Now that it’s over, I’m wondering what made me do it in the first place. Maybe it was the fact that it was the last one on the shelf. Maybe it was because I was feeling jovial and forgiving. Or maybe it was just a sign of early onset senility. I bought a Budweiser Chelada.

And drank it.

“Budweiser beer with natural flavor and certified flavor?” No, please. Forever no … but I opened the can anyway and poured out this sorry red liquid into my glass, tainting it forever (sorry!). There was a little bit of really thin head, gone in a flash. Friends, I have learned a few things in my short time on this planet: beer should not look like fruit punch. Also, it should not smell like Chef Boyardee’s gym shorts. It should not look like a science experiment or a cafeteria concoction. It should not have soggy little tomato scabs floating around in it and settling at the bottom. Yeah, scabs are too much. This beer looks like a cross-section of a bloody swamp.

I’m staring at the glass right now, wondering what is going to happen to me in the next few minutes. I’m almost afraid to approach it now. It’s sitting quietly on my coffee table, eying me with its … I’m afraid.

Okay. This beer is a mix of Budweiser and Clamato tomato juice, and a touch of lime flavor. That’s pretty much it. Now, I actually like tomato juice from time to time. I enjoy Bloody Marys with carrots and celery and olives. But this Budweiser Chelada aspires to underachieve. I’ve had beer-tomato comboed beverages before that were good: some Mexican restaurants make ’em well. Sure, I’ll give Dos Equis Amber + fresh tomato juice + cayenne pepper a shot. But this Chelada thing? Eww.

The beer tastes like the kind of tomato juice you’d find in a science lab, with carbonation added and a faint – nay, microscopic – essence of beer. I can’t believe Budweiser Chelada falls into the same style category as Magic Hat #9 and that Wells Banana Bread Beer I had recently that were really good. Those brews are diamonds in the rough compared to this bilge water. I am now interested in finding a Vegetable Beer that actually tastes good…

Hopefully you’ve picked up on a couple of things: don’t drink Budweiser Chelada. Ever. Even if you like tomato juice. It would be better for you if a millstone were chained to your neck and you were cast into the sea.

ABV: 5.0%

Grade: F