Every once in a while, I draw inspiration from the audience.  None of you have steered me wrong.

This is my review of Earthquake High Gravity Lager…

Okay.  One of you did.  I’m not about to start pointing fingers, because its more fun for me to wait until the end.

A primer on Malt Liquor:  Brooklyn, the 1970’s

This is a dream, man.  A man’s dream.  A man named Don Vultaggio  At the time he had nothing but a VW, an underserved market, and a dream.

“Vultaggio began delivering malt liquor. This was a dangerous job — so dangerous, in fact, that the breweries’ own truck drivers refused to do it, which is the opening Vultaggio wanted to exploit. He braved stickups and shoot-outs. He hauled cheaper product from upstate wholesalers back into the city, because gas was 30 cents a gallon, and the hassle paid well.”

Relax, this gets better.

“One little fly-by-night distribution operation became a $2 billion beverage empire that now makes everything from malt liquor and flavored malt beverages, to beer, to — wait for it — AriZona Iced Tea.”

True story.  Arizona Ice Tea is not a product of Arizona.  Actual people from Arizona, that is, the 10-20% of the population that are actually from here, are fully aware it is made in New York.  Like that terrible salsa from San Antonio, and their sales pitch– New York City!

You probably know where this is going.

“Ultimately, marketers failed to convince the white bourgeois that malt liquor was the new drink of the white bourgeois. But they did convince someone, albeit unintentionally. The word bubbled up the supply chain, from corner store, to distributor, to brewer, and finally to marketing departments: malt liquor is selling well in black neighborhoods. No one knew exactly why. It wasn’t cheaper than regular beer (that would come in the late ’80s, when Schlitz, then the market leader, undercut the competition and triggered the whole category’s slide from premium to bottom shelf). And the messaging was still white as all hell — in fact, a marketing study from the era suggests that malt liquor’s upper-class packaging may have been a contributing factor to its appeal to black customers, though this is no easy thing to corroborate.”

Alas, I could continue to give you excerpts of this article.  I am not going to do that.  Am I that lazy? Yes.  This article though should be of interest to anyone that values capitslism.  After all, it never matters who you sell it to.  It matters that you sold it.

“malt liquor’s fortunes have been entangled with America’s sorest social bugbears, from race, to class, to poverty, to whether or not capitalism ought to give a shit about any of those things.”

In spite of the halfhearted attempt to SJW, this article is actually pretty good.  Read the whole thing.

So how is Eathquake?  It pretty bad.  I’m not about to indulge myself in its flat body.  Its bitter sweet taste and its nose that reminds me of the bathroom in the gas station.  There is no redeeming quality about it.  It’s made with enzymes that break down the malt to allow the industrial grade yeast to process the sugar as a monosaccharide.  This is depression, and squalor in a can.  If it were possible to take being a New York Jets fan, distill it, bottle it, distribute it, market it and ultimately sell it–I imagine it would taste like this.  Ultimately, everyone will need a drink from time to time, and at least this one it honest enough that all we will know is that it will do its job–and nothing else.  Earthquake Malt Liquor 1.5/5.

This is your fault. I blame you.


Hat Tip: This sick, twisted man.