My grand-daughter’s birthday is May 6th so, of course, the F.R.I. family celebrates Seis de Mayo. But this post is about the beers of Cino de Mayo. Each year, for the past three years, I’ve gotten the beer of the day calendar and around May 5th Mr. Papazian and company reviewed Corona or one of the appropriate Latin American style beers. I’ll admit that the beers from south of the border are honest stuff. These drinks are not marketed with any pretentions i.e. “Here we go!” They are simply wet and sweet, light beers.
I don’t have the beer of the day review handy any longer so I’ll refer to Michael Jackson’s Beer for reviewing Sol. None of the Mexican big three, Corona, Sol and Chihuahua, are covered in this volume. Carib, from Trinidad, is referenced and I can tell by the golden color that must be much like a traditional Latin American lager. Mr. Jackson says Carib has, “a pale golden straw color… with a neutral balance between malt and hops, sweet and bitter. “ I can assure you that, “neutral Balance between malt and hops,” is a nice way of saying that this drink is beer flavored water. For example, Mr. Jackson summed up Miller Lite in one sentence, “ No hop aroma; lightly sweet malt, no fruit or bitterness; crisp at finish.” He describes Budweiser as, “a light, balanced body, but without distinct flavors.”
Why the domestic macro-beer bashing? Because this is the style that the Latin American lagers imitate and, like the North American examples, Sol has no notable aroma. (Yes we, beer snobs, smell our beer.) Carbonation abounds but there is no head retention. The flavor is light and crisp at first with a hint of hop bitterness finishing with cereal sweetness. Over all, an honest drink but not worth more than one dollar per serving.