You won’t have to feel as bad about your beer choice next time you slip a Dos Equis into your michelada. We all have a beer we’d rather keep on the down-low, the go-to beers for when we’re too tired or cheap to hunt down and splurge on the hippest, weirdest, newest find on offer from SA’s high-class brew providers. In a world where more and more handcrafted ales and lagers pop up on a seemingly daily basis, a guilty pleasure can sometimes be nostalgic as well.
Even craft creators aren’t immune. The Current asked local brewers to spill the deets on what beer might tarnish their street cred.
Freetail’s Brewing Co.’s resident master of funk and brew will often tell you that he doesn’t really have a guilty pleasure ale or lager as we may define it. “As far as beers go, my fallback is a Hans Pils from Real Ale Brewing in Blanco, Texas,” said Davis. Fair enough Mr. Davis, but you’re not playing the game right. “If you have to pin me down, I do enjoy a fine Michelada now and then, especially during the hot summer months.” What does he use to make his cocktail besides the obvious Clamato, Worcestershire sauce, etc? “If I’m at work, either our Rye Wit or La Rubia blonde ale, but if I’m anywhere else, I’ll grab a Carta Blanca or Negra Modelo.”
Michelle Fedorka and Nicole George
As San Antonio’s resident female purveyors of handcrafted suds, Michelle Fedorka of Karbach Brewing and Saint Arnold’s Nicole George have clearly shown that the ladies know good beer. They’ve spread the word of what Texas craft beer can be, but do they secretly grab something less acceptable when no ones looking? “So what’s my guilty pleasure closet drink? I’ll grab Lone Star or Lone Star Light,” said George. Not one to be shown up, Fedorka said her real guilty pleasure is “a box of $5 wine from the gas station. Last time I bought it, it was two for $10!”
It wasn’t easy to pin down Branchline Brewing Co.’s brewer extraordinaire. In fact when asked, he countered, “Why do ya want to know my naughty booze bits?” Eventually I was able to coax an answer from him. “I don’t really have a guilty pleasure beer. If you must pin me down, I’d grab a Lone Star. I can pound those.”
Tucked away in San Antonio’s now swank Pearl complex north of Downtown sits The Granary ‘Cue and Brew. When asked this same question, the laidback head brewer confessed, “My guilty pleasure would have to be Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde, but you can’t find that anymore.” Rattray continued, “Now it’s probably Breckenridge Brewing Co.’s Summer Ale. (It’s) not much of a guilty pleasure, but it won’t impress the beer nerds!”
Blue Star Brewing Co.’s founder and head brewer has created quite a following since his brewpub, Alamo City’s oldest existing, opened in 1996. When speaking with Villarreal, he began to get nostalgic when asked if he had a guilty pleasure drink. “For me, I still grab a six-pack of Coors Banquet Beer, mainly when on hunting or camping trips. It was the lager my father always drank and to this day brings back great memories,” said Villarreal. “In fact, it’s more of an actual pleasure than a guilty one for me. I respect these adjunct lagers, especially since many were born out of necessity back in the day versus a desire to create a cheap beer.”
As for my guilty pleasure? Cerveza Pacifico Clara. I first found the beer in a can during a great bike ride from Rosarito to Ensenada with my sister in Baja California. Sometimes you don’t need great beer to make good memories, but it helps.
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