Author: Samuel Sly
Not many people know this is actually the second coming of BnL. The website is about journeys – beer soaked journeys. The voyage of how we arrived at this point is a beer soaked tale that never really gets discussed because it involves a bit of failure. Sometimes previous failures don’t need to be shared, but where would the “Loathing” in our name be without a few fucking failures? Maybe it’s the beer talking, but I’m compelled to tell the story about how a couple of friends decided to turn a drinking habit into an ongoing collection of drunken stories.
BnL was conceived over several Schlitzs at Mercury Bar in Grand Rapids in 2011. I remember it clearly (A rare occasion), there was one person at the bar, the bartender, Pete and I. There were a handful of quality craft taps available, but Pete and I were giddy as school girls getting their make up done for the first time to have a couple of draft Schlitzs. That’s when Pete hit me with his idea: let’s start a blog aimed at taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to sites like Beer Advocate and Rate Beer. Our angle? We’d only rate the worst beers we could find.
I loved the idea. I wish we could access some of the first reviews we did. The first one we put up was for Goldmine Lager, an offshoot brand of Coors. To this day I’m amazed how many shitty lagers we were able to find. There’s still video on YouTube of a regular feature we planned to do where we tried warming beers up to body temp and called it the “Pissillation test.” God that was gross. Maybe we’ll bring that back. Here’s the video for your enjoyment, err, historical reference.
Like so many things involving Schlitz, the first rendition of BnL eventually circled the drain and went down the shitter. I guess if you’re heating up beer to mimic piss, what can you expect? Our domain name was shut down because we didn’t pay our hosting service. It didn’t matter since I lost my login information almost weekly. A BnL “review session” basically became code for “Hey, let’s get drunk on some cheap beer,” which was cool because we ended up hanging out all night laughing about what fucking awful beer we were drinking. I dare you to find a better way to bond.
After a year or so of no activity, I started getting the itch to bring the site back. I read some old reviews, but I wanted them to have some more meat. I wanted to make a story out of these beers we tried because, let’s face it, you can only say a beer tastes like shit/piss so many ways. However, there could be a never-ending slew of stories behind WHERE we drank the stuff. Beer was the common denominator everywhere we went; why not explore the places we drank and observe or talk to the other people that were drinking in those places? How is it some people can base so much of their identity on beer while other’s give absolutely zero shits? What’s the draw to the different places people throw a few back? We could be the guys asking the hard questions and drinking the gross beers. And that’s where I intend to take this blog.
That’s Beer n’ Loathing’s journey so far. If you’re riding with us, we’re just getting to Bat Country. The site is constantly evolving, and who knows, maybe this version will eventually fail too but that just means we will fine tune the idea and be back. I’m pretty sure shit’s just going to get weirder and better based on our journey to this point, and that makes me excited as hell to keep the expedition going.
An open mind and a few beers can make anywhere an adventure.