Social Hour every Friday in fall is a great way to avoid getting started on a weekend full of work, but sometimes a body gets tired of drinking High Life (I know, perish the thought). In other words, you might consider heading over to Kimbark Beverages or Binny’s (where, incidentally, August is “Midwest Craft Brew Month” [!!!]) to pick up some of the Midbest’s finest beers.
But alternatively, if you’re not some kind of rockafella, you can stick to these tried and true nectars of true Midwesterners. I’m talking of course, about the best canned beer this great nation of ours has to offer. There’s a time and a place for delicious and expensive Spotted Cow, Two Brothers, Three Floyds’, and certain kinds of 312 (I’m partial to the Honker’s Ale, and on nights for celebrations, Matilda). I’m not incredibly partial to Great Lakes Brewery (Ohio, please–though I do have to say Quitness Ale is one of the funniest sports-related beverages in history).
NB: I’m missing SO many here. I’m from New York, after all. We know nothing of cans. Comment on some of your favorite “old man beers”–we all want to try more.
Old Style: The Shield of Chicago
If I ever see you drinking Old Style out of a glass, we’re no longer friends.
Baltimore may have Natty Bo, “a beer best consumed by the case” (as described to me by a 45-year-old divorcee who subsequently, and with a straight face, lamented that he couldn’t imagine where his marriage had gone wrong), but Chicago produced its own magical lager in 1902 when the Pabst Brewing Company introduced Old Style. That’s right, hipsters. When you’re scoffing at Old Style drinkers as you swill your PBR, you’re just scoffing at yourself, and usually paying more.
Feel that? It’s egg. All over your face.
Do Chicago a favor and have an Old Style as soon as you arrive. As of 2009, taking a cue from its cousin and arch-rival Schlitz “The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous,” (after the jump) Old Style had returned to an older formula. And I say Amen.
Why drink it?: Because you live in Chicago, want to drink local, and have no money. Because there’s a sign for Old Style on every blue collar bar in Bucktown and you can’t resist. Because it tastes just good enough. Because you earned it, but just barely.
Where to drink it: Bear’s games, The Cove, Lincoln Park flip cup tournaments, your drab university studio apartment staving off apocalyptic loneliness and horror, in Regenstein when you’re trying to read Lacan, out of a brown paper bag at The Point, anywhere. Continue reading