Posted by
• 07.24.09 10:00 am

Drinking in the street is an everyman urban tradition, right up there with public urination. Getting busted for an open container is a popular pastime among the young and old…

Drinking in the street is an everyman urban tradition, right up there with public urination. Getting busted for an open container is a popular pastime among the young and old, the employed and the not, and every color of peoples. Almost all modern cities frown upon such behavior, and to be honest, cities are 95% right. Give a dog a bone and he’ll bite off your leg. But nowadays there is a simmering trend in the nerd-out world of beer brewing– microbrew in a can. Now we can keep the block party going with class.

New brews. Never seen one, huh? That’s because they look like third rate energy drinks and Fresca. Proven in the field for years now, this breed of road pony will keep your buzz going while running errands and crap. Some tips:

– These things completely look like soda cans. Simply pop it open and sip away. But NEVER keep it on the low. If you act like you have something to hide, the Man will get suspicious. Go ahead, drink it while passing a cop, its fun.

– Don’t get too cocky either and carry the rest of the sixer in a plastic bag– again, the Man. Only fat asses with a death wish via diabetes walk around slugging a six pack of soda. Keep them boys cool in a backpack or purse.

– If ever questioned about your beverage, DO NOT break stride. Just respond in a please-mind-your-own-business sorta way with an appropriate dummy liquid, i.e. ‘a ginger ale’, ‘a lemonade’, or ‘some shitty energy drink’, then slurp those oats in their face and be out. Do not respond with ‘a ginger beer’ though, you’ll sound the alarm.

– Some of these recipes are syrupy delicious and fucking STRONG; oil cans for real. Some get as high as 10%+ abv; which is alcohol content, respectively. Two of these on your way to the park and you’re blotto.

– These beers are not hard to find. Whole Foods (yeah I said it), beer distros, some corner bodegas, and even Key Food stock canned micobrews. Keep an eye out for Sly Fox Phoenix Ale, Dale’s Pale Ale, and, the original street wheat, Butternuts’ Heinnieweisse. These three seem to be the most popular, in Brooklyn at least. All three are featured in the picture above.

– Just in case a cop does manage to slip you a summons, there remains a very high chance that the case will be dismissed. Because, in New York State, the issuing agency needs to file an acceptable accusatory instrument for the court. This simply means that the officer writing the ticket has to note full details of the offense, including the brand of alcohol. Budweiser, Tecate, King Cobra, whatever. You’ll hear this in court whenever the judge reads public consumption charges out loud. Hennessy always gets the most “yeea-son”s from the peanut gallery. If the cop doesn’t write down what you are drinking, the case goes out the window.

I personally had a summons dismissed last week. Although I have never been caught with a microbrew can, I got bold and got pinched with an open 64oz growler of Climax Helles. Plainclothes let me keep it out of laziness and confusion, then told me they would ‘do one better for me’, and I could just send in a guilty plea with a $25 check to avoid court. Fuck that. On my usual day off from work, I showed up two days late for the court date at 346 Broadway, hit up the short line for the Kings County Clerk, received a docket dismissing the case because they never named the brand of beer on the summons, and I rolled out. Total waste of time: 15 minutes (there’s a much longer line if you get busted inside Manhattan though). Technically I saved a hundred bucks an hour.

Give those shitty PBR’s a fucking rest already. I don’t care how fucking broke you think you are, you can afford better, so treat yourself. Find that wheat, hit the street, and keep your swerve in line.


  1. Zlur says:

    Stop open mic! Its boring and lazy!

    You fucks!

  2. Peter Madsen says:

    this is fucking great.

  3. Street Boning says:

    I feel like I learnded something.

  4. asdf says:

    entertaining AND useful

  5. Beer truck says:

    While this comes in handy and all, how much beer do you need to drink while you “run errands”?

  6. Vane$$a says:

    Well done.

  7. John Doie says:

    Don’t ever drink Pig’s Eye, the beer can in the lower center–it’s the sourest swill I’ve ever drank but…at $3 a 6-pack…

  8. flickin'beans says:

    why would i take advice on being suave about drinking in public from a guy who got a ticket for drinking out of a fucking 64oz growler

  9. hamsteam says:

    simpler times, 4$ a sixer at trader joes, 6.35%, youll never get stopped

  10. Dork says:

    Moo Thunder scares me…

  11. no.thanks says:

    well yes, simpler times is good shit, but trader joes is only in california.
    the good-shit-beer-in-a-can thing is starting to heat up a bit.
    the only stuff i can easily find is the 21st amendment IPA and its @ 6.5%

  12. Trader Stalin says:

    @hamsteam trader joe’s should get more varieties of beer in cans, even the other simpler times beer (a pilsner) only comes in bottles and it’s kind of better tasting. (Only simpler times lager is canned). Cans don’t break as much in transit so everybody gets cheaper beer.

  13. DamnDanMan says:

    this is pretty good but i have no idea where to find this shit down in the good ol state of VA

  14. Jorge MCCulo says:

    Or you could just pour it in a cup.

  15. Vane$$a says:

    Don’t they make those stickers anymore that you can put around cans to make them look like soda? They’d say things like “Mountain Dow” and “Peppi Cola” but the design would be the same. Those always worked for me when i was a lush.

  16. street wheat says:

    @flickin beans… good point. but wasn’t actually drinking it on the street, just taking it across town to a party. it was half full.

    @jorge mcculo… not exactly. i’ve been hassled with a cup, it blows up your spot. also, cups don’t work on trains and in certain public venues. straight from the can is most convienent.

    you other guys are mentioning beers i don’t know, and i’ve found alot. rad.

  17. Snake. says:

    Move to Vancouver, drinking in the street is straight up norms.

  18. Rope Mama says:

    this is one of the only open mics where I didn’t think ” this whole idea is because derrick and pinky go thru contributers like my inner Pryor makes me go thru lines” circa 2001 because now I am clean, a star baby that only eats Bliss Fakles

  19. pogi says:

    why not just put a rum/whiskey in a coke bottle?

  20. Kennedy says:

    I live in New Orleans. We can drink in the street. Is this the only American city where you can do this? Vegas maybe? Growler plus errands equals every motherfucking day.

  21. tuff-stuff says:

    ooh, kennedy, you’re tough stuff. Ever heard of Minneapolis, San Francisco, Saint Louis, Omaha, Milwaukee, Saint Paul, Kansas City, Reno, Salt Lake City, Sparks, Lovelock, Southern Wyoming, Lincoln, Council Bluffs, Mason City, Rochester, Sacramento, or fuck-New-Orleans?

  22. suckit says:

    fucking usa puritan ancestors.

    in germany you can drink anywhere at anytime.

  23. Your Favorite Beaner says:

    Just buy an antihero bored and they got you covered.

  24. cabronsito says:

    This article should not exist for the simple reason that you could just pick up a coffee cup at almost any bodega and fill it up. I am doubtful that a white person drinking out of a disposable coffee cup tickles a cop’s curiosity.

  25. weird seance says:

    “Two of these on your way to the park and you’re blotto.”
    who wrote this – Dakota Fanning?

  26. street wheat says:

    @ weird seance

    let’s do the math… ten minute walk to park: check. two beers @ 10 abv, which means you’re really drinking four beers: check. hot summer day: check.

    so: four drinks X ten minutes X hot day = blotto.

  27. zippy says:

    “public urination” just seems synonomous with FUN! :)

  28. maxwell57 says:

    wow is that actually a common thing getting cheered on for henessy the first time i ever went to court my boy got applause for that and we thought it was the most hysterical thing

  29. Kennedy says:


    Besides San Francisco(which you can’t drink out of an open container on the street anyway), I’m talking about a city with more people than dogs.

    Dropping knowledge:

  30. weird seance says:

    @ street wheat
    oops. my bad! i just assumed you lived in the same city as me. the nearest park is like a 30 minute drive, so you see how only slamming 2 on the way would still leave you with a lot of awkward hands-free time.
    thanks for the calculator!

  31. […] wrote a beer piece on Street Carnage before and I don’t give a flying fuck about my dumb fucking writing. [UPDATE: If you are still iffy about that technique, add a napkin and straw and you are ghost.] I […]

  32. wilbert harrison says:

    HITE beer from Korea is available, cheap, from Korean markets everywhere, and it looks like Sprite.

  33. MaltLikkaSippa says:

    just get yourself some fucking strohs already.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wait, if the officer has to specify a brand with the ticket, can’t you theoretically just damage or remove the label from a 40 and just blatantly exploit that technicality?

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