Game Day Ice Review

You may have noticed that I’m not the biggest fan of multinational beverage conglomerates. My beef isn’t with their beers; most of those are passable. But I do dislike the way they put all their might and money into driving small breweries out of business (or buying them up and diluting their beers). But, shady business tactics aside, they still started out as breweries, and brewing is one of the noblest ambitions in the world. I can respect them for that at least.

This Fourth of July, however, my good friend Dave informed me that the tradition of beer being brewed by breweries is changing. He told me about a new beer that launched in April. He said I should review it on my blog.

“Oh?” I asked, unaware of the sword swinging above my head.

“Yep,” he said. “It’s called Game Day. It’s 7-11’s new store-brand beer.”

That’s right. 7-11. The convenience store chain. I’ll post the beer’s stats while you try to scrub away that mental image of the man with the broken broom handle stirring a dumpster full of wort in the alley behind his store.

Brewery: City Brewing Company, LLC
Style:  Adjunct Pils
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: Not gonna bother tracking this down.
Glassware: Leave it in the can.
Serving Temp: Cold. Ice cold.
Price Range: $6.99 per 12 pack
Food Pairing: Whatever keeps it down.

Yes, yes, I was wrong: It doesn’t say 7-11 Brewing Company up there. An actual brewery brews Game Day. Don’t get too excited. City Brewing Company’s website states that “Our facility has been transformed from a historical brewery into a facility capable of manufacturing and packaging beers, teas, soft drinks, energy drinks and other new age beverages.” Cool, I guess, if you think annihilating historical breweries to make more Red Bull is a best-practice worth bragging about.

The label reads “traditionally brewed with only the freshest ingredients,” but I don’t think I trust a beer so cheap that upon brushing a can against the soft, foamy seal around the fridge door, the aluminum exploded, spraying beer everywhere. Although if you need to get your hands on the freshest yellow dye number five available, I suppose 7-11/City Brewing has the hook up (props to Ben K. for the basis of that joke).

Forgive me, I had to work that snark outta my system. I mean, a 7-11 beer called Game Day Ice?! Come on! Sorry, sorry — I should probably review the beer now. And I want to be fair, so … ten-second head start?

I empty the can into a pint glass and immediately wish I hadn’t. It’s pale and fizzy, which I expected, but there’s something eerily lackluster about it, as if even the beer itself has lost the will to effervesce. Actually, it fizzes like crazy for the first few seconds, but then the foam falls faster than a diet coke’s. A few lazy bubbles keep struggling toward the surface, but after a minute or so it starts to look like apple juice.

The smell is a mix between flowery malts and something from a feline urinary tract. Ignoring my flight instinct, I take a sip. It’s pretty weak, yet somehow over-sweet and over-carbonated, like beer-flavored soda. My friend also bought some Game Day Light, so I tried that too. It was similar but less flavorful — a little like drinking old seltzer water.

I think this beer comes in a can out of necessity, because it’s one of the ugliest I’ve ever seen, and it doesn’t smell great either. You might want to start with a slightly better beer and move on to this one as your palate becomes less responsive. It becomes more drinkable when you can’t taste anything.

Game Day’s main selling point is its price, but after drinking too much of it — and the price encourages people to drink too much of it — you won’t just have a stomachache: Your soul will ache as well. Drinking this beer makes you feel disappointed in yourself. It makes you rethink each decision you’ve ever made, because even if that choice seemed brilliant at the time, in the end it led you one step closer to Game Day.

Just to be clear, you will have a stomachache. The human body seems to take great joy in expelling this stuff.

And now, back by popular demand, I will transcribe my tasting notes, written in an increasingly incomprehensible scrawl as I drank more and more of this horrid beer. Let me remind everyone that I hardly ever drink to get drunk, but this beer deserved to be reviewed in its natural habitat, so to speak. We drank responsibly, and no one who’d had a Game Day drove anywhere (mostly because we assumed it would make them go blind). Below is my second batch of tasting notes, which I wrote below the non-inebriated review batch. Drunk Scott began with the caps-lock on:


Um, OK … next.

“I drank three beers tonight

  1. Game Day Ice
  2. Game Day Light
  3. Game Day Memory Eraser

The first one bums you out. The second makes you angry. The third makes you wonder why you got so angry.”

I guess number 3 holds true, because I don’t remember writing that. Nor this, but I believe it:

“Game Day burps = RANCID.”

And now, my surprisingly coherent final evaluation:

“After a while, it just tastes like beer. Eventually it becomes nothing more than a device to get yourself drunker. Which is kinda sad. One star starter beer. Three star finisher.”

I think drunk Scott was being generous.

14 Responses to “Game Day Ice Review”
  1. Deb says:

    Wow! I’ll pass on this one!

  2. Ben K says:

    Ingredients: Lackadaisically carbonated water. Yellow die No. 5. A hop.

  3. David L says:

    You forgot some of the Game Day Light cans down here by the way. They are even still filled!

    Good times. 🙂

  4. Ben says:


  5. Shawn says:

    Wow. didn’t know 7-11 made beer. looks like im not missing anything.

    • Scott says:

      I feel kind of bad for telling you about it then. Game Day presents an odd dilemma … the job of the reviewer is to warn people about stuff like this, but would you have slept better unaware that such an abomination exists? I guess we’ll never know.

  6. Kris says:

    I hope this was a good warning for your brother in law

  7. David says:

    Sounds like my kind of beer. Life is full of regrets but nothing a cheap beer can’t fix. Wheres your sense of adventure. Have you ever had a Rainer. I’m looking forward to my first 12 pack.

    • Scott says:

      I’m glad you know what you like, and I hope you enjoy it. It just wasn’t for me, and all I can provide is my opinion. I haven’t tried Rainer, but I certainly would if I ever saw some. I guess that’s why I’m a little confused by your “sense of adventure” comment … have you read anything else on this blog? I LOVE trying new and different beers, but drinking nothing but different brands of cheaply made pilsner simply isn’t my idea of adventurous. I have no problem with it being yours, though, so good luck with Game Day!

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