Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Beereview: Chelada (a Beer with Shellfish in it)

Might be hard to see
how murky this is
If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know I have a nemesis. She is named Chelada and she lurks around areas with more Southern culinary influences. I use the term culinary here loosely because this stuff is so cheap and nasty I could have just as easily said "wherever the worst 40oz malt liquor is sold" and odds are you'd find it. This stuff is all over the place in the south but I have yet to see it here in New Jersey. We either have the good sense to avoid combining Seafood, Terrible Beer, and Hot Sauce together in one glass or (which is much more likely) all the pizza restaurants around here use the statewide supply of tomato sauce on "Tomato Pies," a.k.a. soggy upside-down mess-pizza.

Since they don't sell Chelada here, you may be wondering where I got it. In a previous post I confessed to having smuggled some back from my Honeymoon in Arizona. I had big plans for these two cans but one after the other they all fell through. I wanted to do a taste test with some friends but they all refused. I wanted to compare it to a homemade version but my clam juice was so disgusting that I refused. We're down to the wire now since this stuff is nearly a year old and probably about a century past it's "best by" date. It's all on me now to do a good old fashoned beereview.

I wanted to make sure this foul brew was ice ice cold (think: mastadon's nipples cold.) There're a lot of flavors in there that I definately don't want to experience fully. Even writing this as a live review has risks of accidentally tasting them. I had to pour it into a warm glass and take time out to type. One degree of warmth here could make all the difference.

Budweiser - Chelada

This "beer" pours thin and cloudy with increasing amounts of chunks, sediment, and what can only be described as herbs and spices. The color is somewhere between water from a rusty bucket, dishwater after taco night, or heavily diluted tomato juice (which it is.) This being a live review, it's time to taste.

Chelada tastes like salty sweat. The initial flavor isn't really like beer since the tomato juice is pretty overpowering. I happen to like Bloody Mary's but this is exactly like what the leftover stuff in the cup tastes like (once all the ice has melted.) The aftertaste has an insidious foulness that does indeed remind me of clams, but not in a good way. It reminds me of the little foot that stays stuck in the shell when you eat defrosted stuffed clamshells (which we ate a surprisingly large number of when I was growing up.)

Burping isn't usually part of my review but there's something about a beer that's made to be swilled fast and cold that demands some thought on this topic. After drinking only about an inch off the top of my glass I'm burping continuously. These burps burn. This beer doesn't taste hot, but the spicy clams make their presence known in (1) my burps, (2) my stink breath, and presumably (3) a little later in the bathroom. The burn continues to build and I really wish I had some taco chips or something to send down there in a frontal assault.

What's the bottom line?

I'm dumping this devil juice down the drain. Some people actually like this stuff. Some people are serial killers. Just sayin'.

Do you like this crap? Leave me a post in the comments below and tell me your secret!


  1. My favorite beereview yet!  This must be the only review where the taster was trying to taste as little as possible.

  2. Maybe it was past the expiration date and you were tasting foulness because it was spoiled?

    ... NOT!