The Spectacular History of Malt Liquor || Thrillist Investigates



What does hip-hop have to do with malt liquor? A lot, it turns out. But before we dive into that, what is malt liquor anyways? To put it simply: malt liquor is a beer with more alcohol than the United States’ standard lagers. It was created to provide a boost to the industry when beer consumption was falling in the early 50’s.

Ultimately, marketers failed to convince the white bourgeois that malt liquor was the new drink of choice, but it was selling extremely well in black neighborhoods. Before they knew it, malt liquor was being sold in 40oz bottles (hello, Edward Fortyhands) and was being promoted by rappers everywhere from Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg to Tupac and the Wu-Tang Clan.

There’s so much to the sleazy and spectacular history of malt liquor and we’re here to tell you all about it.

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