When we think of international beers, generally we think of Holland, Germany & Belgium – however not many people realise that in 2010 it was Mexico that in fact was the leading exporter in beer in the world.
Although this kind of makes sense when you think of how dominant Corona is in the US and other leading beer drinking markets around the world, it brought us to the question – just what else does Mexico have to offer in terms of quality beers?
Generally we associate Mexico with cerveza style beers which we often misinterpret as lighter style beers, when in fact cerveza is actually just Spanish for beer and covers a whole range of different styles of beers, not just your corona with a wedge of lime in it on a warm summers day.
Well we got a team together (it didn’t take much convincing) and freed up a weekend to sample as many Mexican and Mexican style beers we could get our hands around and have put together a list of our top 10 Mexican beers.
Mexican Beer List:
10. Bud Light & Clamato Chelada
Although not a Mexican beer, we dare you to go to any party with Mexicans in the US that doesn’t have at least one person sipping bud light. Bud light is lower on fizz than Budweiser making it go down quite easy, then to add to that the fine people at Budweiser have decided to add Clamato (tomato juice with spices) and Chelada (Salt & lime) to give an almost bloody mary tasting beer that is not only unique but also refreshing and definitely one to watch out for on the shelf next time you visit your local liquor store.
Like most canned beers, Tecate is best served ice cold. The best thing about Tecate and the reason it makes our list is not because of its taste but because of it’s price and general drinkability. It’s similar to a bud light in that it’s low on fizz, goes down easy and has a some what bitter taste. It is dirt cheap and the kind of beer you would expect to see at a frat house party whilst playing beer pong. It is a staple cheap Mexican beer for a hot summers day and also the ideal beer if you are going to make micheladas.
8. Dos Equis
You may not have heard of Dos Equis ‘xx’ beer however you have definitely seen their ads with ‘the most interesting man in the world’ often going around social media in the form of memes now, so we thought we would check out what this beer is all about. There are two different types; the clara (green bottle) and the amber (dark bottle). Both are refreshing, the amber obviously has a slightly stronger note. Taste is similar to that of a corona with a stronger/bitterer after note however it is 4.8% which is stronger than most Mexican beers so will definitely get the job done.
Pacifico is a bit rarer than some of the others however definitely one to try out if you see it at the bottle shop. It has a really crisp taste, is 4.4%, no bitter after taste and the best thing about this beer we found was that it doesn’t bloat you like a lot of the other beers so could definitely drink this all day if that’s what you’re after.
6. Noche Buena
There is two reasons this beer makes our top 10 list. 1. It’s by far the rarest Mexican beer we could get our hands on because it’s a seasonal beer and literally translates to ‘good night’ (Christmas Eve) and is only sold around the holiday season of the year. 2. It’s a respectable 5.9% in alcohol percentage and actually has a sweet after taste, highly recommend checking this ‘bock’ out.
If you’re checking out this list you have no doubt tried corona many times. It needs no introduction and probably would rank higher on this list if it wasn’t such common place and almost a beer that you can get sick of at times (generally due to a large night out on it in recent history). It is renowned for being horrible the next day in terms of hangover but even more so than that it is always associated with the lime wedge. Where did this tradition come from of putting the lime in the corona? Well there are lots of rumours floating about regarding sanitation and keeping flies away, I guess we will never know as Corona itself refuses to divulge ‘why the lime’ but it remains a massive marketing gimmick for them none the less.
Many people argue over whether Corona is better than Sol. They are both very similar however there is a few reasons we put it a notch above Corona. Firstly it’s higher in alcohol content at 4.5%. Secondly it’s higher in carbonation and overall more refreshing when served cold. Thirdly it doesn’t require any fancy lime gimmicks to be a cheap, light and delicious cerveza that at the end of the day is very similar in taste to that of a Corona.
3. Negro Modelo
There is also a pale Modelo that is worth an honourable mention however the ‘Negro’ or darker ale is the one that really lit up our taste buds. It’s a darker beer and 5.4% in alcohol. It is actually really refreshing and sweet for a darker beer and has hints of toffee after taste. It’s actually the best dark beer we have tried short of beers from the UK and well worth checking out.
2. Carta Blanca
Often regarded as a pretty average beer and usually left off the order when ordering drinks at any Mexican restaurant, Carta Blanca not only makes number two on our list but also the most underrated Mexican beer on the list. Why? Well for one this list is for ‘Mexican beers’ and we think that in terms of a beer it is actually pretty boring and dull. Its 4.5% low on carbonation, goes down easy with little after taste and disappears quickly before your eyes. Then we thought about Mexican beers and the fact that people associate a Mexican ale with one that is refreshing, goes down easy, drank cold on a beach, preferably no hangover and little nose to it. Well this perfectly fits what we define as a ‘Mexican beer’ and easily trumps Corona/Sol/Tecate in what cheap Mexican beers are trying to be.
This was a no brainer, it was unanimous and there is no better Mexican beer out there. Bohemia is a pilsener style beer, its some what rare, 5.3% and easily in our opinion the best Mexican beer on the market. It’s refreshing both as a beer and just the change from the other ‘Mexican style’ lighter beers flooding the market, comes in a cool bottle and pairs perfectly with a spicy Mexican dish so is perfect to order at a restaurant, but be warned it’s still very more’ish.
Check out the video below if you are interested in enhancing your cerveza and making a Mexican bulldog margarita. They are delicious!
But what do you wear when drinking the mexican beer together with friends? Wear a poncho! a comfy poncho will make the night awesome for you and your buddies, conversing about the wonders of life wearing. You can find a mexican poncho here.