Monday, September 27, 2010

Review: Rio Grande Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza

And so we come to the clunker. I purchased a six-pack of this stuff in Farmington long ago. I drank one and it took me many months to try another for review purposes.

Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza is the creation of Rio Grande Brewing in Moriarty, N.M., a dot on the map next to the bustling crap-tropolis of Albuquerque.

Pancho Verde pours a pale yellow, reminiscent of industrial American lager. It sports a minimal head of white foam for a few seconds before dissolving into tepid yellowness.

Green chiles, a crop for which New Mexico is justly famous, come through in the aroma and flavor. Pancho Verde is extremely light-bodied. The green chiles lend an organic, vegetable taste followed by a gut-turning injection of green chile heat.

Give Rio Grande props for doing something unusual and reflective of its home region. That's all the praise I can must for this one: Without the green chile, I imagine Pancho Verde would taste something like PBR. It's so thin-bodied that there's nothing to the flavor but green chile, a seering heat that is out of balance and unpleasant. As one guy wrote on BeerAdvocate, "If a green chile could take a piss, this is what would be in the toilet." A vulgar but illustrative comment.

The craft-brewing revolution began more than 30 years ago. With market competition and learning brought by homebrewing, conferences and much cross-germination and sharing among brewers, it has become downright rare to find a craft beer that tastes truly bad. This is one. D

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