RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Friday, November 7

Newcastle Brown Ale

AFFORDABILITY: It’s all relative. I don’t drink canned beers anymore, so it’s like I’m a liberal elitist and my tastes have been refined to not make sense to normal people anymore. Even with that standard, a six-pack of Newcastle is usually around $9, which is high end bullshit. But at the Food Lion, 12-packs were only $14, which is cheaper than Corona. Hell, now that the Germans own it, Budweiser 12-packs ain’t too far from that. So because I bought a 12-pack, I will give it the benefit of the doubt, tempered with the fact I bought a sixer for my wife the other day at the local country store run by a college boy. 3 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: Newcastle is a thick ass beer, but sweet. It’s hard to suck down fast enough to get obliterated with though, although I enjoy it just fine as an initial priming of my liquid-distilling insides for a good night of beer-drinking. I do remember getting really fucked up on this shit solely one night at some bar in Richmond that had it on tap and I had a stupid hippie girlfriend at the time who sported the bill, causing me to think $5 drafts were not a ridiculous idea to drink 11 of. 2 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: The Newcastle label, as played out as it looks as I’ve hung out with too many hippie girls in my life, is actually a pretty cool label. Weird yellow/orange color, nice big white oval with the name in red block letters embossed in black. Gold medals from in all likelihood fixed beer contests. And that blue star with the subliminal from a distance black city scene. Plus every beer label needs some subtle wheat and hops doodles. Added bonus because the bottle is imprinted with the words “The One and Only”, which makes this the second most aesthetically perfect molotov cocktail beer bottle, only trailing those little Mickey’s malt liquor grenade bottles they used to make shaped like those plastic huggies drink ghetto children love because they come ten for a dollar with a foil seal on top. 5 out of 5. I was gonna say 4, but it triggered me thinking all that, and now I’m all happy, remembering Community Pride’s shitty assed store on Main Street behind the shithole apartment I lived in, and what a great feel good Friday every day was back then. Potato wedges for breakfast and pork chops for dinner. Using the pay phone at the grocery store on the same block as my house, watching the ghetto assed people strolling by, living a fucking life. Gentrification ruined it though. That Community Pride is now some sort of fancy taphouse and the immediate neighborhood is all rebuilt and painted in pastel colors and I bet you can’t get a lake trout sandwich for twenty blocks if you’re lucky.
CORPORATE MASTER: They sponsor fancy futbol teams, so their limey corporate overlords must be pretty reptilian by David Icke standards, except I’m not a limey so I don’t know about it. And no matter how fucked they might be, just thinking about beer and soccer makes me think of Andy Capp, and I’d like to imagine at one point they had a print advertising campaign with Andy Capp drinking Newcastles. That’s probably completely off-base, but what the fuck do I care? I’m an ignorant ass southern American. 4 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: I will not lie, I like Newcastle Brown Ale. I buy it for my wife and usually snake two of the six, maybe more if she doesn’t drink it fast enough for my liking. Shit, that’s the whole reason I bought a 12-pack, so I could drink more and not feel like I’m taking all her good shit away from her. She has been pregnant or nursing for almost 11 years now. But at the same time, I’ve walked through Grateful Dead parking lots enough times to sort of detest that upper echelon of Deadhead kid pulling a cooler full of Sierra Nevadas and Newcastles behind him, trying to rip me off because they didn’t recognize me from being at the last 38 shows or any Rainbow Gatherings. 2 out of 5.

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