Indeed’s Mexican Honey is one of my favorite sorts of beers in that it looks like one thing, and then it charmingly turns out to be something else entirely. This “imperial lager” initially looks and tastes like yet another fajita-chasing, easy-drinking summer beer (it sports a mellow 17 IBU), but as you spend time with it, the experience evolves.
For starters, Mexican Honey has a surprisingly brutal 8 percent ABV, a strength that puts it within a short crawl of being barleywine (or regular old wine wine). The boozy punch gives each taste a level of substance and impact that slows you down as you sip. This isn’t a slam-it-and-forget-it lager or Pilsner; it’s another animal entirely.
The addition of Mexican orange-blossom honey seems to play out in the beer as a citric sweetness folded into its more-robust-than-expected malt backbone. All in all, this is a beer that might do best served in cordial glasses with baklava, or tres leches cake, or soft-rind cheese and fruit at the end of a meal, as opposed to doing the heavy lifting of accompanying a meaty entree or a salty, snacky appetizer.
It’s hard not to drink a beer like this and be reminded that we’re living in a golden age of craft brew around here. There are beer arrows in our quiver for just about every culinary need imaginable, and that should give any fan of great food (or great drink) a lot to cheer about.