Beers I Have Known: Blatz

This series of posts is dedicated to the many, many six packs, pony kegs and pints that have sauntered into my life at one point or another.

I’m quick to heap scorn upon those who ignore the time-tested adage “Life’s too short to drink bad beer,” especially as I live in a town with a mind-boggling number of top-notch craft breweries. When I see someone bypassing the local beers to put a case of Icehouse or Bud Light into their grocery cart, I’m filled with a level of anger that’s out of proportion to the infraction. This is an admission of hypocrisy. There are certainly beers that would be considered far down the quality scale for which I harbor a special affection. That brings me to Blatz, one of the products that helped elevate Milwaukee to the status of America’s first beer city. Named for Bavarian immigrant Valentin Blatz, who opened a brewery in Wisconsin’s largest city in 1850, eventually producing the city’s first individually bottled beer some twenty-five years later. By the time Blatz was in my repertoire, had passed through multiple corporate hands, including Pabst and G. Heileman Brewery (it eventually became a property of Stroh Brewery before returning to hands of Pabst, who licensed it to Miller). It didn’t matter to me who owned it, though. I only knew that chasing the brown triangle was considered a worthy endeavor among a select group of my cohorts. We’d even gone to a bar in Madison specifically because they had a vintage Blatz sign in front. When we tried to order some, the bartender was aghast at the thought they would stock such a beverage. We pointed out the presence of the sign, causing her to huff, “It’s an antique,” and then do her level best to ignore us for the rest of the night. It was a cheap beer, but it had a punch of flavor. It was an acquired taste, to be sure. I was glad to acquire it. There’s no Blatz available in my neck of the nation. If there were, I’d occasionally be the guy earning judgmental stares from local beer connoisseurs as I directed my buggy towards the checkout line.

Point Special
21st Amendment Bitter American
Abita Restoration Pale Ale
Rolling Rock
Skull Splitter
Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter
Red Stripe
Rhinelander Bock
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
New Glarus Brewing Company Wisconsin Belgian Red
ABA Hoppy Saison
Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager
Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow
French Broad Brewing Gateway Kolsch
Big Boss Brewing “High Monkey”
Stevens Point Brewery Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale
The Native Brewing Company The Eleven Brown Ale
Labatt Blue
Smuttynose Winter Ale
Point Beyond the Pale IPA
Capital Brewery Supper Club
Highland Brewing 20th Anniversary Scotch Ale
Central Waters Brewing Company Sixteen

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