There comes a time when one must return to basics to see how far they've come. I felt that my beer-swilling compatriots and I had become too comfortable drinking beers that, frankly, don't suck. How can we review good beers without the taste of vile brews fresh in our memories? It is with that in mind that I ventured not to the fine foods market or top quality liquor store, but a "liquor store" that despite being in the middle of the desert looked like the kind of place you'd expect to find live bait.
It was there, hiding behind six packs of Bud and strangely enough, bottles of pedialyte that I found Mexicali.
Mexicali had all the red herrings of a beer we would not enjoy. First, Mexicali is the brand, but the actual beer is called just that, "beer." Mexicali beer. Not ale. Not lager. Beer.
Admittedly, the side label does refer to the contents as Pilsner Superior. Ha! I think not. I checked out the Web site and discovered that Mexicali makes three types of its flagship beer: "beer," "light beer" and "dark beer."
A close inspection of the bottle revealed it's born date: March 14, 2007. That's more than two years.
The biggest warning sign of all? Six bottles of this stuff ran me $9. I guess imports are expensive even when they come from a mere three hours drive away.
You would think that all these signs would lead to a drinking experience about as far removed from pleasure as physically possible, but I was surprised by what my team of beer drinkers had to say about Mexicali.
Tastes: like filler. Some beers substitute hopps (and therefore taste) with corn filler. I'm not sure there's anything but filler in this bottle.
Still, no one retched and a few of the tasters said it was drinkable. Mind you they didn't like it, but they didn't want to remove it from their bodies by any means necessary either.
Goes with: the apocalypse. I'm not saying this beer is the end of the world. I'm saying that if you were living in some post-apocalyptic wasteland and came across a case of Mexicali while avoiding raids from rival bands of survivors, then and only then would you be happy to be drinking it. Hey, at least it's "beer."
Verdict: I'm a little disappointed that Mexicali wasn't the hurl-inducing monster brew I hoped it was. It's not good by any means. It's not worth the price point despite being "imported." But if a friend purchased it and brought it to my house, I would punch him in the face and drink it anyway.
Looks like the quest for a terrible beer is still on.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.