The Suitcase Lady


January 16, 2018, 9:43 pm

My husband never drank beer until he got a job at the Schlitz Brewery. The company had an employee cafeteria where free lunches were served. The lunches were accompanied by free beer.

But the ultimate perk of the job was to become a beer tester. If an employee had a palate that could identify different beer qualities (hoppy, malty, etc.), that lucky person could spend every Friday afternoon sampling different brews in the tasting lab…..and be paid for doing so.

Although my spouse made it through the early rounds of the qualifying process, he did not get to the finals.

However, as a result of his brewery job, he did become a life long beer drinker of one glass of beer with dinner. And being an honest man, he admits that the beer he drinks need not be the most expensive. After all, he flunked beer 101.

For many years now, he has been on the quest for a beer which costs 50 cents a can. That is the price he has established that blends beer satisfaction and economy. In an age when craft or boutique breweries are littering the streets of all our major cities, I find his approach extremely refreshing.

Which brings us to last week. I was in the kitchen making dinner when he walked in with a smile on his face and said, ” I found a beer that costs 30 cents a can.”

“Could that possibly be drinkable,” was my response.

“I don’t know because I didn’t buy it. I had to get 24 cans to get that price, and if it proved to be undrinkable, I didn’t want to be stuck with 23 cans. I’ll see if I can get one can or bottle somewhere to try it out.”

The brand of beer was Hamm’s. That brought back a flood of memories for both of us and not of the beer itself. The original Hamm’s brewery in St. Paul had one of best and most beloved advertising campaigns ever devised. For people of a certain age, it is etched in their brains. See for yourself here.


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