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Are there any good Latin American beers?

rworange Nov 5, 2006 05:51 PM

There's a Latino Market near me that has some Latino beers I haven't tried before. I'm just wondering if there is anything good that gets imported to the US? Are there good beers that don't make it here?

Probably the best beer I've had is Xingu Brazilian Black Beer. I'm sure if this is a good example of a black beer as it is the only black beer I've had.

Someone on the web wrote that Mexican lagers are actually very close to Southern German lagers and when Germans came to Latin America they influenced the brewing style. Supposedly Negra Modelo is like a Vienna lager, a style that fell out of favor in Europe because ... well, you've tasted Negra Modelo, eh?

Is that the reason most Latin beers taste the same?

Kind of an interesting article about Latin products, including beer, being introduced in the to US market ... but I'm talking good beer not Safeway's Arriba brand, so named "because they figured Americans remember the cartoon mouse Speedy Gonzalez, who used to say, "Arriba! Arriba!"


Kind of an interesting side note I found was that lime with beer was originally used to kill any germs on the rim of the bottle because supposedly citric acid will kill some types of germs. Is that true or someone with a fanciful imagination?

  1. hitachino Nov 7, 2006 01:43 PM

    i am not a fan of lagers, so i don't really care for any of the latin american beers i've tried. i remember having bohemia in mexico many years ago and thinking it was really good. could have just been because i was in my twenties in ensenada on a holiday weekend though. ;)

    1. c
      CDouglas Nov 7, 2006 02:29 PM

      Bohemia and Pacifico are my favorite two. Dos Equis Amber is decent if it is all you can find.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CDouglas
        onlytwomuses Nov 28, 2006 04:58 PM

        I agree on Dos Equis. Presidente is a Dominican brand which is huge in parts of New England with large Dominican populations. Haven't tried it though.

      2. k
        kenito799 Nov 7, 2006 02:30 PM

        There shouldn't be any bacteria on the bottle rim if it had a cap on it. The lime is used as a flavor enhancer--most of these lagers don't taste great alone, and limes are used on all kinds of food in Mexico.
        The beers skunk easily in those clear bottles--that's why you can only choke down a Corona with lime. Obviously if they are really fresh (bought in Mexico) maybe they would taste better. I was just in Mexico and my favorite Mexican lager was Victoria--comes in a brown bottle for what that's worth.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kenito799
          jpschust Nov 7, 2006 04:16 PM

          By the way- little secret with corona and limes- take a miller high life next time you are at a bar, get a lime and throw it in it just like you would a Corona. bet you can't taste the difference. Also bet your wallet is .50-1.50 heavier afterwards.

          1. re: kenito799
            Scott V Nov 7, 2006 04:17 PM

            I traveled through Mexico for 2 months. Had over 25 different beers. Agree, Victoria is the best.

          2. c
            Chicago Mike Nov 9, 2006 09:20 AM

            Corona is like the "Old Milwaukee" of Mexico... it was a joke that it was introduced to the american market as some kind of "high end" beer...

            The best Mexican beer, which you'll almost never find in the US is called "Superior"...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chicago Mike
              kenito799 Nov 9, 2006 02:51 PM

              I didn't think Superior was much better than Corona--they and many other brews (including Sol, which does taste a bit better to me) are all produced by the same company, I don't know how the recipes differ. Victoria was markedly better, with more of a light amber color (and in an amber bottle).

            2. MVNYC Nov 9, 2006 07:55 PM

              The only beer froma tropical country that i have enjoyed is not Latin but rather Jamaican. Dragon Stout.

              1. w
                was Nov 11, 2006 03:10 AM

                Imperial, from Costa Rica, complete with gothic German eagle on the label. Available now at American Beer Dist. on Court St. in Brooklyn.

                1 Reply
                1. re: was
                  mamaciita Mar 7, 2008 06:46 AM

                  LOVE Imperial. Might be due to the amount of it we consumed while on honeymoon. . .

                2. n
                  Nechushtan Nov 27, 2006 05:27 PM

                  Negra Modelo is the only Mexican beer I can tolerate. Xingu is not bad, works well with Brazilian steak houses. Quilmes from Argentina is popular, like their Coors/Bud but with a different/better flavor. But in general latin America isn't much of a beer culture, so while there are some good ones, its doubtful you will find them outside of their home countries.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nechushtan
                    Captain Feb 14, 2008 06:41 AM

                    Negra Modelo is not teh only Mexican beer I will drink, but it is the one I like best.

                    I used to live in Queens, and we had a local restaurant the was Mexican in its food, staff and much of its clientele. I would often go into it order for to go and need to wait for the food. While waiting, I'd have a beer. One time, three men of Mexican extractionwere all at the bar drinking Heinekin, when the Gringo in his late 30s orders Negra Modelo. I guess I impressed them, because the commented that Negra Modelo was good beer and one of them switched to it. I had a couple beers talking with them.

                    I spent some time sailing to South America a long time ago. Most of the South American beers I had were pale lagers. Polar in Argentina, Brahma Chopp in Brazil, and a few others. Most were not very good, except any beer tasted good when it was the only beer I had.

                    I have heard some are made with quinine in them, and whatever is in them, they gave me headaches while still drunk.

                  2. m
                    mitchell25418 Nov 30, 2006 12:23 AM

                    Just got back from Costa Rica - Try Bavaria Dark. Any I second Imperial - really tasty!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mitchell25418
                      jillso Feb 13, 2008 05:20 PM

                      I like Negra Modelo. And Caguama from El Salvador, but only the "Special Import" green carton. (Found it cheap at Ralphs)

                    2. Chinon00 Feb 13, 2008 05:32 PM

                      What do you consider some good beers?

                      1. k
                        Kevin B Feb 15, 2008 08:50 AM

                        Cusquena Malta, a dark Bock-ish beer from Peru is pretty good. Regular Cusquena is a standard lager with nothing to distiguish it from 100s of other beers on the market. It's not bad, but...

                        1. d
                          dosteov Mar 27, 2008 08:27 PM

                          I think for a lager the Dominican beer presidente is pretty nice (much better then any mass produced American lagers).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: dosteov
                            currymouth Mar 29, 2008 03:58 PM

                            I agree totally, but it has to be Beastly cold. or else, to me it taste like coors. great for chasing some Barcelo rum.

                          2. h
                            healthyscratch Mar 29, 2008 03:53 PM

                            Just tried Toña for the first time at a small, local Mexican restaurant. It's a fairly light lager from Nicaragua, I think it's the top-selling beer there.

                            Pretty drinkable, certainly not great, or even very good, but in a restaurant like this, it's a fine alternative to American macros/Corona/Sol, and is probably easy to drink in large quantities on a hot, sunny day. Though it won't replace Negra Modelo or Bohemia as my regular order here.

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