These really are exciting times for boozy mash-ups. If the prospect of Vodquila leaves you tingly in a good way, and you love Anheuser-Busch InBev’s malt-beverage “margaritas” — they just rereleased Cran-Brrr-Rita, by the way — you’ll no doubt rejoice upon hearing the news that the brewery giant is just about ready to unleash Oculto, a beer that tastes like tequila, but contains none.
Surfacing this spring, this 6 percent ABV stuff is “aged” in vats containing tequila barrel staves and it’s blended with blue agave, similar to Desperados, a “distinct Latin-inspired European import beer” involving tequila-barrel-aged lager that Heineken is currently testing on shelves in the Southeast. That stuff is also supposed to get a big 2015 rollout.
Amazingly, AB InBev doesn’t currently sell any Mexican beer in the U.S., despite the fact that it’s among the industry’s fastest-growing styles and its 2013 acquisition of Grupo Modelo last year; it relinquished import rights for Corona and Modelo as part of the deal. So this is it, the company’s going big with Oculto, sparing not even the bottle details: A Day of the Dead calaca-style skull with eye sockets that glow fluorescent green when cold predictably graces the front of the label. And because its name is Spanish for “hidden,” every bottle will apparently include “a secret message.” Details are scarce, but it will probably say “Oculto Lite and Oculto Lime are also on the way.”