It’s the ideal alcohol delivery system.
Or that’s what Station Manager Chester claims, anyway.
The forty ounce is certainly a cheap alcohol delivery system. It’s not a nutty craft brew with hints of oak, but it’s also only going to cost you two or three bucks.
It’s also, as it turns out, a compelling source of booze—one that commands it own devoted internet community, much of it centered around the website “40oz Malt Liquor.” Even if you don’t know anything about the 40oz as a medium, you should check out the YouTube community that has sprung up out around the beverage. You’ll find a bunch of people filming themselves. In each video, someone talks and occasionally belches while consuming a 40oz in under 10 minutes. It’s high quality stuff.
So how does this relate to collections?
The founder of the website and an administrator of the community, Bruz 40, owns the largest 40oz malt liquor collection in the world. And since he lives relatively close to WPRB headquarters, we all took a field trip to see it.
I will admit, I was a little skeptical. After rare manuscripts and valuable records, I wasn’t sure that a large number of empty bottles was really going to do much for me.
But it totally, totally did.
For one thing, he has over nine hundred of them, and it’s hard not to be impressed when you’re faced with close to a thousand varieties of anything. Also, even though Bruz has limited space, the bottles are neatly arranged on shelves, so it’s kind of like entering a very un-French wine cellar.
The most compelling thing about the collection, though, is Bruz himself. He’s just your everyday kind of guy, well-spoken and clean-shaven, but he loves his forties and he’s good at talking about them. We (three summer staffers and two interns) showed up at his house and badgered him for at least an hour about every detail of his collection—Why 40ozs? Why were some bottles wearing hats? What did he think was the worst malt liquor? What was the significance of the 40oz in the overarching narrative of life, the universe and everything?
He answered all of our questions in the same way: he was quietly enthusiastic about his collection, but didn’t take it or himself too seriously.
But the more he talked, telling us stories about different bottles and about his Pabst-sponsored trip to the playboy mansion, or talking about the community… the more I wanted to get involved.
I wanted to sit down with this guy, and a community of people like him, grab a forty and some meat, and just talk about life. Possibly on Youtube.
The interview is above. The photos are below. Check them out.
Photo credit: Gerardo JV