Monday, January 31, 2011
I drank Walgreens' Big Flats 1901 Lager and all you get is this lousy review!
Big Flats 1901 Lager (Walgreens)
Price: $2.99/6-pack cans
I recently found out that Walgreens is selling their own EXCLUSIVE brand of beer, amusingly, when I stumbled upon this page. Knowing the reputation of The World's Finest News Source, I did some subsequent Googling, and stone the crows, it looks like this has really happened. Once the concept of Walgreens having their own store-brand beer hit me, I recalled an incident back in 2002.
I had just started going to this bar in Chicago called Delilah's, a D.I.Y. type of place that's actually blossomed into quite an establishment in the meantime. While I usually went on Fridays after class, our posse decided to hit it up on a Monday night after a particularly tedious study session. It was punk rock night, which we all could dig, and the drink specials were $2 Jim Beam and $1 American beer. Settling down at the bar, I ordered The Champagne of Beers and was told by the bartender that my beer would be three dollars. When I rebutted that my beer should be one dollar since it is American beer, the bartender laughed at me and said, "No, not American beers... American beer is a dollar. American is the brand."
Thrown for a loop, and still a bit perplexed, I finished my High Life, ordered this "American beer," and received this. By the way, that script at the bottom of the can reads, "American Beer is quality brewed to capture the spirit and strength of America." If that's the case, we may as well prepare to be invaded by the French, since Kronenbourg 1664 beats the shit out of this stuff. Really, it was just dreadful. (On a side note, that sound you just heard was France surrendering.)
In any event, when I heard about Walgreens having their own beer, I expected something along the lines of American beer. Still, despite my American beer flashbacks, I figured that it was my duty to give the stuff a whirl, especially since it only comes out to fifty cents a can.
Big Flats 1901 is contract brewed by Genesee Brewing Company of Rochester, N.Y., which actually has won awards for its Genesee Cream Ale and J.W. Dundee's Honey Brown, and does contract brewing for various East Coast microbreweries. Hey, this might not be so bad after all...
The lager pours crystal clear out of the can, with a pale golden hue and a foamy white head big enough to make Glenn Beck jealous, which quickly dissipates into a so-so lace. There is a faint aroma of corn and malt, which precedes a faint taste of... yep, you guessed it: Frank Stallone. Er, I mean... corn and malt. The taste is a lot waterier than I expected from a 4.5-percent brew. I guess the closest thing I could liken it to would be a less bitter Pabst Blue Ribbon. And really, there are only two reasons you drink PBR: (1) because you are a hipster and drinking shitty PBR is ironic and/or (2) because you are on a budget and drinking shitty PBR is cheap.
I've certainly had worse, and at $2.99 for a six-pack (actually, it was on-sale for $2.50 FTW), this is a cheap, inoffensive brew that I would drink over PBR anytime, and really, for the money it's a good deal. I doubt we'll see bars serving this, so this would be best drunk ice-cold on a hot summer day after yard work or during a cookout with the rest of your broke-ass friends.