Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Indio Mexican Lager

Drinking the Bottom Shelf

Will Gordon drinks his way through the bottom shelf of the liquor store...so you don’t have to.




We love it. And you've voted. See which is the best American beer city.

Everywhere, man. Specifically my couch and Annapolis for a wedding. The couch is comfortable; Annapolis is weird; weddings are fun. Now that we're all caught up, let's dive into the review of Indio Mexican Lager, Heineken's newest import into select American markets.

Ben and Liz met at the same bar Emily and I did, the People's Republik, which is the best bar in Cambridge but also the least romantic 900 square feet on earth (though after last week's vigorous scrub-down it no longer smells like a directly sun-struck port-a-potty at the Gathering of the Juggalos). I was there the night they met, but I don't remember much of it, because not remembering much of nights was a big part of my pre-Emily lifestyle. But anyhow, Ben and Liz somehow managed to hit it off just fine without my intervention, and then boom, four or five years passed and they got married at her parents' pad in Annapolis last Saturday afternoon.

We flew down Friday morning and met up with a couple dozen friends and three enemies, and here's my newly minted expert opinion of Annapolis: lots of aggressive men drinking aggressively, some water, some pretty buildings near that water, lots of aggressive men drinking aggressively near those buildings and that water. I like it.

Em and I peeled off the Friday night party fairly early, which is to say just before one of my coworkers vomited on our boss, but plenty late enough, which is to say I was probably more pleased than a right-minded Will would have been with our Buffalo Wild Wings dinner at the strip mall across the street from our hotel. I really like hotels, too, so I didn't mind getting back to our Good Enough I Guess Western a little early, especially since the TV remote worked intuitively and only one of the beds had blood-stained sheets, and it was just a couple fat mosquitoes' worth at that.

Early the next afternoon we had lunch at a chain brewpub specializing in lagers. Attention! Serious beer opinion forthcoming: Chain brewpubs should not specialize in lagers. The very best beers are lagers and so are the very worst. This Gordon Biersch operation does not make bad beer, but they'd still be better off just pumping out fresh and generic ales like their peers; don't be afraid to lean on the hops (aka "beer bacon") if you don't quite have a quality pils in ya, Gordo. Quite the crab cake, though.

And then it's on to the wedding. It was absolutely lovely from top to bottom. Tons of local craft beer, grilled corn, cool hosts, a five-star best man speech, a hot bride, the works. They even imported Ben's favorite musician, Glen David Andrews. Do you like New Orleansy type music, with the horns and the fun and all? Glen's your man.

Would you believe there was a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue on the dedicated whiskey table? I enjoyed the hell out of my sip despite my selfish realization that there's a lot of overlap between their guest list and ours, so the same people who drank Johnnie Walker Blue in mid-September are going to be served Pabst Ribbon Blue in mid-October, but what are you going to do? I mean other than secretly hate Ben and Liz for upstaging us.

Now I'm back and refreshed and rededicated to the Bottom Shelf's original mission: to educate the handsome masses regarding topics on which I have proven expertise, which is why I went so deep into Annapolis and my couch and some dude's wedding. Inside beer knowledge is a little trickier for me to come by, but I got lucky recently when my booze marketing pal hooked me up with six bottles of Indio, an amber lager that's been big in Mexico for over a hundred years but is just now inching its way north via Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and a lot of Texas.

Indio is pretty good stuff and I expect that you'll all be able to get it soon enough. It's not as flavorful as the copper color tries to make you think, but it's got a heck of a lot more going on than most Mexican beers I've tried. The predominant flavor is sweet caramel, with a little bit of toasted malt and some faint hay business at the end.