In Defense of Shitty Beers

Sometimes it’s Necessary to Sacrifice Taste for Street Cred…

By Kevin Sterne


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I’ve talked about craft beer ad nauseam on this forum. Here. And here. Also, here. We’ve given a lot of attention to craft brewing, especially Chicago craft brewing, but I feel this publicity has come at the expense of non-craft beers, the un-crafters. Beers that, despite the bad reputation and unfiltered water, can pack just as much flavor—minus the prestige and sticker shock. Take Hamm’s for example, it’s an unassuming beer that has never indulged in the bells and whistles of its high-brow, new age brethren. Hamm’s doesn’t try to be something that it’s not (looking at you, barrel-aged IPA)— and that is admirable in a time when Donald Trump is still trying to be president and Kellyanne Conway is trying to be a human rather than an alien.

So even if you are a reptilian masquerading as a human, a baller on a budget, or a trust-fund hipster kid looking to augment your street cred in Wicker Park or Logan Square, I have the retro aluminum that won’t leave your wallet or palate dry.

  

Busch’s Light

Smells like your gym bag and tastes like your friend’s gym bag. Busch Light has been bringing friends together since 8th grade. The more cans you drink, the more it tastes like your friend drank it and then spit it back in the can. It pours a pale yellow, like drunk-after-sex urine and drinks as smooth as your pec flies. But not as smooth as Hamm’s.

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Natural Ice

In a glass it’s nearly translucent, like you filled an empty yellow Gatorade bottle with water. But, don’t be fooled, this beer packs a lot of flavor. It tastes how your bathroom floor smells after a party. There’s plenty for your palate to sample here: the goopy bottoms of Converse sneakers, stale urine, residual puke stain, condom residue, and more spilled Natty Ice. A cocktail of flavor that will have your taste buds YOLOing for more. This beer is good, even great if you get it fresh, but still a slight notch below Hamm’s.

PBR

I’ve learned that this beer is drinkable at nearly any temperature. Throw it in the snow on the porch until it’s near freezing; this will mitigate any potential taste profile. Or let it simmer in your shed or garage during the dog days of summer. This helps bring out the flavors of dead field grass and skunky gym socks. You can even age a 24-pack in the trunk of your car; just let bang around for a few months until the case is sun beaten and the cardboard smashed. Remember to drink it as fast as you can, the less that touches your tongue the better.

Bud’s Light

This beer pours a faded parking-line yellow and smells like cafeteria creamed corn; both are excellent conversation starters at the next house hop. Bud’s Light is best enjoyed when found in a red cup with no name on it. You can also imbibe sips off a beer pong table. This one pairs excellently with dirty ping pong balls, cigarette ash, and 7-11 Taquitos. Overall, this is a beer worth arm wrestling over, but if you win the drunk push-up contest, you better down a victory Hamm’s.

MGD-64

Beer or cleaning agent? This dual-purpose adult beverage gives whiffs of Pine Sol and sun-dried lawn bags, making it ideal for scrubbing the hard woods or scrubbing your palate. This is my favorite chaser for any combination of the following: Malort, Jim Beam, Jose Cuervo Especial, Bacardi 151, Chivas Regal, and Canadian Mist. If you’re on a diet or if it’s cutting season at the gym (it’s always cutting season for me), then this and Hamm’s is the beer for you, bro.

Guinness

Literally, like the heaviest beer in the world. It smells like grandpa’s cigars and tastes like his garage. It’s sludge. But I drink it because he was Irish and I’m like 1/29th Irish, so it’s family tradition. I’ve had an Irish car bomb once because my older brother made me on my 21st. I like blacked out.

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Bud’s Light Limes-A-Rita

Pitbul is to John Lennon as Bud’s Light Lime-Ritas is to ___________.

  1. A) Holy Water
  2. B) Holly Water
  3. C) Holie Water
  4. D) Not as good as Hamm’s.

Milwaukee’s Beast

Tastes great with my protein. I get mad gains mixing it in my shaker after getting in a pump at the gym in Gold Coast. My Pi Kapp Alpha brothers and I killed off two 30-racks of Milwaukee’s Beast last Friday after I closed a sale with a major client. Who’s the man? Me. Now who wants to take shots of Hamm’s off my stomach.



Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.

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Twitter: @kevinsterne
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11 Essential Life Hacks: Alternative Facts Everyone Should Know

by Kevin Sterne
Now Appearing in Drunk Monkeys


  1. When lifting heavy objects such as art history anthologies or potted ferns, always hinge at your lower back and focus on your groin for energy. These are main components of your “core” and generally the strongest muscles in your body. As you lift your Norton reader it’s recommended you release deep guttural yowls—for self-motivation.
  2. It’s better to run with scissors—walking allows more time for an accident to occur. In a recent double-blind study in which both the study administrators and the subjects were legally blind, results showed that running with scissors led to more positive outcomes. Results for running/walking up and down flights of stairs were inconclusive because the study was cut short.
  3. Most car speedometers are actually ten to twenty miles per hour slower than your actual speed. This has been a close-kept secret of the auto industry and law enforcement. Drivers think they’re going 70mph, but in reality they’re much slower. Think of how much safer the highways are because people aren’t actually speeding. Think of how much smarter you are now.
  4. Let your babies electrocute themselves when they are young, this way they are less likely to do it when they’re older. It’s shocking they still leave this one out of the parenting books. What should you expect when you’re expecting your baby to stick your car keys in the wall socket? Expect them to never do it again!
  5. Tin foil helps distribute heat better in the microwave. The media has been falsely portraying household microwaves and metal since the 1920s. It’s time to set the record straight and call these doctored photos of microwave fires what they really are: falsehoods. We challenge all of you to try starting a fire by nuking a 9×9 Teflon of soda bread. Fire? What fire?
  6. Cut your money in half to make change. This works for any size bill. Afraid to carry a $100 in your wallet? Leave half at home. Need to make change to foot the bill at the restaurant? Wait staff prefers you do it yourself.
  7. Leaving your lights on saves more energy than constantly turning them on and off. This is the number one secret electric companies don’t want you to know. Most fleece you every time you flip the switch or run the microwave. Stick it to the meter person by running your blender 24/7/365.
  8. Gargle with bleach instead of mouthwash to whiten your teeth. It’s practically the same thing as in-office bleaching and much more effective than whitening strips. At pennies on the dollar, this hack will pay of itself in ghost-white smiles.
  9. Chemotherapy is a great way to lose weight. These days, everyone has or has had cancer, and the before- and after- selfies show why. Chemo helps cut excess fat off your skeleton while drastically curbing your appetite. Sure, there is some pain along the way: you might lose your hair and have to get a wig. But, hey, do you want that Jesus-on-the-cross look or not?
  10. If you can’t get sushi, you can eat raw chicken. It tastes almost identical. You’ll also increase your odds of getting a tapeworm and losing even more weight. Imagine having a tapeworm and cancer! Could it get any better in this great nation?
  11. A cigarette is just as good as an inhaler. But for some reason cigarettes get a bad rap in the media. Pictures of smoker’s lungs and gum lines are clearly exaggerated. We won’t say there aren’t any risks to subbing your inhaler for an American Spirit, but again, cancer is in vogue. Plus, did you know the American Spirit Man was a World-class broad jumper? Smoke enough American Made Tobacco and that can be you some day.

Corrections: January 30, 2017

An earlier version of this article recommended Camel Cigarettes, which use Turkish tobacco. The editors are obliged to change it to American Made Tobacco.

Corrections: January 31, 2017 

A prior version of this article mentioned Turkish tobacco. The editors are obliged to tell you the following in regards to Turkish tobacco: “Turkish tobacco is not American Made Tobacco.”

Corrections: February 1, 2017

A prior version of this article mentioned American Made Tobacco without its slogan. The editors are obliged to print “American Made Tobacco. For Health!” at least once on this page. The editors are also obliged to tell you that Corrections are no longer Corrections. They are now Alternative Facts. 

Alternative Facts: February 5, 2017

A prior version mentioned Corrections. The editors have been swamped with edits b/c lay offs. We’re required to say correction(s) is not a word anymore. And we have to say you can look it up in the dictionary, it’s not there 

Alternative Facts: Feb 7, 2017 Year of Lord President

Intern here. I’m supposed to add all this:

  1. Lord President invented Microwaves.
  2. Lord President’s best friend evented smoking.
  3. Most people who picked tobacco in the 1800’s were white.
  4. Lord President’s family tree is full of people who picked tobacco.
  5. Lord President’s family invented tobacco.
  6. This was not plagiarized.
  7. Plagiarism is not a real word.
  8. Look it up anywhere.
  9. Ask most kids, they know it.
  10. This article was paid for by Mexico and China.

Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.

kevinsterne.com
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
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Comey Memo Re: Trump

As a way to earn money for school, I took a job watching a glass box in an industrial-looking New York room. Inside the box I found this memo from former FBI director, Jim Comey. I have every reason to believe this is genuine.

-Kevin Sterne



To:
Myself in the Future (Jim Comey)
From: Myself Right Now (also Jim Comey)

On Feb 5 I met with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The first thing he told me was that he anticipated having a lot of free time as POTUS and would like to get started on preserving his legacy through books. In short order this legacy would apparently begin with a Russia-themed Eye-Spy book.

Trump then removed a few crumpled pieces of paper from his back pocket and handed them to me. At first glance they looked like pages from a coloring book. Trump told me he cannot actually read or write anything other than his own name, and must convey his ideas in crude sketches or elaborate hand gestures. These pages in particularly resembled blind contour drawings of disfigured farm animals.

“This is going to be the greatest book ever,” Trump said while waving his tiny hands like wobbly pool noodles. “I know it. You know it.”

I did not know it.

So I peered over the “treatment.” From what I could discern, page one was meant to portray a shirtless Vladimir Putin on a Russia beach, arranged like Rose from the Titanic. The caption reads: “Draw me like one of your French girls, Don.”

Page two: Michael Flynn’s Russian emails hidden in Russian Nesting Dolls. The smallest nesting doll is full scale version of Kellyanne Conway’s brain, about the size of an almond.

Page three is Sean Spicer in an incredibly messy 1950’s kitchen. He’s donning a dirty apron and hunched over a mixing bowl. The remnants of egg shells, measuring cups, flour, etc. are strewn all over the counter and walls. There’s a window along the back wall that shows a massive nuclear mushroom cloud, presumably from a Russian warhead. The caption for this whole scene reads: “Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire with Sean Spicer.”

At this point I had “read” enough. I told Trump I thought this was a terrible idea and a tremendous waste of time and energy for the President of the United States. To which he told me I better hope there are no “tapes” of our talk. He put his tiny fingers in air quotes for the word tapes. To cap of the most bizarre encounter I’ve ever had with any political figure, Trump tried to kiss me.

He was showing me to the door, but right before opening it, puckered his lips and leaned into me. But because I’m 6’8” and he’s about 5’4” he could only reach my right nipple. Which he kissed anyway, because his eyes were closed. Then—as if this otherworldly incident could actually be forgotten—he whispered to me: “I hope you can let this go.”

 

Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.

kevinsterne.com
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
Instagram: LeFawnZine

Email From Bannon To Trump: If We Want To Make America Great Again (!) We Need To Travel Back In Time

by Kevin Sterne

1106347_web1_savweb_020117_bannon

Dear Don,

I think it’s time we consider building a time machine (ATM). You probably don’t remember when I said: “if things aren’t looking good, we should consider a time machine.” But I said it. Kellyanne will vouch. Just don’t ask her the question directly.

This is a great plan, Don. It’s a fantastic plan. We get to cut more social programs from the budget like we planned AND we get to keep a secret. I know you love secrets!

Once the lying media uncovers the secret we’ll introduce it as an executive order. (We can just say it’s for national security). Spicey will cow-tie the media, it’ll be really great.

I’m relying on you to be the closer here, Don. You’ll need to stare down the House and Senate. Once we get the order passed we can start building ATM.

Do you think we can get someone from the Pentagon and Area 51? Actually, I’ll phone Alex Jones. I reckon he has gleaned a lot about alien technology from the Roswell Crash. Actually, I’ll do an introductory email.

I’m seeing the benefits of ATM as five-pronged:
1) we get to team up with Regan (your dream);
2) instead of tearing down the Berlin wall, we get to move it to the Mexican border;
3) we squash that lying Hilary before she can get started;
4) we stop the New York Times from failing and give you full control of the lying media;
5) we get a head start on a really great forgery of Obama’s birth certificate.

I already told Kellyanne and she is totally gung ho. She’s bringing over a Ouija Board so you can contact the spirit of Ronald Regan. I’m going to loop in Newt Gingrich on this one too. Word is he has some of Regan’s personal effects, specifically a catheter. I’ll do an intro email.

I know you’ll probably want to get your son-in-law involved, but I think it’s best J-Kush sits this one out. I want you to get all the credit for creating the world’s first ATM, and J-Kush tends to steal the limelight. Kellyanne will back me up on this one.

Lastly, we’re going to need different email addresses for this. I set up one for you already.

Trump_2017to1984 at darkweb.com

The password is SpicerNoSpicing

Email me at TimeTravelBan_non at darknet.com with your reply.

 

Forever yours,

Stevie B

 

P.S.

Let’s get Putin on board with this. Can you do an intro email?

 

 

Kevin Sterne is a writer and journalist based in Chicago, the editor of LeFawn Magazine. Apart from Shuga Records, he’s written about beer and music for Mash Tun Journal, The Tangential and Substream Magazine. His creative fiction has appeared in Drunk Monkeys, Potluck Mag, Defenestration, Praxis Magazine, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Word Eater, among many others.

kevinsterne.com
Twitter: @kevinsterne
Instagram: Kevinsterne
Instagram: LeFawnZine

I listened to Dad Rock for one week straight and stared death in the face

by Kevin Sterne

People love Dad Rock. They love Dad Rock—not be confused with the rock band, Dads—so much that listening to Dad Rock has become some sort of subculture ritual for older generations and snake people alike. But I always thought Dad Rock to be very, well, plain. Like going for ice cream and getting a vanilla cone (Throw some sprinkles on that shit!). Still, I have some friends who swear by Dad Rock, i.e. how it’s changed them for the better. Since I am perpetually on a quest for noble enlightenment, I decided to give this Dad Rock thing a go.

But, as I told my editor, if I’m going to do this thing, I’m going to fucking do it. A week straight. No podcasts. No talk radio. If I go in a room and music other than Dad Rock is playing, I have to leave. I can’t listen to anything other than Clapton, Neil Young, Tom Petty and the like. My editor said to toss in Dave Mathews and The National for good measure. And that I need to pick between either Ryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen. I said, “what’s the difference?” My editor didn’t respond to the question, but she did fax me a waiver that I had to sign.

Photo1

Day 1, Weight: 170lbs

I spent the first night listening to Dave Mathews band and drinking Dave Mathews wine, Crush. I drank the whole bottle in one sitting and passed out in my bed. This would be a breeze.

Photo2

Day 2, Weight 168lbs

I woke up feeling like hell. So I thought I’d put on some music to wake me up as I showered, brushed my teeth, etc. John Denver did not help. “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” made my ear bleed. Literally. I was using a que tip and found blood in my left ear.

Photo3

Day 3, Weight 167lbs

My day job is installing irrigation and watering systems so I have to do a lot of driving between jobs. Normally I listen to podcasts. Today I gave the Eagles a try. “Hotel California” is a decent song, I think I used to jam it on guitar sometimes. But for every “Hotel California” and “One of These Nights,” there’s a shrieking banshee number like “New Kid in Town.” I accidently ran a red light trying to skip to a new track, and came inches from T-boning a Geo Tracker.

Photo4

I feel on edge most of the day, even after switching to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young when I get off at 5. I hardly eat my dinner tonight, even though my roommates cooked chicken and waffles—one of my favorite meals ever. I’m starting to regret committing to this.

Day 4, Weight 165lbs.

I barely slept last night. You ever have those nightmares where you try to run but you can’t? I kept having one where Barry Manilow was chasing me through my high school cafeteria. Needless to say, I wake up in bad shape. I decided to treat myself to a big iced mocha from Dark Matter’s Osmium and a blue berry muffin. Something to lift my spirits, because God knows The National aren’t doing it. This didn’t help, because I had to get my order and immediately leave since they were playing Rx Bandits on the house speakers. In my car, I put on Bruce Springsteen. Eating the muffin and drinking the coffee felt like my taste buds had fallen off. The food just sat in my mouth while Springsteen spat his gaudy New Jersey accent from my Prius speakers. If there’s a radio station in Hell, it definitely plays Springsteen.

Day 5, Weight 163lbs.

As you can see, I’m losing weight fast. I wake up to an urgent email from my editor saying the waiver I signed doesn’t cover the company legally if I die. They want to offer me a kill fee, meaning I’d get about half the totally money for the article and get to quite this electroshock lab-rat experiment immediately.

I decide to call her. She asks me like 10 different times if I’m okay or if I’ve had thoughts of hurting myself. I’m a man on a ledge and my editor is trying to talk me down. “There’s so much to live for,” she yells through the bull horn, “Fugazi is getting back together!” I ask if they will reimburse me for the Dave Mathews wine. Silence. I tell her I’m not quitting and slam my phone, cracking my screen more than it already was.

That night I comb my hair and huge tufts come out. I pull one of my teeth out with no effort. Only two days left, I tell myself.

Day 6, Weight 155lbs.

I call in sick to work. My roommate offers to drive me in my car to the hospital. “Mr. Jones” is playing from my stereo, but it feels like Adam Duritz and Adam Duritz’s hair are inside me, projecting sound through all my holes. My roommate asks if I want him to turn off the Counting Crows. I give a weak, pathetic “no” from under my sweaty blankets.

Sometime in the afternoon I crawl on all fours to the bathroom.

Day 7, Weight 138lbs.

Photo 5

The only thing getting me through today is the idea of listening to the new At The Drive-in album tomorrow. I spend the majority of these hours in an expressionless stupor, deep inside the dark reaches of my mental space. Where Peter Gabriel plays.

Over the course of these 7 days I’ve experienced all-time mental lows, punctuated by brief manic highs. There were moments of Counting Crows-induced euphoria and long lapses of fear and paranoia, specifically when it felt like Jon Bon Jovi was dredging my cranial sediment.

At midnight I walked to a bar listening to Botch in my headphones. It was like hearing music for the first time. At the bar, the women tending asked how I was doing, which to anyone else would be a normal question. But me, given all I had just been through, I shook my head at her and told her I wasn’t ready to get into all that yet. Please just give me a Hamms. I sat near the window, outside it was raining. A giant potted fern leaned over me. I could hear the sound of rushing water and I felt the spirit of the Lord fill me like a balloon. Later I drifted off to some ridiculous well-lit place.

Check out Kevin’s other work at
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