Monday, May 2, 2011

The $10 Experiment

Sunday was finally the warm, sunny day I’d had in mind a few weeks ago when I picked up a couple of non-characteristic beers for what I have deemed, “The $10 Experiment.” The experiment was driven by Walgreens’ semi-recent venture into the beer world with their Big Flats Lager. You can’t drive too far in most metro areas without going by a Walgreens and for a while there they were heavily promoting this beer. $3.29 for six, 12-oz cans boasted the signs.

I figured it would be crap beer, but I just couldn’t get past the curiosity. “How bad can it be?” kept running across my mind. I wasn’t willing to by a sixer of BMC for comparison so I opted to pick up a six-pack of Trader Joe’s Simpler Times Lager. At $4.29 for a six-pack, it was close enough in price and I hoped it would prove to be as non-offensive as the Simpler Times Pilsner had previously.

Pouring them, STL was a light golden honey color whereas BF was almost colorless and considerably more carbonated. As for the smell, well, they both gave off that characteristic lager aroma that turns me off. The STL was relatively more full bodied with a light honey sweetness whereas the BF’s flavor was similar to its color, nearly nonexistent. But with all of that said, neither was actually that bad as long as I didn’t take a big whiff. In fact, it took nearly an hour of sitting in the glass for the BF to develop some skunkiness and for the STL’s honey flavor to break down.

So, “What’s the verdict?” you ask. Not surprisingly, I won’t be adding either to my regular line up but if I were to have guests of the BMC persuasion coming over, I’d be ok picking up a six-pack of either. The STL packs a bigger punch, weighing in at 6.2% ABV while BF is more of a lightweight at 4.5% ABV. Either way I’d be out less than $5 and if there was any leftover I could always use them to boil brats in.

So there you have it. My curiosity has been satiated. Now we return to our regularly scheduled drinking of beer that really tastes good, instead of just not tasting bad.

*$3.29 6-pack Big Flats 12-oz cans + $4.29 6-pack Simpler Times Lager 12-oz cans doesn’t quite equal $10 but I figured the remaining $2.42 would go toward any pain and suffering this experiment might inflict upon me. Besides "The $7.58 Experiment" doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.


  1. STL *used* to be my go-to beer for camping trips all last year. All the campers know cans are much easier to deal with hauling, chilling, packing on a hike, etc. However, now that Fort George has an amazing line-up of cans, it's going to be 1811 from here on out. Although, I might have to pack them around in a case of Hamms to keep them from getting snaked.

  2. I wondered how that whole Walgreens beer/wine thing was going to play out. As a former CVS employee, we were always under the impression that Walgreens thought themselves more righteous because they didn't sell (or make) alcohol. Their reps actually made statements like that to our regional manager. Hmmmm...yeah. If I ever see it, I will avoid it if it all possible.