Monday, August 10, 2009

20 Beers That We Can No Longer Drink

Blind Man Ale

Oh Espresso Stout, how you taunt me. This beer was “Red Bull + Vodka” before such a thing had been conceived. Many happy and sleepless nights were spent debating which film indeed is the greatest comedy of all time while slamming Espresso Stouts and wondering why passing out wasn’t an option. Although the answer to the former question ( The Big Lebowski in this writer’s humble opinion) is still up for debate, unfortunately this beer’s existence isn’t.

Clix Malt Liquor

Oh Clix, how I would love thee. First brewed in 1937, Clix is established as the first malt liquor ever created. So some guy name ‘Click’ Koerber that developed the process is responsible for every Brass Monkey hangover I have ever had. Click, if I met you today, I would give you a massive hug, then an even more massive kick to the face.


Esslinger’s was brewed for damn near a century, and always advertised as only needing malted grain, fresh hops, brewers yeast, and good water. Yes, that will ultimately make beer. Unfortunately when you’re better known for your can’s winking man than for your delicious beer, things will eventually go sour.


This beer went from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel in under a decade. In 1950 it held 35% market share for all beer in New York. By 1960, not so much. The New York Times said “Rheingold Beer was once a top New York brew guzzled regularly by a loyal cadre of workingmen who would just as soon have eaten nails as drink another beer maker’s suds.”

Iron City Light

Iron City Brewery was one of 725 to survive prohibition. In fact, it still exists today, just in a much different form. It was one of 12 breweries to merge and become the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. Unfortunately, the owners tried a bit too much of their products whiel making business decisions, and the brewery is now defunct. Someone did purchase the rights in 2007, so we may see IC Light make a comeback.

This is one that is truly missed. Bartels had been brewed since 1899, and even with the goofy professor is a great beer. It is a hoppy golden ale that pours clean and tastes even better. I would give my first born for this beer to be resurrected. Fortunately, I don’t have kids so this isn’t asking much.

Hop N’ Gator

Some beers that have deserved to survive have not, I call that tragic. Others have deserved a slow, painful, disturbing death and received it, I call that justice. Hop N’ Gator was the “bitch beer” of a past age. Served on ice and advertised as having a lemon-lime flavor, this beer truly was a sell-out among sell outs. Some enjoyed it, few appreciated it.

Natty Boh

Although the namesake “Natural Bohemian” lives on and is distributed by Pabst Brewing Company, Natty Boh has long since passed. Their slogan, “From the Land of Pleasant Living”, meant “From the Land of Pleasant Living While You Can’t See Straight because Our Beer Ruins Your Night”. Or that’s how I remember it.

Lucky Lager

Known for it’s unbelievably cheap price and 11 oz. “Stubby” bottles, Lucky Lager can still be dug up at random points throughout North America. Unfortunately, the stubbies are no longer available, and let’s be honest, that was the only reason anyone touched this stuff.

National Premium

Oh Natty Prem, how you haunt my memories. Gone are the good old days of grabbing a couple cans of this most poshest of American beers. Brother to Natty Boh, Natty Prem also was a cheap man’s expensive beer. Well, it was actually always a cheap man’s cheap beer, but who’s asking. It’s gone, let it rest in peace!

Dubois Budweiser

Oh Dubois, you and your shenanigans riddled “budweiser”. Who could forget the lawsuits, the struggle, the 65 years of fighting. But, you finally lost Dubois, and we’re sorry to see you go. Your beer was ok, but seeing the underdog struggle for so long- that’s inspiration.


All I can say, is these marketing geniuses better have gone to work at some other company where the beer was to standard with their creative ability. I want to pick up a Delorean and head back 30 years just to try 1 (read: 6) of these.

Coho Pacfic Light

This one strikes close to home. No, the brewery isn’t shut down, Bridgeport is still alive and brewin’. But poor Coho Pacific Light, you delicious titan among the flavorful light beers of our generation, we mourn thee.


Rheingold’s Chug-A-Mug was a raging success, at least for raging alcoholics. It answered the question, “How can I get as much beer in me as fast as I can, without having to pour my beer out of the bottle first?”

Ruppert Knickerbocker

How much would you say a can of old beer is? Anything? Maybe a couple bucks if it has sentimental value? Well, for some flat-top Ruppert Knickerbocker, be prepared to shell out $1,500 for a can. And, be prepared for it to taste like it’s been sitting on a shelf for 30 years.

Ballantine Lager

Ballantine is one of the oldest and most well respected beers in America by true beer enthusiasts. Although the brand still exists, it has downgraded all the way to being lumped with malt liquors in 40 oz. bottles. Old man Ballantine would turn in his grave if he saw his name alongside the likes of “Old E”. Although the Pale ale is still in production, the coveted lager has long since passed. The pale isn’t the same either, only the name remains.

Burger Beer

Although Burger Beer changed hands multiple times to try to keep the budget beer alive, it passed with so many others decades ago. Burger Beer was relaunched recently – at a museum. This just shows how many beers hold special places in beer drinkers hearts, if not their gullets.


It’s such a sweet story, one struggling beer company buys another to keep them both afloat. Well, Falstaff tried to pull this maneuver with Gansett brewing to save the brand and the company, but the sinking ships went down together (partially) as a result. At least Gansett had the decency to go out peacefully… oh wait, the brand was purchased by a JUICE executive in 2005. God help us all.


Gotta love a fighter. Especially one that defies prohibition and still keeps brewing sweet, sweet beer in a hidden cellar. Unfortunately that hidden cellar was discovered, and Horlacher’s was shut down. At least, until prohibition ended. Unfortunately, EVERYONE decided to brew beer once prohibition was repealed, and Horlacher couldn’t cut it.

Oh Pabst, how you taunt us. You continue to make your Blue Ribbon, throwing millions upon millions of gallons upon the college and hipster crowds, yet you can’t provide me one sweet nectar of the gods, Andeker?!? Why you are allowed to commit these attrocities, the world may never know.

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