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Cinco de Mayo and beer as art

Miller ChillI’m beginning to realize there is a chance I will break down and try Miller Chill. Got to be curious, right? Check out the number of posts at Beer Therapy. Somebody is feeling the passion.

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo and since I can’t be in San Diego for the Port/Lost Abbey Anniversary Party (you can read brewer Tomme Arthur’s thoughts on the first year here) perhaps I can take the lead from an excellent column by Peter Rowe in The San Diego Union-Tribune about Chil, Mexican micheladas and Mexican beer in general.

Just so you know, you make a michelada by pouring two or three fingers of lime juice into a salt-rimmed glass before blending in a some beer – to your personal taste. Most often it is garnished with lime, but you could use lemon and you might add some hot sauce. Miller Chill is already flavored with lime and salt.

Rowe reveals that Mexican brewers are not fans of michelada.

“They don’t like them,” said Juan Ramon Vera Martinez, public relations coordinator for Cervecer­a Tecate.

There are two schools of thought here, each worth pondering as we approach Cinco de Mayo. One school views brewers as artists. The notion that bartenders can “improve” artworks with a splash or a sprinkle is heresy. It’s like distributing Magic Markers at the Louvre’s entrance. Hey, kids, let’s improve the “Mona Lisa”!

The other school, though, is not alarmed. Why fuss about beer, one of life’s simple pleasures?

Yes, great brewers are master craftsmen. Their work is sublime – but also plentiful. If you “spoil” the occasional liquid masterwork with a shot of citrus juice, don’t worry. Pristine beer is available by the truckload.

Beer as art? Brewers as artists?

That’s a topic for another day (tomorrow) and good enough excuse to hold off buying Miller Chill.

10 Responses to Cinco de Mayo and beer as art

  1. Rob in Colorado May 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm #

    Don’t do it, Stan. Put the Miller Chill on the shelf and back away.

    If necessary we’ll organize an intervention.

  2. Loren May 3, 2007 at 4:27 am #

    First, why on earth did you lump PP/LA in with this…um…beer?

    Second, don’t bother. I don’t understand the NEED to try something…just because. Take Cave Creek Chili for example. MILLIONS of horrible reviews and yet the latest will always read: “Well….I just HAD to see for myself…”.


    No interest. What so ever.



  3. SteveH May 3, 2007 at 5:32 am #

    A swill by any other concoction is still…

  4. Stan Hieronymus May 3, 2007 at 6:08 am #

    To answer all three above – chances are that if I were to try Chill I’d also follow the recipe for a true michelada.

    Probably not going to happen, so hold off on the intervention.

    Loren, the reference to Lost Abbey was where I’d rather be, but – in fact – Tomme sent me the link because of the reference to art. Relevant to ongoing conversations about art and beer I hope to write about later this morning.

    As to Cave Creek Chili, I live some place where you can get a well-made green chile beer. Big difference.

  5. Loren May 3, 2007 at 6:47 am #

    Rogue Chipotle is another good chili beer. And there’s a great one, called Cinco de Mayo ironically, at Rock Bottom – Braintree.


  6. Lew Bryson May 3, 2007 at 7:55 am #

    Stan: do what you gotta.

    Omnes else: this is the downside of being a pro. Yeah, we get tons of good free beer, but you gotta do this stuff, too. I’ve had Cool Colt, Tequiza, and yes, Ed’s Cave Creek, all in the name of science. But Loren: my Cave Creek review ended with “I drank this so you wouldn’t have to. Please…don’t waste my sacrifice.”

  7. SteveH May 3, 2007 at 8:47 am #

    Lew throws himself on another live hand grenade for the band of brothers! 😉

    Has the ratio of good to bad freebies started to reverse itself in recent years?

  8. Loren May 3, 2007 at 9:24 am #

    Good one Lew. But sometimes it…just…doesn’t…matter. I mean, I included in my old Dixie White Moose review “Tastes like Kahlua with a lunger in it.”. Did it prevent anyone from “the urge to try it themselves”? Nah…

  9. Stephen Beaumont May 3, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    We can suspect, we can pontificate, we can presume, but…

    Until we try it, we cannot declare that Chill is bad, good or indifferent.

  10. Dave May 3, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    This reminds me of when Tequiza came out. The consensus was: it sucked. But I like beer, and I like tequila, so I still felt the need to try it.

    I never actually did try it, but every few months when I see it on the shelf at the odd gas station or wherever, I have a brief chuckle and think to myself “Hmm, maybe someday.”

    I haven’t seen Chill anywhere in LA, but I’m sure it will hit soon. Is there a big marketing blitz going on on the east coast?

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