Weekly Beer Review: Los Locos

author-pic at The Weekly Beer Geek  

Los Locos Lager
Epic Brewing
$2.79/Can (12oz)
Grade: C+

The Beginning:
Imported beers (and domestics in the style of specific countries) are always an easy way to add a feeling of class to a cooler full of beer. Belgian? German? Dutch? Of course! But familiarity breeds contempt, it seems, as beers from- or inspired by- Canada and Mexico just don’t carry the same sense of importance. I mean sure, a Molson is great and we all love infuriating bartenders by shoving lime slices into our Corona bottles on Cinco de Mayo, but you’re not IMPRESSING anybody. So how about a Mexican-Style craft beer that’s a bit more exotic?

The Brewer’s Pitch:
The folks at Epic were inspired while eating at a nearby Mexican restaurant to try producing a beer designed to pair with the bold and spicy flavors. What they came up with was Los Locos Lager. It’s light and sessionable, a corn lager with hints of sweetness from the grain contrasting with sea salt and a tart kick of real lime juice (do you hear that, Bud Lite Lime? REAL LIME JUICE!). It’s a definite summer beer that you can enjoy to take the edge off the heat in a hammock or bring something special to a bonfire party (and not have to keep cutting all of those limes!)

The Beer:
Los Locos is bright hazy gold with a fluffy white head that vanishes quickly in spite of heavy carbonation. The nose is earthy and slightly musty, with a bright spike of lime sugar. The body is a fairly standard lager. Grain is the dominant flavor, the slightly sweeter malt profile of a corn-based beer (as opposed to the more common rice for most mass-produced lagers). The lime flavor quickly asserts itself, though, and takes a strong center stage. It’s pleasantly tart but overall quite sweet at the back end and has all the subtle taste of real fruit juice (as opposed to the one-note flavor syrups). The salt never really asserts, and the malt fades much faster down the stretch leaving a pucker lime-juice aftertaste.

The Breakdown:
Bottom line, this is an OK lager with a ton of lime juice added. The real life lime juice puts this a real cut above But Lite Lime (which, I cannot stress enough, I do not like), but it’s in the same flavor category. Unlike a Corona with a lime slice where you’re drinking beer with a lime accent, this is a lime beverage over a beer baseline. Whether that’s good or not depends on what you’re looking for, I suppose. It was a bit too one-note for me to really love it but I can see a situation where I want something sweet and tart and fruity- but it probably won’t ever be more than a quirky little oddball beer on my buy sheet. If you don’t want lots of complexity and DO like strong fruit flavors laid over a mild, unobtrusive lager base, you’d probably like this quite a bit.

The Bottom Line:
For those of you who don’t habla espanol, “Los Locos” means… The Locos!