Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bottomshelf Beer Reviews: Steel Reserve

What is “the Riddle of Steel?”  According to the documentary Conan the Barbarian, if you don’t know the answer Crom will cast you out of Valhalla and laugh at you.  Sucks to be you.  To discover the Riddle of Steel we will be drinking one of the worst beers imaginable: Steel Reserve.

 My most vivid memory of drinking Steel Reserve in the past was at the apartment of Ramiro Castro Jr.  I remember being anxious to try some after hearing about the high alcohol content, so I stopped and bought some at the 7-11 on the way to hang out with the bros Castro and Brian Skaj.  I don’t remember all the details of the night but I remember that we played risk till 4 AM and the night ended with me vomiting all the Steel Reserve I drank into the toilet whilst Ramiro stood by the open door laughing his fucking ass off.  In fairness to Ramiro, it was pretty funny.  Painful, but funny nonetheless; kind of like getting kicked in the crotch.  Anyway, I returned the favor a couple of years later after he had a few too many pitchers of Olde Style.
Welcom to Loserville. Population: You

Steel Reserve unlike most beers or other malt liquors is a whopping 8.1% alcohol.  For comparison’s sake Miller Lite is 4.2% and Olde English is 5.9%.  It’s cheap as hell too, costing only $1.19 a tall boy.  Steel Reserve is also available in a six-pack or 40oz bottle.  I chose to go with the tall boy, because it was cheaper than the other two, and it meant I had to drink less Steel Reserve.  I went into this review with mixed emotions, on one hand I would have to drink Steel Reserve; on the other hand, after this review is posted, I will never have to drink Steel Reserve again for the rest of my life. 
To lighten the mood, here's Cassie Steele's tits.
Big Ben drunk; about to rape these girls
 The can says that Steel Reserve is made by the Steel Brewing Company, but I did a little research and it’s really just made by Miller.  I guess they were afraid that marketing a “high gravity malt lager” towards homeless people and base degenerates would sully the Miller name.  If they are really concerned with their image they should pull that commercial with the fat dude in a speedo  The can also has a giant 211 on it, which they claim is a “medieval symbol for steel,” but I’ve never seen it used that way anywhere else (and I went to college.)  It’s more likely a reference to the police code for robbery, which gives you an idea of what kind of scum this shit is marketed towards.  The perfect Steel Reserve pitchman would be Ben Roethlisberger.  He’s a STEELer, a serial rapist, and he lives in a boxcar.  
I know nothing about this chick, but I guarantee she'd be down for anything.

I guarantee this tastes better than SR
As for the flavor, Steel Reserve is an apt name because it tastes like metal. Although, personally I think it tastes more like copper than steel.  The metallic taste is a clear indication that they made this shit on the cheap.  Cheaper beers, (anything you’ll read about on this blog) use things like corn, rice and sugar to save money in the brewing process.  It’s true that you can make corn into delicious Kentucky Bourbon, but that only after you filter it, distill it and let it age in an oak barrel.   Corn, fermented on its own tastes like shit and it’s full of poison, not coincidentally Steel Reserve tastes like shit with poison in it.  It tastes really bad cold, and as my tallboy warmed up it became gag inducing.   

I remember reading that during the prohibition era they would brew non-alcoholic beer legally, and then after they sold it to a bar, the owners would typically inject it with moonshine.  Steel Reserve tastes like someone did that.  It’s disgusting. It’s not Gameday bad, but nothing is.  In fact, before I had Gameday Ice I always thought Steel Reserve was the worst beer of all time.  Now I know better, but Steel Reserve sucks.  I don’t recommend it for anyone, except Ben Roethlisberger, because fuck that guy.
"Let it sit in the sewers for awhile.  Then the Steel Reserve will be ready."
 But what is the Riddle of Steel?  According to Thulsa Doom, “steel isn’t strong…flesh is stronger…That is power: the strength and power of flesh. What is steel compared to the hand that wields it?”  But, Thulsa Doom is not to be trusted, and he is wrong.  Sometimes you’re stronger than Steel Reserve, and sometimes you end up tossing your dinner into the toilet while your asshole friend laughs at you.  Contemplate this on the tree of woe.

Conan rules

Would you like to know more?

Check out their website.  Considering Steel Reserve’s base demographic of glue sniffers and dudes that live in refrigerator boxes, it’s surprising that Steel Reserve has a website.  It should be noted, that the website looks like my geocites page I made in high school, and has literally the same amount of information as the can.  There’s not even a crappy flash game.

Would you like to know more?

Greatest band ever.


  1. Dan I don't think I've ever played risk with you and the Castros. Such an event must have been partially hallucinated.

  2. I have been known to remember things wrong, but I remember this pretty vividly, considering the circumstances. We started playing very late at night with Ramiro's vintage copy from the late 50's. I played unusually poor, because I was shit faced. I was the first player eliminated, and I don't know if you finished the game.

  3. Danny you provide a much-needed service to those of us who choose to punich our livers, but not our wallets; To you sir, I say HUZZAH!!

    John Ammons
    Pinehurst, NC

  4. I like your reviews and I read them often. This review for Steel Reserve makes you sound like a bitch-pussy. Please try harder Danny.

  5. Here I am again. I was hoping that Danny updated this review after having his T-level checked and discovering that he was low-T. Unfortunately, this low-testosterone review still exists and I don't think that Danny understands. Light beer is there for you Danny...embrace your vagina.