St Ides

Today’s Mistake: St Ides. Your favorite malt liquor’s favorite malt liquor.



8.2% alcohol by volume

22 ounce bottle

Price: $2.95

ABQ: 23.38

So, back in early to mid 1990s (malt liquor’s heyday if ever it had one), there was an extensive St Ides marketing campaign featuring many of the most popular rappers. The commercials varied in content, length, and quality, but generally all featured one or several rappers championing their favorite malt liquor in 4 or 8 bar verses.

Imagine a rapper, or any popular musician, shilling for malt liquor in 2019. They’d be ridiculed to death on Twitter! At the risk of sounding nostalgic for something I never experienced personally (I was, like, three years old when most of these came out), you have to admire the earnestness and sincerity of these St Ides ads. Take my favorite one, which features King Tee and DJ Pooh:

Even for a throwaway brand endorsement rap song, it’s still pretty good! You get the feeling that both parties were genuinely thrilled at the partnership. Look at how much fun King Tee is having (and sorry, the YouTube capture is in 30p):

Nowadays, St Ides is owned and brewed by Pabst Brewing Company, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, it was founded by the McKenzie River Corporation (they were sued in 1991 for marketing to underage drinkers). I like to think the McKenzie River Corporation advertising department were racking their brains at some point in 1987, desperate for a way to extend their brand reach, and somebody popped on Straight Outta Compton.

King Tee isn’t exactly a household name in 2019, and I don’t know if he was in 1989, either, but they did manage to snag a ton of big name artists. Did you know The Notorious B.I.G. did one (his review: the taste is great, and less filling)?

And so did the Wu Tang Clan (or at least Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, and maybe ODB was in there somewhere):

Talk about a brand truly knowing itself! My personal favorite is the Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg spot from 1994. Snoop shape-shifts from his dog form within the first 10 seconds and I think that’s the only endorsement you really need:

Having watched all of the St Ides commercials, and many several times, I often wonder what the rappers of today would endorse? Lil’ Yachty for Juul? Cardi B for veneers? Kanye for Sertraline? Make it happen!

Here’s some alcohol that isn’t very good.

Color

Amber/copper, looks just like every malt liquor ever produced.

Taste

You’re walloped with a corn syrup hammer, which rapidly gives way to a pronounced but not unpleasant alcohol singe.

Mouthfeel

Lightly carbonated and syrupy.

Packaging

Iconic! What the hell is that design, anway? I always thought it looked like palm trees.

Price

I think three bucks for 22 ounces of St Ides is a fine deal.

Final Verdict

I haven’t consumed an entire bottle of St Ides in nearly a decade, and I’m not going to start again now, but I was actually expecting a lot worse. If I wanted to get truly ripped and only had 10 bucks, I think three St Ides would be tolerable. 3 out of a possible 5.

Weird YouTube Channel of the Week – Adrian Yancelson (9 subscribers)

The only thing I love more than good rap music is really shitty rap music, and old Adrian here has you covered in that department. I wrote an article a long time ago that compiled six or seven songs by terrible white rappers, and the Young Risers were the inspiration for that piece. There’s too much to say about this, please just watch it:

It’s like watching a car crash, only with 4,354 lens flares.  If you visit Adrian’s page, you’ll see another Young Risers video, which is equally terrible but in a less funny way, along with a few of Adrian’s solo cuts. But the real star of the show is whatever the fuck this is supposed to be:

OK.

  1. The title is misspelled several times
  2. The guy panhandling is wearing a sweatshirt despite sweating profusely
  3. He’s playing a ukulele
  4. The dad is two scotch and sodas away from saying something racist
  5. The little kid is the best actor by some margin
  6. Adrian blurred the Snapple logo on the vending machine

Luckily for us, Adrian never pursued his directing or rap careers, and instead appears to work for the Houston Astros. And look at this, his family likes baseball!