So you let yourself down! That’s OK, it happens to everyone, though probably not to the same degree or with the same consistency as it happens to you. Your compromises are many, your inadequacies abundant. The good news is that failure no longer stings as badly as it once did. For instance, it probably doesn’t even bother you to know that your desensitization to failure is, in itself, a new kind of failure to throw on the pile. Yes, things are looking up already.

When faced with your own bad decisions and shortcomings, sometimes you need a drink, and while most wines, beers and spirits are created with celebration in mind, the 99 Cent Store carries an array of alcoholic beverages for the opposite of that. You won’t find them in the refrigerated racks with the sodas because these drinks aren’t meant to be enjoyed, they are meant to be consumed, and lukewarm. They are sold individually or by the pallet from a conspicuous pile in the dankest corner of the store, and most of the cans or bottles are significantly cheaper than a dollar, which means that just by recycling them when you’re done, you can still break even. That’s because the 99 Cent Store knows that right about now, you could use a win.

Now, the beer selection is as diverse as your own personal failures, which is why I bought every beer I could find and created this guide to help you pair each mistake with the best draft. This should also save you the humiliation of asking one of the clerks at 10 a.m. on a weekday. So join me as we uncover how each beer complements your unique brands of misery, or you can just skim this list if you have something more pressing you need to do. No, I’m kidding, let’s get started.

3. Seven Kings Lager Beer

Actual Tagline:

Fit for a king with its premium brew and regal character, Seven Kings Lager is a beer of victory and intrigue.

Upon opening this beer, I was immediately impressed with how much regal character I got for only 59 cents. It has a golden, clear color, and it wears its frothy head like a crown for upwards of three seconds before turning into fizzy apple juice. Given the name, I’m frankly a little surprised that HBO hasn’t tried some kind of Seven Kingdoms tie-in. The beer even smells almost exactly how I would expect every person from the Middle Ages to smell.

The flavor is also bold; I don’t brew beer, but I imagine it takes a lot of courage to make one that tastes like nothing but corn and metal. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you want from a beer designed as punishment. If you choose to drink it with dinner, I think you’ll find that Seven Kings is completely competent at washing down a hamburger bun dipped in ketchup.

Pairing Advice:

I recommend pairing Seven Kings with the personal disappointment you feel after bailing on a charity cancer bike ride you promised you’d attend and instead spending the weekend watching your BitTorrent version of Game of Thrones for the third time. I refuse to believe this beer wasn’t brewed specifically to complement regret. Even the Seven Kings website is depressing. It’s a single, sparse page that tells me I can buy their beer at Big Lots. It also maintains a section for all their awards and accolades, which, if I counted correctly, is zero. I’m honestly baffled why they included this on their website; it’s the equivalent of someone tattooing their unaccomplished dreams and ambitions on their chest. Seven Kings is a reminder that no one will ever consider you the king of anything, except maybe unreliability.

2. Goldmine Lager

Actual Tagline:

Strike gold in just one sip with the delicious taste of Goldmine Premium Lager Beer.

If this is what it feels like to strike gold, then California had no business becoming a state. In general, I distrust any canned good with an adjective like “premium” on the label, but in the spirit of self-flagellation with which everyone else must be consuming this beer, I made an exception. Just for context, I’ve also seen Goldmine Lager at Whole Foods before, but never as cheap as 59 cents a can, which makes me wonder how it fell so low. Maybe the upper crust has run out of reasons to punish itself.

The beer is thin, light yellow and watery. It tastes a lot like if Coors Light tried to remind you with every sip that it spent the last six months in an aluminum can. While there isn’t an immediate aftertaste, there’s a lingering flavor of salty metal, like your mouth just lost a tooth, or like you just discovered a vein of ore in the creases of your tongue.

Pairing Advice:

This beer goes best with an ended relationship that could have easily been saved if you were just willing to put in the proper effort. Like an excitable prospector setting out West to strike it rich, you were ill-prepared for the real work necessary for a relationship, and once winter came, you killed and consumed the energy of your significant other, metaphorically. Goldmine Lager pairs well with the regrets of love and it will distract you from the thoughts of what your ex is up to now, which is undoubtedly something more constructive than drinking beer from the 99 Cent Store.

1. Beer 30 Light

Actual Tagline:

None. There isn’t even a product description from the brewer anywhere online.

Judging by the color, smell and taste, I’m pretty confident I could pass a urine test with a cup of this beer. Everything about it, from the can to the contents, feels like a prank designed to make me drink pee. The beer is watery even for light beer but makes up for blandness with the brutal and unmistakable taste of iron.

Individual beers were 59 cents at the store, but there was a spectacular deal where I could buy a 12-pack for three dollars. The logo features a clock where all the numbers are replaced with “Beer 30,” suggesting that you have to get up pretty early in the morning to fit in all the mistakes you’re going to make in a day. This beer also, perhaps wisely, steers away from the “Drink Responsibly” campaign. Beer 30 knows that responsibility has no authority over the kind of people who would buy a pallet of off-brand beer from the 99 Cent Store.

Pairing Advice:

This beer really complements the sense of failure that comes from the sudden awareness that you’ve established artificial hurdles in your life for fear of ever being truly successful. Without your sense of dissatisfaction with the world, you wouldn’t recognize yourself, and the barriers you’ve created give you reason to consistently fail without it ever being entirely your fault. In that tradition, now you can build much more tangible obstacles out of Beer 30 cans, preferably the night before you have a job interview or a meeting that could help define the rest of your life. Beer 30 isn’t just an arbitrary time on a clock; it’s marking the middle point in your life, reminding you how many times you’ve abandoned the hard work necessary to achieve your dreams, and instead opted for the immediate gratification of a beer. It also goes really nicely with a Bratwurst!

Source: 5 Pairing Cheap Beers