Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Stroh's

I was stunned to see that Stroh’s still makes beer. Stroh’s is a beer that lives in the same neighborhood as Pabst, Old Style, and Genny Cream but doesn’t enjoy the same hipster appeal as those others. Stroh's is the dorky guy that woke up one day and discovered that his apartment in Wicker Park was cool. If these beers were bands, Pabst would be Rev. Horton Heat, Old Style would be Naked Raygun and Genny Cream would be NRBQ. Stroh’s would be Bachman Turner Overdrive or .38 Special. Utilitarian and doing its thing for less than discerning customers, Stroh’s has quietly gone about its business since its fall from grace in the American marketplace.

Stroh’s was at one time a very popular beer in this part of the country. Branded as “America’s Only Fire Brewed Beer”, lots of Dads like to knock back a few Stroh’s after a long week at their soul sucking job. As this was a very popular beer with Dads, my delinquent friends and I often stole whatever Stroh’s these men stupidly left stored in the garage. We were young, thirsty, and ready for adventure. We were actually thieves, but if you are 16 and wanted to drink beer in Pennsylvania you had to work for it or have an older brother. I didn't have an older brother. I had another hurdle. It wasn’t like I could grow a beard and walk confidently into Haggerty’s (Home of the 12 pack!) and stride out with a razor sliced half case of beer in cans. I looked like I was 11 until about four years ago when I suddenly started to look 54. This led me to a life of petty crime.

The real downside to “garage-ing” was having no control over what brand of beer you wound up with drinking. This lifestyle choice led me to having some of my first beer drinking experiences include Utica Club (in 16 oz bottles), Schmidt’s Bock, and lots of Stroh’s. We preferred to drink Michelob or Molson Golden, but we were punks that took whatever we could get. That led to lots of Stroh’s.

Stroh’s has always had a distinct effect on my digestive system; similar to what I imagine would happen after a nice long drink out of a public water fountain in Bangladesh. Within 30 minutes after having a Stroh’s, I could count on a gurgle in my abdomen which would serve as a warning buzzer to find a “friendly” bathroom in the next few minutes. It was like a freight train the effect of this beer on me. Imagine if you mixed a bottle of Yoo-hoo with a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew under great pressure and finally cracked the lid into a porcelain bowl. It was like blowing beef stroganoff out of a fire hose.

Being young and in search of a beer buzz, I didn't care. If we had it, I drank it. So there I was at a house party, finally talking to a much older cheerleader (one year) that wisely would normally have nothing to do with me. I spent the Eighties and most of the Nineties in a very awkward phase. Today though, it had all fallen into place. It was probably due to the fact that I looked so debonair holding my can of Stroh’s that she was ensnared by my witty banter. It also didn’t hurt that my confidence was probably buoyed by my intake of two Stroh’s on the way over to the party while probably rocking out to Rush’s “Moving Pictures” cassette. Yes, I was a very cosmopolitan young man.

The gurgle in my lower intestine came right on schedule. How I didn’t pre-plan, or forego drinking the Stroh’s altogether, I really can’t explain. So there I was, in a crowded house party with a real situation on my hands. There was a line at the door to the sanctioned bathroom, and no way to really slink upstairs due to the host wisely locking the access door. It was an emergency. It was time. Right now. Right fucking now!

I don’t know if I looked as debonair as I thought I did earlier when I was crouched by the pine tree in the side yard shitting like a feral dog. Probably not. The contents of my system poured out of me as I heard the party continue on inside. Of course, I wasn’t smart enough to bring a Kleenex or toilet paper with me outside, so I gingerly cleaned myself with some nearby fallen leaves. The enthusiasm for the party gone, I walked a few miles home.

That’s the last time I had a Stroh’s.


At February 15, 2012 at 1:15:00 PM EST , Blogger Walter Zoomie said... can voluntarily go to skanky Ohio tit bars, but you can't stomach a Strohs?

I don't get you at all, man.


At February 22, 2012 at 7:57:00 PM EST , Blogger Unknown said...

Very descriptive, I was a Blatz man myself

At February 24, 2012 at 12:48:00 AM EST , Blogger AZ said...

Sounds like the Stroh's not only made Mr. Miller Blatz away, but resulted in a life altering Schlitz. Hilarious stuff.


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