Texas-based rapper Fat Tony is not only a great rapper, he's got a refined beer palate, as you might suspect from someone who his crew the Denim Guinness Boys in honor of the first beer he drank. On the heels of his excellent new album Smart Ass Black Boy, Hive invited him for a beer tasting session when he recently came through New York City. He agreed, so we holed up in Pearl's Social & Billy Club in Bushwick, Brooklyn and ransacked through a selection of the bar's most distinctive looking beers. Here's Fat Tony's guide to what you should be drinking and not drinking this summer.
Hite is a South Korean beer that claims to taste "clean and pure." The can also brags that its brewing process involves a "freezing point filtration system."
Fat Tony's Take: "It's an old-school type can. Man, this beer has a fitting title: It's sharp, it almost tastes like it could be a fruit, a really exotic fruit, and it actually tastes kinda like soda, Sprite. I would be confident giving children this beer."
2. Shiner Ruby Redbird
A Texan beer, Shiner Ruby Redbird is a summertime brew with a session-friendly 4% ABV.
Fat Tony's Take: "I've only had Shiner Bock and their Christmas beers. Hmmm. [Takes a hearty swig] Ooh! Damn! Hey, this is like candy! This tastes like straight syrupy candy, yo! And I thought that I would give Hite to kids! Shiner Ruby is kid-friendly approved! It's hella good. It's almost shocking how good it is. That's awesome, a really great beer. Wow."
3. Rolling Rock
An American pale lager that's now owned by Anheuser-Busch.
Fat Tony's Take: "No good. My biggest beef with Rolling Rock is a lot of the bars I go to here in New York try to sell this for crazy prices as if it's a nice beer. I've seeing Rolling Rock for like six bucks at times. Glasslands love to push Rolling Rock on people. That's not what's up. It tastes like ass, kinda. When you're coming from Hite and Shiner Ruby, this is such a downgrade."
A Costa Rican staple, Imperial was also the only bottled beer featured in the taste test.
Fat Tony's Take: "It tastes like home. I would love to dump this inside a margarita. Good beer. It's a little more on the bitter side. It's a grown-up beer."
Hauled in from Rhode Island, Narragansett is the beer that claims it's "sold on merit."
Fat Tony's Take: "Now this I've never fuckin' heard of. It's from 1890, huh? [Takes a swig.] I actually kinda fuck with this one! This tastes like a beer I would drink before I would go out and party. It's a big boy can, it's definitely a man's beer."
Fat Tony selects: "And the winner is … Shiner Ruby. I could drink it with three of my best girlfriends and have a great night and we'd all be satisfied. I think Shiner Ruby is the one."
Fat Tony's Bonus Brews: When you mix up the dregs of five different beers you get a brand new beer. It's called Paradise Lost and, according to Fat Tony, "it tastes bittersweet, it tastes exactly like you mixed up five different beers." Showing dedication to his craft, Fat Tony finished off the pint of Paradise Lost before leaving the bar.
Smart Ass Black Boy is out now on Young One Records.