Rob Zacny's beer problem


Rob seems to be having trouble finding regular beers to drink. The way he explains it, he’s been forced into drinking extremely high ABV beers because that’s what’s hip right now. As if every beer on the shelf is some face melting knockout punch in a bottle.

I wanted to post to give some guidance to Rob and perhaps those who listen to him and think what he says is true. Here’s the problem: going to a liquor store to buy beer. Liquor stores are for people who want to get fucked up fast. They cater to this crowd. Of course they stock a bunch of imperial ____ and malt liquor! I think you’ll find that if you walk into a normal grocery store that there’s a much more varied beer selection, plenty of tasty craft beers of comparatively low ABV. Even some of those IPAs that Rob seems to think have gone out of fashion still abound in the brightly lit grocery store aisles where normal people go to buy beer. Liquor stores are for alcoholics. Just go to the grocery store.


I would really caution about overgeneralizing even for the sake of humor. Liquor stores are frequently some of the only places you CAN buy speciality beers, depending on the state (In the US, every state has different alcohol sale laws - some states don’t let you carry liquor or beer in supermarkets, some do, some only let you buy anything at state-run bev places, there’s blue laws for what days you can sell, what times, what times the bar closes. etc.)

That being said, I live in Wisconsin and you can get decent regular ABV ales and lagers and pilsners literally anywhere.


Some states don’t sell beer in grocery stores. :cry:


looks like i should’ve done more research.

i’ve lived in many states and they all had beer available in grocery stores (with liquor in grocery stores being less available).

i need to find what these terrible states are and never move to them.


Yeah I was about to say go to grocery stores but I live in NY where even the most basic grocery stores have a wide range of drinks. I do have a good tip which is talk to the Liquor store’s owner and if he will to help you should be in the good on getting the proper drink.


Be grateful you aren’t in many parts of Canada. Molson and Labatt have convinced many provinces that beer should only be sold at the beer store. Often they own said beer store, so they are even profiting when you buy a beer brewed by a small brewery.

Luckily my province isn’t big enough for them to flex their lobbyist weight. We can buy beer at gas stations, convenience stores and liquor stores, with most grocery stores having a liquor store attached.


@mosespippy Eh, it’s not so bad in the bigger provinces. Here in Ontario there is plenty of craft beer sold through the LCBO. My town of Guelph in particular is chock full of excellent local breweries such that I’m never short on selection. Pricing is outrageous, but at least there’s selection.


Pennsylvania. They’ve relaxed things slightly in the past few years but until very recently any and all liquor (beer, wine, spirits, anything whatsoever) was only available at state-run liquor stores. And it’s still mostly that way. If you were to go to the grocery store looking for beer you would be very disappointed.


I just tweet him forty or fifty beer recommendations. I’ve worked in bars for over a decade now. If anyone needs beer advice hit me up.


Really happy to live in a country with a state run monopoly on alcohol. You can always find interesting beers or wine or something else. And if your local store doesn’t have it you can order it in for free.


Being in the UK I had to google what exactly Malt Liquor is, and looks like it’s just beer with a certain ABV right?

A lot of craft beers I drink would probably be called malt liquor I think, like this I had last night?

I always assumed it was some kind of speciality beverage we didn’t have over here.


Malt Liquor is generally considered to be a lower quality beer adjacent beverage, purchased because it’s extremely cheap, and sold in 40 oz. bottles (forties). Essentially if you’re a college kid with 5 dollars to your name, you can get hammered really fast. There’s also a popular game I don’t recommend called edward 40 hands in which you tape two forties to your hands and can’t remove them until you’re done.

I guess the reason why it’s funny that Rob got a craft malt liquor is because it’s like making a gourmet hotdog.

Also I think things like Smirnoff Ice and Lime-a-Ritas are made from malt liquor…


Does Rob drink Wine? Would that be a good replacement for the malt he been surrounded by?


Just say no, kids. The hangover is never worth the glory.


Unfortunately living in a capital city I could literally walk round the corner to a gimmick restaurant where ‘gourmet hotdogs’ are absolutely a thing.

It’s called Bubbledogs and the premise is ‘gourmet hotdogs’ and champagne.


I think you’ll find that if you walk into a normal grocery store that there’s a much more varied beer selection, plenty of tasty craft beers of comparatively low ABV.


America needs to be stopped.


Beer is malt liquor, but not all malt liquors are beer. What distinguishes the malt liquor into it’s own commercial category in the US is adding “extra” malts in order to jack up the alcohol content. Nowadays, with craft beers and the hop boom, the distinction between déclassé malt liquor and regular beer is basically zero; you see a lot of bargain IPAs on the shelf that are essentially dry-hopped Country Club that tries to cover everything up.


I only go to the states very rarely. Last month I was in the country for a conference, the first time I’d been to the states in two years, and I definitely noticed what Rob was talking about. Out and about, it felt hard to find a beer that was less than 6-7%, which left me drinking Bud/Natty Lite on evenings when I didn’t want to mess with that.

Craft Beer in the UK is also slowly moving on from your nice, hoppy as hell 3-5% Sessions IPAs and honestly, those are my favourite kinds of beers. I want to get a slow, flavoursome buzz on (and potentially destroy my palette for the rest of the night along the way). I do not care for these 6%+ IPAs or weird ass flavoured stouts.


I see where you’re coming from with this. I like to sip on some hoppy low abv beers, especially when it’s saturday afternoon and I just want to sit outside and enjoy the day.

But I’d argue that sometimes a higher abv beer will allow for more flavor explorations than would a lower abv beer. Like, if I’m drinking a double IPA that’s 8%+, I know I’m probably going to get more of a play with malts to counteract the alcohol burn. Since I also like 'em hoppy, it’s always interesting to me how they’ll bring that hop flavor back to the forefront without letting the sweetness of the malts dominate.

“More interesting flavor explorations” might be a better way of putting it than “more flavor explorations,” but you get the idea.


I work a summer job as a grocery store cashier in Massachusetts, and we don’t sell any alcohol. I don’t claim to know Rob’s personal life, but he often brings up Massachusetts on the podcast. There’s a fair likelihood that Rob’s local grocery store doesn’t carry alcohol.