Do you like beer? If so, you'll no doubt love Mexican beer.
We are going to take you through a brief history of the origin of Mexican beer. From there, we head on to the top ten beer brands that you can choose from.
Remember, you can do a lot more with beer than just drink it with a simple garnish. We take it a step further to show you recipes you can make with your favourite Mexican beer.
If there is one thing that Mexico has to offer, it's great beer. Mexico has a huge part to play in the beer production industry, with their beers being exported to many countries worldwide. There is a wide variety of beers you can enjoy, and on top of that, you can pair a beer with your favorite food.
Let us take a deep dive into Mexican beers.
The History of Mexican Beers
There is a long history when it comes to Mexican beer. Whilst Mesoamerican cultures were aware of fermented alcoholic drinks, it was the Spanish who first brewed beer as we know it today in Mexico following their invasion. This was made with barley and wheat.
There wasn’t much beer produced during the colonial period because of a lack of materials, and there were serious restrictions and taxes on Mexican beer placed by the Spanish. The regulations were later lifted after the Mexican War of Independence, and the industry was allowed to develop.
Additionally, the arrival of the German immigrants, including the short-lasting empire of Australian Maximilian, allowed for the start of multiple breweries in several parts of the country.
By 1989, there were over 36 breweries in Mexico, but today only two corporations still exist. They are the Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma and Grupo Modelo. They control over 90% of the Mexican beer market.
The beer industry is the most prevalent in Mexico, with over 63% of the population purchasing beer from one of those brands. Beer is also the country’s major export. A lot of it goes to the USA, but it is available in over 150 countries worldwide.
Mexican Beer Drinking Habits
You can easily distinguish Mexican beer based on its unique properties. They are light-bodied and have a mild taste, preferably consumed when cold. Most of the beer is sold in 325ml bottles, with certain brands like Modelo Especial and Tecate sold in cans.
Most of the beer is sold in bottles that can be returned after purchase in the country, and the deposit paid is almost the same price as the beer. There are, however, some brands like Corona and Victoria that sell beer in large bottles, such as 940ml.
In Mexico, beer is rarely served on tap.Many trends have been adopted from the United States and become famous in Mexico, but the beer tap has never been one of them.
Another trend that failed in Mexico is that of light beer. Although Corona Light is the most sold imported light beer in the US, its sales in Mexico have been dismissed. Light beer is not preferred in Mexico, and Corona Light is found in few places in Mexico.
The Best Beer Brands In Mexico
Corona Extra is the most popular beer in Mexico. You can easily find one in its uniquely clear glass bottle. Its taste is light and, when served cold, it is a super refreshing drink.
A wedge of lime is pushed into the bottle to add extra flavour. It may not be the most exciting beer in the world, but if you love a classic Mexican beer brand, this is a great start. Corona is always a reliable option.
Cerveza Pacífico Clara
Mexico has brewed this venerable beer for over 100 years. The name "Pacifico" comes from its original brewery that was in the city of Mazatlán, Pacific Coast. Its color is golden and it is well carbonated, making it feel lively in the mouth.
The smell is the same as that of a regular pale lager and will not overpower your nose as you take it. Even so, you will be able to smell some grassy aroma. The taste is the same as the smell, and it has a deeper flavor compared to that of a Corona. It is a popular beer for those who aren’t huge fans of the Corona.
This is an American-style beer filled with American hops from a brewery in Tijuana. It has a yellow-amber color, a slight haze when poured, and a frothy head that takes time to dissipate.
It is a well balanced IPA, with a bitter taste from the hops and malty sweetness. Some citrus elements are also noticeable in it. With an ABV of 7.3%, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste but with no prominent flavour. It is a recommendable beer from a top craft Mexican brewery and is worth seeking if you have had enough of more generic lager.
In the 19th century, Mexico received a lot of influence from the German immigrants, and their influence still prevails to the present day as a lot of the beers are now brewed in the country.
The Noche Buena is one of them, which is a traditional German-style bock. It is seasonally brewed with an ABV of 5.9%. It is brown colored with a slight red tinge. It is topped with a frothy and thick head that disappears fast. Elements of sweet caramel and malt engulf the nose with a largely similar taste.
A touch of bitterness can be felt mostly towards the end, but the overall taste is excellent. It's definitely worth a try!
This beer emulates the Czech style and has a stylish black can or bottle. Carbonation is heavily done, thus making it lively and refreshing when consumed.
When poured into the glass, it has a golden color and a light head. The most powerful aroma you’ll get from your nose is malt and corn, which are also present in the taste.
The beer has a sweet taste that is well counterbalanced with the right intensity of bitterness. This makes it easy to drink and good for the moments when you feel like something unpretentious and simple.
A huge and bold imperial IPA with a powerful alcoholic kick of 8.5%. This beer comes from the Toxoco Mystic Ales craft brewers. If you like a beer with many things going on, then this is the beer for you.
It has a rich gold color and a cloudy nature when poured. You’ll experience a nice combination of aromas in the nose, such as pine, bread and fruit. Tasting it will give you an even better flavor profile with more fruit packed in and a hint of yeast and spice.
A strong beer like this does not have a prominent alcohol smell and taste. Thus it is extremely easy to drink. Even so, you should take care while drinking it.
This is a typical Mexican lager that is reasonably priced and easy to find. There is nothing spectacular about it, and so you should not compare it to craft-brewed beers.
Even so, it still has a surprising taste for its brewing nature. Maybe not the beer the most exciting beer ever, but it is worth trying when looking for a cold refreshing beer.
You’ll not miss this one on the list of Mexico’s famous beers. Sol is lightly colored with a smooth flavor close to that of Corona.
If you find yourself in Mexico, then you should give it a try even once. Just like Corona, it is best enjoyed with a lemon piece pushed into the bottle.
This is the Mexican version of the Vienna lager that, when poured, has a dark amber color and a head that lingers for a while before it dissipates.
It is strongly carbonated, thus being lively and refreshing to drink. It has a satisfyingly sweet smell and taste, so it certainly goes down easily.
An ABV of just 4.1% takes it away from the strong beer category, and it’s one of those beers you’ll enjoy if you do not want to feel guilty after having one or two.
Stout De Olla
With an ABV of 6.8%, this American style stout that Cerveceria Santa Sabina brews is a good choice if you want to enjoy a sample of Mexico's craft brewing scene.
It has a deep, dark, black color topped off with a quickly fading creamy head. You’ll get some coffee and chocolate notes from the nose with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon in the background.
A sweet taste is felt at first, followed by a trace of bitterness towards the end. Overall, it's worth a try and is likely to be enjoyed by the majority of the stout drinkers.
Popular Mexican Beer Recipes
Mexican Beer Chilli
When the weather gets colder, chilli is a delicious and warming option. Add a Mexican twist to your menu with spices, chillies, and dark Mexican beer for an extremely satisfying dish.
For the toasted chilli paste:
- Two dried ancho chiles
- 2 dried guajillo chiles
- 4 cups of chicken broth with low sodium, divided
For the chilli:
- 2lb roasted bone-pork shoulder, cut into half pieces, seasoned with black pepper and salt
- Four strips of thick-sliced bacon, diced
More ingredients to add:
- 1.5 cups of diced white onions
- One tablespoon each of tomato paste, minced fresh garlic and ground cumin
- One tablespoon Mexican oregano
- One tablespoon ground coriander
- Three bottles of dark Mexican beer, such as Negro Modelo (12 oz each)
- 2 cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (each 15 oz)
- Three minced chipotles in adobo sauce
- Two cans of pinto beans rinsed and drained (15 oz each)
- One tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Scallions, sour cream and lime wedges
- To make the chilli paste, toast the chillis in a large pot with medium heat until fragrant. Turn them every 3-5 minutes, before pouring them into a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup.
- Put in 3 cups of broth, carefully cover and microwave till it simmers for about 5 minutes and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Purée chillis with broth in a blender, then use a fine-mesh sieve to strain and dispose of the solids.
- To make the chilli, you should cook the bacon in the same pot until it is crisp, transfer it to a plate with a paper towel lining, and reserve two tablespoons of drippings.
- Brown the pork in drippings over medium heat for about 6 minutes, then transfer the pork and remaining juices to a bowl.
- Add one tablespoon of drippings and onions to a pot and cook until they are soft for about 3 minutes. Stir in oregano, garlic, cumin, coriander and tomato paste for a minute.
- Stir in beer, chipotles, diced tomatoes, chile paste, 1 cup broth, pork and bacon. Bring the chilli to a boil, then reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer while partially covered till the pork is tender for about 2 hours.
- Add the beans and stir, then simmer the chilli for 30 more minutes in lime juice, stir and season with pepper and salt. Serve chilli with scallions, sour cream and lime wedges.
Easy Chelada With Mexican Beer
Using Mexican beer in cheladas is a favourite of many cocktail lovers.
If you want to take it further beyond just stuffing your corona bottle with a lime wedge, then this easy chilada recipe is a way to kick things off. The great common flavors you are used to are preserved but a far greater mix than dressed-up beer.
You can use any drink to make a nice Mexican chelada, though a light lager works best. Why not go for a locally brewed beer?
- 1 large juiced lime.
- Coarse salt.
- One bottle of light larger.
- Lime wedge to garnish.
- On the rim of the glass, rub some lime juice and salt the rim with tajin.
- Add ice to fill and put in the lime juice
- Garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy
Some Pro Tips For You
When making a Mexican chelada, you should do so with Mexican beer and similar drinks with a flair from south of the border.
Even so, you should keep in mind that they are not the only option. Select your favorite brand for the recipe as it is simple enough and allows you to experiment until you find your favorite.
You may be surprised just how many beers will fulfill the task with a hint of salt and lime. By “light” larger, we refer to light beer both in color and flavor and not necessarily a low-calorie beer.
You should use a fresh lime for the best results. Most of the common bottled lime juices, including those claiming to be pure, are either too sweet or too sour and can ruin a refeshing drink.
Avoid using lime cordial or sweetened lime juice.
When it comes to the salt, some drinkers like it on the rim, while some would rather skip it completely.
So, Grab Yourself A Mexican Beer!
The fact that Mexico is home to many incredible beers cannot be denied.
If you find yourself in Mexico, then you are certainly going to enjoy the various beers available. No matter your preferences, you will find one that pleases your taste buds.