Your Beeronaut has kind of let the controversy over 5 Rabbit Cerveceria, and its indirect confrontation with Donald Trump, swirl all around without comment until now.
I did post articles about the story to my Facebook fan page, so you no doubt have already heard. As the Toupée That Walked Like a Man announced he was joining the field in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, he made racist remarks about Mexican immigrants, outrageous enough to cause the many companies trading on his name to cut all ties (preferably Donald J Trump ties) to him. Buh-bye Celecbrity Apprentice, the Miss Universe Pageant on Univision, sweat-shop made Trump apparel at Macy's, the works.
Locally, one Latin-American who was offended by Trump's words was Andres Araya, the Costa Rican born co-owner of 5 Rabbit. The Latin-themed brewery in Bedford Park had been making a house beer for Rebar, the mezzanine-level bar at the Trump Hotel Chicago. But in a story that first ran June 29 on WBEZ, Araya announced he was ending that relationship, and that the 50 kegs of the beer remaining in stock would be sold to accounts around the Chicago market.
Now, none of the story's sources mentions what the beer was being called when it was served at Rebar, but Araya has unofficially renamed it Chinga Tu Pelo, which translates, so I'm told, to "F*** Your Hair." This may render this article somewhat NSFW, but I might point out out that "Chinga" was the name of the "X-Files" episode written by Stephen King.
The WBEZ story link above has been updated with a list of the bars now carrying the beer. Here I saw my chance to finally contribute to this story by looking at the beer itself. And this evening, I was able to quaff a pint at the Cellar Door.
I could start making claims about this being the gateway beer for people with more money than beer sense, who'll pay $3,000 for a bottle of wine but just have a light beer. But since I don't know that for sure, or whether the staff at Rebar actually has a well-curated beer menu as well, so I should just look at the beer itself. The description on the Cellar Door beer list called it "A nice, light golden ale," at 4.8% alcohol by volume. That led me to suspect this might be a lighter version of their flagship 5 Rabbit 5 Rabbit. The lighter alcohol would be the mark of a "gateway" beer to be served where people might not be that adventurous.
My pour, into a standard shaker glass, showed a hazy, lightly filtered yellow beer under a thin, but stubborn head (insert your own hair jokes here, if you will). The aroma is light, with slightly toasted malts and just a light background of hop bitterness. The 5 Rabbit uses noble Saaz hops, I'm guessing this does the same, or maybe has a milder German hop. As I thought, an easy beer. However, the taste does holds its own. Many golden/blond ales come across as sweet or sugary, but this keeps my sweet tooth calmed just from the malt, probably Pilsner or a similar light malt. I might not rule out out a touch of maize to keep the body light.
For a beer in that's nearly in the "session" range, it is quite filling, and it finishes with just a little extra flourish of bitterness. No lingering sugar or hop aftertaste. Except for the slight fruity ale ester, this might fool some people in thinking they had an Old Style.
It's a very good base beer for the summer, at least for as long as it lasts. You like to think of yourself as one of barbarians at the gates, overrunning the estate and drinking beverages formerly reserved for the master and his snooty guests… then you're like me! Check whatever watering hole might still have Chinga Tu Pelo, and start a backlash of your own.