on June 9, 2009 4:42 pm

    PBR FTW all day.

  5. Comment by Stinky Twinkies on June 10, 2009 11:45 am

    I love the Falls city review. Smells like some of my customers.
    Fuck the Cubs.

  6. Comment by Ro on June 10, 2009 10:44 pm

    Try doing a power hour of warm Stroh’s, Schlitz’s bastard half-brother

  7. Comment by Your Mom on June 12, 2009 2:42 pm

    I’m a Cubs fan and I know that Old Style suck but not nearly as much as some of the other beers on this list. The only problem with PBR is that it tastes like shit on tap. Avoid it at all costs. Only drink PBR out of a can. You’ll thank me later.

  8. Comment by Lisa Neucarr on December 13, 2015 6:51 pm

    This list is total shit. You really like Natty Light?? Are you a pussy??!? Schaefer is pretty much the only decent one on your list, and you didn’t like it. Ballantine, Golden Annie, and Natty Boh shit all over your shitty list. And Straub destroys all other cheap brew. LETS GO ORIOLES!

  9. Comment by David on September 18, 2016 5:18 pm

    You’re way off-base here. Hamm’s is the best thing on this list by far. And as a rugger (rugby player, for the uninitiated), I drank all of these at post-match socials.

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