Advantages: Gets you drunk
Disadvantages: Gets you drunk
Stella Artois is a Belgian lager of 5.2% volume brewed by InBev, the largest brewer in the world. It is one of their most successful brands.
As well as being served in pints on draught it comes in all the usual size cans and bottles as well and is retailed by all major off licenses and supermarkets. On licensed premises it is one of the best-known premium lagers in the United Kingdom, and it is also brewed here. For a long time it was marketed with the slogan “reassuringly expensive” and the few extra coins worth of change it costs to buy compared to weaker lagers does not seem to have hit its popularity. Pricing will vary according to what promotions stores are running and the geographical location of your nearest bar. I’d imagine you’re looking at 3.00 a pint these days, a little less in the north, a little more in the south.
Stella has a reputation for getting you drunk fast that is probably well deserved, but then if you drink it because you want to get drunk fast, chances are you’re going to have a lot of it to drink very quickly, so that’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophesy. People say it’s a drink that people get aggressive on but I’m not aware of any peer reviewed scientific studies that empirically investigate its potency in comparison to other brands. If Special Brew were popular I’m sure that would have an even worse reputation. Stella has at times been seen as the poster child for binge drinking Britain, and some even pejoratively call it “wife-beater”, but lets get real here, people are responsible for drunken affray, domestic violence and substance abuse, not continental beverages. I prefer the image of European sophistication, don’t you? Personally I wouldn’t recommend having more than about eight pints in a few hours because any more than that and you could be a bit out of it. Of course if you have a history of causing mayhem then you shouldn’t drink it at all.
For the rest of you who know how to behave, a warning though: Stella might not improve your conversation skills quite as much as you think it does at the time, so watch out for that. It won’t teach you how to dance either. It’s also best to drink it steadily, or else you might feel ill. Downing the first pint is probably okay but take it easy after that. I wouldn’t recommend pouring shots in it either, but each to their own. If you’re going to drink lots of Stella in a place you know, just be sure you’re not making a fool of yourself, and if you are, then consider getting a taxi to somewhere in a neck of the woods where nobody’s going to recognise you, so your mates don’t laugh at you for six weeks afterwards.
Stella has been around since 1926 so is a time-tested beer and the name means star in Latin, although if you cared about that sort of thing, let’s be honest, you’d probably be drinking wine. Artois was the name of an eighteenth century brewer. If you fancy a bit of cockney rhyming slang, you could always ask for a pint of Paul (Weller), or half a Nelson (Mandela) although to be honest I doubt the bar staff would know what you were on about and if you kept doing it they’d probably ask you to leave.
I personally prefer this drink to its rival Kronenberg and tend to find it more frequently available when I’m out, so that suits me fine, but if you’re used to another strong lager and they only serve this, you should find the taste agreeable rather than needing to switch to something else.
Summary: “Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and answer to, all of life’s problems.”