|Photo courtesy Ska Brewing.|
This is changing. Ska recently began canning Mexican Logger, its summer seasonal, and distributing it widely. No longer will the lager be our little secret.
Ska is brewing about 900 barrels of Mexican Logger this summer, double last year's production, and distributing it to all of the brewery's markets.
Ska began brewing Mexican Logger in summer 2001. "We had been going through a multi-summer Pacifico phase, sometimes even drinking it instead of Ska beers when it was particularly hot out," Ska co-founder Dave Thibodeau said in an email. "Well, that couldn’t fly for long so we decided to brew our own beer to put limes in."
Mexican Logger (4.2 percent ABV, 18 IBUs), is brewed with a yeast strain from Mexico City and a light helping of Saaz hops. It's Ska's lowest booze beer, and the only lager it regularly brews.
It comes in bright green cans that will probably attract lots of eyes on the shelves of liquor stores (there's some in bottles, too). Amusingly, in the fine print next to the UPC code, it says "Ale, in Texas," even though Mexican Logger is, of course, a lager.
"As we all know, Texas likes to make up their own rules despite facts, i.e. creationism vs science," Thibodeau said. "Contradictory to the actual definition of 'ale,' Texas defines it as beer over 4 percent ABW. Beer under 4 percent ABW is called 'beer.' Because the Mexican Logger is a lager we couldn’t get it approved to sell in Texas, unless we called it 'ale,' so there you go, it’s 'ale, in Texas.'"
Anyway, Mexican Logger pours a pale yellow with a white, fluffy head of foam. It's fairly strongly carbonated. Despite the low booze and hopping, Mexican Logger is surprisingly flavorful. Corona, it's not.
Mexican Logger is a middle-aged beer in Ska's history. It's not as old as True Blonde and Pinstripe, which date to Ska's founding in 1995, but nor is it a young buck like Modus Hoperandi IPA (born in 2009).
Ska seems a little anxious over how Mexican Logger will be received in its newer markets like Missouri and Texas. It's not a hop bomb, nor barrel-aged nor sour.
But it's clear that people enjoy Mexican-style lagers. Corona is the no. 1 imported beer in the U.S., and more and more American craft breweries are doing their own. One worth mentioning is Del Norte Brewing in Denver, which brews a whole lineup of Mexican-style lagers.
For a decade, Mexican Logger has been a well-liked summer seasonal in Durango. I bet it'll do fine out in the big, wide world. B