Illustration by Jandos Rothstein
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein

The District is currently awash in myriad macro brews and regional expressions—AKA the shitty beers Momofuku CCDC founder David Chang famously can’t stop (won’t stop?) guzzling. And he’s not alone. Local tastemakers occasionally still wrap their well-trained lips around old favorites. Here’s what they love, and what they don’t.

Derek Brown, owner/operator of Columbia Room, Eat the Rich, Mockingbird Hill, The Passenger, and Southern Efficiency

Yea: My “cheap, watery swill” is Bud Light. I truly love it.

Nay: I don’t really like PBR. Sorry, hipsters.

Greg Engert, beer director/brewer at Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Yea: Just this past weekend, as a groomsman slated for a later speech in an Upstate [New York]  wedding, I gladly tapped, cracked, and sipped ice cold cans of Utica Club.

Nay: My earliest drinking involved one of the old-school classics—Genesee Cream Ale—and this undoubtedly encouraged my desire for something more when it came to American beer.

Patrick Mullane, co-founder/vice president at Hellbender Brewing Company

Yea: My go-to cheap-ass beer is Miller High Life. I spent a few years moonlighting in the kitchen at the old Toledo Lounge in Adams Morgan. The kitchen was 110 degrees and the servers would bring me a cold bottle of High Life towards the end of the night.

Nay: Straight Budweiser—A.K.A. Bud Heavy. It’s sickly sweet and sits in my stomach like a rock. One can will end my night.

Michael Saccone, general manager of Hank’s on the Hill and Twisted Horn

Yea: High Life has always been and always will be my go-to cheap beer of choice. I’ve always found it to be super light and crisp and refreshing.

Nay: Bud Light, which I absolutely despise.

Jon Taub, chef/owner of Bub and Pop’s

Yea: Steel Reserve 211—cheap and gets you where you’re trying to get to.

Nay: Steel Reserve—it already deleted five years of my life.   

Tony Tomelden, owner/operator of The Pug and Brookland’s Finest

Yea: I’m a whiskey guy 99 percent of the time. If I have to drink a beer, it’s generally Coors Light.

Nay: Not really any specific one I refuse to drink.

Rob Weland, chef/owner of Garrison

Yea: I drank a lot of Schaefer back in the day growing up in New Jersey. Cheap and cold!

Nay: Milwaukee’s Best—the Beast. That’s just terrible beer.

Want to try some nostalgic shitty beer? Head here: 

Miller High LifeMilwaukee, Wis. The self-proclaimed “champagne of beers” has been fueling benders since 1903. Pound one at Molly Malone’s or Twisted Horn. 

Narragansett LagerProvidence, R.I. A blast from the past for suds=sipping New Englanders. Pound one at Boundary Stone or Luke’s Lobster.

National BohemianBaltimore, Md. Natty Boh was Charm City’s claim to adult beverage fame before The Brewer’s Art upped the ante. Pound one at Eat the Rich or The Pug. 

Pabst Blue RibbonMilwaukee, Wis. A private equity firm absorbed the one-time dive bar staple in 2014. Pound one at The Big Hunt or Hill Country. 

Yuengling LagerPottsville, Pa. The oldest continuously operating brewery in America has been cranking out thirst quenchers for nearly two centuries. Pound one at Black Jack or Clyde’s.