Paul L. McMurray                 Adult Fiction

                                                                                    Y/A & Middle-Grade Fiction

                                                                                                                        Attempted Humor & other stuff

Zak's 40 Famous Beers


(In Funeral Party, Zak tries out a promotion at his bar, the Lucky Dog Saloon).


For a lot of years I lived in apartments in Chicago and nearby suburbs—Orland Park, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Alsip, Burbank, Justice, and some I that my fuzzy brain doesn’t remember. But in one of those places, I journeyed to a fern bar and saw a flyer tacked to the bulletin board as you entered. It was “Around The World In Eighty Beers,” and each week the bar had one of those, and if you bought one you got your own scorecard punched. After the eighty different beers, you got the Grand Prize: your name on a tiny imitation-brass plaque and—Holy Moly!—a T-shirt with the restaurant’s name on it. Now, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, especially after a few beers, but it finally dawned on me that, at about $4 a beer (and this is mid-to-late 70s prices), my T-shirt and tiny plaque was going to cost me about $320.

            So I quit after 20 different beers (I’m a slow learner), but I have to admit it got me to spend some dough there. That’s where Zak’s “40 Famous Beers” came from—he figured it was a money-maker. Some of the beers listed are indeed from that bar—because I kept them all—but I can’t say which because I got on this kick about saving unique beer bottles and I’ve been doing it ever since. I now have four shelves devoted to them, three-deep each, and of course it keeps growing. My rule is that I have to personally drink the beer—no digging in dumpsters or along the RR tracks.

            I have more than is listed—this is just 40—but feel free to send me suggestions on a new brew to try. I will do so gladly!

            BTW, I got as much info off the bottle as I deemed necessary, or could, in that I am enjoying several Berghoff Bocks right now and the light seems to be dimming. So here we go:


AASS Jubilee (Norway)

Aegean Hellas (Greece)

Andes Cerveza (Venezuela)

Augsburger (original) (WI)

Berghoff Bock (WI—still tastes the same as it did at the bar)

Broken Hill (Australia)

Dirty Bastard (MI)

Elephant Malt Liquor (Denmark)

Fat Squirrel (WI)

Gasser (Austria)

Goldhorn Club (Yugoslavia)

Guinness Extra Stout (Duh!)

Hacker-Pschorr Munchen (Germany)

Kalamazoo Stout (MI)

Killian’s Irish Red (Coors—CO)

Kirin (Japan)

Leinenkugel Big Butt (WI)

Lucky Beer (CA)

Moose Drool (MT)

Negra Modelo (Mexico)

Night Stalker (Goose Island, Chicago--and spreading)

Newcastle Brown Ale (England)

Nude Beer (Wilkes-Barre, PA) Yes, she does strip as you drink.

One-Eyed Jack (PA)

Pilsner-Urquel (Czechoslovakia)

Reichelbrau (dark) (Bavaria)

Red Horse (Philippines)

Road Dog (MO)

Rolling Rock Extra-Pale (PA)

Royal Dutch Lager (Holland)

Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout (N. Yorks, England)

San Miguel (Manila)

St. Paulie Girl (Germany)

Sun Lik (Hong Kong)

The Three Stooges Beer (PA)

Thor (Denmark)

Tolly Original Ale (Suffolk, England)

Tucher Bajuvator (Germany)

Uff-da (WI)

Wurzburger Octoberfest-Beer (W. Germany—at the time)


On tap for the hell of it: Blatz, Cook’s, and Schlitz.

On display: Billy Beer (tasted like crap, was worth $, now nada).

On display ’cause it gets Freddy in a tirade: Powermaster Colt .45 Malt. (If you’re old enough to remember why Jesse his shorts in a bunch, then you know why).