As a college freshman, I got my first taste of beer. I was 18 years-old and going to “keggers” at off-campus houses belonging to basketball and football players. Underage and binge drinking was big. I remembered the vomit-stained carpets. I recollected on seeing women and men peeing in the front yard. Lamoni (Iowa) was a small, college town. The only two, on-duty officers had better things to police than drunk, college kids.
As I got older, I stopped drinking keg beer from taps. I worked at Pitcher’s Lounge as a barback (bartender’s assistant). There I put away empty kegs and hooked on full ones. My taste in beer grew from Budweiser and Bud Light. I was in an establishment which served 100 beers. We also had “beer promotion” girls coming by. They pitched their products for our bar to advertise. My co-workers and I received hats, tee-shirts and flashing buttons. We also received incentives to sell the most that brand.
Pitcher’s introduced several new beers. Icehouse, Champion’s, St. Pauli Girl Light and Dark, Beck’s, Beck’s Light and Dark, Amstel Light, Heineken, Samuel Adams, Samuel Adams Summer Ale, Samuel Adams October Ale, Blue Moon, Boulevard and Boulevard Wheat got stocked in our bar. Back then, my favorite beers were Heineken, Beck’s and Icehouse. I had always wanted to try Champion’s, Samuel Adams and the Boulevard brands.
I hated light beer. As a teenager, I drank light beer because it was there. I never once said that I liked Bud Light or Miller Lite. Both looked like warm urine to me. They had a bitter aftertaste. Drinking those beers was cheap, not enjoyable. I went to several parties in college and drank from hundreds of plastic cups. I just ended up going to the bathroom afterwards. Wow, what fun was that! (sarcasm)
Later on, I drank darker beers. I savored more robust beers. My favorites became Amstel Light, Boulevard Ale and Guiness. I had them with dinner. I enjoyed them at clubs. I spent the $4.00 a bottle on imports. They tasted much better than those cheap lights.
A few times, I even tried Coors Light. I hoped it was different than the others. It wasn’t. It disappointed me too. All American-made, light beers looked the same to me. Light beers were nasty in 12 ounce, plastic cups, 16 ounce, pilsners and 24 ounce, frost mugs. I began boycotting them in 1994! Since then, I haven’t taken them back.
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