September 28th is National Drink a Beer Day! In honor of that tradition, I've decided to take a page out of all my time spent in El Paso bars.
I started stand-up comedy in some of the craziest (fun and scary) bars and clubs in El Paso, Texas. I have performed, partied at, and attended some of the nicest dive bars, and some of the worst chain bars & restaurants you could ever sit down in and have some suds.
I've spent countless nights talking to strangers buying them drinks and getting bought my own. And in that time I've come to notice a few things about El Pasoans and our drinking habits.
Looking back at all these experiences I have created a list of four bold beer styles that I believe define El Paso flavor!
1. TALL BOY specifically a Heineken (or Bud Light will do):
Every El Pasoan has that friend (hey long hair Metallica t-shirt wearing, baggy Dicky jeans with a wallet chain, rocking old converse dude, yeah I'm looking at you) who comes to the party that was billed as BYOB with the plastic bag of three tall boys for his personal use.
Or if you like to rock some of the dive bars you might find ones that serve only tallboys like the old Papooses Cantina off Piedras and Fort Blvrd, where you could see vatos of every kind enjoying a tall cold one, even on the sidewalk!
I may or may not have been threatened by an audience member while doing stand-up comedy there.
2. RED BEERS/ MICHELADAS:
Whenever a friend comes to El Paso and wants to know what to drink, I point out what I've seen quickly become the most popular drink in El Paso, the red beer/michelada.
Served in a glass with ice and consisting of a base that includes but is not limited to tomato juice, clamato, a celery stick, beef jerky, salted rim, or tajin rim, and served with your favorite beer (most likely a Mexican one) this cold bubbly concoction has the bright and spicy flavors of a bloody Mary but the smooth refreshing taste of a beer.
Incidentally, I've also noticed bars competing to see how much meat/ jerky they can cram into a glass. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, especially if you're on a protein diet.
3. CRAFT BREWS
In the last few years, El Paso has become chock full of delicious local craft breweries including our friends at DeadBeach Brewery, Sun Brewing Co., Old Sheepdog Brewery, and El Paso Brewing Company.
El Pasoans love their beer and they know a good one when they see it. From all kinds of specialties like stouts, IPAs, or sours, El Paso brewers are making amazing and pretty special beers with a total focus on El Paso flavors.
Like most good connoisseurs, El Paso beer drinkers know what's up, and NOW can finally enjoy a large selection of quality craft beer.
4. PINTS all night (tap it good, real good):
For all the glitz and glam of a mixed drink or a michelada or a craft beer, most El Pasoans can appreciate a good old-fashioned beer on tap. I can't remember how many times comedians from out of town have told me how crazy low the beer prices are in El Paso.
Beers that are three or four dollars here and are eight to $12 in LA or Las Vegas. So like any good consumer El Pasoans know how to appreciate a solid $3 pint. Just remember to wrap it before you tap it. Like a cocktail napkin, nobody likes ring stains.