The 5 Stages of Grief You'll Go Through When Realizing There's Now "Dia de los Muertos Beer"

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I was strolling down the booze aisle at Cost World Plus in SanTana when I came across the following package. At first, I thought it was one of the store's many cheesy Halloween gag gifts, something more appropriate to Spencer's than a merchant with a surprisingly robust selection of ethnic sweets, treats, and booze. But upon closer inspection, it was a real thing.

OY VEY. While Día de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead" for those of you who don't habla) is increasing in popularity across the United States, the tradition is also increasingly being co-opted by corporations looking not so much to appeal to Mexicans but to grab hipster dollars that think anything Día de los Muertos is cool for reasons Mexicans have never quite understood. The Día de los Muertos fad has riled many a Chicano, and as I stood there fuming, I went through the Kübler-Ross model--better known as the five stages of grief popularized through American pop psychology--right then and there. Yes: I'm a pendejo.

5. Denial

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As I said earlier, I first thought it was a joke. In Mexico, Day of the Dead is not a drinking holiday. Sure, lot of altars might have a bottle of tequila or mezcal to honor the dead--but it's for them, not for the living. But upon inspecting the packages, with its sexualized dead people (ew...) and colorful font around IPAs and other styles of beer, I realized it was real.

4. Anger

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Illustration by legendary cartoonista Lalo Alcaraz
Mad like this guy

Why, beer company: WHY? Hipsters already have more than enough beers--why cheapen Día de los Muertos by hawking your cerveza with its name? Who do you think you are--Disney?

FUCKING DUMB-ASS HIPSTERS! Do they hold nothing sacred? They're already invading public Día de los Muertos events dressed in Halloween costumes, even though Day of the Dead ain't Halloween. And they're starting to appropriate Día de los Muertos motifs for EVERYTHING--albums, clothing, fashion, films, club nights. FUCKING DUMB-ASS HIPSTERS!

3. Bargaining

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Then again, maybe Dia de los Muertos beer is a good thing. Any publicity is good publicity for Day of the Dead, right? Kind of how like I make excuses for Taco Bell and Chipotle for serving as scouts to whet the appetites of gabachos before they learn about better dishes to come once Mexicans reach their area of the country? So hipster Day of the Dead beer will similarly turn on Americans to better Mexican beers, thereby making us more accepted in this country? Right? Right? Yeah, right...


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34 comments
meowqueen
meowqueen

I take it you haven't seen the giant skull balloons at Ralphs?

Donna Miller
Donna Miller

Like the 5 stages of grief paired with Dia de los Muertos.

Charles Quinton
Charles Quinton

This is up there with the distillery in the 1970s that put whiskey in bottles that looked like Hopi Kachinas.

Sandra Sutphen
Sandra Sutphen

Thank you, Gustavo Arellano. This column was right on target.

Ascary Morera
Ascary Morera

Hate to say it but gabachos beat us to it. We need to take control of our culture and in this case cammercially.

James Stutsman
James Stutsman

Too funny Shannon...except all cultures 'cherry pick' (^^^)

Diana Duran
Diana Duran

There are also bottles of wine for El Dia de los Muertos...ay, ay, ay...

Shannon Tiare
Shannon Tiare

If there's one thing white folks love it's cherry picking & exploiting "exotic" cultures of the people they oppress and making a tidy profit off it.

Bill Lyons
Bill Lyons

there's a day of the dead coffee shop in Oakland, CA actually funky cool.

Bill Lyons
Bill Lyons

that's sad. 1.They commercialized the hell outta halloween in the past 20 years. 2. Disney wanted to trademark the words "day of the dead". 3. What were they gonna to with it? Make a La llarona cartoon?

Gary Summers
Gary Summers

Frank zamora, they do. Its called Bud light!

Frank Zamora
Frank Zamora

Gabachos would buy piss if they bottled it with a fancy presentation.

mhip
mhip

Whatever happened to Sympatico beer?

Loved that stuff...

Chuco Hector Vazquez
Chuco Hector Vazquez

Its pinche you can use it for a group or an individual n also can say pinchi and add an s

Max Freund
Max Freund

Um, that's "Pinches pendejos." Qué pasó con tu español, Gustavo?

Travelin Man
Travelin Man

Just for the record, this beer has been on shelves for months and did not hit the shelves to coincide with Day of the Dead. People should be more upset that TECATE is deceptively trying to creep into the craft beer market by marketing this as a small brewing outfit when it's really the same guys that make probably the worst of the Mexican beers.

Amber Gray-Fenner
Amber Gray-Fenner

Not saying it's OK. Just saying in general it's not a Mexican only problem.

Berta Salazar-Hagerty
Berta Salazar-Hagerty

Just another cultural tradition that has been denigrated and cheapened ~ wtf!

Amber Gray-Fenner
Amber Gray-Fenner

Great post, but we eff up our own holidays too by making them all about beer and food and buying crap instead of what they are supposed to be about.

Karina Karina
Karina Karina

The packaging, though. Siiiiiiiigh. Dia de los Muertos beer: coming soon to a "Bros & Hoes" party near you.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

It's Cost Plus World, son! 

The source for figurines of elephants, imported from Thailand!! 


thesarahbennett
thesarahbennett

@James Stutsman  Cerveceria Mexicana is a brewery in Tecate that mostly contract brews for other breweries. They right now are producing extra export beer for Cucapá and apparently, these Dia de los Muertos monstrosities for some new company called "Mexicali Beer." Either way, this IS NOT representative of the crazy good craft beer scene going on in Baja. 

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