A week ago, while I was cruising the beer aisles at the highly acclaimed, world renowned Morris Beer Store, the helper lady came over and offered assistance. I had already chosen the Saturday night review brew and was looking for something cheap, more mainstream and keeping in line with the Friday night theme. The questions then came, “Have you tried this? This? How about this?” Yes, I’ve had that. That one doesn’t interest me. No, and I don’t want to. Those were my mental responses but I handled my vocal ones a little more tactfully.
Finally she grabbed a sixer of Icehouse. “How about Icehouse?” Hmm. I don’t know. I checked the bottle and saw it was brewed by Plank Road Brewery. “How much is it? I asked. “Three ninety nine.” Man, that’s cheap alright. “What have you heard about this beer?” “We sell a lot of it. It goes out the door.” I acquiesced and took the sixpack with me to the checkout.
Later that day, when the boys came home for lunch I mentioned that I’d be reviewing Icehouse on Friday night. The one kid said, “Oh. College beer.” Right then, I knew I was in trouble. It was at that instant that I started questioning my grand idea of reviewing cheap beers that the Joe Sixpacks of the world drink. I realized that the kindness of my heart was sacrificing the taste buds of my tongue. Nonetheless, I was going to see this through to the end. No sense in wasting beer.
Luck struck a glancing blow at work that Friday night when overtime reared its ugly head. I’d be working ’til 1 a.m. The beer could wait and we could use the extra dough. This Friday it was a different story. It was announced that we were all caught up and will be getting out 2 hours early. Cripes! Make up your bloody minds already.
When I got home, I retrieved the week-old Icehouse from the garage fridge along with a special “glass” and did the obligatory three dog turns in front of the computer desk before sitting down. I had a cold Icehouse and the special glass. Since the one kid (It was one of the twins. I do this to avoid arguments later.) said that Icehouse was college beer, my special glass was a 16-ounce plastic cup, the kind you find at frat parties or any other gathering where there’s a kegger.
As the beer went into the cup, I saw that the liquid was yellow. The head dissipated rather quickly to just a sudsy layer on the top. The aroma was that of good ol’ beer. It had a sort of smell like I smelled when I was a kid and went to the local tavern with my uncle (gasp!) As soon as you entered the bar, it smelled like this.
The first sip surprisingly had some flavor to it. What that flavor was, I couldn’t tell you. It was definitely beer with some stimulus to the taste buds, but there was nothing there I could distinctively point out as a good beer flavor. I’d venture to say that if a company could brew, market and sell a beer named “Generic Beer,” this is the real life equivalent. It’s beer with nothing else.
This beer is definitely a buzz beer. With a taste that doesn’t get in the way of a good party with lots of friends sleeping on the living room floor, this is the beer to get. This is cheap beer with only one intent. And with an ABV of 5.5% it fits the bill nicely.
Icehouse doesn’t taste bad. It just doesn’t taste good. There’s nothing here that I can say turned me off to this beer. It’s plain, old, beer. It is better than Bud Light, I will admit. For me, this beer is a waste of time. But not a waste of money. You will, however, be a waste if you drink enough of these beers.
Incidentally, the Plank Road Brewery is just a small subset of the Miller Brewing Co.
Note: I must say, that I’ve reached the end of my rope on these cheap beers. No more cheap Friday beer reviews. I’m going to quit reviewing cheap beer on Fridays. But since I really do like a good tasting beer, I’ll think about doing something different which involves drinking good tasting beer for Fridays and writing about it. But this is the last of the cheap shitbeer reviews. I hope you understand.