The Drink Of The Weekend: Rio Bravo, Mexico’s Famous Lager

As part of our mission here at Why Daddy Drinks to revel in the humorous lunacy that is fatherhood, and to promote the drinking of quality beverages, we bring you our weekly segment highlighting something that should be in your glass. This is The Drink Of The Weekend.

I have to admit that I may be kind of beer snob.

Whenever we take a trip, I go out of my way to find at least a few, local craft beers that I can’t find in the greater Oakland area. I have muled back hundreds of bucks worth of beer more than 700 miles down I-5 just so I can fill my garage refrigerator with a month’s supply of Northwest brews such as Airways Brewing Co.‘s Sky Hag IPA and anything from Seattle’s Pike Brewing Co. I have also done the same going north, and have hauled cases of Russian River‘s Pliny The Elder and Bling Pig IPAs so that my brother can have his annual supply. Call it smuggling, if you will, because for some reason known only to the breweries, you can’t buy Pliny up in Washington. When we recently went to the Big Island of Hawaii, I made sure a stop at the Kona Brewing Co. was in order, and I downed several samples of their products that are not only just available in Hawaii, but only on tap there, too. I purposely invaded my local BevMo here just to get a six-pack of Speakeasy’s Pop Gun 47 Pilsner for the sole reason that one of my best friends plays in a band called Pop Gun. In Massachusetts.

Yes, I prefer to go out of my way for something new and something that I like. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t drunk my fair share of swill in my time. Anyone who’s gone to college, and to my alma mater Washington State, in particular, knows that there are times when beggars can’t be choosy. I don’t know if Stroh’s sells a 30-pack of cans anymore, but back in college, for $10, it was the most-economical way to kill your liver and improve how all the girls at any party looked.

But for all the Buckhorn, Lucky Lager and even the only-when-nothing-else-is-available lameness that is Bud Light that has passed down my throat, nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING has been as criminally boring and stupid as Rio Bravo Lager.

What? You’ve never heard of the beer that calls itself “Mexico’s Famous Lager”? With a 4.6% ABV? Hey, don’t feel bad…I had never heard of it, either, until a recent trip to the local Grocery Outlet in Oakland.

So famous, I had never heard of it.
So famous, I had never heard of it.

Grocery Outlet is a chain of grocery stores that operates across the West and in Pennsylvania. Despite the name, it’s actually a pretty nice place with lots of good products that won’t destroy your wallet like Whole Foods does. And one area where Grocery Outlet does surprisingly well is in the beer department. You can find several types of Ballast Point ales and lagers. Pyramid Brewing‘s Outburst Imperial IPA isn’t out of place in the cooler there. And if you’re in the market for some typically great options from Deschutes Brewing and Kona Brewing, Grocery Outlet has you covered.

But, from time to time, it also brings out some things that you have never seen before. And one of those things was Rio Bravo.

There is was. A stack of six packs about a yard wide and four-feet high. Maybe I was in a humorous state of mind, because when I saw the $4.99 for a sixer price tag, I knew I had to dive into the waters of Rio Bravo. And based on how it tasted, the 4.6% ABV within was more like 0.6%, at most.

I can’t stress it enough…This beer had no flavor at all. There was so little “there” there that Rio Bravo made Coors Light taste like Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. I kept drinking the can in a quizzical way, thinking that something else was going to come along and burst out and onto my taste buds. Nope. Nothing happened. It was as bland as…well, it was a bland as nothing. It didn’t make me mad. I mean, after all, the six pack cost less than five bucks, so I couldn’t be that upset. It just made be go, “Huh? Really? Man…”

It was also the perfect beer for my Sunday afternoon. I was already bummed out when my Beloved Hometown Seattle Seahawks had fallen behind the Carolina Panthers 31-0 in just the first half of their divisional round playoff game. I was going to watch the rest of the debacle, but nothing mattered. Just before halftime, I went out to the garage and grabbed a can of Rio Bravo, planning to drink away at least some of my disappointment. Instead, its boringness just added to my mid-game malaise. I didn’t care about the Seahawks’ disaster and Rio Bravo did nothing to raise my pulse.

If there was a beer made for not letting you down, but letting you just, “meh” your way through a weekend afternoon, Rio Bravo, “Mexico’s Famous Lager”, is it.

[Postscript: After halftime, I turned things up a bit with some of the aforementioned Sky Hag IPA. And as soon as I did, the Seahawks scored and proceeded to get back into the game. They still ended up losing 31-24. The moral of the story? Stick with The Hag.]



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