The American beer scene is getting so confusing these days. Most of the big American brewers just arent all that American anymore. Coors, for example, recently merged with Canadas Molson. Miller Brewing was bought by South African Breweries a while back, resulting in SAB Miller. And stalwart red, white, and blue Anheuser-Busch is rumored to be in talks with Belgiums Inbev about a possible merger.
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If that werent enough, Miller decided it would start brewing Mexican beer, or Mexican style beer anyway with the introduction of Miller Chill. Miller Chill is a Chelada style beer, which is really more of a mixed beer drink than a beer style in its own right anyway.
Mexican Chelada is typically beer served over ice with lime in a salt rimmed glass. Youre likely familiar with the practice of serving Corona with a wedge of lime; after a fashion, that is a Chelada inspiration. Miller Chill attempts to combine the entire experience into a ready to serve package. Chill contains just over 4% by volume alcohol, and has about 110 calories per 12-ounce serving.
Chill has been out nationally for most of the summer now, but I have been so far reluctant to shell out enough of my hard earned cash to pick some up. Today, though, I was perusing the shelves at the newly opened Total Wine superstore on Barrett parkway in Kennesaw, Georgia when I saw singles of Chill for sale. Total Wine is great in that they sell just about all of their beers as singles as well as six-packs, something most beer stores are loathe to do.
Miller Chill pours to a pale golden color with a light creamy head of foam and a soft nose hinting at weak malt and citrus. The beer does leave a thin layer of Brussels lace on the sides of my glass as I sip. I socked my bottle of Chill away in the freezer for a bit before drinking to get it good and ice cold. To be sure, I dont drink many beers that way, but I am sure that that is the fashion in which this one will be imbibed by most.
Ice cold, its fairly refreshing, a little creamy, and I found it surprisingly drinkable. The lime is crisp and quenching, the salt adds a bit of spice, and (fortunately) you cant really taste the underlying light beer base. As Chill warms, however, that all changes. The lime and salt are still readily apparent, but the adjuncts and weak body from the light beer base start to come through and really ruin the whole experience as far as Im concerned.
The sad part is that with a firm bodied, crisp all malt pilsner base, this might actually be a decent beer. But it isnt, and speaking not as a beer geek but just as somebody who loves beer in general, Miller Chill misses the mark by a wide margin. If you must drink it, drink it ice cold. But isnt that how all light beer has to be drunk anyway?
I think I'll declare my independence from foreign-American beers and go have a Samuel Adams Boston Lager
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Price per six-pack ($US): 5.49
Beer Rating: Drinkable