Thursday, September 24, 2009

Days of Beer 2: The Tuborg Sanction

I was eighteen before I realized you could actually open a beer and not have to drain it all the way to the spittle-laced dregs. I might never have learned that simple, mind-freeing fact if it weren’t for a single brand, a beer known as Tuborg Gold. I’d seen some great ads for Tuborg. It showed rowdy Vikings swilling the beer from drinking horns. I wanted to be a Viking, (a real one not a Minnesota one), so I decided I must get some Tuborg.

My brother, Paul David, who was also apparently susceptible to the Viking ads, brought some of the “Gold” home first, though. I remember, we were in our old green pickup, headed out to feed the cows, when Paul David unveiled the Tuborg. We clicked bottles and I took a Viking-hearty sip…and nearly spewed the entire contents of my stomach and various pieces of my intestines and bowel onto the dashboard. My first thought, after I managed to fight down the successive waves of nausea, was that: “No wonder the Vikings were such bad asses. How could anyone drink this slop day in and day out without 1) wanting to kill something, and 2) becoming inured to pain.

Four full bottles and two ‘one-sipped-from’ bottles were poured into the dirt that day. Over thirty years later, nothing has yet grown on that spot. Cattle avoid it. Insects mutate if they build burrows in that soil. There have even been...disappearances.

I’ve sometimes wondered whether Tuborg was, in fact, that awful, or whether we just got a bad six-pack, (as happens with every six-pack of Bud). I’ve occasionally thought I should try Tuborg again, but I’m afraid I lost something important that long ago day. I lost some testicular fortitude, and a lot of innocence. I just don’t have the jewels to try another Tuborg. Not while the painful memory of that first taste from 32 years ago is still so fresh.

Next post: The Age of Found Beer


Paul R. McNamee said...

When it comes to Vikings marketing beer, I've always liked "Skullsplitter."

Never got drunk enough from it to know if it lives up to its name.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that drinks leaded Bud? What kind of men are you? What's all this headache talk and such? Bunch of whinebaggers.


AvDB said...

All beer gives me headaches. I am Master Whinebagger. The Architect tries every beer under the sun (although I'm not sure if Tuborg has crossed his radar, yet). I dutifully take a sip of whatever he's trying, make a face, and go get some tea. Yeah, I'd be a shitty viking. Rape, pillage, and scald!

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, I have actually never tried Skullsplitter. Maybe I'm afraid of Viking brews now.

Wil, yes, apparently you are the only one. But we'll still let you run with us.

Avery, yes, I dutifully take a sip (or two) of every beer that I come across. I usually never make it around to the tea, though.

jodi said...

Charles, sounds like some funky, skunky stuff. Makes me want a vodka on the rocks!

James Reasoner said...

I've heard vaguely of Tuborg but never tried it. And now I probably never will.

BernardL said...

ROTFLMAO! The only one that ever affected me like that was Mickey's Wide Mouth. I took a gulp of my first Mickey's while in the service and initially thought my buddy had filled the bottle with used dish water while I wasn't looking. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

jodi, it may have been an ancient elixer for summoning demons if the taste was any clue.

James Reasoner, that would be wise of you James.

BernardL, egads, I remember Mickey's as well, and how awful it was. But I'd already had Tuborg by then so Mickey's wasn't such a surprise. And oh geeze, the big mouth bottles so you could get more of the swill in your mouth at once. What an idea that was!

Heff said...

"Over thirty years later, nothing has yet grown on that spot."

LMAO !!! I haven't tried, or even heard of this beer. I certainly won't try it now !

Erik Donald France said...

Sounds ghastly. Carlsberg is better -- at least in Denmark.

SQT said...

I have tried all kinds of beer and pretty much hate it all. How do people drink that stuff? I wouldn't know if one was good or bad.

Steve Malley said...

I almost drank a Tuborg once. Fortunately, when I set it down on the hood of my car, I noticed the drops running down the sides were eating holes in the paint!

The road to our current, refined palates is paved with such misadventures...

Greg said...

ouch... sounds like pretty harsh stuff. never heard of tuborg, and i'll be sure to never try it.

Scott said...


I remember an old TV ad for that stuff I saw as a cut back and forth between vikings swordfighting and a couple of modern-day guys playing if there's any kind of similarities between those two activities...I kept hoping the vikings would end up on the tennis court and finish off the tennis players.

I've never tried Tuborg, but I will now avoid it after the glowing review you gave it. I do agree with Paul; Skullsplitter is good stuff. I found some in New Orleans, actually, last time I was there.I first had it at a place called The Vortex in Atlanta. Of course, if you want a beer that will give you a great buzz, try The Beast by Avery Brewing...and I'm not only reccomending it because of the name. Ask Heff about it, LOL.

laughingwolf said...

lol... methinks somebunny got into a bad batch of tuborg... i've tried it, and though not particularly good, was almost acceptable...

these days, i have the odd heineken, but that's dutch, and REALLY good :)

Barbara Martin said...

I prefer Heinekin when I decide to drink beer.

G. B. Miller said...

I guess in that instance, beer wasn't good food.

(popular ad campaign prior to prohibition)

Charles Gramlich said...

Heff, You might have the constitution for it. But better safe than sorry.

Erik Donald France, I have not had Carlsberg though I’ve intended to drink one at some point

SQT, I do think there is an element of acquired taste to it. But I really do like the taste of lots of beers.

Steve Malley, indeed. I shall regale you further with tales of better beers in the future of the series. Come to think of it, our truck wasn’t green until it was exposed to the Tuborg fumes.

Greg Schwartz, shoot, I’m liable to get sued by Tuborg now. Maybe they won’t notice.

Scott, I read your and Heff’s comments about the Beast and I’m definitely looking for it. I may have seen skullsplitter but I don’t know why I didn’t buy it with a name like that.

laughingwolf, yeah, but you’re Canadian, my friend. You lot have cast iron stomachs.

Barbara Martin, lol. You sound like that commercial about the most interesting man in the world, (in your case woman): “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do I prefer Dos Equus (Heinekin). I just hate to drink anything with Hiney in the title.

Charles Gramlich said...

G, this beer wasn't even of this earth.

X. Dell said...

Interesting personal beer history. This is something I can definitely relate to. For example, your initial distaste for Tuborg Gold reminds me of my first experience with one of our local brews, Tree Frog Beer. Then again, what could you expect from a company who's slogan was "It doesn't taste like much, but it gets you there...faster."

sage said...

I never had any of that...and now it's not on my list!

Rick said...

There's a story in this coming of age reminiscence, Charles. I was actually thinking it was a nice story beginning when I realized "Wait, this really happened!" But you might consider making it in to a story beginning.

Speaking of such, were you going to have your annual Halloween scary story thing this year?

Cloudia said...

This piece was funny, well written, and had that something extra that makes you a "real" writer, Charles.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

j said...

"There have even been... disappearances."

I laughed out loud.

#4 Ole Miss had an upset tonight. I am counting on my #3 ranked Tide to NOT follow suit.

Have a great weekend Charles!

ivan said...

Wild stuff, that Tuborg.
Gives you horns on the head amd makes you take Granmother Sven and her wheelchair and push her off the cliff.

the walking man said...

Nope not yet, keep posting about beer though Charles you may yet get me converted.

Charles Gramlich said...

X. Dell, LOL. I like that slogan. Reminds me of the the ads for JOLT cola. "More of what you drink cola for," meaning sugar and caffiene.

sage, Tuborg is definitely going to sue me if I've turned off that many folks. :)

Rick, the next couple of installments of Days of Beer will have some suspense and danger. Maybe I'll do it as a booklet. lol. I'd like to do the Halloween Horror thing but I've got a couple of deadlines I've got to meet first. I'm working hard on those. It'll probably be mid October before I decide for sure. But maybe if we do it this year we could get more folks involved.

Cloudia, thanks, glad you enjoyed.

jennifer, the "Hogs" play best when they're underdogs. By all rights, Bama should win though. We'll soon know.

ivan, I believe it about the horns for sure. And perhaps the nausea allows one to hunker down in the long night.

Mark, I didn't realize I was starting The Church of Booze, but it sounds like an idea whose time has come.

Lisa said...

I can't offer any comment, other than I have a business friend that brew his own beer in his cellar and I think it is a local favorite.

Vesper said...

This is such a hilarious post! :-) :-) :-)

There have even been... disappearances. :-) :-) :-)

I don't remember having such a reaction from Tuborg... I like Carlsberg (that's Danish) and Heineken.
If you go to Bruges (you said you wanted to, after seeing the movie) you should try the Trappist beers, brewed at the Trappist monasteries in Belgium. I love Westmalle!

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

I cam just see you as a viking

Shauna Roberts said...

I'm joining the rest of your friends who have decided, based on your experience, never to try Tuborg. Also, never to water my garden with it.

I guess you can't judge a beer by its label.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the warning..!

ivan said...

While in the Air Force I heard, in the middle of a beer party, a song that aped "I want a girl
Just like the girl
That married Dear ol Dad.":

This version went, however:

I want a beer just like the beer
That pickled dear old dad.

It was a beer and the only beer
That Daddy ever had.
A good old fashioned beer
With lots of foam
--It took ten men to carry Daddy home.
I want a beer
just like the beer
That pickled Dear Old Dad.

laughingwolf said...

lol... dunno charles, methinks it could be some viking blood? ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Ocean Girl, I've drunk some homebrew I really liked, and some not so good.

Vesper, thanks. I enjoyed writing it. I've had CHimay Ale, which is Belgian and it is extremely good. One of my favorites.

ARCHAVIST, I'm shaggy enough for it.

Shauna Roberts, I know, it's like judging a book by its cover!

Cinnamon, be safe out there!

ivan, I wish I'd heard taht song when I was younger. It would have become my favorite.

laughingwolf, rotted Viking blood maybe!

Lana Gramlich said...

"The Tuborg Sanction"....BWAH HA!
At least now we have our own brand just up the street. ;)

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Oh wow, you made me spew my diet coke with that one! Har har! I've never heard of it but if it is that bad, I'm glad! And I thought jaeggermeister's were bad - and don't make fun of my spelling. can't stand the stuff so I never learned how to spell it!!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

What you need is Ed's Original Cave Creek Chili Beer with a handstuffed hot pepper in every bottle. They no longer sell it in Michigan.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Gives new meaning to bitter beer face, doesn't it?

I am a *huge* beer girl, but thankfully, never had anything worse than Keystone.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, yes, and one of the best!

Ello, I can't spell it either. Only had one in my life but I was already drunk at the time time.

JR, too many folks died as a result eh? Geeze that sounds horrible. Abita makes a pepper beer too and it isn't good.

L.A. Mitchell, Keystone is a delicate flower next to Tuborg.

Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Charles,

I hear you on this! God, beer hasn't been evil to me, but the old Everclear and koolaid combination of my youth was deadly. Also, tequila is not my friend. As for beers, happily, my memories are mostly joyful.

Miladysa said...

"There have even been...
disappearances." ROFL

I don't drink beer because generally it tastes to me how you have described here.

Mary Witzl said...

Marvelous. My husband chugs Tuborg, though; I'll bet you anything you got a duff batch.

Charles Gramlich said...

Michelle, Some friends of mine once helped me celebrate my 21st birthday by pouring a cap of everclear into my beers that they brought me. What good friends. NOT.

Miladysa, glad you liked that. I kind of liked that line myself. :)

Mary Witzl, either that or your husband is a true Viking!

Travis Cody said...

GAH! I had a reaction like that to Heineken. Honestly, I can't for the life of me understand why people think that's good brew.

Charles Gramlich said...

Travis, I don't like Heineken either. I've heard it's better in Germany, but the bottled version is pretty bad if you ask me.

Rachel V. Olivier said...

Was it too hoppy and bitter? I know I've been tempted by Tuborg, but never quite got around to trying it. Thanks for the heads up.