Prior to camping this past weekend, I decided I would need a breakfast beer. I didn’t feel like going the coffee porter or stout route, and opted instead for a Chelada.
Chelada comes in both Bud Light and heavy versions, and is spiked with Clamato (clam-fortified tomato juice), salt, and lime. Bud Light is the best-selling beer in the world, but I do not like it. It leaves a horrid aftertaste in my mouth. I’ve tried the Bud Light Chelada before, and was very unimpressed. This time, I reached for the more caloric can.
I drank one can while setting up a tent following a four-hour drive, and another the next morning for breakfast. I quite liked the stuff. It was refreshingly fizzy, with a solid kick of tomato and a detectable lime bite, and perhaps a little too salty. To my tongue, it tasted exactly like the sum of its parts. Personally, I would add a splash of Tabasco.
Before even attempting this beer, you need to ask yourself the following: Do you like tomato juice? Do you have an aversion to shellfish? Do these things sound appealing mixed with beer? Do you ever put lime in your beer? Does salty beer sound in any way appetizing?
A month or so ago, I was mixing these myself from scratch. Beer with V-8, Tabasco, black pepper, and lime. I was at a friend’s place and using his beer. The Budweiser version was perhaps on par with my self-mixed Rolling Rock version, a little worse than my Corona version.
The beer snobs on the internet have much hate for this stuff (a 52 at BeerAdvocate and a stunning zero at RateBeer). Obviously, if you hate Budweiser, you won’t like this stuff. If you hate tomato juice, clams, etc. you won’t like this stuff. Even if you love the Bud and all the ingredients separately, you might find this stuff strange. But sometimes, and for some people, it can be just right.