In the late 1980s, I spent a short happy sabbatical in Dorchester, Boston. There I was introduced to the sport of urban canoing, and Haffenreffer, the official beverage of the sport.
To stave off the ennui of those sweat-laden summer evenings, my landlord/roommate and I would strap the canoe to the vehicle that ran best that day. After a short detour to the package store, we'd be putting the canoe in at some random body of water. While shooting the sewage laden rapids of mighty Dot, or wrestling the mutated carp on the Mystic as it burbled through Medford, we slaked our thirst on the crisp malty pleasures of Haffenreffer.
There were no substitutes, and one Haffenreffer (or "Haffen reffen derffen dooffen reffen reffer" as it was regionally known) was plenty. The green bottle if wrapped in a brown bag generally kept the contents at acceptable gulping temperature for an evening's escapade. It does have "the import taste" and none will confuse its pungent nose with sweeter Bull or Olde English. Maximum enjoyment of Haffenreffer will always be in the out of doors, and canoing offered us greater scenic variety and equivalent opportunities for mayhem as sitting on the front steps on Burt St.
One evening, perched on an abandoned barge in the bay overlooking Squantum, draining the 4oth ounce from our Heffies, we realized that Haffenreffer was a clear, discernible unit of intoxication. Though measured in ounces, it represented a metric drunk. We also realized that rowing in against the tide was going to suck rhino ass.
Serving suggestion: Place well chilled Heffenreffer in paper bag, or have your convenience store/packy clerk do the honors. Step outside. Twist top off, aiming away from your face. Enjoy.