Mexican beer appeared at least a thousand years ago. Until the beginning of the XVI century in Mexico mainly drank pulque-fermented agave juice. Tesguino-corn braga was also common. Both of these drinks are still produced in Central America, including, and privately, in households.
Cortez and his accompanying conquistadors brought with them a recipe for European beer based on malted barley, but production was hampered by a lack of ingredients. The first barley beer in Mexico appeared in 1543, but at that time local beer and wine were heavily taxed to protect Spanish producers and force Mexicans to import alcohol from Europe, so such a business could not be called prosperous.
In the 1820s, after the War of Independence, all restrictions were lifted, and the segment began to develop. In 1845, beer with unrefined cane sugar appeared. Railroads allowed the import of raw materials and machinery for the production of foamy drinks from the United States, although the downside of the coin was competition with American beer, which flooded the Mexican market.
In the XIX century, many German emigrants came to the country, who also invested a lot of effort in the development of brewing. In the 1920s, the United States introduced Prohibition, and this played into the hands of Mexico, which was flooded with American “alco-tourists”. By 1925, the country was already producing 50 thousand liters of beer per year. Manufacturers of the intoxicating drink have launched an extensive campaign against traditional fermented beverages, in particular pulque, declaring them harmful to health and produced in unhygienic conditions.
Mexico is the world’s third-largest beer exporter, with $1.2 billion a year in beer exports and $ 6 billion in domestic sales.
Brands of Mexican beer
- Corona-the most famous Mexican beer, the flagship of Grupo Modelo, is one of the five beer brands in the world. Light lager with a strength of 4.6%.
- Bohemia-pilsner, there are also dark and wheat variations.
- Dos Equis-the creation of the German brewer Wilhelm Hasse, appeared in 1897 and was originally called Siglo XX. Amber lager, there is a dark version.
- Sol-the brand appeared in the 1890s, light almost not hopped beer, designed for young people and the working class. It is mainly exported to Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. There are versions with salt and lime, and a non-alcoholic variation is also available.
- Tecate is the first can beer in Mexico, the brand is known for financing sports events.
- Noche Buena is a special Christmas beer available only between October and December. Dark, fragrant, thick.
- Carta Blanca-pilsner, which appeared on the market in 1890.
- Negra Modelo-originally brewed in the Viennese style, now belongs to the Munich dunkels.
- Pacifico, the Pilsner.
- Estrella is a regional brand of the city of Guadalajara (Guadalajara), produced since the end of the XIX century.
Mexican beer traditions
In Mexico, mainly light lager is produced, it is a light-bodied beer with a mild taste, and it is recommended to drink it cold. Most often in stores you can find bottles with a volume of 325 ml, which in local jargon are called medias, although some brands are available in a larger container, 925 ml or 940 ml (in jargon – caguamas, “turtles”, or ballenas, “whales”). There is also a can of beer. Beer bottles can be handed over, sometimes the cost of such containers almost compensates for the price of the drink itself. There is practically no draft beer.
Mexicans like to add lime juice, salt, chili to beer, often make beer cocktails, which also include soy sauce, tomato juice and other unusual ingredients for European taste. They also eat a hoppy drink in an unconventional way – shrimp, seafood, tropical fruits.