50 Comments
Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

YES I get to be the Chicago Handshake guy:

Malort + Oldstyle, baby. Sometimes tallboy, sometimes not. Best at Archie's Rockwell, imo. Empty Bottle also good.

also as a post-lagunitas survivor, hoping I land some gig that gets me into the paid tiers soon, but I still appreciate getting the writing from you I do.

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

I should have known someone would beat me to the Chicago Handshake. Best at whatever your local neighborhood dive is. Although as someone who doesn't really like beer, my version is whatever cider is available + Malort.

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author

Hell yeah Chicago Handshake!

Tell me more about post-Lagunitas survival, wouldja? I'm all ears: dave@dinfontay.com

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

I hate to do this, so I'm going to throw it out there and run away. In the fall, when I am crushing the Halloween vibe, I stock up on whatever nice pumpkin ale is available in Des Moines (Dogfish Head Punkin last year). I pour one into a chilled lager glass and carefully drop in a shot glass full of Pinnacle whipped cream vodka. Almost as good as grandma's pumpkin pie! This isn't an Iowa thing, it's a crazy old lady thing.

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author

Alright honestly this... doesn't sound terrible? DON'T RUN, THIS IS A SAFE PLACE!

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

Wow this sounds like a good thing, I'll have to try it this fall!

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

Lew Bryson and John Holl just gave me a shitball hazy and shot of tequila on Tuesday. But that was in Philadelphia of course. And I resented all of it.

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author

Did you file a police report?

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

Of course. But only after being assaulted by Lew’s lovely cackle.

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The Passenger in DC would always have some topical name for the same shot/beer combo every week, which was always Old Overholt and a Schlitz Tallboy for $8.

Red Derby, another stable of DC drinking, has an expansive menu of boilermakers. Here's the two I could find at present: You’ve Got Crabs (Natty Boh and Old Bay vodka), Craft Cocktail (Miller High Life and So Co and Lime)

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Jun 8Liked by Dave Infante

"You've Got Crabs." God Damn. I am no longer young enough to try THAT.

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author

Can't spell "pubic lice" without "pub"

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author

Yeah that's the good shit right there. Blue & Gold in NYC is/was sorta like Red Derby, I think.

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Very far away and quite niche, but in Hobart Tasmania the ol’ Blakey is a 7oz of the darkest beer on tap and a healthy 2oz of Lark Single Malt.

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author

Verrrry far away! Who is the "Blakey" in "Ol' Blakey" ?

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Jun 13·edited Jun 13Liked by Dave Infante

Bannock Street Garage in Denver used to (may still, it's been a minute) have the Billy Jack: PBR, well whiskey, and a loosey for $5.

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Jun 12Liked by Dave Infante

Steigl Radler and a shit of Tequila- Has to be Grapefruit, but most blancos work

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Jun 12Liked by Dave Infante

Started drinking these when I was working as a bar back in Houston

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author

Yeah that sounds like some good shit right there. Was there a name for it, or did you just call the order?

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I don’t remember the name exactly. Some people would ask for the shot of tequila “down the neck” if they wanted it mixed in the can. I’ve also seen it with a shot of gin.

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Jun 10Liked by Dave Infante

Jackie Lee’s in DC has the “Chicago Charcuterie:” Miller High Life

(no Old Style in DC), Malort, snack-size Slim Jim as well as great high-class (for a dive bar) Taco Bell https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2024/05/14/tacos-crunch-wrap-popup-jackie-lees-dc/

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author

Hell yeah to all of the above

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Jun 8Liked by Dave Infante

Deer and a Beer (Jager and a Hamms at Lily's Snack Bar in NC)

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author

Fuck! I didn't even know they did this, and I've BEEN THERE! That place rocks: https://www.fingers.email/p/lilys-snack-bar-forever

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Jun 8Liked by Dave Infante

Ordering a "Lunch Box" was a (minor) thing in the 00s in Dallas. We knew what they were asking for but I don't recall it being a special at any particular bar.

Some broke young guy would ask "do you guys have a lunch box or something?" and we would just mentally add the price of a well whisky and a light lager and say "Yeah man, $8."

Thinking back, I wonder if a college town was responsible for this phenomenon. College Station, Lubbock, Norman?

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Jun 8Liked by Dave Infante

From Ohio, we always could order Brews and Dews, which almost always was a PBR and a shot of Tullamore Dew.

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author

Brews and Dews is pretty great. I'm surprised it was PBR over like... a Hudy, or even Iron City or Yuengling, or something. Were those not very big? (I guess this depends on where in Ohio you live/d, too.)

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Primarily Columbus, Ohio. Yuengling was late to the state and not as popular as a result. Hudy would have been a good call - I feel like this was usually in dive bars whose selection wasn't huge.

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

the one i broke records with in the late '90s (for talking folks into something they regretted about half the time) was a shot of Jim Beam Rye with — well a quick pint of whatever, if there was a keg present, but preferably a Red Hook unfiltered Rye ale. (not sure whether that traveled out of WA at any point.)

now that you made me recall that, i might have to slo-mo test the waters with Bulleit and a Farmhouse Rye our neighborhood brewpub makes...

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author

Jim Beam Rye, eesh. What'd you call it? Rye on Rye? Rye Two Ways?

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Jun 8Liked by Dave Infante

early college days, my creative juices were untapped. except once i was just babbling about one of my favorite parts of The Blues Brothers, and someone thought I was naming that boilermaker "Three Orange Whips!"

. permission to take this exchange back to my more indestructible self? 'Two Ways' would've blown my mind.

now I might call it a "Ry Cooler", since most if my people have discovered Ry Cooder... but to avoid punishment and stick it in its time and place: the South Sound Plunger.

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

The Old Pro, a now sadly closed bar in Palo Alto, CA, had a shot-and-a-beer daily special. My favorite was Don Gordo Mexican Lager with a shot of tequila.

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author

RIP to the Old Pro 😢

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

At my favorite dive bar in Astoria (Dominie's on 30th Ave) for me it was Bushmills and a Brooklyn Lager. Nothing crazy but that combo got me through many bad days.

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During Pabst’s comeback years, PB & J was a popular shot/beer special at a number of bars in Brooklyn, usually for about $5 - shot of Jameson and a can of PBR. Also, in the Netherlands, there’s a drinking tradition called Kopstiotje where they serve you Jenever with a wheat beer - you take the first sip of the Jenever from a tulip glass with your hands behind your back, then alternate sips of Jenever with the beer. Got severely fucked up doing this one night at a place called Arendsnest in Amsterdam, delicious and deadly

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author

PB & J! C-l-a-s-s-i-c.

Kopstiotje and wheat beer, huh? I do not... want that.

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The liquor is Jenever, actually, Kopstootje is the nickname for it. I think they served it with Fraziskaner IIRC, definitely something in a Hefe glass. It’s a weird combo for sure

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

Oregon: IPA and whiskey

(For me personally, IPA and a hit from the vape pen)

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author

Ah yes, the Elder Millennial Boilermaker

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

I've also heard the "happy meal" nomenclature thrown around.

Out here, YaYa's Cookbook has a "Short Pump Special" with a menu item that reads "Can of crap beer and a shot of bourbon."

It feels like "crap beer" really is the spirit of the thing. Don't try to premiumize or make fancy the beer or spirit in a boilermaker. They're meant to be cheap.

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author

The Thai place? Go figure!

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

Yeah, same owners as Sabai. Pretty good cocktail focus, but not as genuinely tiki as Sabai. Great food.

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author

Haven't been to Sabai in YEARS. We should go!

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

lone star tall boy + a shot of whiskey was a “happy meal” at a variety of Austin shitholes in the 00s

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author

Oh shit that's perfect. What was the whiskey? Anything in particular, or just the well?

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Jun 7Liked by Dave Infante

for $5 you sure weren’t getting anything above well!

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Late to the party, but at a bar in Cambridge, MA (Cambridge Common) yesterday the menu had a whole section of what they called "Adult Happy Meals"

- "Industry Standard": Jameson & High Life

- "Irish Goodbye": Tullamore Dew & Guinness

- "NE Handshake": Malort & Narragansett [I didn't know we could get Malort around here]

- "Out of this world": Fernet + UFO White

- "Deer + Beer": Jagermeister + Zero Gravity Green State

- "Lite Lunch": Espolon Blanco + Bent Seltzer

https://photos.app.goo.gl/H6Ccw8fYTD2KxM6J9

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State Park in Cambridge does a few with shots of cocktails. Go to is the Hixson, miller high life with a shot of a Toronto. At home, it’s Gansett and fernet

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There may be established classics, but I found the best situation I'd ever seen at Tomaso's Canteen in Portland, ME. They have a SECTION of their menu that is just "boilermaker" pairings. This may be a collection of classics from various parts of the country, but I think they're just making shit up....it isn't in their online menu, but a look at photos attached to their Google listing will give you a look.

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