The reason that there’s not a lot of NW participation on this thread is that, get this, the beer is generally pretty decent here. The companies that survived the first round of consolidation made technically decent, if not inspiring beer. Even Olympia, prior to its manufacture in such premium water-rich areas such as Longview, TX and Godknowswere, FL wasn’t total bongwater; it was a light, decent-enough lager that was darned tasty after mowing the lawn, while fishing, or any of the other settings where people like a "session" beer (IE, they’re having more than one). Hamms will, of course, not garner a lot of support from beer fanciers, but it was pretty common during my college years.
Lucky Lager, from lovely Vancouver, WA was probably the default cheap beer in my misspent youth – I seem to recall it being around $5 a case plus bottle deposit in Oregon. Blitz-Weinhard (not Henry Weinhard Private Reserve, which qualifies as Decent Lager) may in fact have been named for it’s effect, rather than any Blitz family members in the organization. The Strohs/Heiliman/Miller/Pabst mergers/brand acquisitions/licensing deals have really eliminated any true popular-priced beer that is actually made in the NW. While we certainly have an active micro and macro-brewing scene, the last mega-brewery, the Olympia facility now owned by SABMiller, will be closing at the end of the year.
If we go with the theory that what you drank in college was the crap beer of your area and age, then that would have to fall to Henry Weinhard’s Ale. Very popular post-Rugby.