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POWER POLL: Cheap Beer

My scientific analysis of Big Ten teams as cheap beers

Now my esteemed colleague MNWildcat wrote a well done article on beer styles for the power poll last week. He also asked me to not rank PBR number one despite knowing how much I enjoy PBR. Now I’d love to tell him to make like Iowa and get fucked, but I have a better idea that involves throwing more shade at Minnesota /Leidner just threw another pick. So I didn’t necessarily do this list by personal taste, but rather by how useful the beer is. Busch Light is absolutely revolting, but there isn’t a liquor store in America that doesn’t carry it which is really useful at music festivals when A-you’re drinking beer by the gallon and B-they’re charging 30 bucks for a 24 pack of Miller Lite at the campground. I also left out Miller/Bud/Coors Light because those aren’t as much fun. Anyway, on to the last Power Poll if the regular season, and yes I have drank all of these beers at one time or another, except for one. I’ll let you guess which.

1. Ohio State: Hamm’s

252 Pts | 18 FPV | LW: 1

A ridiculously cheap beer that isn’t actually bad tasting Hamm’s also packs more punch than you’d expect (4.7 ABV). It has a long and proud history, much like Ohio State. It is the quintessential cheap beer, just like OSU has proven to be the quintessential Big Ten team again...

2. Michigan: Schlitz

230 Pts | LW: 2

Another classic cheap beer with a long history, Schlitz has been in the conversation of great cheap beers for a long time. However, it isn’t as good (or as cheap) as Hamm’s and if you’re under the age of 70 you probably missed its glory days.

3. Wisconsin: Pabst Blue Ribbon

Pts 215 | LW: 3

PBR gets dinked down to third because while being great tasting, it’s a bit weaker/less talented than the first two. Also depending on where you are its relatively recent emergence can make it a bit pricier in the context of this power poll.

4. Penn State: Natural Light

Pts 200 | LW: 4

A perfectly decent cheap beer, it’s still mostly built on hype and fond memories of former glory. Sure once every blue moon you’d take this over a Hamm’s, but in all reality you’re probably just playing beer pong with it.

5. Iowa: Milwaukee’s Best Light

Pts 178 | LW: 6

Despite being completely nondescript and uncreative even for a cheap beer/Big Ten team, Beast Light manages to get the job done. Good thing with Ferentz’s salary you can afford approximately 250,000 cases of the stuff a year.

6. Nebraska: Supper Club

166 Pts | LW: 5

While technically a craft beer, Supper Club really tastes more like a cheap beer than a craft beer. Also it’s not terribly expensive, which kinda seems like it’s given up on being a craft beer, kinda like Nebraska’s given up on being a national powerhouse. Although it’s “Not Bad”, as the the slogan goes.

7. Minnesota: Grain Belt Premium

139 Pts | LW: 7

Try as hard as it may, Minnesota’s best American Adjunct Lager is just a worse and less nationally relevant brand than its neighbor to the east, PBR. /Leidner just got intercepted again

8. Northwestern: Old Style

130 Pts | LW: 8

“Chicago’s Beer”, Old Style is perfectly mediocre, fitting for Northwestern football. There’s worse beers on this, but there are plenty that are much, much better.

9. Indiana: Busch Light

Pts 106 | LW: 9

Given ridiculously low expectations, Busch Light can usually manage to meet them. Most wouldn’t be happy with 6-6, but hey congrats on bowling back to back seasons for the first time in my lifetime.

10. Maryland: Labatt Blue

90 Pts | LW: 10

The only non American beer on the list, it doesn’t really belong here. It’s also not very good. Do we get any TV money if we drink Labatt?

11. MSU: La Crosse Lager

Pts 69 (nice) | LW: 11

On paper, there’s no reason for La Crosse Lager not to be on par with Hamm’s or Schlitz. The reality is though, it’s not even close. Which is unfortunate for all the fans of La Crosse Lager.

12. Illinois: Keystone Light

54 Pts | LW: 12

An embarrassment on a lot of levels, Keystone Light is what you drink when you can’t have nice things. Still, it manages to be better than the last two items on this list in spite of itself.

13. Purdue: Unknown warm beer out of a keg from last night

43 Pts | LW: 13

I mean it tastes like Keystone and gets the same results as Keystone, it really probably is Keystone. At least it will get you drunk and it has already been paid for...

14. Rutgers: O’Doul’s

18 Pts | LPV: 18 | LW: 14


And the graphs, there wasn’t a whole lot of movement. That will tend to happen when the games go basically as planned.

Some fun end of season ones too!