If you spend enough time in liquor stores, you're bound to come across plenty of misguided attempts at capturing a market. Budweiser is notorious for taking a trend and selling their own version of it. Are you a Red Bull/Vodka drinker? Try Bud Extra (formerly B to the E). Do you like to combine tomato juice and light beer? (Who the hell does this?) Try Bud Light Chelada!
While it's easy for any beer geek to write off these products, sometimes you've just got try it yourself. Beer review sites can get things wrong. And when you're dealing with A/B products, reviews tend to be downright deceitful. (I've had the Mule Kick and it's really quite tasty.)
With that in mind, as part of our anti-superbowl party yesterday (we watched Fulham beat Aston Villa), we sampled the full-flavored Budweiser version of Chelada.
The color of this was like nothing I've ever seen. It could have come out of the can as bright green ooze and it would have been less disturbing. The beer taste that came through on the back end made the tomato juice taste rotten. The last thing I said before I poured the rest in the sink was "This ain't right". Beer and tomato juice go together like the Bill Belichick and sportsmanship. 0 mugs
I wish I had a better explanation for why we did this. It goes like this: We had leftover sampling cups for Big Car. We had some cans of Chelada. We each tried to finish a shot. Some of us didn't get that far. A fizzy pink body, nose of celery, a peppery taste that's sort of like if you stuck a bouillon cube in your mouth. But that makes it sound almost appealing. It isn't. At least it was sort of interesting. 0.15 mugs.
I may have to rethink my grocery store shopping strategy after this one. I love trying new products; omelet-in-a-box, novelty breakfast cereals, meals that cook themselves when you add water, etc. In short, I love a gimmick. This product jumped out at me while perusing a local chain grocery store, and I fell for it. I figured, "Hey, it's a Budweiser product. The worst case scenario is that it doesn't taste like anything." I was wrong. It tasted like a hangover. It was a sour tomato soupy mess that made me want to reseal the can and bury it at the center of the earth to put it beyond the reach of likewise curious folks. This abomination receives a John Blutarsky rating from me. Zero point zero. If you're a glutton for punishment, or your curiosity must be satisfied at all cost, I still have two cans taking up space in my fridge.
Just a short list of the thousands of wonderful Mexican and Latino contributions to our American culinary culture. In fact, they had been batting pretty well so far.
Then comes Beer and Clamato. Swing and a miss.
I can't imagine someone purposely mixing this drink. It had to have been created by accident. And it's not just tomato juice you are putting in there; Clamato is tomato juice AND dried clam broth.
I give it 0.25 mugs, simply because beer and tomato juice are two components of my chili recipe and if for some strange reason a store is out of regular beer and tomato juice, but has Chelada, it would probably work in a pinch.
Now let us never speak of this again.