Unusual “G.I. Joe” Beverages For Your Collection

While older fans may remember that the name "G.I. Joe" was first applied to soldiers in WWII and then subsequently to Stars-n-Stripes' comic strip characters, "Willie and Joe," it's probably not a good idea to use this name for alcoholic beverage purposes. "But Dad, It says GIjOE! Why can't I drink it?" HA! (Photo: )

1980s “GIjOE Beer” can (Photo: canmuseum )

“Knock One Back—With G.I. Joe!”

(Now THERE’S a slogan we never expected to see.) But ever since we first reported on a line of bad-tasting (and now slightly infamous) “GIjOE Survival” sugar-water beverages (see complete story HERE), additional discoveries of equally bad ideas for liquid GIjOE refreshments have continued to “trickle in” to the newsroom here at The Joe Report. And the first one to cross our desks was, actually, quite a surprise. It sports boldly lettered, brightly colored “GIjOE” graphics on every can. Every can, that is—of BEER.

That may not shock older fans who remember that the name “G.I. Joe” was first applied to soldiers during WWII and then subsequently to Bill Mauldin’s  Stars-n-Stripes’ comic strip characters, “Willie and Joe” (see HERE). But despite the name’s WWII history, it’s gone on to more prominently represent a children’s action figure toy line, and that means it’s probably not a good idea to use the GIjOE name anymore to sell alcoholic beverages. (What’s next? “Barbie’s Bourbon?” How about “Transformer’s Tequila?”)

Pop your top, and the beer bottle cap falls neatly into the vintage "GIjOE Beer" can receptacle below. Yes! (Photo: Handy Sam)

Pop your top, and the beer bottle cap falls neatly into the vintage “GIjOE Beer” can receptacle below. Yes! (Photo: Handy Sam)

Created and sold in the 1980s by Schell’s Brewery in New Ulm, Minnesota,”GIjOE Beer” was available only in all-steel pull-top cans, and is no longer in production. However, aided by the power of the internet, die-hard Joeheads can still find (empty) cans of the unusual product on various websites and ebay. One enterprising dealer who goes by the name, “Handy Sam,” has gone so far as to make and sell GIjOE Beer can bottle openers (see photo at left).

So-called "Energy" drinks like this can of "Go Joe" are essentially high-sugar, caffeinated beverages that give you a predictable sugar rush followed by—a trip to the bathroom. (Photo: )

“Go Joe” Energy Drink (Photo: Keith Mayo)

16 Oz. “Go Joe” Energy Drinks

Our next GIjOE-inspired beverage will appeal mainly to younger consumers, but it will also be of interest to Joeheads, simply because of its name. It’s called “GO JOE” (see closeup at right) and can currently be found predominantly at Tennessee Mapco Mart gas stations. GO JOEs are sold in tall 16-ounce aluminum cans which are adorned with modern MARPAT camo, a pair of dogtags on a chain, and a GO JOE logo that’s reminiscent of the ’80s RAH GIjOE logo. We haven’t tried GO JOE ourselves, but as a product category, “energy drinks” are essentially revved-up sodas, typically much higher in carbs, sugar, sodium and caffeine. Consuming 16 ounces should provide you with a predictable, but short, “sugar rush” (some call it a “jolt”), often followed by a slight headache, a subsequent “sugar crash,” and finally, pangs of guilt and regret whenever you step up onto a doctor’s scale (yes, they are also fattening). Despite such foreknowledge, energy drinks like GO JOE continue to sell well among teens and college-aged young adults. (Bueller?)

GO Joe Energy drinks are available in 5 different flavors. (Photo: Go Joe)

GO Joe Energy drinks are available in 5 different flavors—and colors! (Photo: Go Joe)

We were curious about GO JOE’s specific ingredients, so we checked with the nutrition experts at MyFitnessPal, and they informed us that each 16 Oz. can contains the following: Calories 250, Sodium 400 mg, Total Carbs 63 g, and Sugars 57 g. Whoa! We didn’t get a figure for caffeine, but it’s surely “up there” as well. Caveat Emptor!

According to the company, “We’ll have cold-brewed caffeinated and decaf ‘Cold Cans’ of G.I. Joe Coffee as well.” Above, a 16 Oz. can of GIjOE Coffee, it’s top popped and ready for your next road trip! (Photo: GIjOE Coffee)

Want a REAL Cup of Joe?
Try “GIjOE Coffee”—In a Can!

We’d never heard of this next GIjOE beverage until stumbling across it recently, completely by accident. Since it’s a brand new product, it’s a safe bet that you’ve never heard of it either. We’re talking about the all-new—”GIjOE Coffee!” And we’re also thrilled to learn that the creators of this exciting product hope to accomplish MUCH more than just sell coffee. According to the company’s official data over on Linkedin:

“G.I. Joe Coffee is a a Veteran-focused coffee brand that enables Veterans and those who support Veterans to actively participate in the direct funding of Veteran causes; specifically disadvantaged, disabled and differently-abled Veterans. Our primary mission is to establish partnerships with organizations whose goals are to aid in the funding, assistance, housing, or any other service that directly involves disabled Veterans. (and) …to attract a wide market of G.I. Joe Coffee drinkers who feel the need to not only indulge in great coffee blends but feel a sense of ownership of the brand. As a startup company, located in Scottsdale, Arizona; G.I. Joe Coffee expects to attract Veterans, associated family members, friends, celebrities and corporate supporters of Veteran causes.”

The GIjOE Coffee product lineup. (Photo: GIjOE Coffee)

The GIjOE Coffee product lineup. No, I don’t drink coffee. Yes, I want one of each! (Photo: GIjOE Coffee)

What a great concept! Just think of all the good things the GIjOE Coffee Company can do for disabled veterans. And their packaging is absolutely outSTANDING! What a great product to buy, consume and support. Go, GIjOE Coffee! OoRAH! We wish you all the best! For more information on this brand new company, their goals and their product line, take a look at this 3-minute video:

Sometimes the straws can be more desirable as a collectible than the cup. These Slurpee straws included "slide up, slide down" mini-GIjOE figures that are absolutely ROCKIN'. I guess we'll have to—Collect them all! (Photo: 7-Eleven)

Sometimes the straws can be more desirable as collectibles than their cups. These Slurpee straws included “slide up, slide down” mini-GIjOE figures that are absolutely ROCKIN’. I guess we’ll have to—Collect them all! (Photo: 7-Eleven)

But What About the Kids?

Of all the GIjOE beverages described above; GIjOE Beer, GO JOE Energy Drinks, and GIjOE Coffee, none are appropriate for the youngest Joe fans among us—our children. And as obvious as it seems, neither Hasbro nor any other company has ever released a simple GIjOE soda targeted to children (no, those horrendous “Survival Beverages” don’t count, especially since they sent people to the hospital). So, we’ll conclude this discussion about GIjOE-inspired beverages with one that’s actually SAFE for children (and adults) to consume—Slurpees! While they’re not exactly “unusual,” (Slurpees have been around since 1958), you don’t have to be 21 or possess a photo ID to purchase or drink one. And with the release of each new GIjOE movie, fans can always look forward to a deluge of GIjOE-inspired beverage cups, many of which have turned out to be VERY collectible.

Collectible GIjOE Slurpee cups from the movie: GIJOE, The Rise of Cobra. (Photo: 7-Eleven)

Finally! Something for the kids (okay, Dad too). These four outstanding GIjOE Collectible Slurpee cups are from the movie: GIJOE, The Rise of Cobra. What fantastic graphics! (Photo: 7-Eleven)

Bottom Line: For collectors of GIjOEs and GIjOE-related “ephemera,” practically ANYTHING labeled “GIjOE” becomes fair game. And it’s always fun to discover new things that you never knew existed. Personally, I have dozens of unofficial, non-Hasbro “GIjOE” items in my collection (that GIjOE beer can is on its way to my house as we speak) and everything else in this article holds an interest for me as well. (Now I know where I’m stopping in Tennessee on my drive to Joelanta!) Regardless of your own Joe-beverage preferences…Bottom’s Up! Cheers! ¡Salud!


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