Gas Station Beer! Bad Brew Challenge

The Sommbeer Bad Brew Series continues with a review of 
"Gas Station" beer, from J.M. Hammond @JMIheartBeer
Check out more bad beers from Sommbeer’s Bad Brew Series
Sometimes you find the change in your pocket isn’t enough to get the beers you want, but is just enough to get beers to drink. Sometimes when the blog owner says you should drink some bad beers and write about it, you fall into that trap. Aaaaaiiiiiiieeeeeeee…..
On a previous trip to the gas station I found myself armed with $6.25 in bills and change and decided to see how many cheap tall cans I could carry out. As luck, fate, or destiny, what have you would have it the local Ameristop had a mark down on, as we Ohioans call them Tallboys.
After walking past the recently added growler bar, past the beer cave full various craft selections I found myself peering at a single door of mostly adjunct laden, artificial flavoring filled beers that were slashed to low, low prices. About the level of lowness I felt taking these beers up to the register to check out.
So with a quarter left in my pocket, I walked out with my night’s challenge, the lineup for the gas station bad beer off. Bud Ice, Icehouse Edge, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Miller High Life, Steel Reserve, and for gits and shiggles Steel Reserve Blk Berry made my 6 pack of a challenge.img_2228.jpeg
Round 1 Bud Ice v. “Beast” Ice
Bud Ice 5.5% ABV – Mouthfeel of water, very pale yellow, very clear, brief white head, low carbonation. No nose, no taste. Water…
Best Ice 5.9% ABV – faint yellow color, very clear, slight pale malt nose, brief white head, low carbonation. Faint noble hop floral taste and faint pale malt flavor. Every so often get medicinal taste. Barely over water.
Both were drain pour worthy, but Beast edges out Bud Ice. Then the rest went into the sink drain!img_2233.jpeg
Round 2 High Life v. Icehouse Edge
Miller High Life  5% ABV – faint pale malt nose, very clear, average carbonation, medium lasting white head, golden-yellow color. One note in taste of mild barley and dry finish.
Icehouse Edge  8.0% ABV – faint noble hop nose, pale malt flavor with slight bitter bite, golden-yellow, very clear, low carbonation, brief white head. Faint floral taste, slight green apples, dry finish with light malt sweetness. No detectable alcohol taste.
With a tad bit of flavor Edge wins. I drank all of both of these.img_2238.jpeg
Round 3 Steel Reserve v. SR Blk Berry
Steel Reserve 8.1% ABV – big white head, that lingers, well carbonated, nose of barley and corn, very clear. Has sweet malt and corn taste with floral hop notes and a crisp dry finish. Not overly bitter, but hop bitterness is detectable. Alcohol level is well masked.
Steel Reserve Blk Berry 8.0% ABV – pours with a brief white head, good carbonation level, nose of berries and grape juice. Very clear, initial taste is very sweet like kool-aid, but not sickening sweet and finish is crisp and dry with slight berry aftertaste. Quite good for a flavored malt beverage. Alcohol is well masked.
Winner Steel Reserve beer.
After this challenge I came away with a buzz, as all of these were consumed in a few hours one evening. In the end I found that the first 4 beers were mostly barely beer and I used to enjoy High Life in bottles not that long ago. Steel Reserve is much improved from my first exposure and the Blk Berry surprised me. However, with that said I’m not revisiting this challenge any time soon.


Thanks J.M., that was awful ! Rather that was a good review on really bad beers. Do you have a really bad beer that you’d love to try and drink?  Let us know, we’d love to read about it.  – David
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JM Hammond

All American dad, I love great beer, great food, great people, and my freedoms in the great U.S.A.! Home brewer, recipe creator, BBQ Pitmaster, writer, and handyman! Let's make (or enjoy) something great together! Cheers!

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