My plans to write up some more light Mexican-style lagers and other beers appropriate to Cinco de Mayo has foundered, owing to my web issues. But to tide you over, here’s an article by Josh Noel in the Tribune on the lure of Mexican lagers.
What I have before me is Pachanga, a Mexican-style lager that was sent to me for comment by Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis. Sun King only distributes in Indiana, so it can be found, appropriately, just over the border.
This is one of many brewers to attempt a light, Mexican style lager, which is not the easiest beer to make. We may look down at its low alcohol and unobtrusive flavor, but that means there’s no room for off flavors. Most Mexican beers are all-grain, meaning the cheap ones could have a grainy taste (which I can get to like), while a few use corn adjuncts, and taste like it. And you might want a light, dry finish that quenches spicy foods.
My pour, into an admittedly small sample glass, is light yellow, and with a fizzy white head that disappears quickly.
There was a fit of alcohol in the smell at first, but that was during the pour. What’s left is a hit of light malt, what I call the “bowling alley beer” smell.
The taste is indeed “crisp,” with only enough hop to keep the malt from getting sweet. Yes, it’s like a megabrewed light lager, but a lot of those can show the faults of cheap production, while others will hit the spot under the right circumstances, like a hot summer night (hello, Schaefer Light). It’s not a hot summer night now, and I’m drinking this out of a fridge, but not too cold that I can’t taste it.