Bulk Buying And The Soft Drink / Spirits Generation Gap

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: The other day I was shopping at Costco and I noticed that they have their own brand of beer. This made me wince waaay more than finding out that Trader Joes had their own store brew. I like cheap beer as much as the next person, but is there not something kind of distressing about the craft of brewing becoming so homogenized?

CHRIS PUMMER: Can it be worse than Budweiser? I’d go to costco to find out, but I don’t want to buy a flat of it to find out. My last experience like that ended poorly.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I will make two points on this. First, my father is a casual beer drinker, but a discriminating one. He bought the Kirkland beer, and enjoyed it. Second, I have never experienced a bad Kirkland product, and if I liked beer, would buy it without hesitation.

CHRIS PUMMER: My experience with bulk beer didn’t happen at Costco. Like most sad drinking stories, it happened in college.

There was a liquor store my friends and I would frequent. We’d chat up the owner and sometimes he’d offer us a “closeout deal.” As in some shit he wanted to get rid of.

One time he had this imported Nicaraguan beer called Suprema. He’d sell it to us for two bucks a case. We figured, hey even if it sucks, it can’t be THAT bad. And for that price it was a steal. We bought six cases.

The shit was awful. Just fucking awful. And we tried everything to try to drink it. We stuck it in the freezer to get it really cold. Nope. We tried drinking it after a few of a better beer, you know, because after a while the taste is secondary. That didn’t work.

Eventually one of the guys took it back to his parents. And they fucking loved it.  Go figure.

So I don’t go in for more than a six-pack anymore.

And my experience with Kirkland products is pretty good.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: When I was at Bard, during our six-week winter break one year a student lived in my dorm room while I was away. As I was not yet drinking age, any beer I came across was sacred.  Still, I left a couple of cans of Genesee beer on a shelf while I was gone, with a note that said, “Help Yourself!”

Someone spent six weeks in my room in the middle of upstate NY during the blisteringly cold, snowy months of Dec-January, and they didn’t TOUCH that Genessee.

AKIE BERMISS: First of all, let me back up Howard as a non-beer drinker. I’m surrounded by beer-lovers, and there are a couple I’ll go in for. But mostly, i find beer pretty unsatisfying.

Secondly, I had a similar situation with bulk products but it came in my senior year when, with the help of a grant from the school, I made one of my senior projects a smooth jazz concert. And to go with it, we ordered four CASES of Lambrusco (for those not in the know — it’s bubbly red wine that you typically drink with ice).

Well the concert was a success, but the Reunite (pronounced: ree-yoo-knee-dee) was not. People sipped it a bit and laughed.  at the end of the night we had: 3 and half cases left.

Over the next few weeks we TRIED to drink the shit. But it was really awful.

I brought it home to my parents and they were like “Reunite on ice — so nice, so nice (apparently the jingle from back in the day). And they drank it like soda.

Which, I guess, was the point.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Parents do have a higher tolerance for terrible drinks. Lest we forget, they were raised on TAB. And Moxie? Which I’m pretty sure comes in only one flavor: Iodine

CHRIS PUMMER: My father favors Milwaukee’s Beast when it comes to beer. Though I think he’s gone in for a modest upgraded to Miller High Life.

But I dig Tab.

TED BERG: My dad LOVES Moxie. Fucking disgusting. There’s no way that shit wasn’t invented on a dare.

JESSICA BADER: My mom is not much of a drinker (read: more than one drink and she might fall asleep at the table), but she loves her some Passover wine*, the more stereotypically Manischewitz-ish, the better. Everyone makes fun of her for it, especially my dad, who would serve Chianti at the seder if he could get away with it.

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