Crazy Horse Malt Liquor Interview

The Old Growler: I’m here interviewing a surviving full bottle of Crazy Horse malt liquor. Brought onto the market in 1992, Crazy Horse was not quite an instant hit. In fact it was quite a controversial malt liquor. It ended up being sued by Native Americans. After all these years, here is what Crazy Horse malt liquor has to say for himself.

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: It all began with the movie “Dancing with Wolves.” It seemed like a good idea to memorialize all of the great Indian Chiefs of the First Nations by naming malt liquor after them.

The Old Growler: Why was this such a good idea?

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: Well, it was a top-rated movie, and it did get a lot of people interested in Indian Chiefs.

The Old Growler: And someone thought it was a good idea to name a malt liquor after these Indian Chiefs?

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: Of course, any publicity is good publicity. As it says right here on the bottle, this is the ultimate in handcrafted malt liquor. Crazy Horse is brewed with 100% of the finest barley and hops. I’m also proud to say that I am number 0690711 and our product of America.

And right here on the back, it explains everything for anyone interested in Native American history, “The Black Hills of Dakota, steeped in the history of the American West, home of proud Indian nations. A land where imagination conjures up images of blue-clad pony soldiers and magnificent Native American Warriors. A land still rutted with wagon tracks of intrepid pioneers. A land where winds whisper of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Custer. A land of character, of bravery, of tradition. A Land that truly speaks of the spirit that is America.”

The Old Growler: You actually believe that a history lesson, as warped as the one on your bottle is, belongs on a malt liquor? Isn’t the object of malt liquor to enhance someone’s drinking effect?

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: Oh no! When you drink Crazy Horse malt liquor it gives you a chance to contemplate those images of blue-clad pony soldiers and magnificent Native American Warriors.

The Old Growler: As I understand it, from actually reading history, those two ingredients did not make for a good time. In fact, the blue-clad pony soldiers were out there to slaughter magnificent Native American Warriors. Isn’t that true?

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: That’s not what it says on my bottle! I am the embodiment of the true spirit that is America. Don’t you understand that?

The Old Growler: Well, perhaps I could understand things better if you gave me an idea of what life was like back in 1992. Then, maybe I can put what you have said in context.

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: Well, let’s see, there was that incident in California it was called Rodney King. It started a riot that lasted for six days and caused about a billion dollars in damages. And there was an election year. In July, the Democratic National Convention nominated Bill Clinton for president of the United States on behalf of the “forgotten middle class.”  It was a year when most of the attention was focused on hurricane Andrew which hit Florida and Louisiana, killing 23 people. I guess that was the biggest news. Oh yes, Bill Clinton did get elected president on November 3rd.

The Old Growler: I understand, but none of that is an excuse to market a rather offensive alcoholic beverage with a Native American Indians name. Will you at least agree to that?

Crazy Horse Malt Liquor: No, sir. I won’t. Because as it says right here on the bottle, I truly speak the spirit that is America. I am a product of America!

The Old Growler: OK, take it easy, don’t get too excited, I’m pretty much through, so… You have a nice day and take it easy. I really appreciate chatting with you. And I thank you for the significant insights you have imparted.

Learn all about this malt liquor with an interesting history
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2 years ago

I still have an unopened bottle as well. Mine has more “sediment” though.

First, let me introduce myself. I am Peter LaFrance, author of Beer Basics and Cooking & Eating With Beer, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. – 1995). I have also been published in American Brewer, All About Beer, and Ale Street News.

I have been writing about the brewing industry since 1984. Credits include contributing editor for Restaurant Management and Top Shelf magazines. I have also written for Beverage Media, New Brewer, Beverage Dynamics, and All About Beer magazine.

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