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Beer in Mexico?

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BatMan Jan 16, 2008 08:47 AM

I'm heading to Cabo on Saturday for the week. What beer should I drink?

  1. streetgourmetla Jul 9, 2008 06:53 PM

    Add Bohemia Oscura to to list, just popped up within the last year.I like it even better than Bohemia, which is a favorite.Casta is the most full bodied Mexican beer I've enjoyed recently.A friend and I had Casta's this weekend in Tijuana and the Bohemia Oscura, which I've also picked up in OXXO's in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja.Give these a try.

    1. Veggo Mar 18, 2008 04:07 PM

      I often say "quiero la cerveza mas fria" , I want your coldest beer. Tastes are of course subjective, but I think it's fair to say that Sol is the lightest, next group of Tecate, XX, Modelo Especial have a little more body. Next group begins to have recognizable identities: Pacifico, Leon, Montejo, Victoria. Many of these are brewed in Monterrey because that's where most of the glass bottles are manufactured. (The bottle cost is almost equivalent to its contents). Negro Modelo and XX dark are the heavies. I consider Bohemia to be the premium beer in Mexico. Corona, for reasons I don't understand, has nearly twice the calories of most other brands. Curiously, Carta Blanca has been a disappearing franchise.
      Many bars and restaurants only serve a few varieties, because often a distributor of several brands has assisted with the securing of a beer license (which are expensive and often limited) in exchange for exclusivity of it's products.
      Try a chilada or michilada while you're there. A chilada is a beer with a set-up comprising a glass with ice, lime juice, and a salted rim. A michilada additionally includes worcestershire sauce and seasonings like dried oregano. There may be a 5 peso premium for a chilada or michilada, but the ice keeps it cool to the last sip. I favor chiladas with a light beer like Sol.

      1. continental Mar 18, 2008 03:27 PM

        What nobody mentioned Indio yet?

        1. streetgourmetla Mar 2, 2008 08:13 PM

          Yes,all these beers serve a purpose.Mexican beers are made to go with Mexican food, and the lighter beers are great with the seafood.I love Victoria and also Indio.When these are available they're what I drink.Tijuana and Mexicali have their own beers now;don't know if they're in Cabo.Corona and Sol are the only beers I avoid unless I'm turning them into a Michelada.Carta Blanca is a Mexican beer that I will not drink.
          Other greats:
          Negra Modelo
          Bohemia
          Modelo Especial
          Dos Equis
          Pacifico
          Estrella
          Leon
          Montejo
          Barrilito
          and Tecate

          2 Replies
          1. re: streetgourmetla
            Josh Mar 2, 2008 09:21 PM

            Eh, I pretty much disagree. The typical Mexican beer, light lager, came about from German immigrants who moved to Mexico and brought their style of beer with them.

            I think there are much better, more flavorful, matches for most varieties of Mexican food than light lager.

            Belgian witbier and gueuze are natural matches for Mexican seafood dishes. Hoppier beers like IPA have pronounced citrus elements that go well with cliantro and hot chilies.

            1. re: Josh
              streetgourmetla Mar 3, 2008 08:06 PM

              Yes, the Germans brought beer making and marching band instruments, but Tecate beer and banda are decidedly Mexican.
              Truth be told, I'm a wine guy first and prefer to have ceviche at home with a sauvignon blanc.But, when I'm in Mexico,which I've been fortunate enough to have been through 17 states plus D.F., I drink Mexican beer because I want to immerse myself in the culture.There will not be a Belgian witbier on any menus anytime soon, nor can you convince a Sinaloense with a huge belt buckle, boots, and a Stetson that he should be drinkin' gueze or a sauvignon blanc with his pat de mula or aguachile.He's going with the Pacifico or the Tecate, and so am I.You may have something there with that pairing, but I would just as much like to drink Belgian beer in Mexico as I would like to eat chilorio in India. That can't stop me from grabbing a Belgian witbier one of these nights here in LA.I'll give it a whirl.

          2. Sam Fujisaka Feb 26, 2008 04:13 PM

            Ya nuts? Try em all!! Drink what you like--Negro Modelo, Modelo, Victoria, Sol, Pacifico, Bohemia, Tecate, Corona ...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
              b
              bulavinaka Mar 2, 2008 10:07 AM

              I agree with Sam. Keep an open mind and have fun trying alot of different things which includes a very diverse choice of brews. Sometimes the stuff that gets a big thumbs-down by alot of us at home here in the States can really hit the spot in a place like Cabo. It gets as hot as hell down there, and sometimes, you just want something really cold, wet and on the lighter side when you're outside, under a talapa, or on the patio... Have a great time!

            2. c
              chazzerking Feb 26, 2008 03:10 PM

              For drinking with fish and lighter fare, I like Pacifico best. Modelo Especial is also nice. for more robust, I prefer Modelo Negro to Dos Equis, but I haven't tried Victoria

              1. alanbarnes Feb 26, 2008 02:42 PM

                Tecate is pretty much the national beer of Baja. Pacifico is probably the best of the light lagers. Victoria may be the only true Vienna lager being brewed these days (Vienna included). Negro Modelo is tasty. Modelo Especial usually comes in a can, which is good for taking out on a panga where weight and breakability are issues. Corona will mark you instantly as a tourist. It and Sol--both sold in clear bottles--are usually skunked. A squeeze of lime will cover the skunky taste up, but given the choice between beer that's skunked and beer that isn't...

                If you're buying in a store, be aware that many bottles will be subject to a hefty deposit that you can only recover by returning the bottle to THAT store. If you're going that route, consider the ballenos ("whales"), big bottles that contain multiple servings. Also be aware that some bars will advertise a price without disclosing that it's for "quarto" (~6oz) instead of the more common "medio" (~12oz) bottles.

                Have fun, and hoist one for the board!

                1. azhotdish Feb 25, 2008 10:22 PM

                  I thought Tecate was pretty much the official sponsor of Mexico - it's everywhere, and Tecate Light is equally as Bud Light.

                  For some reason, Dos Equis tastes better in Mexico.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: azhotdish
                    Eat_Nopal Feb 26, 2008 08:24 AM

                    Outside of Baja & Sonora... I can't recall seeing much of a Tecate presence anywhere in Mexico. Perhaps the beer can be found... but I don't remember any Tecate dominated little beer shacks... murals, advertising etc., Every region has its dominant beer... once you get to Sinaloa its all Pacifico Clara... in the Yucatan its Montejo & Leon etc.,

                  2. Eat_Nopal Feb 12, 2008 05:55 PM

                    Depends on whether you are a beer snob or you want to enjoy the total experience. In the Mexican heat... the lighter, but tasty lagers go well with the climate & the light, citrusy seafood. Trust me you wouldn't drink an Aged Lambic with an Abulone Tostada unless you had no taste buds. The best beer for Ceviches & so forth I think is the ultra light Tecate... besides its from Baja. I don't know too much about the Cabo bar seen but I have heard of places in Todos Santos that carry microbrews such as Cucapa & Casta. I've heard good things about the Cucapa Imperial Stout but haven't tried it... I personally have liked Casta's Scottish Style Ale, and the Czech Style Pilsner.

                    This time of year, I am always a sucker for Noche Buena... its a dark seasonal beer only available around christmas... there might still be some around.

                    The local drink in Cabo is a liquer called Damiana... its sweet & herbal... I like it cut with some Rum or Vodka, on the rocks.... otherwise blended with fresh canteloupe.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                      Josh Feb 26, 2008 09:13 AM

                      Maybe not an aged lambic, but a young gueuze would be an ideal match for Mexican seafood dishes. It's so lemony and effervescent.

                      1. re: Josh
                        Eat_Nopal Feb 26, 2008 02:01 PM

                        Hopefully next team I am in S.D. you can educate me on gueuzes.

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal
                          Josh Feb 26, 2008 04:00 PM

                          Definitely!

                          But if you want to find some on your own, there's actually a good one made by Lindemans that's often available at Whole Foods - it's called Cuvee Rene. Other good ones are Girardin, Boon Marriage Parfait, and Hanssens Artisinaal.

                    2. artfuldestruct Jan 16, 2008 09:07 AM

                      what kind of beer do you like to drink? dark? light? sol is a good cheap light beer and negro modelo is a great dark beer...

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: artfuldestruct
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                        BatMan Jan 16, 2008 09:23 AM

                        I switch between Summit Extra Pale Ale and Pilsner Urquell depending on my mood. I also drink Guinness when in a bar that has it on tap. I've never had Sol but have had plenty of Negro Modelo...

                        Are there any beers unique to Mexico that I should consider?

                        1. re: BatMan
                          netmover Jan 17, 2008 07:17 PM

                          Victoria hands down is the best brau in all of Mexico. Hopefully, it'll be avaiable there. They sneak it into the USA and sell it at a store I know in FLA, $8 for a Quart! They have a funny name for the baloon like bottle.
                          It's light amber in color, not taste nor calories.

                          The other Mexy beer I love is a blond called Bohemia. Negra Modelo is greeat too, as is Dos XX Amber...all three of which are readily available stateside. Victoria is your best bet by far. Cheers!

                          1. re: BatMan
                            b
                            boingo2000 Jan 22, 2008 12:44 PM

                            Honestly, of all the Mexican beers I've had, I think Negro Modelo is the best by a mile. Sol is awful, IMO....worse than Corona. In a pinch, Pacifico is a decent blonde-style, and Bohemia also isn't too bad. I also like Dos Equis amber, but chances are you've had that since I think Miller is distributing it in the States now.

                            The times I've been to Mexico, I've had a few beers that I don't believe get distribution in the States (the names escape me) and they were all pretty bad (basically the Sol, Corona style). I don't believe I had Victoria.

                            1. re: BatMan
                              franksnbeans Feb 11, 2008 05:07 PM

                              Agree with all said so far. You can find Modelo and XX pretty much everywhere. Besides the Negro, Modelo makes a lighter beer as well -- Especial -- which is good. Dos Equis too makes a very drinkable lager.

                              1. re: BatMan
                                Cabo_Traveler Feb 25, 2008 09:12 PM

                                Have you ever tried Casta? Is a premium mexican beer. By the way, there is a Brewing Company in Cabo that sells real Cabo Beer. Its in San Jose, they also serve oven cooked pizzas.

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