Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crapcan brew review: Sapporo in a big ol' can

[Editor's Note: The Rusty Hub does not in any way endorse drinking and driving and especially does not in any way endorse drinking and racing. During a race weekend, alcohol should only be enjoyed while the track is cold (after the day's racing is over), when there is no driving to be done (to the hotel, home, etc.), and when aligned with track regulations regarding consumption. To sum up: Don't be stupid.]

The Rusty Hub recently trekked to a local liquor store to find a crapcan-caliber brew to review. After gleefully poking through the six-packs of craft beer and then dejectedly looking at our budget sheet [Yes, we carry our budget sheet with us everywhere], we trundled over to a dimly lit cooler filled with glistening and frighteningly large single servings.

Our intention had been to find a beer that embodied the spirit of crapcan racing. In other words: Something cheap. Filthy cheap. And made from things that don't seem like they should go together. So we reluctantly reached for the big clear bottle with the black label, preparing to be snakebit.

But as we turned for the checkout counter, a reflection from the top row of the cooler caught our eye1. The silver-and-gold rays of hope made our oversight obvious. If ever a beer embodied crapcan racing, it was this: Sapporo.

This is 44 ounces of car-repair goodness.

Around The Rusty Hub's headquarters,  a 22-ounce can of Sapporo costs $3. Like building a crapcan racer, this is deceptively expensive. The 13-cents-per-ounce price of Sapporo is roughly double that of a domestic macrobrew like Budweiser or Miller Genuine Draft.

This seems like even more of a ripoff once you taste Sapporo Premium (all-silver can). The flavor is comparable to a Bud or MGD, too: watery and a touch sweet, but heaven help you if it starts to warm up. So The Rusty Hub recommends you buy Sapporo Reserve (silver-and-gold can), which is marginally tastier and actually closely resembles canned Bitburger.

As it turns out, Sapporo time is 8:45 a.m.

But forget taste; Sapporo is amazing simply because of its can, a corrugated piece of relatively thick aluminum that takes extra strength from its shape. Simply put, the can is indestructible.And if not indestructible, then remarkably resilient. And isn't resilience the spirit of crapcan racing2?

An additional perk, then, is that the can be used for a number of field-expedient repairs. Need a jack stand? Sapporo can do that (Don't do that, actually). Broke off your muffler tip? No problem, Sapporo has your back. Can't hear your teammates in the paddock with your helmet on? Cut off the top and bottom of the can and the funnel shape gives you a shiny Sapporo ear trumpet.

If that doesn't convince you, you can always cut up the airplane-grade aluminum3 and use it to patch holes in the floorpan or engine block. Or line your coolsuit's cooler with them to keep the interior temperature a bit cooler and the water in it a little icier. Or cover your team's mannequin with cut-up cans, thereby making it a robot.

The possibilities are endless.

The Rusty Hub's editorial assistant Robert Muldoon4 finds Sapporo Reserve an adequate lager for the pricepoint, although Sapporo Premium rates below average in his book.

Sapporo Premium page on Beer Advocate

Sapporo Reserve page on Beer Advocate

1 If you are wondering about pronouns and antecedents used in this sentance, The Rusty Hub has only have one eye collectively. So your future rants about our myopia will, in fact, be fact. And quite insulting; we're very self-conscious about it.

2 Yes, it is. At least in part.

3 Caution: The Rusty Hub has absolutely no engineering credentials. This claim is entirely unproven and very likely false.

4 Robert Muldoon at three years old is the youngest member of The Rusty Hub's editorial staff. He holds strong opinions on the presence of E30s and Miatas in crapcan racing. His interests include chasing red dots, meowing at birds, and hunting dinosaurs.

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