An Unsolicited Response: Natty Light over YUENGLING?!
Deadspin put together a ranking 36 “cheap” beers. I saw the link floating around on the facebook and expected to see rankings of natural light and other similar beers. Well, they were there, but many of them were ranked as better beers than Yuengling. Imagine my dismay and heartache, evolving into rage and over-reaction (I’ll admit it – maybe sometimes I over-react, but typically I’m known to be very rational). What the hell? Why would someone put Yuengling in the same category as big beers Coors, Miller, and Bud and even worse – rank it lower than even Natty Light, Stroh”s, Busch Light and yes – even Natural Light? My left eyebrow immediately jerked up in judgemental consternation. So, that being said, you will find my response below. Quick disclaimer: by now you should know me to be extremely sarcastic and at times, a bit of an ass. But still – come on mang, listing Yuengling (one of the PRIDES of Pennsylvania) as a crappy-ass beer tasting worse than piss beers like Natty Light?! Okay, here it is:
Dear Self-Righteous Cambridge Boy,
‘At-a-boy on the article regarding cheap beer. I find it very useful to know which of the cheap beers taste the best. Except for one thing – if I’m buying a cheap beer and they ALL taste like nothing or less than that, aren’t I getting the cheapest 30 case I can find? Nevermind the lack of insight in the dumping upon all American-made cheap beers, the fact that there is not a threshold of what “cheap” is and isn’t anymore, or whether or not it even matters which is the best of the cheapest beers. What we’re really concerned with is your bias against Yuengling and all things Pennsylvania.
I’m glad you at least admitted (in your Cambridge attitude) that you were wrong about Yuengling. I’ll give you a hand here and help explain why. It’s quite simple, actually – taste and price. The fact that you can taste anything at all makes a big difference; maybe by the time you tasted the Yuengling (if you did taste each), you had no taste left. When I (and most people) taste a Yuengling Lager, we taste the light sweetness of the malts with a distinct bitterness of the hops. Finally, you can taste a difference between a piss-brewed bud light and ANY other “cheap” lager. I don’t want to go too chemistry on you, but you see, lagers are fermented from the bottom, with different yeasties in a cooler temperature – giving the distinct flavor a lager. Yuengling’s mastered this more-so than bud and others. Just take a look at the distinct color of the Yuengling compared to the piss-color of…just about all of the other beers you mention. Maybe the bitterness of the hops was too much for your Cambridge palate? Or they serve Grain Belt Premium at your bar, and that is your go-to beer?
Next we have price. What exactly do you consider “cheap?” I know that up in Massachusettes they probably only serve imported beer in gold-plated chalices, but everywhere else, Yuengling isn’t the first beer that comes to mind when you think “cheap.” In fact, I know a distributor, and he sells the cheap beer in cases of thirty that go for the prices ranging from $10-$15. If you are looking for VALUE on the other hand, then most people will tell you to get a case of Yuengling. Why, do you ask? Well, you see, you can get a case of Yuengling for about $17-$20 and STILL be able to taste the typical characteristics of a lager-style brew. Meanwhile, that 30 case of just about all of the other beers you listed tastes like piss or less in every single can you drink.
Really, the proof is in the pudding. However, simply looking at how these corporations market their products provides more insight into the truth. Tell me which of those brews even dare to market their beer on taste. Not punch top cans, or double-vented mouths, or bull frogs and horses – taste. I know Yuengling has also found a way to ethically market their product towards the taste of their beer and it seems to be working.
Pennsylvania doesn’t have much to be proud of either, so I’m not sure why you’d even be surprised. Not like the state holds the liberty bell, the site of which the framers penned the structure of this country, or is the home of EPIC battles that saved this great nation (not exaggerating either). Nor the inherent blue-collar work ethic stemming from steelworkers throughout the state from Pittsburgh to Allentown, or coal mining out of the coal region (including the town of Pottsville – where that rinky-dink brewery stands). Yeah, there isn’t much for a Pennsylvanian to be proud of. There isn’t history behind Yuengling, or the town of Pottsville (once home to a championship NFL team).
Now that I think of it, I do recall some ‘prideful Pennsylvanians.’ Let’s see, there’s the time my former college roommate refused to speak for about a month due to the devastation he experienced from the Penguins’ (that’s a real hockey team) loss in the playoffs. Or the thousands of Pennsylvanians (and Pottsvill(ians?)) that ran the horrid hills of Pottsville to show their PA pride at the YUENGLING logger jogger 5K. Further, even though I’m not an Eagles fan, you can’t take away from the way each and every Philadelphian lives and dies with every damn play the often trepid team plays (god bless them). I mean, no offense to our Jersey friends, but just about the whole state believes that they are from Pennsylvania and belong to the great city of Philadelphia. Maybe that’s the one thing you can relate to – being a member of “New England.”
Anyway – I digress. You can go ahead and drink your Grain Belt Premium at your hoity-toity Camebridge college bars – I’ll stick with my Yuengling.