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January 29, 2010

Sipping a cold can of Bud Light & Clamato Chelada

bud light & clamato cheladaI have sipped the nectar of Satan, and its name is Bud Light & Clamato Chelada.

I don't know who concocted this devil's brew of light beer mixed with the juices of limes, tomatoes and ... clams. Yes, clams.

Somehow, somewhere, someone thought it would be a good idea to bring together all of these things and serve them in can format to unsuspecting Southerners.

Midnight Sunner Evan first told me about the stuff, and  jmgiordano picked up this tall can of it in South Carolina, where he said it appeared to be at least semi-popular. After trying some myself, I don't see how that's possible. 

Besides having one of the most awkward names in the mainstream beer market, Bud Light & Clamato Chelada costs $1.99 for a tall can like this one.

As you can tell from the small fancy glass in the photo, it's dirty salmon in color. 

The taste? How do I describe the taste?

Have you ever dipped your hand into the dark, mysterious waters of the Inner Harbor and licked your fingers? ...

Me neither. But I imagine it would taste something like Bud Light & Clamato Chelada, only less salty.

The first thing you notice when Bud Light & Clamato Chelada hits your lips is its saltiness. It's salty enough to kill a weaker man. Fortunately, I am a stronger man. Still, I could feel my liver and kidneys groaning as I took the first sip.

The second thing you notice is the clam juice.

When I was a kid, I used to dig up nasty river clams with my feet. One time, I convinced my parents to cook them so I could have them for dinner. In my 9-year-old mind, the clams would be delicious. My parents knew better, but they humored me.

The clam juice in Bud Light & Clamato Chelada reminds me of the taste of those river clams -- the bitter sting of shattered childhood dreams.

Fortunately for us Marylanders, I haven't seen Bud Light & Clamato Chelada on shelves ... yet. But if you do, keep your distance. This stuff is only for masochistic drinkers.

(Photo by me)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 9:43 AM | | Comments (22)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


TOO FUNNY! Who the hell thought of such a nasty mix? That is so gross. I found the comment about dipping a hand into the inner harbor water especially amusing. lmfao.


When it comes to juice-infused beer, I'm holding out for something with pomegranate ... mmm, catching a buzz AND stockpiling antioxidants!

This may or not be disgusting. However, a bloody mary made with Clamato is delicious.

Josh, how did the rock paper scissors tournament go?

I love michelada. The Bud version works in a pinch and it's available just about anywhere in the country, including Baltimore... check in some Fells Point liquor stores. It's much better when served the right way: much like a bloody mary except with beer instead of vodka.

Quite a few Bud Light posts recently Mr. Sessa. I'm beginning to think the "Bud Light girl controversy" was a covert move to free up money from In Bev's Baltimore budget to get Midnight Sun to shill for them!!

Clamato and beer is a popular drink in parts of Mexico. I am guilty also of salting my beer (another Mexican thing to do) but I've always suspected we do this because there is so much tasteless Mexican beer. I would never try this Bid Light concoction. It reminds me of the crappy beer with lime stuff that I won't touch, even though I have no objection to adding my own lime to beer.

“This is a savory beer that will appeal to adult beer drinkers, particularly those who enjoy beer mixed with Clamato.”

wow! I never would have thought about it that way! Thanks Budweiser!

at any rate I would bet dollars to donuts that a lot of the latino bars/stores in upper fells probably sell the stuff, if you're feeling brave.

My parents live in St.L, and took us on the brewery tour there.

Despite advertising the fact that they MAKE it in the facility, there was not a drop to be found in the gift shop, cafeteria, or the sampling room.

We tried the nearby gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, and even Sam's Clubs (Yes Sam's Clubs. That much booze -even good stuff!- on discount was awesome. My liver cried.)
but to no avail.

Finally, my sister's boyfriend, a A-B employee until InBev gave him a generous severance, let us know that there was no way, no how they were going to drop Chelada that close to the brewery. Too much to risk with the loyals, he said.

I've been told that this stuff--no joking, I'm NOT under the spell of too many episodes of "Family Guy"--is popular in coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island--clam country, of course.

Here's another post on the subject from a braver beer writer than I, with much discussion in the comments that follow:

Apparently some folks like it with a dash of Old Bay and a spritz of lime juice. Right now, the seafood content in my blood is just low enough that I might chance one freshly made, but NOT in a can......

They also make it for Budwiser, but that's unlikely to improve the taste.

Sup bro. why yo gotta bust on BUd Light again?? Does it make you happy that people might lose their jobs at the plant because of this post?. My hotter than yours GF works there. Thanx! Yeah, so hope you feel better and your geek following is getting a good laugh at this post dude. See you at Mad River "bro"....

If Clamato was just tomato juice and clams, I would try it, but Clamato is an unholy mix of chemistry:
Water, Tomato Concentrate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Monosodium Glutamate, Salt, Citric Acid, Spices, Onion Powder, Ascorbic Acid (To Maintain Color), Garlic Powder, Dried Clam Broth, Vinegar, Red 40.


Oh my Lord.

That is so wrong in so many ways.

RPS was great! 100 dollars was given out and a drunken time was had by all at the Sidebar. Going to do another one in three or four months. Also trying to set up an iron chef style competition and I'll give the details on that when I know more.

Back to defending Clamato, I hereby offer to make a clamato bloody mary (a bloody caesar if you want to get technical) for anyone in the Mt. Vernon area to show how good they can be.

Bought it by accident in Las Vegas while walking through a casino. I tried to push myself through to drink it, but couldn't make it more then halfway. An awful awful creation indeed

Weird trivia: I was watching a Seinfeld episode from around 1995 and there was a poster in the background for Bud Chelada. It was the cockfight episode.

Missi and I saw this in the Walmart in scenic downtown Danville, VA (the ONLY place we could find to buy beer). I was tempted to try it out, but better judgement prevailed.
My grandfather mixes clamato and cheap light beer when golfing. Calls it a poor man's bloody mary, and says it gives him the nice morning buzz while fulfilling his nourishment needs.
My family's so f'd up.

Speaking of beer and tomato juice, the Woodberry Kitchen brunch menu offers
The Full Monty
Bloody Mary with with shrimp, candied bacon, Natty Boh chaser

We were too chicken to try it...

Didn't already cover something like this some time ago? Maybe I'm thinking of the Clamato Caesar.

I love this stuff! I discovered it in Busch Gardens on a beer tasting "ride" they had for parents. I had to ask my local liquor store to start ordering it and now others are buying it too. It's one of those things that you love or hate. I try to ignore the calories, because even though it's Bud Light, they are still high. It's the only beer I can keep in the house that no one else will touch!

This happens to be one of my favorite beers these days even talked a couple of local bars into carrying them for me:) helps to be a regular:) LOL My advice to anyone with questions is this, if you like Bloody Marys you might like this, if you don't like Bloody Marys this might not be your thing:)

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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