Before I became a card-carrying craft-beer fanatic, I happily consumed flavorless swill during adolescence: Keystone, Natural Light, and any other macro-produced liquid affordable with a high school-era budget. This adoration was solidified during the attendance of my first Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) event, Massacre on 34th Street, on December 03, 2000.
During the raucous pay-per-view showdown, I snagged an empty, skull-crushed can of Budweiser from The Sandman, whose entrance—and departure, usually—involved staggering into the rabid crowd to feed fans with the adjunct lager. After the can emptied, The Sandman performed his unique method of condensing the aluminum on his head, then presented it to a nearby fan.
I still display the mangled piece of aluminum on my nightstand.
Though my palate has matured, and ECW has ceased (nearly 13 years following its death in 2001, I am still mourning), my love for the combined joys of beer and wrestling hasn’t been relegated to nostalgia. There are currently several craft breweries influenced by wrestling, and they proudly display their love of the sport through beer.
Grab a beer, get comfortable, and prepare to be powerslammed by the awesomeness of wrestling beers you never knew existed.