Sunday, December 2nd 2018

Beers in Mexico

Written by

Rafael Bracho

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Beer in Mexico

We could get into a long discussion as to what are the best beers in Mexico. This debate is as much dependent on the personal taste, as it is dependent upon the availability of beers in the particular region of the person evaluation Mexican beers. In the end, the best Mexican beer is a topic we must explore together. WeExpats welcomes your input in the comment section below. What do you think is the best Mexican beer?


The simple fact of the matter is that there are two major corporations. These two corporations provide the vast majority of beers in Mexico—each having cornered their own particular section of the market. Any discussion about the beers in Mexico must first contend with this major corporate dichotomy.


– Brief History of Cuauhtémoc Brewery –

Cuauhtémoc was the oldest brewery of this conglomerate. Founded in 1890 by a man named José A. Muguerza, this brewery was a Muguerza family business. They produced their first beer barrel in 1893 and had won the first prize in world fairs from Chicago to Paris. Their first brand was Carta Blanca. By 1909, they had expanded their production to glass bottles, and from their the sky was the limit. They soon expanded to include several brands that are commonly found today, such as: Tecate, Indio, and Bohemia.

In 1985, Cuauhtémoc merged with Moctezuma brewery where they acquired several new brands which have been hugely popular both in Mexico and abroad, like: Sol, Superior, Noche Buena, and Dox Equis.

Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma operates mostly in the north of Mexico, with plants in Tecate, Navojoa, Guadalajara, Monterrery, Chihuahua, Orizaba, and Toluca. The company brews over 26 million beer barrels a year.

– Carta Blanca –

Carta Blanca is Spanish for the French term “carte blanche”. This light beer was the first to be dubbed as a Mexixan-style lager. Its crisp taste with little bit goes down well in warmer climates, and it has just enough bite to tease the palate without being overbearing like some other hoppier lagers.

– Tecate –

Tecate and Tecate Light are the two most popular pale lagers made by the Tecate Brewery. Their first production was in 1943, and by 1955 they had been acquired by Moctezuma. In the tradition of Pabst Blue Ribbon, this beer is a light lager with a touch of bite which can be refreshing when looking for an inexpensive beer with a touch of flavor. In 2013, Tecate Titanium was introduced. This beer is in the tradition of a Steel Reserve in the U.S. as an inexpensive beer with a stronger alcohol content.

– Indio –

Indio is a darker beer—one of the darkest of the major breweries in Mexico. This dark amber ale has a strong bite which is not common among the more commercial Mexican domestic beers.

– Bohemia –

Bohemia’s first beer was their pilsner whose name is taken from the Czech region of the same name. Since then, Bomemia split into two major productions: Bohemia Obscura (which is a dark Vienna-style beer), and the original Bohemia which was renamed as Bohemia Clara. Since then, a new Bohemia Weizen (a hefeweizen-style wheat beer with a blue label) was introduced in 2011, and last year a Bohemia IPA (which is not actually and India Pale Ale, but just a mildly hoppier Bohemia ale that borders on being an American-style ale). These beers are considered on the higher end of the most commercial beers in Mexico.

– Sol –

Sol is a Mexican-style lager with practically no bite. It is one of the more common beers in warmer climates—especially along Mexico’s beaches—because of its refreshing characteristics and low alcohol percentage. Sol also has a Sol Light (which has less calories), and a Sol Brava (which is a darker ale to compete with darker beers), and a Sol Cero (which is their non-alcoholic beer). Recently, it has also branched into creating flavored beers, such as: Sol Sal y Limon (which is with a hint of salt and lime flavoring), and Sol Clamato (which is a sol mixed in with Clamato and other flavorings).

– Dos Equis –

Dos Equis originally alluded to the arrival of the 20th Century, with its name coming from the symbol for 20 in Roman numerals. There are two major beers sold under the Dos Equis brand. The first is Dox Equil Special Lager. This beer is a Mexican-style lager, which has had one of the most successful marketing campaigns in the last decade. The second is Dos Equis Amber lager which is a smoother amber lager with a lighter flavor and little bit.


Originally from the Yucatan Peninsula, Grupo Modelo has become the most successful exporter of Mexican beers to the world. With 63% of the total domestic and exported market share, Modelo exports to most countries on the planet. There are a few brew brands that are only designated for sale in Mexico however.

– Brief History of Modelo Brewery –

Modelo was founded in 1925 by Austrian immigrants to Mexico. It was on that date that Modelo Especial and Corona were first introduced. It soon incorporated an older brewery called León. Within ten years, it would buy out Victoria—an older beer that has been brewed as early as 1865 by a company based in Toluca, Mexico. From there, Grupo Modelo—with Corona at the forefront—rose to prominence culminating in 1997 when Corona overtook Heineken as the largest imported beer in the United States.

– Modelo –

Since 1925, Modelo brewery has been bottling Modelo Especial. This Mexican-style lager is crisp and cool, with a mild aftertaste indicative of the style of Grupo Modelo. The follow year, Modelo released a Negra Modelo, which is a dark lager. The roasted malts give the beer a slight rich caramel color. A light version of Modelo was cerated in 1994.

– Victoria –

One of the oldest beers in Mexico, Victoria has first brewed in 1865 by Toluca y Mexico Company—which was bought out by Modelo in 1935. This amber style lager has a bit more of a flavorful aftertaste.

– Corona –

Available in over 150 countries, Corona is one of the most prominent beers in Mexico. This light beer is the leading imported beer in the United States—overtaking Heineken in 1997. Known for having a unique and smooth finish, Corona also released Corona Light which has less than 100 calories.

– León –

This Munich-style amber beers is one of the darker beers in Mexico. With a slight bitterness from the roasted malt, and a slightly-bitter aftertaste, this beer can trace its history to the Southeast region of Mexico. Since then, this beer has become one of the more famous dark beers in Mexico.

– Pacifico –

This Mexican-style pale ale perhaps blends a light crisp flavor with a perfect amount of bite. Originally from Mazatlan in the state of Sinaloa, this beer released a light equivalent in 2008. This beer is commonly found around the Pacific Coast of Mexico and the United States.


There are several microbrew options in Mexico, and slowly more companies are branching out into the exciting world of microbrew. Several microbrew beers are being sold in convenient stores and fresh, new bars all throughout Mexico. There are too many microbrew companies to name in this article, however many of the more prominent microbrew companies in Mexico offer styles of beers not found from the major beer corporations in Mexico, such as: porters, stouts, red ales, and pale ales. Some of the most famous companies are: Minerva, Baja, and Cucapá. Many of the hottest new microbreweries are found in the north of Mexico.

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