South Dakota Beer Memories: Banquet, Big Mouth And Rainier
I'm a beer guy.
Now if you're a wine connoisseur (I think that means you like wine) or a whiskey kind of person, that's A-OK. But for me? A cold brewski will do me up just fine, thanks.
Beer's been around forever (or at least, my forever), but there are a few beers and innovations that I distinctly remember from my, ah, several more than several years in South Dakota.
As an example, I recall when I lived in Winner and used to do a ton of sports play-by-play, the Warriors would play teams in Nebraska (I specifically remember road trips to Valentine). Now in 'those days' Coors beer was sold in the Cornhusker State, but hadn't made the trip north to good 'ol South Dakota. So, when that trip to Valentine was coming up, I would have several friends ask if there was a possibility I could maybe...maybe please...pick up a little Coors beer to bring back to the promised land?
Sure. As to how much I hauled back, we'll save that for another time. Suffice to say, it was plenty. Then, at some point, Coors came to the Sunshine State and was in every bar and liquor store. So, when I made a trip to Nebraska, my friends were suddenly silent. They were good.
Now then, Schmidt beer. That's one of those I referenced above, one of those that's been around forever. I can remember my dad and the other old boys occasionally hoisted a cold Schmidt. But...
...the Big Mouth! Now, that was something new and exciting. Was it the 70's? Maybe the 80's when I peeled the top off a Big Mouth? Whatever, we all loved the brand-spankin' new Schmidt Big Mouth! And they had a super cool TV commercial...remember 'Big Jim's Coming'?
And then there was a beer that came to South Dakota that we all tried...at least for a while. Raise your hand if you remember Rainier beer. No? Well, for a couple/three years or so (probably back in the '70s and '80s) it was pretty big. OK, maybe not pretty big, but kind of...well, I was young, so were my friends, and we love the motorcycle that whined Rainier Beer as it made it's way up the mountain.
When you got a cycle saying your name, you better be drinkin' that beer and we did! But maybe not enough, I'm not sure Rainier is around anymore.
And don't get me started on Billy Beer.