- Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is almost always drinking Coors Banquet Beers in Cobra Kai.
- Given its prominence in some ’80s action movies, it makes sense that this would be Johnny’s favorite.
- “I should be getting paid by Coors for all of this,” Zabka said last year.
It’s impossible to watch Cobra Kai and not know what Johnny Lawrence’s favorite drink is because, well, you know what it is. It’s beer. Coors Banquet Beer, to be very, very specific—because it’s just that important. Johnny (William Zabka) drinks his Banquet from cans, and he drinks it from bottles. He drinks it at work, he drinks it out in the world, and he drinks it when he’s out to dinner on a date. He drinks his Banquet everywhere, and, let’s be real, it makes us want to drink it the next chance we get, too.
Johnny loves his Banquets, to the point where it’s basically all we see him drinking throughout the series. While Johnny and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) spend most of the series butting heads, there are a few moments where they come together and have a drink as the friends we all know they’ll eventually be. One time, they wander into a random bar; Daniel orders a very specific martini—Ketel One with ice—but Johnny sticks with his Banquet.
In some of the earliest moments of the series, we see a bearded, down-and-out Johnny waking up in his apartment, one crushed Banquet can in his bed, and a bottle on his nightstand; even after he shaves, opens up the Cobra Kai dojo, and somewhat gets his shit together, there’s one thing that carries over—his beloved Banquets. Cannot leave those behind.
When Daniel and Amanda are out for a date night at a Mexican restaurant, and happen to run into Johnny on his first date with Miguel’s mother, Carmen, they both order drinks as well. Daniel once again goes with something more “adult,” but Johnny has no shame—get this man his Banquet.
While some more jaded viewers probably make the jump to think this constant featuring would mean a Coors sponsorship of the show, Zabka is here to let you know that’s not the case. It’s just the right fit—the perfect fit—for this character.
“It’s just kind of an avant-garde, off-the-grid beer—people know about it now,” he told The Wrap about the beer first brewed in Colorado in 1873. “I should be getting paid by Coors for all of this.”
He’s right about it being a somewhat off-the-grid beer (as far as mass-produced domestic beers go); the company’s flagship product is of course the silver-canned Coors Light. Banquet did have its moment in ’80s of mainstream recognition, though; it’s featured throughout major action movies like Lethal Weapon and Sylvester Stallone’s coincidentally-titled 1986 action flick, Cobra. Obviously, these are both movies that Johnny would have seen in his youth and probably very much adored.
While it might look like Johnny is throwing all those Banquets back with precision (and sometimes feeling the desired effect after drinking one or two or six of them), Zabka hasn’t ever actually had one while making the show. Because, come on, William Zabka is not going to be peak William Zabka if he’s drinking beer all day.
“I haven’t really drank a Coors Banquet on the set, because all of that’s water and iced tea, so I can’t totally vouch for it yet,” he said. “But the bottles look cool, man.”
Full disclosure—when watching through Cobra Kai, I did grab a 25 ounce Banquet from a nearby bodega. I’m no beer snob, but as far as cheap crappy beer…it’s not bad. It serves its purpose. Drink enough Banquets and they’ll get you drunk. Drink responsibly, of course, enjoy the beers. But, meta enough, the best place for Banquets might be…on your couch, watching William Zabka drink Banquets. Poetic, really.
Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.
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