I'm glad my cheap beer days are well in the past...I prefer quality over quantity...but young folk, meh...
Back when I was in college, there wasn't much quality around and, as you say, it was quantity over quality to a great extant. My splurge was Molson Export and Wednesday night $2.40 Heineken pitchers (Pabst pitchers were $1.20). A couple of backgammon wins and I was set for the night.
Even the fancy restaurant I worked at had food that was inferior to what I make today. Who ever heard of cooking shrimp twice? That place did, and charged a good buck for that rubber.
One summer morning, off campus, I was cooking some shrimp my Mom had given me to make shrimp remoulade. My upstairs neighbor, who I had a serious crush on, smelled the shrimp and came knocking. We knocked back a few scotches while noshing on shrimp. A woman drinking scotch -- before noon, no less. Besides her good looks, any wonder why I had a crush?