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The Weekly Beer Geek: Beerito Mexican Lager

Beerito Mexican Lager
Oskar Blues Brewery
$2.09/Can (12 oz)
Grade: C-

The Beginning
I always throw a glance at the Oskar Blues shelf at the liquor store, because I generally like what they’re selling. I hadn’t noticed this one before- but no sooner had I seen it than I was confused by it. It’s called “Beerito,” but what does that mean? Is it just a Mexican-sounding name? Is it a blend between a Beer and a margarita (a masculine one, I guess… margarito)? Perhaps it’s a burrito-flavored beer? Or a mojito-flavored beer, and Oskar Blues just got Cuba confused with Mexico? The possibilities are endless!

The Brewer’s Pitch
Oskar Blues’ opening gambit? Describing the beer’s name as “uncanny.” It’s NOT uncanny, it’s just confusing, and I think the brewery might not know what an adjective is. They also say the mouthfeel is “unique,” which is not a reassuring word. It destroys all the rules- a light bodied amber lager that uses Colorado malt to give it a surprisingly thick and creamy mouth feel. The flavor notes seem all over the place- grain, walnuts, toast, plum, honey, and cocoa (it sounds like what I assume breakfast in an English Boarding school is like, honestly). It’s a lot to pack into a mere 4.5% ABV beer, but Oskar Blues thinks they’re the ones to make it happen.

The Beer
Beerito is a honey amber, the color of a good ginger ale. The head is thin and ragged, slightly off-white, and the nose is sweetly roasted and a bit smoky. It’s pretty light bodied and a bit coarse from lingering carbonation. The first hit is oak and walnuts combining for a slightly herbal and acidic flavor with tannic backgrounds. Lightly toasted oat bread makes up the center of the flavor but the oak continues to dominate- as the beer warmed the plant notes got stronger and stronger. Towards the finish there was a burst of jammy sweetness but again, it was pretty minor in comparison to the dominant flavors.

The Breakdown
I’m no huge fan of sours, but I can see how they have their place. The sourness found in this beer is one I’ve just never been able to get behind. It’s that unpleasant bite you get when a bit of walnut shell sticks in the nutmeat and you eat it by mistake, or when you get dared to chew on some oak bark (don’t ask). It’s an insidious taste that undercuts whatever else was going on here. I can’t ding the beer too hard for it since, if I’d finished it promptly, it wouldn’t have been so bad. You know what I thought the entire way through this beer? I was thinking that Negro Modelo is what this beer wants to be: smooth, not too heavy, lightly sweet and smoky. Buy that instead.

The Bottom Line
The Oskar Blues page for this beer also includes a quote from “Malty Sanchez.” I’m not sure exactly where they were going with that but it makes me vaguely uncomfortable.

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