A New Twist on an Old Beer?

So, in the old tailgating days I remember guys mixing up what they called a “red eye” for an added kick to their morning. I know a Red Eye to simply be ½ beer with ½ tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix. Not my thing, but for some, it’s a refreshing (and cheap) twist on the Bloody Mary. I have also heard of a Chelada, which I know to be made simply by adding lime and salt to a beer. This alternative to a regular beer suits me just fine.

On the first sunny day (not kidding) in Seattle this year I ventured out in search of a patio to soak up some much needed Vitamin D, and a few refreshing cocktails. I landed at the Ballard Loft, a sports themed bar with an eclectic menu that boasts of an array of unusual takes on the hotdog. (Yes, I said the hotdog.)

Budweiser CheladaWhat else was new to me on the menu? The Budweiser Chelada. Of course, we had to get one. It is light orange with an extremely minimal head when poured. It has a salty, vegetable smell (for obvious reasons), and a sharp acidic flavor that really overpowered the taste of the beer. For me, it wasn’t great, but I am not a huge fan of tomato based juices. I really don’t even love a Bloody Mary (I know, I know).

As it was my first time to see a version of the Red Eye I did a little research to learn of its origin. I found that these types of beers have a classification, stemming from Mexican cuisine. The Red Eye and the Chelada fall into the category known in Spanish as cerveza preparada or simply, prepared beer. These drinks date back to the 1940s, when mixing beer with hot sauce and salsa became popular in Mexico. I also found that the true name of what I call the Red Eye is a Chavela.

In any regard, I think it’s interesting to watch good old Budweiser make a move to break new ground. They are just not breaking down any barriers with me on this one.

Have you had one? Tell us what you thought!

[techtags:BUDWEISER, CLAMATO, CHELADA, BEER, BEERS, NEW BEER]

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