May 27, 2011, by CocoaZilla
Crappy Beers & Crappy Chocolate: This is the best that worst can get.
Cocoa-Heaven has always tried to bring in the best and the worst that chocolate candy has to offer. Whether it’s chocolate and licorice from Finland (ewwww) or demanding the delicious return of Cookies n’ Cream Twix, there’s always something weird going on here. Which is how we have arrived at our newest installation- tasting guides, pairing chocolate with foods and beverages. But not just any tasting guide. The best of the worst.
Today we bring you:
Crappy Beers and Crappy Chocolate: A taste adventure designed to offend all the senses.
The criteria: to be a “bad” beer by definition, the beer was first located in a convenience store or grocery store- at the end of the aisle. Not with the “good” stuff. You know what I’m talking about. All the way…at the end. Usually in piles of mediocrity. Then it had to have a unique selling proposition that either made no sense or was complete BS. Like “genuine beer” or “95% malt.” And last but not least- a Google search. If the first 10 results on the search page (not from the company that makes it) included the words “gross” “not for human consumption” or “this was worse than Milwaukee’s Best” it made the list.
For chocolate: to be “bad” it had to have at least one of these things: a questionable ingredient combination (or not be in English on the wrapper), be one of those candies you never eat and always stays at the bottom of your Halloween candy bucket or produce a Google search result of “ewwwww.”
The idea: That two negatives equal a positive. By combining a bad beer with a bad chocolate we will have a taste sensation so bad that it’s awesome. Keep in mind I was an English major. They don’t make us do math.
Mickey’s Ice and Whoppers:
Malt liquor meets malted milk balls.
I call this one the 7-11 Thursday Night Special, all items that can procured from a 7-11, not fancy enough for a Friday, but just right to set one up. Mickey’s was surprisingly light and very foamy at first, second and third pour. (Hey, it’s 10am somewhere, right?) This “ice brewed ale” had a tiny unpleasant bitter finish, but that is why you need Whoppers. I don’t like Whoppers alone- but with a Mickey’s….Whoppers freaking makes this. Eat a Whopper, chug some Mickey’s and you’ve got yourself a win. 5.8% alcohol by volume.
Random beer fact: What is “ice brewed?”
It’s marketing speak for lager. Making a lager involves aging the beer at cold temperatures, often very near the freezing temperature of water. It gives the beer a crisp taste. It also helps cover up the off flavors from cheap ingredients, which is one reason why inexpensive beers tend to be lagers.
Olympia and Pearson’s Bun:
So my can of Olympia had a tiny black curled hair in the crevice of the mouth of the can. I took this as a sign. After sanitizing the area with some Mickey’s I cracked open the terrible odor that Olympia is. 95% malt is supposedly the unique selling proposition along the promise of “it’s the water.” The beer poured out in liquid form, so I’m not quite sure how that works. Again- was not forced to do math in college or since then. Pearson’s Bun was a random chocolate that I found in a Bartells Drug store that claims to be milk chocolate, vanilla (artificially flavored) with roasted peanuts. I paired it with the Olympia thinking that the peanuts and vanilla would go well the 95% malt. Yeah, nothing can save this beer, chocolate or pairing. Olympia was not as bad as I thought it was going to be…but it gets worse. The more I drank, the more I hated life. The artificial vanilla, the crappy milk chocolate and the roasted peanuts, together couldn’t. Only roasted peanuts alone, picked out from the rubble that was a Pearson’s Bun made it palatable. 4.78% alcohol by volume.
Random beer fact: Yes it IS indeed the water that makes a lot of beers good vs. bad. 97% of beer is water. But if you start with not so great water…like Jersey Shore water, it makes it bad all right. Makes it real bad. Real bad. Do you see how bad it is?
Tecate and Carlos V by Nestle:
Mexican wrestling watching fare
The first thing to answer is- what is Nestle Carlos V chocolate and why did I find it in an Asian mart? The answer is that it’s named after former Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with the tagline “El Rey de los Chocolates” or “The King of Chocolates.” Unfortunately this only applies if the kingdom is somewhere where this is no other chocolate available ever and never will be for all eternity. Sorry Chuck. But perhaps a Tecate will fix this? It smelled far less pungent upon opening and had a fresh, almost citrus-y taste to it. Sweeter than the previous beers tried, it’s the most approachable. Drinking it after eating Carlos V is a bad idea. Throw Carlos away. Just drink. Kids: I have it on good authority that flat Tecate makes a great beer bong beverage.
Molson Ice and Sunspire Peppermint Pattie:
Where Canadian ice meets California cool. Insert guffaw here.
Touted as an “ice beer” Molson Ice comes out of the bottle with lots of carbonation. More than there should be, it’s like putting your face in bucket of Coke that’s been through a paint mixer. The taste is bitter and flat…but not the worst thing I’ve drunk…today. The Sunspire Peppermint Pattie (out of San Leandro, CA) has a decent dark chocolate coating it’s the yellowish “mint” filling that worries me. As it should. SUGAR bomb with a hint of mint. Took a swing of Molson for an attempt at ice cold harmony and the Molson just washed over the peppermint jamming itself into my molars, affecting nothing. Friends don’t let friends drink Molson. 5.6% alcohol by volume.
Random beer fact:Ice beer is a marketing term for pale lager beer brands which have undergone some degree of fractional freezing similar to the German Eisbock, which increases the alcohol content.
Keystone Light and Goobers:
You are what you eat
I hate the Keith Stone commercials for Keystone so when I went for a chocolate candy to pair with it, my first thought was “Goobers.” Goobers aren’t bad, but they aren’t good either. They just are. They are the thing you mix into your popcorn at the theater to make your popcorn super nuclear bad for you. However, when paired with Keystone, you’ll find a whole new movie treat to smuggle in your puffy vest or jeans waistband. True to it’s “smooth” claim, Keystone is delightfully so with it’s light champagne colored hue. The “specially lined can” claim is lost on me though- specially lined with what? Delightful lead? Almighty aluminum? Unobtanium? (I hate you James Cameron. You really couldn’t come up with something better than that? Seriously.)
Here’s to you Keith Stone- you don’t suck as much as I thought you would. And your website is pretty awesome.
O’Douls and Whitman’s Sugar Free Sampler:
Non alcoholic beer meets sugar free chocolate
If your stomach started to hurt just at the thought of this combination, it should have. This is the worst idea ever. Right next to 10 Cent Beer Night at a 1974 Cleveland Indians game. Having never bothered with non alcoholic beer before this and the crapfest that is the Whitman’s Sampler seemed like the pairing of the century. The O’Doul’s “Premium Extra Smooth Non-Alcoholic Brew” looked and smelled like beer but tasted like water from a faucet in Los Angeles. I had hoped for better. Whitman’s regular chocolate is a bit of the aforementioned crapfest but Whitman’s Sugar Free Sampler is INEDIBLE. It is grosser than Molson Ice. I washed it down with the O’Doul’s. I regretted it immediately. It is as if chlorine and dirt mated, threw up and then you drank the dirt under that throw up. NEVER AGAIN. FOR EITHER.
Big Flats and Hershey’s Drops:
Generic beer meets generic chocolate for less than $4
The can promises a Premium Brew brewed from the choicest hops aka “Genuine Beer” (as opposed to the fake O’Doul’s kind I guess). 6 cans for $2.99. I have my doubts. Especially after watching Colbert crack one open on the Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger segment earlier this year. Choice quotes being that it’s a “cheaper than gum beer” and “I am not drunk enough to enjoy this yet.” It is definitely as generic as beer gets, no distinguishing taste or features other than, meh. It was then easy to pair this with the most generic of chocolates, Hershey’s. But not just any Hershey’s. Hershey’s in pellet form – or as they like to call them “Drops.” They look like pellets to me though- or pills to throw back and wash down with a big swig of Walgreen’s Big Flats. I call this pairing the Drugstore Hour of Power.
Natural Ice and Nestle Chunky:
When bleh meets meh.
“Ice brewed for a naturally smooth taste” this OK smelling “lager” had a little bit of a citrus-hefeweizen hint to it that finished with a tiny bitter tang. Nestle Chunky is a milk chocolate square with peanuts and raisins that tastes like the raisins have fermented a little and make this a wine-esque flavor that lingers. Keep drinking the Natural Ice and you’ll get a not so excellent car exhaust like finish at the back of your throat. Chow down on some Chunky right away and you’ll be on your way. To lie down. On the couch. Or sidewalk.
Bud Light & Clamato and Sixlets:
Confetti for the colon
I feared this one. It sounds utterly disgusting as a combination, Bud Light, salt, lime and Clamato tomato juice- “Bud Light beer with natural flavors and certified color.” WHAT is a certified color? And WHY am I eating it? Certified to do what? The color of the drink is disturbing with all the tiny bits of red and the smell of salt, beer and tomatoes. Additionally verified- clam juice is mixed in. Who doesn’t love a splash of the sea in their Bud Light? The actual taste? Not horrific. It was like a salt blast followed by tomato juice. Alcoholic tomato soup for all!
And then the Sixlets come in. Colorful confetti for the colon. The “chocolatey” i.e. not real “chocolate” that always ends up in those tiny “Fun Size” packets of 10 at the bottom of your Halloween bucket. The candy crunch is sweet and actually quite good but the “chocolatey” is not. So drink your Bug Light Clamato and pop a few Sixlets for a variation of your own Skittlebrau.
Homer: “I’m feelin’ low, Apu. You got any of that beer that has candy floating in it, you know, Skittlebrau?”
Apu: “Such a product does not exist, sir! You must have dreamed it.”
Homer: “Oh. Well then just gimme a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.”
What did we learn today from this personal Fear Factor?
- Cocoazilla is not an alcoholic despite what the many convenience store clerks now think in the greater Seattle area. It turns out buying a Natty Ice at 8am on Wednesday will get you an eyebrow raise.
- This should not have been done all in one day. My stomach hurts. Next time, team effort.
- I almost threw up. A couple of times.
- Too late now? Yes.
- If it’s the water that makes it- several of these breweries either need to drain the pool they’re getting their water from or move.
- It’s really hard to find Hamm’s, Schlitz, Milwaukee’s Best, etc; I went to 6 convenience stores and 4 grocery stores to get these. Olympia was only at one of them. Looking back, I should not have been so joyful since it ended up tasting like poison.
- Next time- boxed wines!