As has been previously mentioned, Mexican food and drink is hotter in Manly than a habanero milkshake laced with extra hot tabasco. New mexican restaurants, mexican menus replacing old menus at old restaurants, burrito shops and tacquerias. I reckon the coolest and most authentic is Chica Bonita. Back of the Ferry has told you about Chica Bonita a couple of times in the past, here and here. The other day I popped in with my brother, whose visiting from the US. I ordered a “Crusty Beer”, which I thought was a euphemism for a tin of average beer like Rio Bravo or Corona. What I received was a Rio Bravo, but was accompanied it was the surprise. Chilli Salt encrusted the top of the can and a wedge of lime was inserted in the mouthpiece. It actually wasn’t so bad. Interesting texture and it made it an above average experience. I’d go it again – and bravo to Chica Bonita for introducing me to something new.
Unlike many other beer blogs, Back of the Ferry is not afraid to delve into bottom reaches of a bottle-shop fridge, particularly if it is a brew that hasn’t graced these pages or added to BotF’s unique beer list on @untappd. We are within sight of “Legendary” status so discoveries of tins of unheard of Mexican beer help. Rio Bravo is made by the makers of Mexicali, who are so proud of it that it doesn’t even make it onto their site. Maybe it’s not the Dutch that make generic stuff with cliched names.
Cans aren’t so bad to drink from, but it’s only the macros’ whose beers make it into the tinnie. I was speaking to an aspiring Aussie craft brewer recently, and he reckons it is just too expensive. Naturally in the US there are blogs devoted only to beers in tins and of Maine has canned their entire range. The sound of cracking a can and the feel of wiping the brow on the icy cold metal is very nostalgic of summer.
By now the Back of the Ferry darts representatives will have come down from their high. Lamb0 has already eloquently the feeling of being a player in such a tense event. I toddled down to the Manly Leagues Club to give the boys some support, and ended up being drawn in to the whole drama.
The tension became quite unbearable towards the end, particularly as our boys were dropping games that they should have won. Nerves frayed on both sides, and breaches of etiquette were occasionally called. There were a couple of epic games where players went dart for dart waiting for each other to crack. Lamb0 was quite nerveless at the end, even though he dropped the middle leg of his three legged singles. When victory finally came the release of pressure was substantial and the boys sustained their jubilation, deservedly, for some time.
Ed Hardy Premium Lager is another beer that is poorly named. It is simply far from premium. This correspondent wouldn’t be seen dead wearing most Ed Hardy clothing and this will be the last I’ll be drinking his beer. It is not undrinkable, but there are plenty of better ways to drop $16 (for a 6 pack – and I couldn’t buy a single). It’s pretty watery, and has little body or aroma. A hot day beer only. This strange addition to bottle-shop shelves is imported by Frost Boutique Breweries & Imports. It is made by Cervecaria Mexicana, which despite making Mexicali, is actually in Tecate, Mexico.
Style triumphs over any substance here, and any beer that offers label hyperbole such as “The time has come for the Ed Hardy Beer” just cannot be taken seriously. I can imagine young trendoids wearing their Von Dutch trucker caps and their Ed Hardy shirts would think that swigging from a stubbie of this would just complete the look – but I’d probably just laugh at them. Ed Hardy is named for a tattoo “Pioneer” named Don Ed Hardy. Christian Audigier licenced his tattops for use on clothing. Hmmm.
I’ve actually been to Tecate. I was one of 4 Aussies that went on a roadtrip from LA to Rosarito in Baja, Mexico. To avoid going back through Tijuana and to see some more of Mexico we drove cross country to re-enter the US of A at Tecate. We didn’t get to see much of Tecate, but did witness an all too frequent event at the border crossing. A poor bloke had his car completely torn apart – panel by panel. Not too sure whatever happened to him, but I feel sure it wasn’t his car that had its insides examined.
Porters at Balgowlah can always be trusted to offer some new beers to try. This particular offering would appear to be a gimmick but has actually been around for some time. The http://www.chilibeer.com/ tells an amusing story of a bloke who started a brewery in 1989 in Cave Creek, Arizona. He got sick of “yuppies” asking for pieces of lime to add to his beer, so he started adding a serrano chili. People liked it and whilst it isn’t being made in Cave Creek anymore, it is still being produced. It is now made in Tecate, Mexico.
I’m a fan of hot foods, but I’ve got to say I really struggled to get this down. There is no escaping the chili at any stage. The strong aroma of chili hits you from the moment the bottle is opened. I poured it into a glass and I was overwhelmed by the smell as I took my first sip. The chili flavour overwhelms any beer taste – and this is simply a hot, spicy drink.
I enjoy a jalapeno on a pizza, in a Quesqadilla or even in a Mexican pie – but in a beer? There was no unbearable pain – it just wasn’t that potable. An acquired taste, maybe, but not by this drinker – I just couldn’t go a second.
I punched out a few of these at the previously mentioned Dos Caminos. Therefore anything I state here is not to be trusted. Described as a “Munich style Dunkel beer” these slid down easily and were thick and tasty for a Mexican beer. I am pretty certain I tried it’s blond sister, Modelo Especial, but I have no evidence.