Cerveceria Chango, somewhere south-of-the-border. ABV & IBUs unavailable.
By Bill Lau
April 1, 2014
This is one of those impossible-to-find beers in the US that has built up a cult following over the years among vacationers traveling South-of-the-Border. It’s gained a reputation as being different from all of the Mexican beers imported to America; a unique brew that typically elicits the response of “you just have to try it” or “you’ve never had anything quite like this before!”. Well, not too long ago I had the chance to visit a quaint little place called the Tarasco Bar, and sample this near-mythical and epic brew.
Fellow visitors from Los Estados Unidos del Norte as well as a few local patrons were obviously enjoying their own mugs of Chango with great relish. The beer was served at the optimum warm temperature (around 98.6° F), enhancing the experience. It’s a truly distinctive and memorable beer!
My bartender was more than helpful when I pointed out that my glass was a little dirty, providing a better one. I’m sure this was a rare oversight, likely due to the heavy business they were doing with young folks on Spring Break stopping in to sample the local cuisine and libations.
I do have to mention, though, that the condition of the men’s room left something to be desired. Apparently some poor soul had a rather bad reaction to the local water and didn’t quite make it to the seat in time. I’m sure the staff was just about to clean up the mess, though – they seemed so friendly and attentive. (Sadly, I wasn’t able to confirm this; when I dropped by a few days later they were closed, apparently due to some sort of plumbing problem, as I briefly saw a couple employees mopping up quite a mess before I was “politely” informed they were closed.)
So anyway – Cerveza Chango – what to expect:
Appearance: Very pale, mostly clear yellowish hue, with only a few bits of unidentifiable material floating around in suspension.
Aroma: Distinctive, skunky hop bouquet over stale cardboard. Quite interesting (or maybe “interesting” doesn’t quite hit the mark; no, I’d say repulsive is a better descriptor).
Palate: Very light bodied, not unlike water, with a little body and texture provided by the carbonation and random pieces of mysterious debris. (You’ve seen the term “chewy” employed to describe a beer’s texture? Think “gritty”.)
Flavor: Puckering astringency with skunky hops and oxidation. Weak malt has a mildy sour character; not lactic or funky like Belgian sours, more just spoiled. Metallic, salty and acrid twang in the finish. Not quite totally rancid, but the attempt is admirable. Incredibly unique and off-putting. I simply couldn’t stop drinking this stuff, albeit in a rather self-abusive manner.
Overall: You simply won’t find another beer like this one.
Posted specially for April Fool’s Day, 2014, in homage to one of my favorite movies, the 1995 Robert Rodriquez film Desperado, starring Antonio Banderas:
and the lovely Salma Hayek:
Also seen above – Steve Buscemi in one of his many awesome character roles (as Buscemi); Quentin Tarantino in a hilarious cameo, and Cheech Marin as the bartender.
Cerveza Chango also made an appearance in another Rodriquez flick, From Dusk Till Dawn.
Hope you enjoyed!