I’ll admit that things took a downhill turn for me once I graduated from Drexel with my creative writing degree in hand. Things just went from bad to worse, and now here I am in the streets. I used to write the weekly beer column for The Rectangle, but now all I have left to remember those days by is a handful of newspaper clippings (which actually are handy for insulation) and a moderate case of alcoholism. As the wise African elder Chinua Achebe once said, “Things fall apart.”


Life after graduation wasn’t all bad — in fact, I had a good job for a while. For two weeks full-time, I stood by the side of the road wearing a giant sign advertising a Mattress Giant going out of business sale to passing cars. It was a really good gig, but they had to let me go after a minor incident. Though I have no recollection of it, they say I blacked out in a drunken haze and then defecated inside the mattress costume they gave me, irreparably damaging it and causing a minor public health crisis.


Anyway, now that I’m finally getting back on my feet, I decided the time was right to get back to my beer column for The Rectangle. Today we take a journey into the world of malt liquors; a world littered by empty 40-ounce bottles and washed up rappers.


After a long day of cleaning windshields on Spring Garden Street, I was looking for a fun way to spend my $3.89 earnings. I took a finance class one time, so I know it’s important to diversify investments or whatever. I thought it might be best to spend a dollar or so trying to acquire some cigarettes, and then spend the remaining money on a payphone call to my ex-girlfriend, who I know still loves me and just needs some time to figure things out.


But then I remembered that I was sober, so I headed to the local convenience store in search of a quaffable brew in which to partake. Aware of my extensive knowledge of fermented intoxicants and my current financial tribulations, the astute shopkeeper recommended to me a fine yet affordable beverage: none other than Olde English 800 malt liquor.


Olde English 800 is an English-style old ale, which means it’s aged for years prior to sale. Primary aging occurs in the back of a distributor warehouse for several months, and final aging takes place in the well-lit refrigerator unit at Carlos’ mini mart in West Philly. The ‘800’ represents 800 years of quality brewing by Olde English and is symbolic of their relentless quest to craft the finest malt liquor on the market. The product is even sold in a clear bottle so that you can see the quality with your eyes.


The beer is brilliantly clear and takes on an almost majestic golden hue. Subtle hints of sweet malts and tart urine come through in the aroma, though I can’t rule out the possibility that I just peed myself. Taking a sip, the pleasant bubbly carbonation is enjoyable. Few things tingle the palate like the bubbles of cheap malt liquor. Well, meth also tingles the palate, but it’s a little different. It’s more like a bitter, chemical burn sensation. But anyway, the beer tastes pretty good. Well, now I’m 40 ounces deep, and I’m pretty drunk, so mission accomplished I guess! Cheers!