The old joke:
– I am going to Mexico next week
– How’s your spanish?
– Un mass cerveza por favor!
– Of course!
Alot of us think beer when we think Mexico. Especially when it comes to the typical sit on the beach and drink vacation. But if you’ve been reading my blog or following my YouTube Channel you may now want to experience the real mexico and the other delicious beers this country has to offer (resorts will often just serve Corona because they think that’s what foreigners know and expect).
Most Mexican beer comes from one of two big companies: Modelo or Moctezuma. The only exceptions to this are found in big cities or tourist areas that might have some local breweries or restaurants serving other brews. From what I can tell (having visited 13 Mexican States) Modelo and Moctezuma seem to have a duopoly on selling beer in stores. But fear not! Both of these companies have a nice variety of beers that left me satisfied in my 4 months travelling through the country.
- Modelo Lager Especial, 4.5%: This is one of least favorites. It’s a bit more yeasty than most Mexican beers but i’m not a fan of the flavor.
- Modelo Negra, 4.5%: I only tried this beer once and it was given to me late into the evening. I remember liking it?
- Pacifico, 4.5%: At first I didn’t really like this beer. But the more I saw Mexicans drinking it I gave it another chance and started liking it more and more. It’s a refreshing lager that still has a unique bite to it. After I left the West Coast I started missing Pacifico (it’s only sold in the states that touch the Pacific Ocean).
- Pacifico Light, 3.0%: This might be the perfect beer for drinking muy cervezas on a hot day. I often saw these sold in packs of 8 which lends credibility to my theory.
- Corona, 4.5%: From what I can tell this is the same Corona offered in Canada or the US but at half (or even less) the price. I’m not sure if this is a result of effective marketing but I truly feel that a cold Corona is best enjoyed on the beach with a lime.
- Corona Light, 3.9%: It’s fine.
- Victoria, 4.0%: ”Ni Claro, Ni Obscura” is written on cans of Victoria. And it means it’s neither a lager or a dark beer. This is a refreshing beer that still has a great unique flavor. Victoria is sold everywhere and is probably the beer I’ve drunken the most in Mexico.
- Tecate Original, 4.5%: Like Victoria for Modelo, Tecate Original is probably Moctezuma’s most widely available brew. At first I wasn’t a fan of this sweet tasting lager and would choose the light version given the chance. Although it isin’t one of my favorites, like Pacifico, it’s grown on me.
- Tecate Light, 3.9%: This is a great fiesta beer best enjoyed in multiples under the Mexican with a lime.
- Tecate Platinum, 5.5%: Not the greatest tasting beer but it’s pretty much the strongest widely available beer you can buy in Mexico. At 5.5% this might sound absurd but more on this later.
- Indio, 4.2%: This slightly pinny dark brew made from agave and corn is probably the most unique of the beers mentioned in this article. Although you can get ”beered out” from drinking too much of it, depending on the day you ask me I might say this is my favorite Mexican beer.
- Sol, 4.2% : Nothing extrordinary but a fine light lager.
- Dos XX Lager, 4.2%: Unfortunately I find the Mexican offering of Dos XX to be inferior to what I’ve experience in Canada or the US. Back home this beer is 5% ABV and with more taste. This lighter version is still good though.
- Dos XX Amber, 4,2%: Again like the Dos XX Lager it’s ok but could use more flavor in my opinion. I prefer Victoria and Indio over this option.
- Carta Blanca and Superior, 4.5%: Although these beers do not taste exactly the same (I find Carta Blanca to be a little sweeter) they’re pretty interchangeable. Given that I’ve never seen OXXO (nation wide convenience store chain that sells Moctezuma beer) sell both of these at the same time, apparently I’m not the only one who feels this way. These are Mexico’s cheapest beers. A 940 ml bottle goes for 25 pesos or less. These beers are completely serviceable and I drank them quiet often.
- Bohemia Obscura, 5.3%: My love for beer usually doesn’t over power my desire to be frugal. As I was writing this article I realized that I hadn’t tried this beer yet.
For a North American or European beer drinker the alcohol percentages of these brews may seem unacceptably low. But would you want to drink Guinness at a summer BBQ? A found the lighter nature of Mexican beer to be perfectly suitable for the weather I was typically experiencing in Mexico.
As with Mexican food, beer here is about half the price as you would pay in the US or Canada. In markets or convenience store a tall can of beer (473ml) usually goes for 16 to 18 pesos and a caguama (1.2L) goes for 30 to 40 pesos. Although most stores will sell 2 caguamas for about 55 pesos!
Caguamas are returnable bottles. The first time you buy one you will be charged an additional 7 to 15 pesos for the bottle. Upon returning for more beer return the bottle to be exchanged for your next caguama. Keep your receipt from your first caguama purchase to get your initial deposit back.
Although Mexico doesn’t compare to the embarrassment of riches that is the beer selection in Canada and the US, if you’re the average non beer snob beer drinker Mexico will probably treat you right.
What’s your favorite Mexican beer? Let us know in the comments!
Here’s a video of me addressing the topic and showing some of the beers discussed