Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hmmm...Mexican Beer and Bogans?

Last night we hit a mexican restaurant and of course reading the beer list didn't impress me that much. I wonder if Corona and Sol in Mexico is like Fosters in Australia; synonymous but not actually drunk in the country they 'come' from.

I have just finished reading a book on 'bogans' (generally meaning an uncultured person here in Australia [that is why it is quite unfortunate I have Bogan for a last name]) and one of the classic quotes to come from it reads as-

"the bogan enjoys beers that are brewed here [Australia] but are labelled as foreign to give the fictional imprimatur of international cool...the only genuinely foreign beer the bogan drinks tastes like cat's piss, and requires citrus-based assistance to enter the nebulous realm of 'drinkable'...Drinking a pale, watery version of beer somehow confers cultural cachet onto the bogan, purely because it is sourced from a Latin American country with many poor people."

-of course, they are talking of Mexican beer like Corona and Sol in the passage, therefore, at least my expectations were not high with the prospect of going to a mexican restaurant and having a beer.

Looking through the list, seeing a beer with 'amber' in the title, gave me some hope I may find a beer from Mexico that may be interesting to try, and not needing 'citrus-based assistance'. When the Dos Equis XX Amber came around, I saw at least it came in a coloured glass bottle, so felt a little more help the brewers are intending to keep sunlight for the beer, therefore making me think this beer might actually be worth something. I poured some into a glass to see what colour the beer was, and my first disappointment was seeing it barely showed much more colour than some pale ales I have tried. Upon tasting, there was not much more body than the lagers Mexico is known for, and while there is a little bit of sweetness with the slightly added malt character in the colour, it was generally pretty bland (surprise, surprise).

After that I had another look through the beer list, I saw the Negra Modelo and thinking Negra might mean 'dark', I thought I would give it a go. Well, it came in an even darker bottle than the previous (I wasn't going to be swayed twice by this), and the bottle was in an interesting shape (hmm, by now I was thinking 'the more effort in the package, the worse the beer inside may be'). Pouring it out, it actually resembled a dark beer, and while on the palate it still came out pretty thin (not the worst thing as it had been a warm day and didn't mind it as it didn't sit heavy in the gut), there was enough flavour to be able to taste it over the meal (of course, keeping with my blog name constituted mostly of beef) and there was some malt character to it.

Neither beers had many signs of bitterness or other hop character, and there was little lingering on the backpalate apart from some residual sweetness. They were both pretty clean beers so, inoffensive (unless you like more flavour in your beer) and easy to have a session on.

So, while I am literally a Bogan, unfortunately I do not enjoy 'bogan' beers. In fact, after having read the book 'Things Bogans Like', there were not many things in it I can affiliate myself to. I know, it doesn't make this post very funny. Ok, I'll stop now before I entertain you any less.



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