Friday, August 6, 2010

002. Hola, Cerveza Caguama

When I was in college -- out in the West Texas town of El Paso -- I was known to drink a beer or two on occasion. You know, after class. after a test... days that ended in "Y," that sort of thing. Since I was on the border, we drank a lot of Tecate, Bohemia, and of course Corona. Back then we called it "piss beer." So called because, at 25¢ a bottle, you could get piss drunk for the cost of some pocket change. Oh yeah, and the color. A nice light yellow color, with a hint of gold.

Now, we called it by this derogatory name before  Corona hit it big in the US. When I started college, it was just a cheap beer that you drank on the border, and it was very near the bottom of the list when it came to price and reputation. I don't mean to say that it was a bad beer, but it was mostly consumed by Mexican laborers and broke college students. If I had to equate it to an American beer, I would say think Pearl or Busch Beer. Yeah, it was that kind of cheap thing; it was okay to get a cheap drunk on with the guys, but definitely not with a date who you were trying to impress.

Then, suddenly, that all changed. I think it was in 1985 or 1986 that, suddenly (and inexplicably) Corona was cool!.The brewery started running ads in college newspapers, sponsoring booths at college events, and everyone started drinking it. Suddenly, the price went up from a quarter a bottle to a full dollar a bottle. And even higher when you left the Tex/Mex border! Mexican beer was all the rage on campuses across the USA, and Spring Break would never be quite the same.

I'm talking about Corona now because it has a color and weight that is very similar to the beer I tried tonight: Cerveza Caguama, a light and tasty import from El Salvador.  It has a light and crisp flavor with a hint of lime (or some type of citrus). The color is a very bright and light -- the gold is very vivid, especially when the light hits it.

This is a light beer that is perfect for the heat of summer. And it's something I would drink again (and at only $1.99 for a 32 oz. bottle, I can definitely afford it). I picked this up at the Kroger's in NW Houston, and I suspect not for the last time, particularly in the summer. I find that as the thermometer heads up toward the century mark, my tastes tend to call for lighter, less-filling fare. And this definitely fits the bill in that department.

It's not quite as smooth as a Heineken, it's not as smooth as Shiner Blonde, but it definitely has what I'm looking for in a summer beer. I tried it with an Arby's Roast Beef sandwich and it was a tolerable pairing, but it definitely wouldn't be my first choice. This beer screams out to be matched with tequila chicken or lightly seasoned chicken fajitas. I personally don't care much for lime in my beers, but I suspect most people would like this with a nice shot of lime, and possibly a little salt. Combined, those two might make up for the slight after taste that lingered after I drank it. I'm not sure what the alcohol content is, but after 32 oz. I could tell that I'd had a beer, so I'm guessing it's in the range of 4.5% - 5% alcohol.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this a 6.5 in general, and a 7.5 in the category of "Summer Beers" (that is to say, when compared only to the other, lighter brews that I tend to drink when it's really hot).

Legend has it the fishermen of Central America sought the Great Loggerhead Turtle in warm tropical waters. It was tribal belief that this powerful turtle also known as the "Caguama," symbolized good fortune for the fisherman's village. It is our hope that you too will experience the good fortune of the Caguama when you experience this award-winning Latin beer.

From their Website:
Update: 09-22-12 Bought this tonight to drink with spicy Chinese food. My original evaluation hold up. A good summer beer worthy of a 7.5 rating. BTW: my buddy Len commented that this beer has a very strong (but not unpleasant) aroma.

No comments:

Post a Comment