So go the first three words out of the barkeep’s mouth when you plop down in your favorite seat at ye’ ole’ neighborhood watering hole. Or maybe it’s the murky kiddy-pool that plays centerpiece to the PKE house’s vomit-mottled backyard. In which case we’re probably talking about some welt-assed freshman bro in lieu of a legitimate bartender.
Anyway, I’m sure you usually think nothing of that question and order your go-to out of habit. But some nights, a little bitty flagging a tribal tramp stamp and one of those “I’m-drunk-wanna-f*ck?” faces will saddle up next to you, and you’re in straight denial if you don’t think she’s sizing you up based on every clue she can gather, including your choice of poison.
Ergo, what’ll it be, Don Juan? You probably haven’t given much thought to the implications of that question. Fortunately, we have. After years of intensive research, here are our conclusions:
The Frat Beer
Chief Examples: Natural Light, Busch Light, Keystone Light
Advocates include... Anyone who attends college and isn’t a pretentious douchebag. Also, Keith Stone.
Drawbacks: Tastes like fetid water. Also, a likely cause for that weekly bout of Montezuma’s revenge that has you doubled over on the porcelain throne every Sunday morning.
This is a good choice if... The majority of the girls in attendance have your school’s logo painted on their cheeks. Nothing says romance to them like a guy who drains a red Solo cup in one gulp and then splashes the residual foam all over their awestruck faces.
The All-American Light Beer
Chief Examples: Bud Light, Miller Lite, Coors Light
Advocates include... Anyone who drinks beer and isn’t a pretentious douchebag.
Drawbacks: Still tastes like fetid water, in spite of the incrementally higher price tag as compared to members of the last category. Also, it does little to distinguish you from the seventy-some-odd other checkered-shirt-toting bros posted up in all directions of you.
This is a good choice if... You’re planning on hosing upwards of ten drinks at a frat-tastic bar. They’re a) easy to drink and b) reasonably priced, which means you can comfortably afford to buy that freshman girl with flexible ethics upwards of ten as well.
The Three Pillars of ‘Merican Society
Chief Examples: Budweiser, Miller High Life, Coor’s Original (Or in common bar-lance: Bud Heavy, High Life and the Banquet Beer).
Advocates include... Anyone who likes football and/or freedom.
Drawbacks: I’m a patriot, and thus have nothing bad to say about any of the above. Eurotrash might argue that they lack taste or complexity, to which I would respond that they’d all be drinking Hitler’s piss if it weren’t for Uncle Sam and the other Adolph: as in Adolph Coors, American hero.
This is a good choice if... You want a little bang for your buck and something more than fetid water on your palate. These beers boast higher alcohol-per-volume ratios than their “light” counterparts and also dress up in far classier labels. Slobbering drunk college babes won’t notice, but slobbering drunk post-college babes might.
Ice, Ice Baby
Chief Examples: Natty Ice, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Bud Ice, Extra Gold
Advocates include... Many a blue-collar alcoholic father. Plus the homeless.
Drawbacks: Drinking more than a handful of these bad boys is a surefire route to stomach rumblings later in the night. There’s also that whole homeless people stigma: in some cities, iced beers are prohibited to discourage people like Native Americans and the Irish from entering convenience stores.
This is a good choice if ... You’re dead set on going to bed with a minus. Ice beer is the express train to blackout-city, and consuming it typically attracts the type of “resourceful” girls who target guys with their heads craned over a toilet at 2 A.M.
The One the Hipsters Appropriated
Chief Examples: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Advocates include... people in skinny jeans, flannel and faux glasses. Also, people who look like they want to be punched in the face. Well, I guess that’s redundant.
Drawbacks: Once upon a time, PBR was the perfect beer: priced along the lines of Keystone Light and Natty while packing way more flavor AND a boosted alcohol-per-volume ratio. Then, somewhere along the line, hipster nation came along and branded it as their own. Now you can’t order one without being immediately stereotyped as a HUGE P*SSY.
This is a good choice if... You’re in some kitschy bar where the babes wear vintage tees and don’t wax their fem-staches. Careful, though: I’ve heard smoking Parliaments and listening to folk music can be sexually-transmitted.
Chief Examples: Heineken, Stella Artois, Amstel Light
Advocates include... post-grads with entry-level corporate jobs and an inflated sense of self-importance.
Drawbacks: Being associated with the aforementioned crowd. Unless that’s what you’re going for, which really isn’t all that bad of a look, p*ssy-poaching-wise.
This is a good choice if... You’re wearing a suit and can do a passable impersonation of a banker bro. Or you’re an actual banker bro. These beers are infused with a special additive that makes them smell like straight cash, which could lead to you bedding some Xanax-addicted prep-school alum with an aversion to wearing underwear.
Chief Examples: Anything by New Belgium, Magic Hat, Flying Dog, Dogfish Head ... the list is a long one.
Advocates include... Connoisseurs and people who want to give off the impression that they are connoisseurs.
Drawbacks: You can’t drink ‘em fast and you can’t drink more than a few without a serious gut-bomb collecting in the pit of your stomach. Try chugging one if you want to see what color beer assumes when mixed with bile.
This is a good choice if... You want a casual beer or five over dinner. After that, switch to something more watered-down or pay the price in stomach cramps.
Chief Examples: You got your whites, your reds, and your pinks (“rosés”), as well as some fancier sh*t that doesn’t merit mention here.
Advocates include... People on dates, parents, and smelly Mediterraneans.
Drawbacks: Stained teeth, vicious hangovers, loss of fine motor skills that often results in shattered wine glasses.
This is a good choice if... You’re one-on-one with a chick. Chicks f*cking love drinking wine. It makes them feel sophisticated while also rendering them just as drunk as a six-pack of Natty would. But be warned: your farts won’t smell as bad when you pull the Dutch Oven on her the following morning.
The Standard Mixed Drink
Chief Examples: I count five: gin and tonic, vodka tonic, vodka soda, rum and Coke, Jack and Coke.
Advocates include... Girls who mistakenly believe these drinks to be lower-calorie than light beer, beer drinkers looking to come off a touch classier because of the nature of present establishment (say, a club, as opposed to “Insert Irish Surname Here’s”).
Drawbacks: Pricier than beer and also alarmingly easy to spill all over the dance floor – especially if you are white.
This is a good choice if... You missed out on the pregame and need to catch up. Stat. Alcohol mixed with something non-alcoholic hits the bloodstream about twice as fast. Not to mention the fact that vodka soda tastes like, well, soda that DOESN’T have vodka in it, thus enabling you to hustle down three or four in a matter of minutes. Just beware the sneaky drunk: one minute you’re sober as a Mormon, and then – BAM! -- next thing you know, you’re asking an officer to loosen the cuffs and un-jam his nightstick from your formerly virgin brown-eye.
Chief Example: Red bull (upper) plus vodka (downer). Kids these days.
Advocates include... The clubbing crowd. Think Jersey.
Drawbacks: Usually runs you about twice as steep as any of the Standard Mixed Drinks just mentioned. Also known to be an effective blackout primer. Just ask my roommate, who loves two things in this world: RbVs and being bounced from bars. No coincidence there.
This is a good choice if... Someone else is paying. Or you’re in New Jersey. Just remember to spray on your tan and get yourself up to full pump before you hit the club.