Thursday, July 15, 2010

Schlitz Tall Boys: Back To Where It All Began

The year was probably 1978 or 1979, and I was hanging out with my dad and my grandpa in the backyard on Moraine Drive in Lincoln, Nebraska.  It was a warm September Saturday, and we were listening to a Cornhuskers road game on the transistor radio, where Big Red was doubtlessly humiliating a hapless Iowa State or something. 

Dad and Gramps were drinking beer, and I asked them if I could try it.  I almost remember them glancing furtively to make sure that mom and Grammy weren't around before they offered me a sip.  I remember it being bubbly and very odd tasting -- but not altogether unpleasant.

And I remember the can.  It was bigger than the average Coke can, and the scripted Schlitz logo contrasted sharply with the words TALL BOY that were inscribed across the front.  "Why do they call it a tall boy when boys aren't supposed to drink beer?" I wondered aloud, in a classic question that only a 10-year-old kid would muster.  I don't recall the answer, if there was one then or if there is one now.

Schlitz and I drifted apart after that.  I didn't have another sip of beer until I was in my latter years of high school, and by that time, Schlitz had been acquired, the recipe jiggered and on its way to oblivion.  And besides, I was more interested in getting my hands on Bud Light, the gold standard aristocrat of high school beer.

Today though, the tall boy is back in all of its Schlitz glory.  It's a brilliant stroke of nostalgic marketing genius, to be sure -- but you know what?  This beer is pretty damn good on a hot, sticky, lawn-mowing Saturday -- the perfect yard beer for my money.  The new can touts the "classic 60s formula," and it is indeed fuller-bodied and less watery than most budget beers, yet it's light enough to throw back on a hot afternoon. 

I've found that it's a bit of a challenge to find it -- one of the guys at the liquor store says they can hardly keep it in stock. That's too bad... because when you're out of Schlitz... you're out of beer!

1 comment:

  1. If you're not drinking Tall Boys, you don't know Schlitz