Big Flats Beer: A Review of a $.04/oz Beer

Big Flats Beer in a Festive Coozy...MADE WITH LOVE!

When my friend Suzy read an article about Walgreens adding a store brand beer, she knew two things: she would be trying it and she would be alerting me, so we would try it together.  My friend Suzy is clearly brilliant – working towards her Ph.D. at a top institution, obviously. 

We are (usually) lucky to live in an area where alcohol is easily and readily available to people of legal drinking age.  Seriously, The Target sells The Spirits, so a person could hypothetically add a couple of handles of Smirnoff and a few suitcases of Bud Light to a Club Wed registry.  Thus, our local Walgreens is one of the many licensed to sell beer, including Big Flats.  At a pre-tax price of $2.99, we licensed ourselves to buy.  Actually, that is an untruth.  Suzy and another friend, Pete-ah bought the beer; I brought brownies I made from a box and craft supplies.  Crafting is a panacea of sorts, so it seemed like a good idea to have at the ready since we were a bit skeptical about chain-pharmacy beer.

Between the price point, affiliated store, and confidence-inspiring name; our expectations for Big Flats were roughly…zero.  Specifically, we worried that three people and six beers might be a bit high of a per-person consumption expectation and pre-agreed  to drink leftover beer from New Year’s Eve if it proved super gross.   Right away, when nobody vomited after their first sip, Big Flats exceeded our non-existent expectations.  We praised it with first-impression statements like, “You know, this isn’t that bad.” and “This is WAY better than I expected!” and “I think I can drink the whole can!”  Look.  I’m a bit of a beer snob and so are my friends.  You know what though?  We are selectively snobby and believe that there is a place for cheap macrobrews.  We housed that six of Big Flats and had it been about ten degrees warmer outside, we likely would have returned to Walgreens to buy more.  Since it wasn’t, we drank leftover Stella and Moose Drool.  Timeout.  Big Flats?  Moose Drool?  Who is in charge of naming beer and why do I have friends who are unemployed?  I am completely certain these friends would be stellar champs at naming beers.  Fart Water, Possum Urine, Noxious Hops…clearly I am qualified for a career change as well.

Since I brought materials for arts ‘n crap, we made Chinese-New-Year-Inspired coozies.  By this I mean red.  Two of us involved the lucky number eight – one was well decorated and the other (pictured above) had the character for “no” – because sometimes when drinking, it’s important to be able to communicate the word no.  The remaining coozy was a symbolic work reflecting minimalism and hardship…or the creator watched the other two people get hot glue on their fingers and thought he could do without that experience.  Wuss.  Also, before getting all “inclusive” on me, I KNOW it is the Lunar New Year and not just for China.  We just celebrated for China though, which our token (non-Chinese) Asian deemed acceptable.   

Back to Big Flats.  Big Flats is a pretty typical macrobeer.  At fifty cents per can, the raw materials are definitely going to be cheap.  There are no fancy, imported ingredients here; there’s some corn and some grain.  You can taste the malt, kind of.  The can promises “the choicest hops” but there aren’t very many hops in involved and the plural might be a typo.  Also, when a can talks up the water used (“the water makes it”) well…that’s sort of a gimme.  Despite its name, the beer is medium carbonated, but not in a way that fills your belly and makes it ache.  Honestly though, sometimes you get what you pay for and Big Flats Lager is an example of that: it’s a basic macrobrew.  There is nothing special about it, but there is also nothing wrong with it.  As with any beer, it is important to know what you want and buy something that fits.  If what you want is a basic beer at a cheap price, Big Flats are your cans.

One thing that we discussed about Big Flats was when we would want to drink it again, because none of us are opposed to drinking it again.  We think that this is the ideal beer pong/Beirut beer as it doesn’t sit heavy in the stomach and is easy drinking.   And again, at the price point, it seems like something that it’s okay to put into party cups and throw ping pong balls into.  It has a low ABV and it’s easy to drink. 

Big Flats, you are neither big nor flat, but you are cheap – and sometimes cheap is enough.


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