Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beer Flavor Additives-'Michelada'

They don't do this where I come from http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/but here in Mexico it is very popular to add a kind of salsa to the beer. This salsa blend is made with chili and lime and pepper and when added to your favorite beer is called a 'Michelada'

Before the pour
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelada. Apparently, adding salsa to beer has been going on for quit awhile here in Mexico (since the 40's according to wiki) and is starting to make some headway into the U.S. Naturally, I had to give it a try as I don't want to come across to my Mexican friends as a purist in my beer drinking habits (even though, secretly, I am, don't tell anyone). I ordered it with my dinner at a restaurant called El Truco in Guanajuato and was surprised to recieve a bottle of Modelo naturally, along with a glass containing a couple of tablespoons of bright orange liquid in the bottom and the rim ladened with salt. I poured the beer in on top of the spicy juice and filled the glass. If you can tell by the picture, it turned out to be a murky mess with large gelatinus bubbles forming on the top. The lime is the dominant flavor in this concoction followed quickly by the pepper and chili spices. What little malt flavor that existed in the beer to begin with, is now non-existant. With the addition of the foreign matter in the beer, the co2 has plenty of opportunity to nucleate and the end result is a burning mouthful of the stinging release of carbonation which, along with the pepper flavor, achieves a strong 'bite' in the throat as you swallow. The lime adds an unexpected puckering tartness and the salt on the rim of the glass feels 'just plain wrong'.

After the pour
If you can't already tell, I object to this beer perversion occuring, but I have a pretty good idea why this practice is taking place, most of the beer here is lacking in flavor. Why not dump something in it? I guess that after awhile, crushing a lime into the top of the bottle just isn't enough to quench the underlying desire for a proper beer.
Speaking of additions, my next posting will be a review of the beer 'Horus', another from the tequillaria in Penjamo, Mexico.
Until then, do you make additions to your fresh brewed beer? Let us know.

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