My Crazy Search For “Pink Champale”

You ever heard of this stuff? It’s wonderful. Know where to find it in Iowa, Nebraska, or Missouri? Tell me!

I re-read over some of my most recent posts last night and realized that my writing has taken a decidedly dark turn. Any dry humor I might once have shared is now missing from the pages. Feel-good stories too, are gone. It’s become all about my depression, anxiety, and travails. I found myself nearly sobbing onto my keyboard that I have become such a pessimist. This is a word I war against, and have always persistently proclaimed myself a realist instead. That would not be the case anymore. I shamefully admit I have officially joined the ranks of the ‘glass-half-empty’ people. I wondered when exactly that happened, and how I could now go about changing that.

I got to thinking about some visual techniques that my therapist had showed me. You know, make a collage of photographs cut from magazines, etc. of pictures that depict things you want, places you desire to go, careers you want to have; the life you dream of. The theory is that if you visualize it, it’s supposed to be easier to attain. I wondered if the same could be said for all the other senses: Hearing, Taste, Smell, Touch. I began to remember different times when something I ate, music I heard, different smells, reminded me of a simple, more pleasant time, and the emotions that I associated with those. As I recall it made me feel pretty damn good, and I wondered if that might be the key to uplifting my spirits. Surround myself with these things, and make a point of experiencing them when the blues began to hit. I set out to make such a list (that I’m going to eventually add a page to my blog about), and stumbled upon a few roadblocks. A few of my favorite things from the better times in my life are no longer available. Okay, well you know that started me on a mission!

I decided my first order of business was to try and locate some ‘Pink Champale Malt Liquor’. Any of you remember this stuff? It was like the poor man’s champagne, but came in 12 oz bottles you could drink like a wine cooler. I used to live on this stuff in my late teens and early twenties and it holds tons of memories for me. One of the most memorable was in the summer of 86’ I believe, when I went on my first, ‘friends’ vacation. My first husband and I had temporarily separated, my best friend in the whole world had recently located clear on the other end of the state from me near Davenport, and a girlfriend and I were going to drive out to spend a long weekend with her. I remember how excited I was about getting a break from my two year old and having a girls’ weekend, and how we loaded up on this Pink Champale for the ride there. Yeah, I know…not such a good idea to drink and drive for six hours, but we were both in our early twenties, and immortal back then. Oh, my gosh! The fun we had!!

We brought everything with us for this three-day vacation; I kid you not! We had a backseat full of Pink Champale and munchies for the ride. And the trunk was filled to the gills with clothes and shoes. Hey, we were young, attractive, intended to go out while we were there, and didn’t know what we wanted to wear! I remember the excitement I felt upon leaving town, the drive there which introduced us to some Iowa State College Kids on the interstate that were showing signs from their cars directing us to what they referred to as a ‘Playboy Party’ at some lake. As I recall we never made the trek to that lake, but did hang out for a bit to converse (my memory fails me now). All in all, the drive there was wonderful, we were intoxicated from the malt liquor and summer wind that filled the car through opened windows, and upon arriving my best friend met us out at the car, and the three of us jumped around like giddy teenagers. The only one that didn’t seem that happy was my best friends father (who managed and lived in the apartment complex where she’d moved). He came out to carry our bags, and upon opening the trunk turned to my best friend and asked, “I thought you said they were staying the weekend?” Yeah, it was ‘that much’ luggage. That weekend sticks in my mind vividly, but no other detail as much as that chilled, Pink Champale, and the way it tasted going down on the hot summer day.

I got to wondering if they even make this stuff anymore, and googled the name to try and locate it. Imagine my surprise to find that everyone and anyone is trying to locate this shit too. Apparently there are a lot of us ‘Pink Champaler’s out there. I followed one lead after another from website to website like a damned private eye, and even started looking through online liquor store inventories. Sheesh…don you know how many of those there are! Finally I stumbled upon Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia if you can imagine. I started reading up on the history of this drink, found the name of it’s old, brewing company and the one that currently owns the rights to it Pabst Brewing Company.

I must say I was really pleased with myself, because I knew now it was just a matter of contacting them and finding a nearby distributor, which is what I did. Well…kinda. I called the toll-free number, and spoke with a customer service rep who was very nice and quite informative, but unfortunately didn’t help me with squat. Apparently it is still distributed, but in limited supplies, and the closest to where I am is in Arkansas or Illinois. Which isn’t going to do me a bit of good, because I rarely leave my house, let alone this state. I inquired about sources they distribute to that I might be able to purchase online from, and was told that it was illegal to ship beer, so that wouldn’t be a possibility. Illegal to ship beer? Who knew!

Okay, so my quest for the elusive ‘Pink Champale’ was futile. I have resigned myself to the fact I may never again be able to enjoy this cold beverage on a summer’s day and get lost in the memory of better times. I’m saddened that the closest I may ever get to it would be by consuming some cheap, pink champagne, and am not even sure that would come close. I do, however, have another on my list that I haven’t looked for yet, and I hope will be easier to find: ‘Orange Bubblicious Gum’. My first husband chewed it all the time when we were dating, and I used to suck it out of his mouth into mine so I could share. Okay, so the memory of the first husband might not be the one I’m looking for, but the flavor of that gum mingled with Budweiser Beer and the fun I had partying, is!

3 thoughts on “My Crazy Search For “Pink Champale”

    1. Hey, thanks for the info!
      I went online and checked it out. Yikes! The booze is cheap, but damn they wanted almost $52 to ship. WTF? Am going to New England later on this year, and maybe I’ll try and get there to pick some up myself. Gotta check a map. 🙂

  1. My local liquor store helped me locate a wonderful local WASHINGTON STATE WINE I USED TO HAVE WITH PRIME RIB DINNERS WHEN i LIVED THERE…Nueharth Dungeness Red. The winery had changed names and owners, but they still made it, and they were agreeable to ordering a case or two for me. There were some other tax issues, but my point is, go to your local liquor store and see if they can order it in for you. Be prepared to buy a larger quantity. My guess is, if they deal with that distributor, it will be easy as pie. If not, they may look into it anyway…Pabst is such a 70’s beer, anyway! LOL,how funny.

    I especially enjoyed your tale of how good it tasted in the hot summer wind. Nostalgic.

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