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A Tankard of Moose Urine

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And this is what they serve when they run out of moose urine too.

"Excuse me, I think ye gave me the wrong mug. I ordered a beer, an' this seems ta be a tankard o' moose urine."
Durkon Thundershield, The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs

There are generally two kinds of bars in fictionland: those where they serve beer that is the nectar of the gods, and those where the product going into the user's mouth tastes about the same as the stuff that gets peed out later that night. This trope is the latter. Often the mark of a Bad Guy Bar.

Do not expect this to keep the patrons from swilling the stuff anyway, or from handing you your hindquarters if you ever discuss this trope in the bar. They may even have grown so accustomed to the taste that they think it's good beer.

Unfortunately, Truth in Television.

Often described in terms that make you wonder what exactly the drinkers have been putting in their mouths. Not to be confused with drinking actual urine, moose or otherwise. Compare and contrast Gargle Blaster, where a drink is rendered undrinkable by the alcohol content rather than taste.

Terrible alcoholic drinks go in this trope. Bad coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks are covered in Bad to the Last Drop. When bad, cheap wine or liquor is passed off as fancy and expensive, that's an Expensive Glass of Crap.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first bar scene from AKIRA, the bartender yells at Yamagata, who has come to pick up his friend and leader Kaneda, to buy something for once, since "this ain't a hangout for damned street-gangs!" Yamagata's response: "Yeah, right! And drink your dog piss?"
  • Black Lagoon has this in the first episode with Revy calling Rock's beer piss (which leads to a Bacardi drinking contest). There's never any indication that the beer is bad, though. It's just that Revy thinks serious drinking requires hard liquor.

    Comic Books 
  • In the ElfQuest: Future Quest stories, the humans have a beverage called Jakala which is implied to be alcoholic (an officer drinking it while on duty is warned by his Lieutenant that she'll have to report it), but which in contrast to real life alcoholic drinks is best when fresh and becomes worse with age. On one occasion, a character thinks his complaint, "Euuuckkk!! Jakala Breath... Old Jakala Breath..." and on another, a guard complains to a companion, "Yea... the Jakala was ancient, too."
  • This gem from Jonah Hex #53 (original series) — and at no point during this monologue does Jonah stop drinking:
    Jonah: Ugghh! Thet rotgut shore do taste nasty! Smells nasty! Tastes nasty! Got an aroma just like kerosene! A man'd have tuh be near halfway crazy tuh drink this stuff!
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: In Volume 2, Gullivar Jones and John Carter commiserate over Martian liquor, which "tastes like turpentine."

    Comic Strips 
  • Foxtrot: Roger once tried to make his own homemade wine, after stomping on grapes while wearing athlete's foot cream and then trying to ferment melted popsicles he produced a wine that stank to high heaven but made a great drain cleaner. Over a decade later he brought out a bottle he kept, because it was starting to eat through the glass.
  • From Li'l Abner comes "Kickapoo Joy Juice", a liquor of such stupefying potency that the hardiest citizens of Dogpatch, after the first burning sip, rose into the air, stiff as frozen codfish. If it needed more body, they'd throw one in... usually the body of a moose, bear or polecat. The fumes alone had been known to melt the rivets off battleships.

    Fan Works 
  • In Don't Say Goodbye, Farewell, Tess remarks they should take Romulan ale off the embargo and replace it with a cheap blended bourbon Eleya took from an alcohol-abusing petty officer because "it's worse than [Chief] Walston's slash."
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami encounters dwarven wine, and regrets that her current glamour includes functional taste buds, as it's definitely an acquired taste.
    Perhaps the dwarfs were aware of this, as the stein certainly contained enough wine to make a serious attempt at acquiring it.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Papa's Big Crush", Duncan McSmurf makes a comment about human ale tasting like it came from the other end of a horse.
  • He's Not Dead Yet, a mostly-crack fic blend of Monty Python and Harry Potter, features a scene in which the author's semi-self-insert character has a discussion with Nymphadora Tonks at a local pub over a bottle of grappa, which may or may not actually be paint thinner in a fancy bottle.
  • The Night Unfurls: As Kyril and his apprentices set off to Talon Bar for Chloe's whereabouts, Sanakan remarks that she'd be surprised if the drinks are not made of rat piss and cat shit. There are no complaints from the five of them, though.
  • Peace Forged in Fire: Morgan t'Thavrau, a Romulan, does a Spit Take after tasting Klingon bloodwine for the first time in a working-class bar on Khitomer.
    Tovan tr'Khev: You think that's bad, the ale here tastes like a mugato peed in battery acid.
    Morgan: I'll stick to water, thanks.
  • Stars Fade: Commander Shepard does not have a high opinion of the beers and spirits at the Hanged Man, the latter apparently tasting like it was "distilled in a krogan's ass." However, in keeping with Shepard's habit of imbibing anything the bartender can throw at her, the taste doesn't stop her from drinking the stuff to the point of passing out in mid-sentence.
  • With This Ring: During his time merged with the Ophidian, Paul at one point talks to Guy Gardner about his favorite beer brand, and points out it's cheap swill that (almost literally) tastes like horse urine. Paul then reveals that the reason Guy loves the brand is because it was also the preferred brand of his alcoholic father, and the taste subconsciously reminds Guy that the miserable old bastard is dead. Guy himself had never made the connection and the beer immediately loses its appeal to him.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the movie Antz, Z and Weaver are discussing whether or not to drink the Aphid Beer:
    Z: Call me crazy, but I have a thing about drinking from the anus of another creature.
  • A variation of this occurs in the English dub of Princess Mononoke when Jigo asks if what he's drinking is soup or donkey piss. In the Japanese version, he complains that it tastes like it's just hot water, which is arguably an even worse insult — donkey piss would at least have some flavor.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • As part of the Training Montage in Beerfest, the protagonists decide to try desensitizing their taste buds with actual animal urine.
    Fink: Because of the pH balance?
    Gam Gam: No, because if you can drink ram's piss, hell, you can drink just about anything.
  • In the movie Desperado, the small corner bar in a little Mexican town has notoriously bad beer, likened to piss. Chances are the bartender and his associates have deliberately made the beer as bad as possible, to keep casual customers away — the bar is actually a front for illegal operations.
    Girl: And your beer tastes like piss.
    Bartender: Yeah, we know!
    Tavo: 'Cause we piss in it!
    Bartender: And that's not all...
  • James Bond:
  • During his dinner with Miss Piggy in The Muppet Movie, Kermit orders a bottle of "sparkling Muscatel, one of the finest wines of Idaho" with their dinner. Judging from the reactions of the smarmy waiter, it's not a quality beverage, but Piggy and Kermit don't seem to mind.
  • Never Cry Wolf: Rosie mixes beer and ethanol into a substance called "Moose Juice." He gets Tyler drunk on it and convinces him to spend the rest of his money buying more of it.
  • A Slight Case of Murder: Remy Marco's Gold Velvet is an example. A bootlegger during Prohibition, Marco becomes a legitimate brewer after repeal. Unfortunately, he never changes the formula for his brew, which means his product lags behind the better-tasting competition. He realizes how awful his beer is when he finally takes a swig of it; when he asks his former gang members (who are now his business partners) why they never said anything, they admit that they were too intimidated by him to offer criticism.

  • This is the case with some of the beers found in the taverns of the world of Lone Wolf.
    • In The Jungle of Horrors, if you take the river barge path, Paido spitting out "Ferina Nog" and calling it "bilge juice" almost starts a bar brawl. Lone Wolf finds the beer weak but doesn't have a problem drinking it. Of course, it's still much safer than drinking Bor Brew ale.
    • In the first book of the New Order series, some ale is described as having "a peculiar smell that makes you think of greasy animal hides."

  • There's the famous joke about bad beer everywhere: "You don't buy this beer, you rent it." (Because it looks like urine, tastes like urine, and quickly comes out as urine...)
  • An old Canadian joke specifically targeting American mass-market pale lager:
    Q: How is American beer like making love in a canoe?
    A: It's fucking close to water!
  • There's the joke about beer company owners having a get-together, each ordering their own beer, and the last one, who considers them all horse piss, orders a fresh, stating "since no-one's having beer..."
  • During the Carter Administration, "First Embarassment" Billy Carter commissioned a beer with his name on it. The story goes that somebody actually tried "Billy Beer," and it was so awful, he couldn't even swallow it. So he sent the rest of the can to a laboratory to have it analyzed. A week later, he got a letter from the lab: "We're very sorry, but your horse has diabetes."

  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston drinks something called "victory gin", cheap, low-quality drink supplied by the government which is the standard alcoholic beverage for white collar workers; both the taste and the smell of it clearly disagrees with him. (Ironically, when he's offered wine later, which the upper class drink, he's disappointed, finding it weak and mild.)
  • In the John Moore novel Bad Prince Charlie, Durk's Beer is deliberately watered down to the point of tastelessness by a brewer who came to the conclusion that people don't actually like the taste of beer, so he made a beer that didn't taste like anything to improve sales. To the dismay of his son (who is a liquor connoisseur trying to reintroduce the local population to the concept of quality beer), he appears to be right.
  • In ''Bimbos of the Death Sun", a Scottish folksinger theorizes that if you sent American beer to a laboratory, they would call back and tell you, "I'm sorry, but your horse has diabetes."
  • Taken to its logical conclusion in The Book With No Name, where the liquor Sanchez serves occasionally is urine.
  • "Mirror/rorriM, Off the Wall", one of the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon stories, has someone who comes from a mirror universe trade for five quarts of Tiger Breath, a legendarily bad hooch that Callahan says he keeps to unclog the toilets. What he trades is five quarts of a similar drink (known as "King Kong") from his universe. Mirror Chemistry makes each one taste like Wonderbooze to someone from the other universe; when Callahan tastes some of the mirror-universe King Kong, he likens it to a legendarily good whiskey called "Four-Eye Monongahela."
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's Castle in the Air, Abdullah tries some beer when he first arrives in Ingary and describes it as resembling camel urine.
  • In Circle of Magic: Briar's Book, Rosethorn falls ill with the magical plague and is bedridden and made to drink large amounts of willow tea to stop the fever. When she grows sick of the willow tea, she compares it to horse urine... and Lark objects from unexplained personal experience with the latter.
  • A common issue in bars on the Discworld.
    • Monstrous Regiment has Igor describe the beer in one pub as "horse piss" (and Igor would know, having really drunk it before). When the barman threatens them, Maladict intimidates him into providing the soldiers with a better-quality beer (including the line "I do not drink... horse piss." ) Igor's response:
      Igor: I'll thtick with the horthe pith if it'th all the thame to you... Look, I never thaid I didn't like it. Thame again?
    • The landlord of the Fiddler's Riddle in Equal Rites "sold only beer, which his customers claimed he got out of cats."
    • Likewise the customers of the Mended Drum are of the opinion you don't buy the beer there, you rent it for a couple of hours.
    • In The Last Continent, Rincewind noticed that the lager served at a bar in XXXX looked "like it had already been drunk." This is only because he's used to Ankh-Morpork beer, which is more accurately described as ale and even more accurately described as alcoholic gravy; the last half inch can be eaten with a spoon.
    • In Soul Music, Ridcully comments how they all know what goes in good beer in Ankh-Morpork. The rest of the wizards agree and order gin-tonics.
    • In Men at Arms, Nobby notes that despite the label boasting "150% proof", CMOT Dibbler's Soggy Mountain Dew "ain't got no proof, just circumstantial evidence."
    • Possibly in The Light Fantastic. When Rincewind, Twoflower and Cohen dine with nomads, all food is made out of horses. Rincewind decides not to ask where did the beer come fromnote , probably remembering the earlier scene in The Colour of Magic when he was sorry he asked about wine made out of "sea grapes".
  • In one The Dresden Files short story, Molly in her first duty as the new Winter Maiden visits the town of Unalaska, Alaska and orders a beer in a local bar. She calls it "a Russian concoction that tastes like it was brewed from Stalin's sweat and escaped a Soviet gulag."
  • The Elenium: Kragar The Alcoholic is quite disgusted by what passes for wine in the Tamul Empire, so a barrel of imported Arcian red wine makes a very effective bribe.
  • In the prologue to Fillets of Plaice, Gerald Durrell comments to his brother Lawrence that the last retsina he'd picked up had tasted like a urine sample from a mule, and probably was.
  • Apparently the beer served in slum taverns in the city of Haven in the Heralds of Valdemar novels fits this description — at least according to Alberich, who becomes a master at not really drinking the stuff when he's undercover. Skif, a child of the slums, doesn't seem to have a problem with it (though he agrees with Alberich that the wine served in those taverns is "goat piss").
  • Honor Harrington, stuck on the prison planet of Hell after a mass jail break, expressed the opinion that all Havenite beer they had found could be poured back into the horse it came out of and leave the universe a better place.
  • In the James Bond novels, M has a fondness for an extremely rough Algerian red wine nicknamed "the Infuriator". His club keeps bottles of it in their cellar for him, but refuses to include it on the wine list.
  • Johannes Cabal the Detective: Subverted with one macho beer from Mirkarvia, a country with Testosterone Poisoning as its hat. To Johannes' surprise, despite its charcoal-black color, slight viscosity, odor of coagulated dragon blood and obscenely high alcohol content, it actually tastes very nice.
  • Metro 2033 has the "home-brew" of the various stations. The exact formulations vary, but the end result is always cloudy, not entirely safe and "goes down like sandpaper".
  • The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II - Rebel Stand has an extended and extremely funny scene of Jaina Solo, her on-and-off Love Interest Jagged Fel, and Kyp Durron remarking on "the finest example of the Borleias distillers' art". Kyp thinks it's "part alcohol, part pepper, and part rotted fruit", while Jag remarks:
    "It's a drink that makes death-duels with Yuuzhan Vong pilots pale in comparison."
  • One Nation, Under Jupiter: Diagoras can't stand beer of any kind, due to it being generally disliked in Roman culture. Servius enjoys it, though.
  • In The Republic Of Thieves, Locke and Jean are settling down to do some scheming and specifically ask for some awful red wine, "plonk with sand in it", most likely to keep them from getting too drunk.
  • In The Redemption of Althalus, a tavern that is primarily a front for agents of the Church spying on a city that follows a schismatic religion deliberately serves the worst liquor they can find so that nobody who isn't part of their operation will ever go there for a drink. And even they refuse to actually drink the beer unless absolutely necessary.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Ghiscari wine from Meereen, made with small pale yellow grapes, is considered to be an inferior vintage that leaves a metallic aftertaste. Hizdahr zo Loraq refers to it as "yellow piss".
    • Subverted in Westeros: the Reach and Dorne have a long tradition of mudslinging which includes accusing the other of passing off swill as wine. Their regional equivalents of mass-traded, cardboard-packed plonk, however, are still decent enough wines, if for different reasons (cheap Dornish reds may be sweet-sour by default, but they have some kick, go with just about anything without being lost and keep in almost any cellar; the Reach's cheap reds are more plentiful, much sweeter, weaker in both complex flavour and alcohol content and also rather less forgiving of poor storage conditions). It's just that both regions also produce excellent, highly expensive nectar of the gods that their cheap and cheerful, poor-by-comparison exports have to rub shoulders with. Every character who has lived in the Seven Kingdoms and who has been near the Ghiscari brand of piss is in agreement: the sorriest, most abused wine/vinegar you can find in Westeros is better, wherever the grape was grown.
    • Meanwhile, the Lysene pirate Salladhor Saan apologizes to Davos for the quality of the wine aboard his ship, commenting that "these Pentoshi would drink their own waternote  if it were purple."
  • In the Spenser novel Thin Air, Spenser is in a bar with Chollo, who tries a beer and says something to the bartender, later revealing he said "I told him his horse has kidney trouble".
  • The Wheel of Time. Mat Cauthon's preference for questionable gambling dens forces him to endure a lot of terrible beer. When he has Birgitte as a drinking buddy, he's perplexed to learn that she actually enjoys harsh, raw beer, optimally served by ugly men.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Hilariously parodied by Russian Sketch Com 6 Kadrov. A guy in bar complains about his beer, calling it "donkey's piss". The bartender offers another cup. Guy takes a sip and immediately spits it out.
    Guy: What's this?
    Bartender: This is donkey's piss. That [other cup] was beer.
  • In Auction Kings, Jon's first attempt at brewing beer, having not read the instructions. Cindy helps him to try again and their efforts are much more fruitful.
  • Blackadder and Baldrick make an ill-fated voyage to the Cape of Good Hope (they're actually going to Australia) and are consigned to drinking their own urine. When they return, they pass it off to Melchett and Sir Walter Raleigh as "a very fine wine." From the episode "Potato."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As part of their training, Buffy takes the (underage) Potentials to Willy's, the local Bad Guy Bar for demons. The girls immediately beeline for the bar, but change their minds when Buffy invites them to "Down all the yak urine shots or pig's blood spritzers you like."
  • Cheers: "Home is the Sailor" has Woody mix up a "Screaming Viking" as part of a competition. We don't hear anyone say anything, but the fact everyone in the bar spits it out the minute Rebecca's out of sight says it all.
  • Daredevil (2015): Elektra says that Matt's German beer "tastes like piss".
  • In the Firefly episode "Jaynestown", Wash spits out a mouthful of the local drink, Mudder's Milk, while asking what the hell he just drank in Chinese. Shortly thereafter, the barkeep refers to it as "panda urine" when Jayne, rattled at the hero worship he's receiving, asks for another drink.
  • On one episode of Good News Week, Paul describes Fosters as tasting like "watered-down horse piss". Leads to a Tastes Like Feet moment.
  • While he was possibly in a poor mood, Inspector Morse surprised his partner by going teetotaler in Australia, which he later explained as, "They don't spell Australian beer with four 'X'es out of ignorance, you know."
  • M*A*S*H, where Hawkeye and co. ran a still in their tent. A guest who sampled some of the product described it as "pure poison". It's a Running Joke that the still's product is nearly undrinkable to anybody who doesn't live in the Swamp.
    • BJ described it as a martini made with lighter fluid (lighter fluid from the '50s).
  • In an episode of NCIS, a British guest character drops by Gibbs' house for a beer, but claims it tastes like horse excrement. (He wasn't too fond of the tea, either.)
  • In "The Best" episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! their prop artist whipped up an apparent gourmet meal using bargain bin ingredients. Among the various items served was a bottle of wine noted to have cost them $1.99.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Inverted in the episode "Legion," when Kryten says they've recycled the Starbug's water so much that it's starting to taste like Dutch lager.
    • Played straight in "Out Of Time," where Kryten has been making wine with urine recyc. Lister notes that it leaves a foam moustache that's impossible to remove without turpentine. Kryten later serves the crew's future selves the ship's last bottle of real wine and they spit it out, being used to the very best.
    • Referenced in "Tikka To Ride": Rimmer describes the landing after a particularly rough time jump as "Smooth as Egyptian whisky!"
  • Saturday Night Live: The 1999 "Shaun Mondavi Vineyards" sketch, in which Robert Mondavi's stepson tries to promote his own wine label. He occasionally sips from a glass, grimacing every time and eventually suffering dry heaves.
    Robert Mondavi: (trying the glass and spitting in disgust) This isn't wine! It's tequila and 5-Alive and those little marshmallows you put in cocoa.
    Shaun: And fish. And seawater.
  • The Sandman (2022), "The Sound of Her Wings": When Death takes her brother Dream to a medieval tavern to mingle with humans, Death takes one sip of her ale, winces, and cheerfully says "This is terrible!" She then unsuccessfully encourages Dream to try it.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • In the episode "Up the Long Ladder" the Space Irishman Danilo O’Dell doesn't think much of the whiskey the Enterprise replicators provide. Worf, son of Mogh introduces him to a far more potent Klingon beverage that leaves him cross eyed and speechless for several seconds.
      • The episode "Relics" found Scotty nearly gagging on the ship's "synthehol." He's more pleased with the true alcoholic Aldebaran whiskey Data brings him.
      Data: It is.... it is... it is green.
      • Which is an epic-level call-back to a Star Trek: The Original Series episode; Scotty was involved in a drinking competition with an alien whose group was studying the (mostly) human crew, one emotion/experience per participant. After going through every bottle of booze in his quarters (and likely the mess hall too), Scotty finds something he honestly can't identify and describes it exactly the same way Data later would.
    • Star Trek: Picard: In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Seven of Nine and Rios take turns sipping from a bottle with an unspecified green beverage that is the closest thing to alcohol on Coppelius. It tastes so gross that they both wince when they drink it, and Seven outright tells Rios that she doesn't recommend it, yet they don't stop passing the bottle.
  • In a The Two Ronnies sketch in which Ronnie Barker plays the President of the Institute of Scottish Tourism ("In other words, I'm PIST"), he warns tourists that identifying yourself as English in Scottish bars will usually result in being served with a disgusting concoction made from distilled ptarmigan (Which begins with a p, and so would you if you were being distilled), which is unfortunately identical to the Scottish malt whiskey he has in this glass here... (drinks, spits=) ...which is even more revolting.

  • Episode #396 "#1 Party School" of This American Life, focusing on #1 Party School Penn State found that the beer of choice for on-campus residents was hated by nearly everyone who drank it. Ira was naturally puzzled why they would drink it if they hated it so much. Answer? It was cheap, it got them drunk, and that's all that matters.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Forgotten Realms always paid attention to details, and since Ed Greenwood's original players included brewers, there's a lot of named drinks, including dubious ones. Such as utterdark, a wine which a few people really like and the rest call "black Bogbrook water". Speaking of Bad Guy Bar, Luskan pirates drink local "Fighting Cock" wine — "vile but laced with spirits to make it raw and strong" (and flammable). Calling something inferior "Elminster's Choice" probably wasn't a good idea, though.
      Elminster: I've forgiven the impudent wretch who was so bold as to borrow my good name for his second-rate ale. Eighty years as a stone toadstool is enough, I think.
    • An article in Dragon featured some fantasy brews, including Khlurgh, an orcish concoction that "smells like a rotting cow that caught fire." Drinking it required a fortitude save to avoid being poisoned, and not because of the alcohol content.
  • Eclipse Phase has the Scum swarm Phelan's Recourse, known for making both the best whiskey and a beer that even the locals prefer to use as drain cleaner.
  • Waxberry wine, from the Frandor's Keep supplement of Hackmaster, is so bad that the in-character travelogue of a wandering NPC sage outright says to avoid it at all costs. It apparently even causes lasting neurological harm on occasions.
  • Necromunda has what is called "Second Best," brewed from mouldy rat pelts, rancid slugs, and household wastes too disgusting to think about, fortunately you don't do much thinking after drinking it. Gangers who can afford it drink "Wildsnake", which is made from fermented snakes.
  • In Warhammer and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay:
    • Bretonnian ale brewing is so bad that "Bretonnian beer" is the in-universe byword for "undrinkable swill". The guide to Bretonnia in WFRP states that asking an inkeeper or tavern owner if his brewer is Bretonnian is a quick, cheap and foolproof way of starting a Bar Brawl pretty much anywhere in the Old World.
    • Talabheim Special ale is infamous in the Empire for its odd colour, harsh flavour, and inexplicably chunky texture. Nicknames include "Troll Squirt" and "I-be-done Swill".

  • Ainadamar: The whiskey Lorca gives Xirgu in the Bar Albor causes this reaction.
    Xirgu: "¡Coño, Federico! / ¡Este whiskey sabe a petróleo!"Translation 

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate: A side-quest in the game has the player finding samples of Victorian beer for Shawn to sample. The nice ones taste like this. The worst has Shawn break off mid-sentence, only to apparently come to several hours later, having written a small diatribe about the mating habit of finches while needing to pee repeatedly.
  • In the opening cinematic to Beneath a Steel Sky, the natives are holding a can of S.S. IPM Raw beer. Note that the name is "warm piss" backwards.
    • It should be noted that originally, this beer label read "Foster's Lager", which was replaced with the above due to Executive Meddling (likely Writing Around Trademarks, as that's an actual brand name). It was patched back in later releases.
  • Deep Rock Galactic: The Leaf Lover's Special is supposed to be a 100% organic beer, put in place by company management. Perhaps to an elf, if there were any in-game, it would give them a buzz or at least a pleasant feeling. To your dwarves, it is such a terrible concoction it actually cancels out any inebriation they had, and leaves them feeling empty inside (the description compares the sensation with that of a sudden pay cut). No dwarf will ever admit to even tasting the stuff, barring surprise inspections, and when ordering it at the Abyss Bar they usually do so in low tones and asking for a glass of water to pass the stuff.
  • Deus Ex: A conversation with an NPC in a Paris Bar has JC asking a patron about the drinks, which he responds, "Great, if you like rat piss." Which has JC responding, "Never tried it."
  • In the first Discworld game, the Drum offers something even worse than usual Ankh-Morpork fare in lieu of beer: Zinemoth's Lacontile Splenetic Emollient, one of the deadliest prescription medicines ever devised by man. note  Rincewind initially rejects it in favour of a glass of water — until the barman points out that said water will come from the River Ankh. Rincewind quickly decides that a tankard of Emollient is the better option.
  • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening's Dragon Piss gift for Oghren: "The name is probably figurative, but no one knows for sure." Of course, one can only wonder where Oghren's own home-brewed ale comes from, as hinted by him and Zevran in party banter in Origins. There is also Dwarven beer, which is brewed from lichen, mushrooms, dead rats and other stuff that can be found underground, and tastes exactly the way you would expect fermented lichen-and-rat to taste (and therefore subverting the usual portrayal of dwarves as master brewers). Oghren cites the quality of beer on the surface as a contributing reason to the large emigration of Dwarves from Orzammar.
  • Dwarf Fortress has sewer brew, an alcohol tied for the lowest value of any in the game, alongside swamp whiskey, prickle berry wine, gutter cruor, and mead. Fittingly, sewer brew is made with rat weed, and swamp whiskey is made with muck root, although prickle berries and sliver barbs are a relatively innocent name for a plant. Some dwarves will prefer these icky-sounding boozes anyhow, making them an important part of your farming industry if you want to maximize morale in your fortress.
  • EverQuest II has a newbie quest where you're asked to go collect samples from the nearby rust monsters in Freeport in order for a local bartender to experiment with a new beer. The unfortunate sap who tested the beer ended up going blind.
  • The Flavor Text for the 1-star quality beer beer in Fable II explains it's made with Balverine spleens. The 2nd star quality beer isn't much better, it's called "Gutter Beer".
    "This low-quality beer will coat your mouth with a bitter sheen of sadness. Best imbibed only after following several other drinks or a swift blow to the head."
  • The Fallout series:
    • In Fallout 2, the bar in Klamath serves "gecko piss." The Chosen One is quite alarmed at this until being informed that it's simply a local joke. The game also has Rotgut, which if you examine a bottle your character expresses uncertainty as to whether it's a cheap alcoholic beverage or cheap paint thinner. The first round of the Boxing Tournament is sponsored by Rotgut, which uses the advertising slogan "when you need a drink and you don't care what it is."
    • In Fallout 4, in Covenant, the Mr. Handy, Deezer, sells lemonade. But there are no lemon trees any more. Several companions ask about that, but Strong gives this gem:
    Deezer: Do you like lemonade, my dear green goliath? It's the freshest of Deezer's latest batch.
    Strong: What is lemon...aid?
    Deezer: Hm...a cultural barrier, I see! Just trust me, it's a marvelous elixir made with Deezer's own secret ingredients!
    Strong: Looks like piss.....tastes like piss.
    • In Fallout Tactics, "XXXXXBeer" can be found in the sleeping raiders hut in Freeport. Its description says it's a very strong imported beernote  that "Tastes a bit like weewee."
  • Background NPC chatter in Final Fantasy XIV; a rude customer asks for a glass of the Gold Saucer's "finest wine". The waitress asks the bartender for "our vilest piss". She claims to the customer that it's a "Fifth Astral Era vintage"; given that the game takes place in the Seventh Umbral Era over 1,500 years later, wine that old is likely to be piss now even if it really was a good vintage at some point. The customer, apparently, is ignorant of this, lamenting that it's only a Fifth.
  • Freelancer has Liberty Ale. Rumor has it the stuff is made from H-fuel byproducts. More likely the byproducts from production of Synth Paste.
  • In Game of Thrones (Telltale), Beskha comments on the Ghiscari ale she and Asher found in an abandoned tavern quite unflatteringly. "Ale! Goes in yellow and comes out yellow. Waste of time even drinking it".
  • Grand Theft Auto IV and V have a parody of shitty, cheap mass-market beer in the form of Pißwasser note , which is explicitly stated to be "Cheap German lager for export only". In-game ads play up the redneck stereotypes associated with chugging such brews in quantity, not to mention being constantly drunk to forget your problems and starting new ones ("Pisswasser, this is beer! Drive drunk, off a pier!").
  • Icewind Dale 2 has a bar that serves fermented boar's blood. It's considered as disgusting as it sounds by everyone in the bar, but as it's the only thing being served they drink it anyway. An NPC will offer up a magical trinket if you can beat him in a drinking contest (basically, whichever of you has a higher constitution score wins). Either way it ends with a Vomit Discretion Shot.
  • An early quest in Kingdom of Loathing has a few mugs of "Typical Tavern swill" as a reward. You can add fruity girl accessories to improve the stats, but it doesn't do anything for the taste. When Ed the Undying gets this quest, he remembers that he invented beer, and describes the first one as "mouse pee squeezed out of some damp grain", and learns that the recipie the Typical Tavern uses actual rats, although how is not specified.
  • Leisure Suit Larry does this as well, though some drunkards don't seem to mind the taste.
  • All of the taverns and inns you encounter in your travels throughout The Lord of the Rings Online have their own local tipples available for purchase. The Forsaken Inn in the Lone-lands is the home of Forsaken Ale.
    "There are many fabled brews in Middle-earth. This is not one of them."
    • Quests available only during certain holiday events require you to bring a specified drink from an inn to a particular NPC. Some of them want beverages that are reputedly quite nasty (either from a "Completionist" mindset on their part, because they've heard about it and want to see for themselves if it's as bad as everyone says, or because it's terrible but it reminds them of home). A different set of similar quests has you bringing them something other than what they requested as a prank.
  • Mass Effect 3: In the "Citadel'' DLC, during the second part of the loud party, Joker will challenge Cortez to match him shot for shot if the latter wants to get him to engage in shooting training. Joker's shots are something he made himself, which are three parts "horse choker" and one part antiseptic mouthwash. Cortez downs one and poetically compares the flavor to a goat's butt, then forfits the competition rather than have to drink another.
  • Grog in the Monkey Island universe, overlapping with Gargle Blaster. Non-alcoholic near-grog is said to taste just as bad as the real thing.
  • Puzzle Pirates: You can distill your own rum in a minigame, and your end result is this trope if you do poorly (though the only real effect is on your score and your rank).
  • Quest for Glory: The ale in the tavern in Spielburg in the first game. Apparently it "tastes as sour as it smells and burns on the way down" but it's "not the worst beer you've ever drunk". There's also the more expensive Troll's Sweat, which tastes like Exactly What It Says on the Tin and knocks you out instantly. Of course, the other option is the Dragon's Breath, so...
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart: On Planet Ardolis, Ratchet and Clank make the unpleasant discovery that the grog the robot pirates drink is made from Speedle (a type of snail-beetle critter) excrement. They're both relieved that neither of them have actually consumed grog.
  • In RuneScape there is a beverage called Moonlight Mead, which actually isn't mead because it is made from mushrooms and not honey. When you drink it, the game tells you "It tastes like something just died in your mouth". The only bar that serves this drink is in a town where almost everyone is a werewolf, possibly because werewolves like the taste of something dying in their mouths.
    • The only description for Braindeath "Rum" is "You try very hard not to die". Given that this is rotgut for zombies, brewed from dead spiders and brain slugs, it's probably not meant for human consumption, either.
  • Drinking plain old "Ale" in The Sims Medieval results in the "Stale Ale" debuff. It's not negative, but the Sim clearly is not pleased by the ale. (The "Wine" is similar. There are two kinds of wine, red and white. This is neither.)
  • At the beginning of Solasta: Crown of the Magister, when the party meets up in the Gravekeep's Cask inn, one party member says that the the ale tastes like donkey piss.
  • Another one from Sierra, in Space Quest: what passes for a bar in Ulence Flats, Kerona.
  • All the beer found in Space Station 13, when drunk, gives the message that "you taste piss water."
    • Stepping it up further is the recently added pruno, which is prison wine made by stuffing some waternote , two desiccated nubs of candy corn, four random garden-grown fruits and vegetablesnote , and a slice of moldy bread into a trashbag, then leaving it in the toilet to ferment for a while. It's some of the strongest booze you can get, but the flavor is like each of your taste buds being individually shanked, and it'll make you barf like there's no tomorrow.
  • Stardew Valley mocks its own inability to brew vodka from potatoes by having Pam request some brewed potato liquor as a special order. When you deliver it, she takes a swig, spits it out, and describes it as "fermented baboon kidney". Truth in Television: There's a lot more to distilled spirits like vodka than there is to fermented products like beer and wine.
  • Unreal Tournament 2004: The objectives in the officially-recognized map AS-Outback revolve around a brewery forcing bars all across Australia to serve nothing but non-alcoholic "Zero Beer", which is compared to "dingo's piss" in the level's intro.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft III: In "The Frozen Throne" orc campaign, after a sidequest to help a pandaren brewmaster gather ingredients for his masterpiece, said beverage comes out as this. Which is to be expected from unfermented beer. (Said brewmaster, Chen Stormstout, has much improved his craft by his appearance in World of Warcraft.)
    • World of Warcraft
      • A seasonal event involves telling the ill-tempered Dark Iron brewmaster Coren Direbrew that his product "isn't fit for pigs". This turns out to be base slander, but you're really just trying to pick a fight.
      • One drink is called "Fungus Squeezings", and most players adamantly refuse to drink it, except for that one dose of it required for an achievement.

    Visual Novels 
  • VA-11 HALL-A: "Promo" drinks were generally designed to advertise or memorialize something without any eye to the actual flavor of the drink involved.

  • In Dominic Deegan Stonewater thinks of human beer this way. Halflings also think Dwarf beer tastes like "piss water" (Dwarves find Halfling beer "snobby").
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan: Bikk tried to jumpstart a religion for Ronson (God of Alcohol) by impersonating him and giving two soldiers mugs of ale that would always be full when turned upright. But since Bikk doesn't know squat about brewing, the ale was very poor quality. One of the soldiers was able to start a bar using his mug, since "if it's cheap enough, people will drink anything." Said beer does prevent aging, though. The other soldier started a temple based around his mug, though he had to forbid his followers from drinking any of the "holy ale" to make it believable.
  • Kenny of The Kenny Chronicles is of the opinion that all beer tastes worse than piss (and he would know).
  • In one Nodwick story, Yeagar is at the bar flat broke and ordering the only thing he can afford: squeezed bar rag. He compares the taste to licking a troll's armpit.
  • The Order of the Stick: All beer in human lands is this to the dwarves, who have higher standards for beer, to the point that the Church of Thor have a dedicated Brewmaster who's job it is to make "holy ale" along with magical potions. In the prequel book On the Origin of PCs, Durkon, a dwarf newly exiled in human lands, has a Heroic BSoD when he tastes the finest beer in a bar and mistakes it for a tankard of moose urine. Granted, "finest beer" in a rat's-ass-end-of-nowhere tavern isn't going to be microbrewery-level craftsmanship to begin with.
  • In one arc of Pv P, several characters decide to take up brewing, and make an incredibly horrible-tasting beer, which they market as coffee flavored. Robbie proves to be such an appalling brewmaster that his first attempt produces something with the flavor of a quite excellent lager, but the consistency of soft-serve. They test-market it as "lagurt" in a tube (ala Go-Gurt) for hip young frat boys on the go, and it tests quite well, but Robbie is so bent on making high-class brews instead of profitable trendy fad hooch that he throws a tantrum and gives up on the whole thing.
  • Questionable Content:
    • There's... whatever they serve at the dive bar Hanners and her mom go.
      "Two shots of your finest whisky!"
      "We don't really serve anything I'd call 'finest whisky'..."
      Very well! Then we'll have two shots of your vilest rotgut!
    • Then there's Jimbo, who actually likes cheap beer. Of course, Jimbo is a construction worker in an East Coast college town, so it is entirely appropriate for the character that Narragansett is his favorite beernote . His reaction to being taken to a craft beer bar:
      Jimbo: Hey, some of these fancy beers are actually pretty good! Not Narragansett, but pretty good!
    • Before she quits drinking, Faye considers it a challenge to drink whatever's cheap at the liquor store. This leads to Marten asking her why she bought a bottle of something called "Midnight Hobo".
    • AIs don't eat or drink, but they can smell foods and beverages (often tea) and enjoy detailed mental imagery generated by the different aromas. Or not.
      Bubbles: India Pale Ales smell like a man urinating in a freshly mown field. As he urinates, he explains to me a subject which I already understand. I cannot get him to stop.
  • In The Rifters the stuff that Rod spits out here, is, as the bartender so cheerfully explains, sand beer.
  • The second strip of Van Von Hunter has a technomage conjuring a mini-fridge of beer "from the FUTURE!"
    Van Von Hunter: It tastes like piss...
    Technomage: Yeah, unfortunately all beer from the future is like that.

    Web Videos 
  • Cultmoo: On the Bro Beer Reviews, Cultmoo taste various malt liquors, some of which are allegedly surprisingly good, while others are allegedly disgusting. The following beverages are notable alcoholic beverages they have tried which they have panned:
    • Boss Watermelon is a malt liquor which Herr Pink and Señor Guerro describe as "tasting like perm chemicals and nail polish remover". It has the lowest score of any malt liquor on the show, and supposedly chugs as poorly as it sips.
    • Modelo Chelada is loathed by Pink and Loafy for its "tomato soup like consistency", and its flavor which "tastes exactly like vomit", while Guerro likes it.
  • Ordinary Sausage: One episode involves making sausage flavored with Jeppson's Malort liquor. Mr. Sausage is utterly disgusted by the taste, referring to it as "if whiskey expired" and comparing drinking it to getting repeatedly kicked in the groin, among other colorful metaphors. Unsurprisingly, the resulting sausage is beyond horrific and scores a 0/5.0
  • Stuart Ashen: When Stuart bought Tesco Value red wine as a comedy prop for his Ixo Vino review, since it's in a carton and not actually openable by the item, he actually tries the drink out of curiosity, and likens the taste to "ink and vinegar".

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: While the cast is held captive by a Cannibal Tribe during Season 9 ("Danger Island"), Malory rummages around for some alcohol, and finds a kind of beer the natives brew by chewing tropical fruit into a paste and then letting it ferment inside a gourd. Apparently it's like a "phlegm sangria". Weirdly enough, when she's asked if it's any good, she responds with a " know..." that implies it tastes better than it has any right to.
  • Close Enough: Parodied in "The Canine Guy" when Josh has to drink grog without Alex at the Medieval Times restaurant, he complains that without him, it just tastes like horse piss. As it turns out, the grog really is horse piss.
    Employee: He's onto us!
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter Griffin once said that the beer of a British pub tasted like "tobacco chewer's spit" while re-enacting the Boston Tea Party with the beer shipment. However, beer is still beer, so the guys decided to get wasted on it while they were pouring it into the harbor.
    • In the Peter and the Pawtucket Brewery episode ("Wasted Talent"), the song "Pure Inebriation" includes the line often used to allude that the beer tastes like piss (or maybe just that it ends up that way):
    Though the beer may be free / you're just renting it from me.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Duff, a parody of major beer brands like Budweiser, Coors and Miller, is often shown as a low-quality drink, mostly selling because of intense marketing and rampant alcoholism. In "Homer vs. the 18th Amendment", alcohol is banned in Springfield, and the non-alcoholic Duff Zero is an immediate failure.
    • One episode featured "Fudd", apparently the poor man's version of already poor beer. It was supposedly taken off the market in a lot of places, barring Shelbyville and one faraway bar Homer visits after he has a fight with Marge, after a load of hillbillies went blind.
    • Red Tick Beer has a unique flavour Homer can't quite put his finger on. Turns out, the company just lets dogs swim around in the brewing vat, one brewer even proclaiming, "needs more dog."

    Real Life 
  • Prison wine, as Steve of Steve, Don't Eat It! shows. It's not so much "wine" as it is poor man's moonshine. It may be made in a hidden plastic bag or an actual toilet with, unless you're very lucky, moldy bread for the yeast. The results vary enormously, of course; Steve's test run resulted in one that was "wine... like... ish" and another that was "sour, watery alcohol" with a foul smell. Remember, in Hell, this is all you get! A more infamous variation is the "Pájaro Verde" ("Green Bird"), from Chile. It's made from fermented garbage (turpentine, paint, varnish, even human shit, mixed with cola drinks and lemon to "improve" the taste) and methanol rather than ethanol; this combination is enough to kill several inmates every year.

Alternative Title(s): Tankard Of Moose Urine, A Tankard Of The Moose Urine