Unicorns Do Exist: Why Hella Chela is Your New Favorite Michelada

Change is hard. People are afraid of change, myself included, and that is why I am a little wary of tasting anything that calls itself a michelada in a can. It is hard to get the taste just right – the lime, the spice and a little bit of tangy magic that you can’t put your finger on. I always get excited when I see a new michelada beer debut and am disappointed when the taste does not measure up. I’ve even bought those styrofoam cups you can find in convenient stores with the mix packaged inside, so all you have to do is add beer. Learn from my mistakes, people, and save your money!

After all the disappointments, I finally found the unicorn of all beers: a michelada based beer that is so delicious, it is worthy of your next taco dinner. It has all the elements that make the beer cocktail what it is: citrus flavor, spice, and a little bit of savoriness that combine into something tasty, but don’t overwhelm the taste of good beer.

Friends, let me introduce you to Karbach Brewing Co.’s Hella Chela. Served over ice or in a frosty mug with a tajin rim and you’ve got yourself a damn good addition to any meal.

I sat down with David Graham, brand manager of Karbach Brewing Co. to talk about the beer, tajin, and the ultimate Hella Chela pairing.

Photo Credit: Karbach Brewing Co.

What was Karbach’s inspiration for creating Hella Chela?

Karbach created Hella Chela as a nod to the michelada – specifically, it was a take on some of the more traditional combos that you might see south of the border.

What ingredient(s) makes Hella Chela spicy? 

Pepper sauce is what specifically gives Hella Chela that kick. Aside from that, it’s also made from a blend of citrus juice and Worcestershire sauce that provides a savory and citrusy zing.

Chela is slang for beer, was this beer created with the Latinx market in mind? 

The whole ethos behind Hella Chela is “Tex Mex for Hell Yeah!”  We’re so fortunate to be in a place where we’ve got this awesome celebration of cultures coming together. Hella Chela is for anyone who appreciates Tex Mex culture and the impact it’s had on Houston’s culinary scene.

In the brewery, the beer is served with a spicy rim – what is in that spice combo? 

The spicy rim that we serve with our Hella Chela beer at the brewery is made from lime juice and Tajin.

What is the ultimate pairing for Hella Chela? 

The ultimate pairing for Hella Chela depends on the person, but one option that never fails is brunch. Crack open a Hella Chela while you chow down on breakfast tacos or huevos rancheros – or pair it with any Tex Mex plate in general!


Currently, the beer is only offered in Texas, but it is a staple on the Karbach Brewing Co. menu and can be found all year. If micheladas are your thing this beer will be your next favorite!

Drop me a line and let me know what you think after you give it a whirl.


Cover Photo Credit: @ojogtr

Gallery: @ frangelbug, @__pseudonym, Karbach Brewing Co.

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