Thursday, April 25, 2019

Nurse The Hate: Stroh's Strikes Again

I was recently at a hipster bar that served Stroh’s beer in cans.  Stroh’s used to proudly proclaim themselves “America’s Only Fire Brewed Beer”, which is perplexing as I can’t think of what kind of competitive advantage could be gained with such a claim.  I don’t even know what that means when you get down to brass tacks.  It must have sounded good to whoever the Stroh’s CEO was at the time.  Everyone else around the table probably fell in line.  “America’s only fire brewed beer?  Whoa!  That’s good JB!  That could work!”

Stroh’s was very popular for a time.  I remember my father getting 12 oz returnable bottles at the beer distributor.  Pennsylvania, somehow still under sway of The Quakers in the 1970s, made it almost impossible to buy beer.  You could only buy it by the case from scary warehouse buildings or at exorbitant markups from bars as “sixes to go”.  I remember my father being a Bud man for a while, but he was always looking for “a good deal”.  I’m sure he paid a dollar less a case for Stroh’s and then justified it as being “not that bad”.  As I think about it, most of the neighborhood Dads drank Stroh’s.  What can I say?  It was a different age.

Stroh’s was the first beer I ever technically drank, though as mostly sips of the near empty bottle after my father had poured it into his trusty mug.  The first beer I ever drank clandestinely with “the boys” was a can of Genny Bock.  That’s not an ideal choice for a young teenage boy.  It’s also not an ideal choice for a middle aged man.  However, this is a post on Stroh’s.  Let’s stay focused on “America’s Only Fire Brewed Beer”, shall we?

The last time I had Stroh’s was at a high school party.  The guy having the party had cases of the stuff, undoubtedly stolen from his parents.  I never recall seeing his parents who had essentially allowed their son to be raised by Hazel, their cleaning lady that stopped by a couple times a week.  The open disdain between the son and parents was mutual.  The stolen beer would be ignored by the parents, not wishing a confrontation with their volatile son.  He was "difficult" as a boy, a condition that would later be called "Crazy".  I dove into the cold ones with abandon, probably getting crazy and having three (3) beers.

I remember the gurgling in my system.  I was concerned as this had all the makings of a "gastro intestinal crisis".  My instincts told me that a bunch of high school kids at a party would not be very empathetic about my situation.  I began to sweat on my brow as I noticed lines formed for the downstairs toilet.  I slunk upstairs to see if the master bathroom was open.  It wasn't and was in fact being used as a base of operations for the "popular girls".  The gurgling became more intense.  If I didn't know any better I would think I heard an air raid siren.  I was going to have to address this situation.  I panicked.  This was coming out.  Now.

I darted outside.  I had regressed to being a wild beast.  I had no choice.  I have never felt more like a filthy animal than when I was hunched over shitting by the pine tree in the corner of the back yard.  Having no paper, I wiped myself with dried leaves.  It was not ideal.  I abandoned the party and made a long walk home shrouded in shame.  It was the last time I had Stroh's.  

The hipster bar had it priced at $2 a can.  I will admit a dangerous curiosity washing over me.  For a mere two dollars I could dance with the devil, see if this horrible incident was a stand alone disaster or a natural reaction to "America's only fire brewed beer".  I thought about the night to come.  An opener and then we would play 90 minutes or so.  The men's rooms of the club could be described as "rustic" and "under equipped".  I'm older now.  Maybe wiser.  

I passed on the Stroh's.               


At May 1, 2019 at 8:05:00 PM EDT , Blogger AZ said...

Another good move. My favorite commercial though has always been Schaeffer Beer. Love the commercials with Satchmo singing their slogan of "Schaeffer is the one beer to have, when you're having more than one." Considering his gastronomic history, pretty sure he ignored his own commercial avoiding the translation of get messed up drinking Schaeffer!


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