Charles' Top 5 Drinks of 2014!

My booze corner! Featuring three of this year's winners
My booze corner! Featuring three of this year's winners
Photo by Charles Lam

A year goes by quick, doesn't it? One day, you're wandering around Newport drinking irresponsibly and the next, you're getting ready to wander around Long Beach and drink irresponsibly.

Where did all that time go? All those cover stories and camping trips and miles on the 405 all seem so distant now.

Oh, I remember where they went. I drank a bunch of them away. But hey, it was a good year with plenty of great booze so here's the best I had in 2014 and to another wonderful year!

5. Rainier.. Again

This is the one you want
This is the one you want
Photo by Charles Lam

Now before you say anything, I know Rainier was my lead-off last year. But between now and then something magical happened. BevMo, my least favorite giant liquor store became my second favorite giant liquor store (all the love to Hi-Time).

How? They started carrying Rainier, my favorite cheap beer, regularly.

If you haven't tried Vitamin R, you need too. It flows like water in the Pacific Northwest, and at $6 for a six-pack of tall boys at BevMo, it near flows as cheap as water down here. Just make sure you get the Rainier lager, not the ale (the ale is basically malt liquor in a can).

Now if only the Observatory would start selling it instead of those trashy 22-ounce PBR tall boys..

4. The Generic $6 Boilermaker

OK, this one probably doesn't cost $6..
OK, this one probably doesn't cost $6..

Journalism doesn't pay much, and dive bars are awesome so the $6 boilermaker is my own personal manna from heaven.

Seriously though, a shot and a beer for less than ten dollars is ridiculous, and it makes everything you drink afterwards taste better. So frugal.

I get mine from the V Room in Long Beach. There, you can get any domestic can of beer and a shot of either Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, or Powers Whiskey. Not well swill at all. In Orange County, Little Sparrow used to do $6 boilermakers during their Tuesday dive bar nights (though I'm not sure if that's still ongoing), and Newport Brew Co does $7 boilermakers from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Hey, it's close enough.

3. Rodenbach Grand Cru

It looks like this!
It looks like this!
Photo by Charles Lam

I went on a big kick this year where for a good few months, the only beer I'd buy would be a sour. That's (mostly) over now, but I still love Rodenbach Grand Cru. It's one of the most price efficient sours I've had, coming in at a little over $10 for a 750ml bottle. It's a little funky, but it's probably the easiest introduction to spontaneously fermented beer you can make.

Find it at Hi-Time or BevMo, and make sure you get the Grand Cru, not the standard red ale.



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