Cinco de Mayo is always a fun event. For me, it’s a good excuse to break out to treat my wife to my favorite Mexican recipes. This year we went with tacos and homemade salsa and guacamole. You have to wash that down with a special kind of brew. No, not a double IPA, not a barleywine, or an Imperial Stout. We’re going simple this time, with some Mexican lagers.
As you can tell, I’ve been a big fan of hitting Trader Joe’s to try their exclusive beers. Mainly, the price is right, and with a respectable list of brewers behind their labels, it’s worth a shot. This time I reached for the Trader José bottles. For $1 per bottle, it’s worth a shot, right?
As you can see, these are essentially copies of a Corona and Modelo Negro. Being Cinco de Mayo, I figured the Corona wannabe should be served with salt and a lime. I have to say, this really wasn’t a bad beer. I prefer this to Corona, as it has the same essence as Corona, minus the that typical “skunk” that the clear bottle champion is known for. Very easy to drink and a little on the sweet side (although that may have just been the lime), this steps up there with Modelo Especial for my choice of light Mexican lager.
Now it’s time for the dark lager. In college, friends of mine would meet at La Val’s in North Berkeley for $5 pitchers of Dos Equis amber during Happy Hour, so I have a special place in my heart for my dark Mexican cousins. Unfortunately, this dark lager is a complete bust. Caramel sweet, no hop finish (not that I expected much), this beer resembles cola more than beer. I am sure this would go over well with a bunch of drunk high school students but I couldn’t finish my glass.
So the guacamole is gone, as are the $2 I invested in my beer. One was a dud, but the lager was a success. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a Mexican lager without that funk that typically defines the style.
In case anyone was wondering, this one was brewed by Cervecería Mexicana a division of MolsonCoors. I know…I know.