Oskar Blues has successfully conquered America, and can now boast they distribute in all 50 states, which means everyone reading this in the U.S. should be on the lookout for two new beers from the canning powerhouse. Priscilla is a beautifully executed Belgian wit, and Beerito, as you may have guessed, is a Mexican lager, but not the kind of Mexican lager you might be expecting. We drank both. Here’s what we think.
Oskar Blues takes a surprisingly traditional swing at the Belgian wit beer style with Priscilla, using orange peel and coriander spice to create a refreshing, yet complex brew perfect for summer. The brewery has been serving Priscilla on draft for 10 years, but this is the first time they’ve put it in a can for distribution. It pours a beautiful, straw yellow, with a quickly evaporating head and has a really bright nose that emanates notes of orange and hay. It’s a light, extremely effervescent beer that comes across as a little fruity, with some lemon and a bit of orange in the sip. But it falls way short of being sweet. It gets bready on the backend of the sip, delivering much more body than I’d expect given the nose and the color. There’s a crisp, dry finish that evaporates with just a hint of tartness.
Priscilla isn’t as cloudy as many of its stylistic counterparts, and it lacks the sugary sweetness that you’ll find in some of other American versions, and for that I’m grateful. Because this is a beer that was built for sessioning on a hot day; a beer that I could drink one after the other.
Style: Belgian Wit
Availabiity: 12-ounce cans
The first thing you need to admit to yourself, is you don’t really know what a Mexican lager is. At least, that’s what I had to admit to myself when I poured Beerito from the can to a glass. A number of American craft breweries are producing Mexican lagers now (Ska Brewing, 21st Amendment, Oskar Blues), but Beerito strays from the small pack. Given the style name, you might think Beerito is a light lager in the vein of Pacifico. That’s what I expected when I popped the can, and that’s basically what you get from other American craft stabs at the Mexican lager. They should sell six packs of 21st Amendment’s El Sully with a fresh lime.
But when I opened Beerito, out poured this dark sultry vixen with shimmering rose tints to her edges, smelling like a loaf of fresh baked bread. If that sounds like a Vienna lager to you, then you’re on the right track. Oskar Blues used Munich and Vienna malt in this beer to create a rich, malty backbone and that signature fresh baked bread nose and crusty flavor. So why call it a Mexican lager? Because Mexico’s brewing origins actually come from expat German brewers who, you guessed it, brewed Vienna style lagers in Mexico. Hell, Negra Modelo is a straight up Vienna lager.
Damn. Oskar Blues did their homework.
So how’s it taste? Good. Beerito is a clean, bready beer that is incredibly easy to drink. While it has more in common with German lagers than the Mexican beers I’m used to, I’m not going to knock Oskar Blues for their style interpretation. You make a baby, you can name that baby anything you want. Besides, I like this beer. Actually, me gusto mucho.
Style: Mexican lager
Availability: 12-ounce cans