Hello everyone, and welcome to The Beer Idiot. Join me as we explore, investigate and even celebrate the more overlooked and underpriced adult beverage offerings from the bottom shelf.

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It wasn't that long ago that you could've counted the number of alcoholic drinks I'd had in the previous 365 days on one hand. For a variety of reasons, I had been as temperate as a damn church mouse (?) But with the harrowing specter of an icy winter looming, I decided that not drinking was bullshit, and that a sober holiday season was not in the cards. I don't want to be rolling my eyes while my drunk uncle drones on and on about how, in his day, shoes were made of metal and, by god, if the service drafted your dog, then you wished him good luck because serving your country is an honor dammit. I want to be the drunk uncle! And nobody ever got drunk drinking gravy.

When you're picking up the sauce after a long layover, you're not exactly hankering for the peatiest 40 year single malt ever to congeal out of an Aberdeen bog. And since this web log is a safe space, I can admit that I never have. In our current cultural climate, where "small batch" and "artisanal" are designations approaching currency, that's less of an unpopular opinion than it is a scarlet letter. But convention and IPAs be damned, I'm embracing it! I like shitty booze. I like buying it, I like drinking it, and when the tide finally turns and it's considered embarrassingly parochial to walk out of the local brewpub with a sixer of HoppyTown Hoppocalypse II in tow, I'll like gloating about it.

If, like me, your ears perk up at the sound of "domestic longnecks", then consider this the inaugural meeting of the Shitty Booze Club. Leave your bottle openers and persnickety taste buds at the door. If you're reading this after refreshing your Whiskey Stones, on the other hand, congrats on making it this far without saying "where's the juniper?" But don't fuck off just yet. You're welcome here, too. Bring an open mind and $5. We're gonna get you hammered.

For now, we'll be whetting our whistles in absentia, but since I haven't exactly been mowing down the beer aisles of late, I want to use this time to stock up on some recommendations. Join me below to discuss a particularly memorable bare bones brew you'd like to revisit with me in a future edition of the column, or to tell me why 7 is the perfect number of filtrations for a $60 vodka , if you wanna be an asshole about it. And to give you plenty of chance to call ahead and put it on hold, I'll let you know the subject of our next piece, so we can enjoy it (or not) together. Until then, folks, keep chugging.

Next Week: Miller Lite