Sure, those are some harsh words for what is becoming a popular and growing trend in beer, but when you give me a beer with lime, whether it’s to be inserted into the bottle a la Corona or already pre-flavoured like all of the lime beers currently on the market, what you’re really saying to this curmudgeonly beer afficionado is: “This beer is so bad we had to hide the taste.”
Unfair, you say? Bully to that.
Looking into the history of the “lime in beer” trend, the most commonly accepted anecdote related to its birth stems from Corona’s introduction to the U.S. (and later, Canadian) market in 1981. Those who understand skunkiness in beer may already be familiar with the fact that dark-coloured bottles (the traditional brown beer bottles we’re all so familiar with) keep out the types of light that react with hops in beer, creating a skunky off-flavour.
Corona is brewed in Mexico and then shipped northward to the U.S. and Canada. Because it’s distributed in a clear glass bottle, it’s exposed to light for prolonged periods of time, and many beer lovers will tell you that Corona generally tastes skunky. How do you hide skunky off-flavours? Simple. You introduce another element with a stronger taste.
That’s where lime comes in.
It’s become trendy to insert a lime wedge into a bottle of Corona, tip the bottle up so the fruit drifts further into the beer, and then turn the bottle back to right and drink. However, the purpose of that lime is to hide the poor tastes associated skunky beer.
When a brewery tries to sell me lime-flavoured beer, they’re cashing in on a growing trend, but it strikes me as a way for them to pass off poor beer that’s hiding behind a common tropical fruit.
If I want lime flavour, I’ll order a cooler or a margarita, thankyouverymuch.