Mexican beer appeals through quality, unique lager properties, and history dating back to the 19th century. The Germans and Austrians who settled in Mexico in the 1800s had a lot of influence on Mexican breweries and brewing style. Mexican beer is gaining popularity in over 150 countries across the world.
There are many brands of Mexican beer, but many people only know about Corona. It is a staple in many Mexican celebrations, such as Cinco De Mayo. In this article, we will review some of the best Mexican beers you should try.
What Is Mexican Beer?
Mexico has been brewing beer since the 19th century with German and Austrian Immigrants. The Germans brewed the beer for local commercial consumption. They soon became the highest-selling beer in Mexico.
Why All The Hype For Mexican Beers?
Mexican beer receives a lot of hype because it is unique. Their lager properties make them unique and popular. Mexican beer is unique because the brewers use corn, barley, and other plants.
Their taste is also different, and they have fewer fruity esters. Moreover, Mexican beers have a mild taste and light bodies. It has also helped the Mexican people extend their heritage and culture to other people in many different countries.
The 11 Best Mexican Beers You Need To Try
Some of the best Mexican beers you need to try include:
Corona Extra is a pilsner-type of beer that is very popular across the world. In Spain, it is known as Coronita as a sign of respect to the Spanish royal family. It is arguably Mexico’s most famous beer in the whole world and not Corona Light.
People usually take Corona Extra with lime. They can rub it on the rims of the bottle or even insert it in the beer. Some say the lime helps with flavor, while others say it helps repel flies hanging around the bottle. The alcohol by volume in a Corona Extra is 4.5%.
2. Tecate Original
Tecate is among the best Mexican beers for the mass market. The beer features a delicious blend of hops and malt. It is a pilsner-like lager which is not bland because of its Vienna lager history. Tecate Original has an alcohol by volume concentration of 4.6%. Tecate light has an alcohol concentration of 3.9%.
The strength of the alcohol is average which makes it easy to drink. It has a champagne-like flavor since it has a sweet corn aroma and a slightly bitter finish. Tecate is a beer we would recommend any day of the week.
3. Negra Modelo
Negra Modelo is a Premium lager with a smoother and richer taste than other light beers. The amber lager also has a more toasted barley flavor than light beers like Pilsner. Furthermore, it is a malty beer that makes an ideal drink to bring to the beach or barbeque.
It has an alcohol concentration of 5.4%, which is slightly stronger than the average concentration. Negra Modelo gets these properties due to its slow brewing process.
4. Modelo Especial
Modelo Especial is another Pilsner-style lager with rich, crisp, and refreshing properties. It has a lighting body, and well-balanced taste, and an orange blossom honey aroma. Modelo Especial has a 4.4% ABV. The beer has a citrus element which becomes stronger when you use a lemon. Market research shows that it is one of the best-selling beers in the world.
5. Bohemia Classica
Bohemia is one of the older Mexican beer brands with European inspiration, starting with the name, which has Czech origins. The first brew of the Mexican Bohemia lager was in 1905.
It has an ABV of 4.7%, which is average. Bohemia has a subtle fruit aroma that features hints of vanilla and cocoa-like bitterness. It has a pale color and a good balance between sweetness and bitter hops.
6. Noche Buena
Noche Buena is one of the best Mexican beers mainly because of its alcohol concentration. It has an ABV of 5.9%. Noche Buena is Spanish for goodnight. You can look forward to a good night if you drink this beer in moderation because its 5.9% concentration is above average and can easily sneak up on you.
It is a Bock-style beer for the winter season, making it popular during the Christmas holiday season. Unlike other bock-style beers made of barley, Noche Buena is made of malt and has strong hops and sweet toasted grains.
7. Pacifico beer
Pacifico beer is a Mexican brew with German Origins. Three German experts opened a brewery in Mazatlan and first brewed Pacifico beer in 1900. The beer gets the name Pacifico as an inspiration of the Pacific Ocean because Mazatlan is a port city with access to these Ocean.
Pacifico beer has some similarities with Corona, but it is more floral, crisp, and refreshing. It also has a slightly watery texture and a robust malt presence.
You can also enjoy it with lime, just like Corona. Pacifico beer has an alcohol concentration of 4.5%, which is suitable for many drinkers. It is also ideal for drinking on a hot summer day like most light Mexican lagers.
8. Carta Blanca
Carta Blanca is quite similar to Estrella, and many people have a hard time telling the two beers apart. Its concentration is weaker than most beers, with an alcohol by volume concentration of 4.0%. Carta Blanca is also less flavorful than most beers, but it is an excellent choice for drinking a fresh pale lager.
It is also one of the best Mexican beers for outdoor barbecues, after-workout beer, or any other scenario where refreshing yourself is key. Moreover, consider Carta Blanca if you want to drink large quantities without getting too drunk.
Victoria is a Vienna-style beer with a beautiful golden amber color. It is a traditional beer from the Grupo Modelo brewery, which is the oldest brand in Mexico. Victoria’s aroma and taste are similar to Austrian Pilsner styles. It is harder to find this beer outside of Mexico like some popular competitors, but its popularity grows.
Victoria has an ABV of 4.0%, suitable for people looking for a beer with lower alcohol strength. It’s available in different flavors, including star fruit, tangy apple butter, and honey. People also prefer Victoria due to its light body.
Sol is a great option for those who prefer light lagers. It is similar to Corona, although it is less popular. The drink goes well with almost any food which makes an excellent refreshment on a hot summer day and an excellent choice for one of the best Mexican beers. It has an average ABV of 4.5%.
It has very low bitterness and is a product of one of the oldest breweries in Mexico, which launched the beer towards the end of the 19th century. The word ‘Sol’ means ‘Sun’ in Spanish.
Small light beers are an excellent option for refreshments on a sunny day. It is lightly golden and features a hint of corn flavor. Give it a try with some beachside tacos to complete the experience.
11. Dos Equis Lager
Last but not least on our list of the best Mexican beers is Dos Equis Lager. Dos Equis Lager is a golden Amber beer made from the choicest hops and spring water. The name Dos Equis has a more full-bodied and richer aroma than most beers on this list.
Dos Equis lager has an alcohol concentration of 4.7% and is very similar to German Oktoberfest-style beers. The campaign and commercials of the most interesting man in the world have made the beer popular, especially outside Mexico.
A Brief History of Mexican Beer
The history of beer in Mexico dates back to the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Prior to the 16th century, Mesoamerican cultures were familiar with fermented alcoholic beverages, including a corn beer. However, European-style beer brewed with barley was introduced to Mexico with the arrival of Hernán Cortés and the Spanish invasion.
Mexico’s long tradition of beer brewing began in the 19th century when Germans living in Mexico started brewing beer commercially. These German-style lagers eventually became the most sold beers in Mexico, with the majority being exported to the US and available in 150 countries around the world. This strong connection to German brewing techniques and styles can still be observed in contemporary Mexican beer.
In the late 19th century, Mexican beer production experienced significant growth, and today, Mexico is considered among the world’s top beer producers. Initially, the Spaniards were the first to brew beers in Mexico using barley and wheat, but production was limited due to the lack of available grains. The rapid modernization of Mexico and advances in technology contributed to the expansion of the brewing industry.
Throughout this history, numerous breweries have emerged, and the most well-known Mexican beers, such as Corona, Modelo, and Pacifico, have gained global recognition. In addition to these popular brands, the Mexican craft beer scene has also been flourishing, with microbreweries creating a diverse range of beers that showcase regional ingredients and unique flavors. This variety and innovation in the Mexican beer market continue to grow, offering beer enthusiasts endless options to explore and enjoy.
Mexican Beer Styles
In this section, we will explore the most common styles of Mexican beer, which include Lagers, Pilsners, and Stouts. These beer styles have distinct characteristics that make them popular among beer enthusiasts.
Mexican Lagers are known for their light, crisp, and refreshing taste, making them a favorite for warm weather and casual drinking. The most famous Mexican Lager is Corona Extra, which is an easy-to-find beer with a light taste and an unmistakable clear glass bottle. Another notable example is Pacifico, a popular choice for those seeking a smooth, easy-drinking beer. Mexican Lagers are often enjoyed ice-cold with a wedge of lime to enhance their refreshing quality.
Pilsners are a type of lager originating from the Czech Republic, but they have also made their mark in Mexico. Mexican Pilsners tend to have a more robust flavor profile than Mexican Lagers, while still maintaining a crisp and clean finish. Some examples of Mexican Pilsners include Modelo Especial and Bohemia, both of which provide a slightly more hop-forward taste compared to Mexican Lagers. These beers are versatile and can be paired well with various Mexican dishes or enjoyed on their own.
Although not as common in Mexico as Lagers and Pilsners, Stouts can still be found and enjoyed by those who prefer a darker, more full-bodied beer. Stouts typically have a rich, malty flavor with notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Cervecería Mexicana, a brewery located in Tecate, Baja California, produces the Pay the Ferryman Porter, which stands out as a Mexican Stout with its dark color and robust flavor. This style of Mexican beer is a delight for those who appreciate darker beers and is perfect for sipping in cooler weather or alongside hearty meals.
Major Breweries In Mexico
Grupo Modelo is a prominent brewery in Mexico, responsible for producing some of the country’s most iconic and well-known beers, such as Corona, the best-selling Mexican beer globally. It also brews other popular brands like Modelo and Pacifico. Established in 1925, this brewery became part of the global beer conglomerate, Anheuser-Busch InBev, in 2013.
Their beers are characterized by their light and refreshing taste, perfect for Mexico’s warm climate. For example, the flagship product, Corona Extra Mexican Lager, has a touch of hops, a slightly bitter taste, and a mild flavor, making it an ideal choice for a hot summer day.
Heineken Mexicana is another major player in Mexico’s beer industry. Previously known as FEMSA Cerveza, it was acquired by the Dutch company Heineken in 2010. This brewery produces various well-recognized beer brands such as Tecate, Sol, and Dos Equis, catering to different preferences and tastes.
Heineken is known for producing quality Mexican lagers with a balanced flavor profile. Tecate Light, for instance, combines a malty sweetness with a gentle hop bitterness, perfect for a crisp, refreshing beverage on a sunny afternoon.
Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma
Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma is another significant brewery in Mexico with a rich history dating back to 1890. It was acquired by Heineken in 2010 and now operates under the Heineken Mexicana umbrella. This brewery is known for its iconic brands like Indio, Bohemia, and Carta Blanca, offering a variety of flavors and styles to suit any palate.
Among their notable products is the dark lager Indio, a medium-bodied beer with caramel malt and restrained hop bitterness. Another flagship beer is Bohemia, a classic pilsner-style lager with a clean, crisp taste that makes it a timeless favorite among Mexican beer enthusiasts.
These major breweries continue to shape the beer scene in Mexico, providing a diverse assortment of flavors and styles for every preference while staying true to their roots and maintaining the confident, clear, and knowledgeable essence of Mexican brewing tradition.
Up and Coming Mexican Craft Breweries
Mexican craft breweries have been steadily gaining traction and popularity in recent years. A plethora of new microbreweries now caters to the diverse tastes and preferences of beer enthusiasts.
Insurgente, hailing from Tijuana, is one such brewery making waves in the beer scene. Known for their innovative and bold flavors, they continuously push the boundaries of traditional Mexican beer. With popular offerings such as La Lupulosa IPA and their Saison brewed with local ingredients, Insurgente is a great example of Mexico’s evolving craft beer landscape. For more on their intriguing brews, visit The Culture Trip.
Another standout brewery is Minerva, which proudly showcases a wide range of craft beers. Their Minerva Stout and Rrëy Kölsch are just a few examples of what the brewery has to offer. They aim to cater to both seasoned beer enthusiasts and newcomers alike. Minerva balances tradition and innovation, creating a unique experience for those looking to explore Mexican craft beer.
The rise of craft beer in Mexico can be attributed to various factors, such as increased interest in local flavors and a desire for more diverse options. This has paved the way for microbreweries to craft unique, flavorful beers that cater to evolving tastes. These beers showcase the creativity and passion of the brewers, making it an exciting time for beer enthusiasts in Mexico and beyond. The Rise of Craft Beer in Mexico and the Best Mexican Beers gives an overview of the craft beer boom in the country.
All in all, these microbreweries are establishing Mexico as a force in the global craft beer market. With a strong focus on quality, innovation, and respect for local ingredients, these new breweries offer an exciting opportunity for beer lovers to explore unique flavors while supporting local businesses. So, next time you raise a toast, consider giving one of these up and coming Mexican craft breweries a try.
Pairing Mexican Beers with Food
When it comes to pairing Mexican beers with food, it’s important to consider the right balance of flavors. Mexican cuisine is rich in spices, with many dishes featuring bold and fiery ingredients. Choosing the perfect beer to accompany such robust flavors can greatly enhance your dining experience.
A popular choice for Mexican food pairings is Pacifico, a light and crisp beer that complements the spicy, bold components found in dishes like tacos and enchiladas. The mild flavor of Pacifico brings out the best in these Mexican cuisine staples.
For heavier dishes like fajitas, carnitas, or tacos al pastor, consider darker lagers or amber beers such as dunkel, Vienna, or smoked porters. These brews are well-suited to stand up to the fattiness and richness of these dishes, offering a satisfying balance for the palate.
Tequila is another Mexican beverage often used to accompany a meal, but pairing it with beer can be intriguing too. A good choice for this combination is a well-hopped ale that cuts through the sweetness and heat of the tequila, while still allowing both beverages to maintain their distinct characteristics.
When incorporating bread into your meal, a simple yet reliable option is Mexican lagers. These light-bodied beers have a refreshing quality that can help neutralize the spiciness found in many Mexican dishes. Mexican lagers are also great options for washing down a warm and crispy piece of bread.
To sum up, the following beer styles are well-suited for different Mexican dishes:
- Pacifico: Light, crisp beer for tacos and enchiladas
- Darker lagers or amber beers: Dunkel, Vienna, or smoked porters for heavier dishes like fajitas and carnitas
- Hopped ale: For pairing with tequila
- Mexican lagers: Light and refreshing for bread-based meals
Making Mexican Beer Cocktails
Mexico is known for its flavorful beer, and one popular way to enjoy it is by creating Mexican beer cocktails. The versatility of Mexican beer allows you to mix it with various ingredients, enhancing the overall taste and creating a refreshing experience.
When it comes to Mexican beer cocktails, the Michelada is certainly a favorite. This classic concoction is a mix of tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, and Mexican beer. The combination of savory and tangy flavors results in a well-balanced and slightly spicy drink that’s perfect for hot summer days or weekend brunches. You can start by wetting the rim of a pint glass with a lime wedge and dipping it in a mixture of salt and Tajin seasoning. Fill the glass halfway with ice cubes and divide the ingredients (tomato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and hot sauce) evenly between them. Finally, top up with your favorite Mexican beer and give it a gentle stir to mix everything together. You can find a detailed Michelada recipe here.
To make your Mexican beer cocktails stand out, consider the following tips:
- Lime: Lime is a staple ingredient in Mexican beer cocktails. Squeeze a generous amount of fresh lime juice into your drinks, and don’t shy away from using lime wedges as garnish.
- Chilling the Beer: Ensuring your Mexican beer is ice-cold before mixing it with other ingredients will make your cocktails taste even more refreshing.
- Experiment with Hot Sauces: Different hot sauces can bring out various flavors in your cocktail. Feel free to switch up the hot sauce to create a unique taste.
- Spicy and Salty Rim: Rimming your glass with a mixture of salt and spices can provide an additional layer of flavor, complementing the taste of your beer cocktail.
Once you master the art of making Micheladas, don’t hesitate to get creative and experiment with other ingredients. The possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting delightful Mexican beer cocktails. Just remember to drink responsibly and enjoy the flavorful adventure.
Mexican Beer FAQs
What is the most popular Mexican beer in Mexico?
The best-selling beer from Mexico is Corona. It is also the best-selling beer in the US, UK, and Australia. It is also available in over 150 other countries.
How many types of Mexican beers are there?
Mexican beers fall into different categories. There are many different types, and some of the most popular include:
- Mexican lager
- Vienna-style dark beer
- Vienna-style light beer
- Munich-style dark beers
Furthermore, many Mexican locals prefer cocktail beers, also known as a michelada. It is a tasty mix of beer, lime juice, and spicy sauces such as tabasco, soy sauce, clamato, Worcester, and other similar ingredients.
What makes Mexican beers different?
Mexican beers are unique because of their larger properties, mild tastes, and light bodies in most brands.
There are several good beers from Mexico. If you look at the international beer market, there is enough for you to sample every few days. Moreover, for fun, try one of the best Mexican beers on our list the next time you visit your favorite Mexican restaurant.
You can also take them to a family gathering, barbecue, or your own Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Try some of the best Mexican beers on this list and let us know which one is your favorite.