Deep Ellum's Neato Bandito Is the Craft Beer for Bud Drinkers

A craft beer for Bud-drinking dads
A craft beer for Bud-drinking dads
Scott Reitz

My father has had Coors Light in his fridge for far longer than I've been on this planet. He keeps it in the bins at the bottom where most people keep their vegetables. While generally I'd consider him an open-minded drinker, his defaults leaned toward what most craft beer drinkers would call light and watery brews.

No doubt you have a dad or some other beer drinker in your life who quietly sighs when you suggest an evening at Craft and Growler, or some other bar where every other joke has the punchline: Budweiser. When this happens, buy your beer-drinking friend a Neato Bandito and watch a smile of comfort and familiarity creep across their face. Of all the beers I've reviewed from my couch, this is without a doubt the most drinkable.

Neato Bandito reminds me of the beers I stole from fridges when I was too young to buy my own. It tastes like high school parties, pickup tailgates in empty fields and time spent on a warm, sandy beach. The Bandito looks like he could kick your ass in that wrestling mask, but that is simply a matter of scale. Neato Bandito is a super-flea weight luchador — even your little sister could pull on this can without flinching.

Billed as a Czech-style Mexican lager, I'd wager the Bandito would make a fine michelada. It pours deep copper with an every-day head, smells like a bakery and goes down smooth enough to be dangerous. At 6 percent ABV, the Bandito can do as much damage as our other summer sippers, but that angry wrestler on the can is all show. The Bandito is actually a really nice guy, if a little flimsy, and the perfect ambassador for your macro brewery friends who say they hate craft beer.

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