This past weekend, Jester and I had what I would consider the best idea for a party of the 20th Century. We had a '90s college party. No frills (and more, importantly, no kids). Just shitty beer, Jell-O shots, super strong punch, flip cup, beer pong, asshole, Papa John's, and a kickass playlist. It was a blast.
Having had some Red Dog, Icehouse, Natty Light, Beast Light, and Keystone Light Saturday night, I got to thinking about what were my favorite college beers. By that, I don't necessarily mean my favorite beers when I was in college. Otherwise, I'd probably go with Newcastle. I'm talking about my favorite "college beers" -- beers that I drank on a regular basis in college because they were all that I could afford.
Dishonorable mention (i.e., college beers that I would try to avoid): Miller Lite; Milwaukee's Best; Milwaukee's Best Ice; Natural Ice; PBR (hipsters didn't exist yet)
10. Milwaukee's Best Light
The Beast Light was a staple at fraternity parties. A step down from your Nattys and your Keystones, Beast Light was never the first choice, but certainly never the last.
9. Red Dog
This would be higher, but it kind of disappeared not too long after I went to college.
"It's the water!" That's Olympia's slogan, which should tell you all you need to know. This was a relatively rare find in Bloomington, but I managed to acquire a few cases over the years.
7. Busch Light
This wasn't as popular at IU as some of the other lower-tier light beers, but it wasn't bad.
6. Killian's Irish Red
This was kind of on the cusp of affordability. I would rarely buy it at a store, but bars seemed to have good specials. It made you feel like you were drinking a fancy beer, even though you weren't. I now despise this, as Coors used it as a reason to stop importing Caffrey's.
"Six feels like nine." That's what I told my roommate freshman year when we were at an apartment party in late October that had a keg of Icehouse. It proved to be prescient, as I puked for the first time in college that night.
4. Coors Light
You didn't see as much Coors Light back then as you do now, but the Silver Bullet was always a good choice. Always.
3. Bud Light
At bars, Bud Light was my preferred beer, whether it was playing Sink the Bismarck or buying 48-ounce pitchers for $3.75. "How many cups do you need with that pitcher?" "None."
2. Natural Light
Natty Light was probably the beer I drank most in college. A lot of people weren't fans. I was. Still am, as it turns out.
1. Keystone Light
The "never bitter beer" was my go-to beer in college. It was cheap, it came in 30-packs, and it tasted like water. Keystone Light is the kind of beer that you can drink 26 of in one night when you're 19, try to drink 30 of in 8 hours when you're 27, or shotgun with your nanny in your backyard when you're 37.