Best Place to Drink Busch Beer in the Daytime

There are few watering holes west of the Mississippi older than Joe Jost's, which was founded in Long Beach in 1924 as a barber shop and pool hall. In 1934, after Prohibition's repeal, beer was introduced, and the barber chairs soon left. Since then, the bar has sold some 7 million pickled eggs, 15 million schooners of beer and 5 million Joe's Specials (a Polish sausage on rye for $2.95). Oh, there's also the 1.8 million pounds of peanuts, which are roasted in the backroom next to the pool and shuffleboard tables. Change happens, if at all, very slowly at Joe Jost's, which is now run by Jost's grandson. In 1972, the cost of a Joe's Special was hiked up by a quarter—the first price increase on any menu item since 1949. But one thing relatively new is Busch beer. For years, Joe Jost's sold Pabst Blue Ribbon, but after finding out its beer distributor was selling the brew cheaper to other bars, they nixed it in favor of Busch. There's something comforting about drinking cheap beer ($3.45 for a schooner) in a packed old-school beer bar (no spirits means a minimum of drunken, belligerent assholes) in the middle of the day. There are other beers on tap, but if you're not quaffing a schooner of Busch, you're just slumming.

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