West Coast Gross: Chelada Style Beer

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With all the culinary delights Las Vegas had to offer me on my just completed honeymoon, perhaps nothing will stay with me longer than the oddity pictured to the left.

You're reading that right: in west coast markets, Budweiser sells its "chelada style" concoction of its own beer and Clamato, the often-dissed mixture of tomato and clam juice. If you're watching your calories the beer is also available in the light variety, but one can of the regular was enough for my wife and I.

More than enough, in fact. We both took a few sips from the can. The red beer-and-fish mixture is both thin and thick at the same time. The beer part tastes watered-down from the Clamato, but there is still the thickness of the Clamato throughout the beer. It has a taste and smell similar to a Bloody Mary at first glance, but that quickly disappears the more you drink.

Imagine your vomit after an evening of Bud and seafood pizza. That's the feeling you get here. Disgusting.

Miller also markets a new "chelada style" beer, but it doesn't include any clam or tomato juice, just salt and lime. But according to purists that is not a chelada. In southern Mexico, you either mix in Clamato or you don't bother.

The beer, for all its grossness, is apparently wildly popular with west coast Latinos. Since I've never seen it here, I guess it doesn't have any crossover appeal in the east.

More reactions to this libation can be found [here]. Few others seem to care for it, either.

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