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The Beer Circle » Anheuser-Busch, Beer, Fruit / Vegetable Beer, Shenanigans » Budget: Budweiser Chelada

Budget: Budweiser Chelada

There are those who like their beer, and there are those who like their beer mixed with lime, salt, clam juice, and tomato juice. While this is a foreign concept to a freshly-minted college graduate from Suburbia, Clamatos are apparently all the rage south of the border. And if there’s one thing I learned from Spring Break, it’s that Mexicans know how to have a good time.

Our good friends over at Anheuser-Busch have decided to make things easy for us who are too cheap, lazy, inexperienced to perfectly mix the correct proportions of the above ingredients. Enter Budweiser Chelada, the fruits of their labor realized in one glorious, 24oz silver bullet.

Budweiser Chelada
Pours a tangerine hue of orange with a hazy, obscured body. It actually builds about 2-fingers of white, bubbly head, but it fizzes out completely by the time I set it back down on the table. I wish the Bud Light I used to pour for beer pong had a head that disappeared this quickly. After that, it looks incredibly flat and lifeless (surprisingly like a still lambic) and only the active carbonation keeps this from looking like a glass of juice. Absolutely no lacing at all.
My first sniff brings the oh-so-familiar bouquet of Budweiser - malt and corn. But this Bud is exotic. It enlists the help of lime to push this into beach territory and actually doesn't smell half bad. I'm getting a slight amount of salt, but the tomato is very faint indeed.
And then I take a sip. The very smallest of sips because I don't trust the aroma, and my entire being thanks me for it. If the tomato juice felt slighted for the lack of presence before, it attacks back doubly so in the taste, overpowering everything else. Then the clam juice comes across to make it that much worse. And the salt. And the lime. Even the lime makes this torture to drink. My first sip brought on an instant gag reflex and I nearly puked right then and there. Salty clam-juice infused lime spread over a bed of pureed tomato. Throw in the corn and adjuncts of Budweiser and you have a winner.
Mouthfeel is putrid. Flat, surprisingly thick because of the tomato, and invasive. Whereas typical Budweiser doesn't really make an impression on the palate, just the smallest amount of Chelada seeks out every inch of the mouth and settles in. Only a thorough rinse and gargle of water begins to clear this out, but I'm about to reach for the rubbing alcohol next.
Drinkability is non-existent. I was intrigued before I opened this, but now I am only left perplexed and with more questions than answers. Why would anyone think this was a good idea? Why would anyone add clam juice to a beer? Why would anyone add tomato to a beer? Why would anyone add salt to a beer? Why would anyone add the previous three ingredients together to a beer? WHY WOULD ANYONE PUT THIS IN A 24OZ CAN? I am literally afraid I stained my glass and I will forever taste this atrocity whenever I drink from it.
This can was left in my vegetable crisper after a tasting because we never got around to drinking it. I don't know how much this was. I don't want to know how much this was. Any price is too much to pay for this.
I like trying new and unique beers. I like trying beers that push the boundaries of beer and don't try to fit into a mold. I even like seeking out beers that are known to be not-so-good (I have a bottle of Sam Adams Triple Bock '97 in my fridge for that exact reason) just to see if they are getting a bad rap. Budweiser Chelada is not getting a bad rap. In fact, I don't think it's getting bad enough of a rap. I have never before drank so little of a beer yet felt so repulsed and disgusted. I feel like I got ripped off even though I didn't even buy this beer, just because of the time wasted grabbing a glass, pouring it, and then subsequently washing out the glass two sips later. Time is money, and Budweiser Chelada is a waste of both.

Beer Stats
Style: Vegetable Beer
Serving: Can
Size: 24oz
ABV: 5.00%
BA Score: 51
RB Score: 00

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Written by Greg Bruce

While studying at Penn State, Greg learned that beer could serve a much better purpose than a means to an end for a good party. Delicately brewed Belgians acted as a stark contrast to the almost watery beer that had been so popular and began the journey towards craft beer. From that launch point he always seems to land on something new. Greg approaches each beer, whether it is an aggressively-hopped West Coast IPA or an English bitter (and everything between), with a clear mind and open opinion, ready to analyze, compare, and ultimately, enjoy. While always fond of stouts (especially barrel-aged) and IPAs, Greg is slowly but surely drifting towards various soured beers. Find Greg Bruce on Google Plus

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