Beers From the Past
In response to an e-mail about old time beers, 1960’s…
Two spring to mind, the first is Champagne Velvet. We (me and two friends I’ll just call ohhh “Norman and Mike”) discovered this on a trip to Lake of the Ozarks in the summer of 64. It was a 3.2% so it could be sold on Sunday at the popular resort lake. Locals were more concerned with money than underage laws, so we were able to score a case. Years mercifully cloud the true taste but leave the lasting impression of awful. It was only after three of these that the terrible taste was masked by the effects of the alcohol. As I recall my buddy “Mike” gave up after two (showing excellent judgment) and the other two fools continued on, being too stupid to know when to give up. They discovered that no matter how bad it tasted going north to south when the direction was reversed it was infinitely worse. Two great lessons were learned in our young lives besides the beer. One, never climb in the back of a speed boat (unless you like stitches – 6 to be exact). Two, always, always precook your potatoes if you are going to make cottage fries in a cast iron skillet because if they return for an encore they will be much easier to get out of your nose.
The second beer memory is Gluek. Let me say at that time name brand beer – Bud, Miller High Life, Schlitz or Hamms – sold for about $1.25 a 6 pack and Falstaff for about $1.00 a 6 pack. These were steel cans you opened with a church key, which (if you weren’t in your parents car) presented many an amusing moment as the cans could erupt when punctured. The Gluek beer was priced at 7 cans for $1.00. That’s right – 7 cans for the price of 4-5 gallons of gasoline with lead (depending on whether or not there was a gas war). When we were able to acquire some we found out it was OK in taste, most beers then tasted pretty much the same to us (with the exception of the first one I wrote about). The label simply said Gluek Beer with no secondary line like King of Beers, The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous or From the Land of Sky Blue Waters. It should have been “A Headache In Every Can”. As I recall we didn’t try it too many more times before giving up. Sales dropped off quickly.
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