Nostalgic Debauchery And The Neighbors Who Get Me

So I was sitting up at the Illinois-Nebraska tailgate last week when I got a text from a neighbor. He was in a relative’s garage and found some old beer cans. He said they made him think of me and wanted to know if I was interested in them.

Let’s gloss over life decisions I have made that would make someone immediately think of me when they stumble upon old beer, and just acknowledge that yeah, I have a known personality trait.

Also, cool find and welcome additions to the collection.

It was a tad serendipitous I was at a UofI football game when he sent me a picture of a 1983 Illini Beer, unopened. This was made by Great Lakes Brewing, over in Indiana. 1983 was the year the football team went 10-2. The beer has a disclaimer stating the University had nothing to do with it, basically. It’s not super rare, and not of any real value monetarily, but it is a neat addition to the collection, next to the M.A.S.H. beer and other things worth more in nostalgia than money.

The beer on the right I was not familiar with. Pig’s Eye Lean was brewed in Minnesota in the early 90s, by what was at that time the Minnesota Brewing Company. It has had several names over the years. Pig’s Eye was named after Pierre Parent, “who was the first person of European descent to live within the borders of what would eventually become the city of Saint Paul. His exploits propelled him to local fame and infamy, with his name briefly adorning the village that would one day become Minnesota’s capital city,” according to Wikipedia.

For anyone my age or older, the glass in the middle was probably greeted with a “Hey, Spuds!” Spuds MacKenzie was the Bud Light mascot in the late 80s, debuting at the 1987 Super Bowl.

Spuds was the coolest animal on the planet for a couple of years. I don’t care what Strom Thurmond said. Spuds, actually played by a female dog, was retired in 1989, with Anheuser-Busch claiming Spuds was overshadowing the product. Because of course he was.

The 111 in Clay City always had a Spuds MacKenzie on top of the old bar. That was the one piece of memorabilia I always wanted from the hometown bar. I never did hear what happened to it after they closed.


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