Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boston's worst beer

If you have ever spent time at the Beacon Hill Pub, The Tam, Sullivan's at North Station, Our House West in Allston or the immortal Mary Ann's at Cleveland Circle you may have come face to face with Boston's worst beer.


While most dive bars in the city have adopted Papst Blue Ribbon as the swill of choice the bars metioned above and a handful of others carry Brubaker.

It comes from the Lion Brewery in Wilkes Barre, PA and nobody buys it because it tastes good.

It is cheap and comes in 16 ounce bottles.

One word of warning. The 16 ounce bottles are refilled over and over again and you can rest assured that the bottle you are putting your lips on has tasted many, many lips for almost 20 years.

Years ago Henry Vara who owned many bars in Boston ( including the Father's chain ) sold Knickerbocker Beer in 16 ounce bottles and in the early 90's he decided to brew a cheap beer for in house use. The result was Brubaker.

It is what it and almost guaranteed to give you a hangover.

What was really odd was I was reading about the beer in the Improper Bostonian while watching the end of the Sox game this morning at Sullivan's. I had not had it in years since the Bow and Arrow Pub in Harvard Sq left some 10 years ago.

So I had one for old times sake.......couldn't even finish it.

Without question it is Boston's worst beer and they seem to be proud of that.


Anonymous said...

For someone that 'loves' Boston you seem quite unappreciative.

First off, to define it as a Boston beer and then state it is brewed in PA is a contradiction.

Further, the beer is exclusively brewed for the bars you mentioned and has been for the last 20 years - think of it as a gift to the city like the Xmas tree we receive every year from Nova Scotia. Yeah, sure, some years it is missing a few branches and may lean to the left a bit but you never hear anyone complain cause its a GIFT!

Most bars don;t even advertise that they have it because it is for the SPECIAL customers who ENJOY and APPRECIATE what it is all about. The Lion Brewety doesn;t even mention it on their website.

Lastly, how is someone like yourself who is worried about hangovers and recycled bottles of beer even allowed in Sully's?

P.S. - not only is it the cheapest beer on the menu but it has managed to fight inflation as well - it has been $3 for as long as I can remember - I'm guessing because there still on the first batch.

Enjoy drinking your beers with the born-on dates....seriously though, keep up the good work with the blog.


Professor Bartels said...

Your comment about "other lips" being on the bottle is sad and plain silly. There was a time in this country when EVERY bottle was "reused" (not recycled as anon says) and most bottles are in other countries like Germany. These bottles go through extensive cleaning and are cleaner than the forks and spoons that have had "other lips" on them at restaurants while you eat your boston baked beans and Clam chowda.

Funny, Boston used to have many beers it called its own, as well as the region (Narragansett) but they have lost them because simpletons like yourself are programmed by Madison Avenue to be seen drinking Anheuser-Busch products because you think you will look fit, young, attractive and always have a bunch of attractive people around you. Get out from Madison Avenue's spell.

"Guaranteed to give you a hangover." Enough of any alcohol will, genius. Get thee to a high school chemistry class.

"COuldnt drink it." Do you know what beer is made of? Water, Hops, Barley Malt, Yeast and on this level, an adjunct either corn or the cheaper rice in Budweisers case. There really is no difference to beers at this level other than you are paying for the image. I guarantee you I give you this beeer in a blind taste test and you rate it higher than the big, commercial breweries that are shoving themselves down your throat on your vapid TV programs you stare at for long periods of time.

Anonymous said...

You dont know what youre talking about. Brubaker is great partly because it is unique too. You probably think Mich Ultra is a good beer because you saw it on TV and have succumbed to madison Av hype and brainwashing.

Anonymous said...

Dude, haven't you ever heard of "so bad it's good"?

I'm proud to claim both cities as my home (I'm originally from just outside of Wilkes-Barre, and I made the trek up I-84 and lived in Boston for many years--presently I live in neither and miss both). I'll agree with you that Bru isn't the best--it's nowhere close, and I'd rather have a 'Gansett or a Yuengling Premium (even). But there was something relaxing and cool about heading to Our House and getting a Bru (or three--I remember them being as cheap as a buck a bottle) with a burger and a side of pepper poppers or calamari.

To me it's about as equal to being a culinary delight as the Beantown Coffee I used to get at a Shell Station or the last Tastykake Kandy Kake at the bottom of a smooshed up box (not that Kandy Kakes are bad--but you don't want them mashed together as you would your potatoes).

Anonymous said...

WHen I visited boston I stayed across the street from our house west, and I discovered this jewel. NOw coming from texas One is acustomed to cheap nasty beer (shafeer, Schlitz, pearl.) but to tell you the truth I enjoyed brubaker not just because it was cheap ($2) but because it had a connection with the poor man mentality of drinking for the sake of it. plus the taste wasn't too bad. ever had lone star? taste pretty much the same

Anonymous said...

Me and my friends tossed about 20 empty bottles of knickerbockers from our balcony to our neighbors chimney, circa 1995, Alston. Most missed their mark if I recall. Also used heavy gage 16oz bottles like brubakers