Olde English 800

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Olde English 800
Olde English 800 - 40oz
ManufacturerMiller Brewing Company (since 1999)
Alcohol by volume 5.9–8.0
StyleMalt Liquor

Olde English 800 is a brand of American malt liquor brewed by the Miller Brewing Company. It was introduced in 1964, and has been produced by the company since 1999.[1] It is available in a variety of serving sizes including, since the late 1980s,[2] a 40-U.S.-fluid-ounce (1,200-milliliter) bottle.



Olde English 800, also known as 8 ball or Old E (O’ E in some colloquial dialects), was introduced in 1964.[3] It had its origins in the late 1940s as Ruff's Olde English Stout, brewed by Peoples Brewing Company of Duluth, Minnesota.[4] Rebranded Olde English 600, it was later sold to Bohemian Breweries of Spokane, Washington, and then to Blitz-Weinhard of Portland, Oregon, where it became Olde English 800. By the time Blitz-Weinhard was sold to the Pabst Brewing Company in 1979, Olde English Malt Liquor had become their top brand.


Michael Hagan's idea of a good time is to guzzle a few bottles of Olde English "800" Malt Liquor and smoke PCP with his fellow gang members in the slums of south central Los Angeles. There is no telling what might happen. - The first line of an August 1987 Time magazine story called "Life And Death With the Gangs"[5]

In August 1989, when the brand was owned by Pabst and targeted by the brewer towards the "urban contemporary market", a coalition of "22 public interest groups involved in minority issues" criticized the marketing of Olde English ﹘which as a malt liquor has a higher alcohol content than most beers﹘ or what they characterized as an "emphasis on black and Hispanic consumers."[6]


In 1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995, while still owned by Pabst, Olde English was awarded a gold medal in the American Malt Liquor category at the Great American Beer Festival. In 1992, Pabst introduced Old English 800 Draft, a cold-filtered instead of pasteurized "draft-style" malt liquor.[7][8] Olde English received the gold medal in the American Style Specialty Lager category in 1997.[9] The 1999 acquisition of Olde English 800 by Miller meant its share of the U.S. malt liquor business grew to 36 percent; it also led to a "less controversial" marketing strategy for the brand, one that by 2000 included the sponsorship of a series of minority business seminars.[10]


In 2010, the 3.2% ABW version of Olde English was rated one of "the worst beer[s] in the world" by RateBeer.com, a beer rating website.[8][11]

Alcohol content[edit]

As of 2010, Olde English 800 is brewed in several versions which vary in alcohol by volume (ABV):

Brand Region ABV
Olde English 800 East Coast Through Midwest (USA) 5.9%,[12] 7.7%[3]
Olde English 800 Texas (USA) 3.2% ABW[12] (approximately 4.2% ABV)
Olde English 800 7.5% West Coast (USA) 7.5%[12]
Olde English High Gravity 800 USA 8.0%[12]
Olde English 800 European Union 6.1% ABV[citation needed]
Olde English 800 Canada 8.0%[13]

Currently it is available in a 16-ounce [473 ml] pint can, 24-ounce [710 ml] "tallboy" can, a 22-ounce [651 ml], 40-ounce [1.183 litre] or 42-ounce [1.242 litre] plastic bottle, or a 40-ounce glass bottle. It was originally available in 12-ounce [355 ml] or 32-ounce [947 ml] "King Size" (c.1999) cans and 22-, 45- or 64-ounce glass bottles.


  1. ^ "Stroh completes sale, leaves beer business". Modern Brewery Age. May 10, 1999. Archived from the original on 2005-05-31. Retrieved 2010-10-24 – via FindArticles.
  2. ^ "For Minority Youths, 40 Ounces of Trouble". The New York Times. April 16, 1993. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  3. ^ a b "Olde English 800 Malt Liquor". SABMiller. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  4. ^ Hoverson, Doug (2007). Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 166.
  5. ^ "Life And Death With the Gangs". Time. August 24, 1987. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  6. ^ "Groups Plan to Protest Malt Liquor Campaigns". The Media Business. The New York Times. August 23, 1989. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  7. ^ "Pabst premieres a malt liquor 'draft'". Modern Brewery Age. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  8. ^ a b "Is Olde English Truly The Worst Beer?". Ratings. The Consumerist. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  9. ^ "Past Winners". Great American Beer Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  10. ^ "Miller Goes Soft on Marketing Malt Liquor by Sponsoring Minority Seminars". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. AccessMyLibrary. October 23, 2000. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  11. ^ "The worst beer in the world". Ratings. RateBeer.com. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  12. ^ a b c d "Nutrition and Codes – Domestic". MillerCoors. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  13. ^ "OLDE ENGLISH 800". The Beer Store. Retrieved 2022-05-07.