American Ale to Yuengling

It?s Carnival weekend, and that can only signify the start of summer in Pittsburgh. The sun is finally shining, leaves are growing on trees, and soon this city will be hotter and sweatier than Lindsay Lohan doing ? well, pretty much anything. You?re going to need something to drink on these hot days that will still afford you enough money to get that sweet lower-back tattoo for your girlfriend. That?s where I come in. Is this a blatant ripoff of the Black Table Beer Run? Sure. But in the lighthearted spirit of Carnival, this is stuff you need to know.

Pabst Blue Ribbon ? Pabst is the old reliable girlfriend that?s always been there when you needed a quick fix, but was never hot enough for you to brag about to your friends. She might not look like much, but she understands what it takes to please you. What else can you say about it? It?s the official beer of 2 am desperation.
Rating: Available.

Laser ? In the world of malt liquors, you should generally stay away from anything that doesn?t reference some kind of fierce animal. However, the can?s design alone sets this above every other malt. One sip was like taking a bullet train back to the ?80s. After two 40-ozs I remembered all the lyrics to ?Two Tickets to Paradise? and ?Take Me Home Tonight.? It was nice.
Rating: Eddie Money.

Natural Ice ? If Pabst is that old reliable girlfriend, Natty Ice is her fat ugly friend that probably has VD. You?re never really happy to be with it and you immediately regret the decision when you?re finished. Even though all of your friends have stooped to that level, they?ll never fail to make fun of you for it.
Rating: Ugly.

St. Ide?s High Gravity ? Though the name reflects poorly on it, the stylized drawing of a pit bull chewing on a can more than legitimized this malt liquor for me. It?s got a surprisingly fruity and creamy flavor that forces its way down your throat. The can also puts its 8.2-percent alcohol content right on the label, so you can better understand why you just punched your girlfriend/boyfriend after four cans.
Rating: Instigating.

Olde English High Gravity 800 ? Drinking this beer is like finding a sexually aggressive girlfriend. If you can handle such things, it is a blessing from above. If not, you?ll find yourself curled into a ball in the corner of your shower, weeping uncontrollably. Either way, you?ll wake up the next morning questioning your manhood.
Rating: Questionable.

King Cobra ? Despite possibly the fiercest of all malt liquor logos, I was shocked to find that there is actually very little cobra in the drink itself. Instead it sports an overwhelmingly metallic taste for a 40, similar to, say, licking the inside of a VCR. When robots finally control earth, this will be their beverage of choice.
Rating: Aluminumy.

Iron City ? Ah, Pittsburgh. They?ve even put it in aluminum bottles to make it more authentic. Just like the city, it peaked in the 1970s, but still can entice naive college students with its aesthetic qualities. It carries on a rich tradition of being unable to let go of the past.
Rating: Defeated.

Red Dog ? This is your stepdad?s beer. Not the one who tried to be your friend, but the one with the mustache and mullet who drove a Pontiac Fiero. The one that used to throw his cigarette butts in half-full cans. Somehow, without the tobacco, Red Dog just isn?t the same. It?s depressing, really.
Rating: Lonely.

Genesee Cream Ale ? A product of the Genesee River in upstate New York, Genesee Cream Ale is a direct effect of what pollution has done to America?s waterways. Evidently, cream is one of those words that have different meanings in different places, because I could have sworn that I tasted soap, but no sign of anything ?creamy.?
Rating: Mislabeled.

Moosehead ? Probably the only good thing to come out of Canada besides The Kids in the Hall. Like anything else from that backward country, it was pleasant throughout

the experience and completely non-threatening.
Rating: Polite.

Old German ? A pretty nice bargain at under $8 per case. I woke up the next morning sore as hell. There was a note left on my table.

?Dear Christian,
Thanks a lot. I?m leaving.
?Jerry (your liver)?

Rating: Angry.

Sam Adams Light ? What a time to live in Boston. They come out with Sam Adams Light, and then immediately their sports teams start winning. Maybe if they come out with a low-carb beer alternative Dispatch will get back together. Then what will those bitches have to complain about? Huh?
Rating: Pretentious.

Yuengling ? The average beer drinker enjoys the full flavor and uncompromising, yet classic, taste. Yinzers like it because it gets you drunk. Either way, you really can?t lose.
Rating: Pretty good.

Keystone Light ? Keystone advertises itself as ?never bitter.? I guess it?s pretty easy not to be bitter when you don?t taste like anything.
Rating: Sterile.

Colt 45 ? The Mike Tyson of beers. Sure, you can laugh at it, but if you don?t take it seriously you?re going to get knocked around pretty badly. It goes down smooth, but once it hits your stomach it starts rearranging shit and sucker-punching your kidneys. What was Billy Dee Williams talking about anyway?
Rating: Abominable.

American ? Each sip reminds me of the old gym mats we used to wrestle on in high school. But hell, at $6 per case in bulk rates, I can see how elements like homelessness and alcoholism make this an attractive option. It?s also great if you?re a big fan of spinal headaches first thing in the morning.
Rating: Crippling.