In honor of Charlotte Craft Beer Week, I feel compelled to say this: a year and a half ago, I had three sips of Trappist Westvleteren 12. At the time, fewer than 100 people in North Carolina had ever had it. Monks in Belgium brew it only when they run short on cash. You can only buy it directly from the abbey, a case or two at a time. You have to call ahead with the license place number of the car you'll use to pick it up.
Somebody got a bottle. Seven of us split it. My three sips represented the pinnacle of my beer drinking career.
I hit bottom during the summer of 2001. I rented an apartment in the attic of a house a few blocks away from Ohio State University. The only air conditioner was a window unit that spit out a 70 degree breeze. My roommate Matt and I were short on cash. To stay cool in the Columbus heat, we bought beer. Terrible, cheap, skunky beer. Here, then, is a user's guide to the worst swill we could get our grubby hands on: