mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

August 17, 2004

Great Beer Hunting

Filed under: Sea Stories — mlah @ 3:54 pm

The Rota City Beach at Sunset

travesty i tell you. the USN wasting beer!

yep, they wasted the golden elixir! and at a time and place where i cherished the wonderful stuff.

not anymore. just don’t have the time anymore, but back in the day, i did have a drop now and again.

i’m going to ramble a bit now, but the story is worth it.

The View from my Apartment, first Stationing in Rota, Spain

it started because of kaiser bill. yep, william jefferson clinton is to blame for this entire event. really i’m just blaming bill in an effort to spin gus up, so he’ll start posting his usual liberal crap.

so, it was all bill. and kerry.

he downsized the military. and everyone wonders why the military is stretched thin now?

when he downsized the military it had a very slow effect on the supply system to the military. and more specifically, to the naval base where i was stationed. Rota, Spain.

now rota was in the habit of ordering ‘x’ amount of stuff. just like clockwork. and for this post, i’m talking about beer.

rota ordered the same amount of beer, as personnel slowly began to dwindle. so the rota liquor store (called cheers) had a glut of beer.

they put it on sale.

everyone went nuts and bought the cheap beer. myself included.

so now, everyone had a ton of beer. what that meant is that nobody was buying beer for a bit. and although the liquor store cleared their inventory, they were soon overstocked once again. and had to try and solve the same problem.

so somebody came up with the bright idea of starting a sale! hey, it worked before right? and it worked again.

and the cycle repeated itself.

y’all bored yet? oh, this gets better!

and the cycle repeated itself a few more times. much to our (sailors) delight! this also had the undesired effect of decreasing revenue since the only beer they were selling was on sale.

eventually, someone figured it out. they cut the amount of beer they were ordering (they didn’t cut it enough) and decided to destroy the surplus beer. the travesty! wasting perfectly good beer!

they took the beer to the local dump and threw it out.

Rob at 'Boar's Breath' in Rota

figure the odds that that was kept secret! people were waiting at the dump for the liquor store truck. and instead of beer on sale it was FREE beer! maybe a day or two past the expiration date, but once you’re shitfaced….. who can read those dates?

i didn’t know about this. the people who knew about this; at least how i heard it, were officers and chiefs (senior enlisted). i heard rumours later that there were fistfights at the dump between lt.’s and chief’s.

i had to buy my beer.

but ‘cheers’ saw the same problem. the glut of beer had still managed to work itself into the consumer market reducing the number of buyers.

so they tried again to dump the beer. and this time they kept it secret.

figure the odds that that worked!

same thing. fist o cuffs at the dump. and the cycle repeated itself. again.

now, cheers was serious this time. they kept it secret again. but this time they sent the truck out to the dump earlier than the secret time. that’s right, it was ‘double’ secret. and they didn’t just throw the stuff into the landfill. they took a bulldozer with them. went off to the side of the dump and dug a big ditch. went in and set 9 pallets of perfectly good beer down. and then buried it.

i’m in tears as i type this….

enter a good friend of mine, and fellow arabic linguist. i won’t say exactly what his name is, but his initials are “Chris Davis”. his girlfriend worked in cheers and told him about the whole thing.

begin operation beer hunt!

picture this. four already drunk squids, at the local dump, in the night, with miners hats on. flashlights and shovels.

we saw a little bump off to the side and figured that was where the beer had to be. and we dug. and we dug, and we dug in more places along that bump. then chris hit gold!

coors gold.

at first he pulled individual cans out. and they were crinkled from where the bulldozer had packed the ground by driving over it. no beer there.

soon he was standing in a whole as deep as he was tall. and we all took turns digging. before long we could get an occasional can that wasn’t partly crushed, and still good. it was slow going. one beer at a time.

but none of us really liked coors gold. so we went sideways.

that’s when we hit the ‘bud vein’.

oh great bud vein, how we rejoiced!

towards the bottom of the pallet, we were pulling whole six packs out. can you imagine the joy? sailors, free beer.

so we threw a party at casa chris. we washed all of the cans. several times. and no one got sick from the expired dumped beer.

we ran out part way through the party. and it was ‘grab the shovels, we’ll be back shortly’.

we drank that beer for a month.


  1. I can’t believe you guys went ‘digging for beer’. And I’m still failing to see how it was better money wise for them for them to toss it rather then put it on sale.. ah well..

    Comment by rachel — August 18, 2004 @ 3:37 am

  2. ….What a story!……….can’t understand either, why they just didn’t put it on sale AGAIN! No more fights, I guess……

    Comment by Peach — August 18, 2004 @ 4:41 am

  3. Amazing…. simply amazing. Every man’s dream….

    Comment by medium john — August 18, 2004 @ 12:09 pm

  4. FUNNY!!!! I never knew you guys went digging for beer.

    Comment by zoomie — August 19, 2004 @ 10:24 pm

  5. first tour zoomie. this happened before i met you. around ’94. sheez, been 10 years.

    Comment by mlah — August 19, 2004 @ 10:52 pm

  6. feelin old yet Dave??

    Comment by zoomie — August 20, 2004 @ 5:58 pm

  7. stop it

    Comment by mlah — August 20, 2004 @ 10:58 pm

  8. Dude. Beer in Spain was like $.50 when I was there – it had to be even less in ’94. I was gonna call bullshit on this one, but then I realized drunken sailors are capable of just about anything. And Bush the Elder started the downsizing, so blame it on the republicants.

    Comment by Mark — August 22, 2004 @ 10:16 am

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