Official description: Take the beach with you anytime, anywhere, and skip the LIMES. We’ve already done the work for you. A squeeze of natural lime juice and a touch of sea salt make this Mexican-Style Lager bright, a little tart, and perfectly refreshing.
Epic Brewing – Epic Los Locos Mexican-Style Lager – 12oz can served in Rastal Harmony glass – 4.8% ABV
Consider this review part of an ongoing series to discover how American craft breweries interpret “Mexican-style” lager. Breweries like pFriem and 21st Amendment brew a lightly-hopped pale lager with flaked maize. Others like AleSmith brew a Vienna-style lager similar to Negra Modelo. Stone, Belching Beaver, Great Lakes, et al. brew a pale lager with lime and sometimes salt, taking inspiration from the American tradition of adding a lime wedge into Mexican pale lagers.
I’m sampling Epic’s Los Locos from a 12oz can that I picked up as a single for $2.20 at my local bottle shop. The bottom of the can reads “B.B. 12/05/19,” a best by date rather than a packaging date. It’s an inferior system for hoppy beers, but it may not be a big issue for this style.
Into my glass, Los Locos is unclear, bright straw in color with quickly diminishing white foam that’s comprised of a nice variety of bubble sizes. You’re immediately hit with a vibrant aroma of fresh pomelo, candied lemon, kumquat, and faint saltwater. As it warms, intense lime blossom honey takes over. It doesn’t smell like any lager I’ve tried in recent memory.
Flavor-wise, this is similarly unique. Los Locos is nicely salty with integrated lime flavors that don’t come across as forced or artificial. Juicy melon flavors diversify the profile so that lime per se isn’t explicitly evident. The mouthfeel is exquisite coming across far closer to gose than any lager style. Thanks to the salt content, it has a Gatorade-like quenching ability. And though it lacks overall bitterness, it finds excellent balance through mild acidity and bright fruit juice flavors.
Perceived Specs for Epic Los Locos Mexican-Style Lager
Having already tried and been disappointed with Stone’s Buenaveza and Belching Beaver’s Dia de los Deftones, I didn’t have high hopes for Los Locos. Boy, was I wrong. Los Locos is a phenomenal beer and one of the best I’ve tried within this convoluted beer style. It delivers both salt and lime flavors in a Gatorade-like experience rather than a disjointed mix like Bud Light Lime. It’s quenching, soft-bodied, low alcohol, and original – the perfect formula for a winning session beer.
Because other beers in this segment are so highly dissimilar in flavor profile, I’d suggest trying Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale and Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez Lime & Agave. Both are medium acid, ultra thirst-quenching summer beers with similar flavors.
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