Culture

9 Craft Beers That Prove Mexican Ingredients Make Everything Better

When it comes to sabor, Mexican ingredients provide some of the most mouthwatering experiences on Earth. So it should come as no surprise that many craft beer brewers are incorporating those flavors into their beers for interesting results. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast looking for an excuse to drink (and who isn’t), here are a few beers that should satisfy your craving for delicious and traditional Mexican ingredients.

Border X Brewing: Horchata (Golden Stout)

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It’s already hard enough to turn down a horchata when it’s of the agua fresca variety, but San Diego’s Border X Brewing has figured out a way to turn the deliciousness up a notch or three. Though it carries a whopping 9.5 percent alcohol by volume content, the flavors of cinnamon, almonds, and vanilla really shine, leaving behind only a slight hoppy aftertaste. This is a great drink to chase away the summer heat.

Night Shift Brewing: Viva Habanera

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Usually when you eat something spicy, it’s nice to have a cold drink to help wash it all down. Well, Night Shift Brewing decided to kill two birds with one stone by incorporating habanero peppers into their beer, Viva Habanera. There’s also a nice hit of agave nectar, which may or may not take your mind off the fact that your tongue is on fire. This one definitely gives new meaning to the phrase “it burns when I pee.” Try at your own caution!

Flying Dog: Numero Uno Agave Cerveza

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If drinking hot peppers isn’t your thing, Flying Dog’s Numero Uno Agave Cerveza might be a nice compromise. Like Viva Habanera, this beer incorporates the sweet flavor of agave, but instead of hitting your taste buds with peppers, it adds flavors of lemon peel, making it about as refreshing as a margarita. Numero Uno also uses flaked maize to give it that “distinctive corn and cracker flavor traditionally found in Mexican lagers.”

Golden Road: Doña Neta

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Tamarind has been a staple in Mexican cuisine and candy for centuries, and now Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing has added it to their craft beer, Doña Neta. The beer’s tart recipe was submitted by Colorado Springs resident Jessica Fierro to the Beerland Competition, where it took the top prize. So for all you aspiring brewers looking for inspiration, Mexican ingredients might be the place to start!

READ: A List Of Latin American Cuisine That Isn’t For The Weak Stomach

WestFax Brewing Company: Cilantro Lime Ale

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For many of us, cilantro is more than just a garnish. It’s the highlight of a dish, like pico de gallo (which I consider a dish). Sadly, there are those unfortunate souls out there who think cilantro tastes like soap (seriously). For those who can’t stomach cilantro, I’d advise they skip WestFax’s Cilantro Lime Ale. The dynamic duo of cilantro and lime make this one of the more refreshing summer beers out there. If you hate the flavor of cilantro, I feel you. But hey, that just means there’s more beer for the rest of us.

The Bruery: Share This: Mole

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Holy mole! Okay, now that that’s out of the way we can talk about The Bruery’s mole inspired beer. The beer, Share This: Mole, boasts some of the most inspired ingredients on this list: ancho chiles, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs. The end result is a beer that is both savory and chocolatey. Not the kind of beer you chug at a party, but rather what you’d sip while eating some tamale pie. As a bonus, for every bottle they make, the brewer donates a dollar to the Free Wheelchair Mission.

Island Brewing Company: Avocado Honey Ale

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It’s no secret that avocados have been en vogue for the last several years in the U.S. When we’re not eating them, we’re wearing them as face-masks or using them as foot moisturizers. Now, thanks to Carpinteria, California’s Island Brewing Company, we’re drinking them as well. Every year, the U.S. imports millions of metric tons of the delightful berry (yeah, avocados are berries) from Mexico, so this drink isn’t going anywhere, unless avocados suddenly go out of style. Yeah, right.

Odell Brewing: Green Coyote Tomatillo Sour

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Now here’s a beer for you health conscious drinkers out there. Odell Brewing’s Green Coyote Tomatillo Sour pulls from the “classic German-style Berliner Weisse” process and adds the delicate flavors of the tomatillo, which tastes kind of like a “sour kiwi.” Definitely the right beer for those looking to increase their daily intake of vegetables. Have a few of these, then go for your morning jog. Actually, don’t do that.

Shiner: Prickly Pear

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During the summers in Mexico, cacti sprout prickly pears to the delight of those in need of a refreshing treat. Shiner, which is based out of Texas, knows the small cactus fruit is a great way to beat the heat, which is why they they made their Prickly Pear beer their official beer of summer. Unfortunately Shiner didn’t make a batch this year, leaving many people to wonder whether it’s even summer.

READ: We Bet You Can’t Get A Perfect Score On This Latin American Beer Quiz

Any beers we forgot? Leave a comment below!

Here Are Some Of The Craft Beers Coming From Latin America Worth Trying Out This Summer

Culture

Here Are Some Of The Craft Beers Coming From Latin America Worth Trying Out This Summer

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Latin America is one of the best foodie paradises in the world. As we recently reported, Latin America houses some of the best restaurants and most creative chefs in the world. The foodie revolution in the region is not limited to restaurants but expands to artisanal products such as wines and beers. Yes, classics like Quilmes, XX and Corona still dominate the market in the region, but other smaller breweries are doing their best to bring some variety to the market. Yes, international brands such as Budweiser, which is the most valuable in the world and is going strong in key Latin American markets like Mexico and Colombia, still dominate the market, but cheleros are finding out that not all beer tastes the same. 

But cerveza is important in Latin America for economic reasons as well. In Mexico, for example, beer is one massive industry both locally and in terms of exports. According to C.E. NAFTA 2.0: “Mexican beer brands reach more than 180 countries. The United States received 72 percent of exports; the United Kingdom 3.3 percent, China 2.8 percent, Canada 2.8 percent and Chile 1.8 percent.” Mainstream Mexican beer labels are also leading the way in terms of sustainability. As reported by The Swazi Observer: “Green beer used to be a St. Patricks Day gimmick, but a sustainability movement seems to be taking off in the beer packaging industry. Diageo, the manufacturer of St. Patricks Day favorite, Guinness, announced in April that they will eliminate plastic from their beer packaging. In the two months since the Guinness announcement, the brewer of Mexican beer Corona has introduced a new can that doesn’t require plastic ring carriers”. Not bad at all! All these best practices filter down to smaller producers who are starting to make a mark. 

Here are some beers that are worth a taste and that showcase the renewed creativity and commitment of Latin American beer makers. You can find some of these in the United States, and you can try others when you travel to Latin America (it is always a good idea to get to know the region). 

Beer: Colimita
Country of origin: Mexico
Type of beer: lager
Pairings: seafood, particularly Sinaloa style mariscos (did anyone say taco gobernador?)

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The new star of the Mexican beer landscape. It has an alcohol level of 3.6 percent so it is light and refreshing.
What critics say: “Bottle in CDMX. Clear gold with a small white head. The aroma is nice, grassy, hay, bread. The flavor is slightly sweet, crisp, slightly bitter. Medium-light body, crisp. Good for the style” nickd717 in Rate Beer. This beer is growing in popularity in Mexico City and top-notch restaurants such as Pujol often have it at hand. There are other notable small breweries in Mexico such as the now-classic Casta from Monterrey, but Colimita is leading the way in the integration of these small labels into the mainstream.

Beer: Lumpen (birra arte)
Country of origin: Argentina
Type of beer: Dude (oatmeal stout) and Quiroga (gose), Jaco (Belgian blonde) and Guaica (lager)
Pairings: Honestly, these are better enjoyed by themselves, as they offer very specific notes

Credit: lumpenbirraarte / Instagram

Argentina is one of the foodie epicenters of the region due to its many influences. Argentinians call beer “birra”, which is Italian rather than Spanish and shows how engrained European culture is in the country, particularly in the capital Buenos Aires. Rather than a brewery that fits the mold, they are a sort of beer laboratory where they experiment with European styles such as the Belgian wheat beer or the very heavy and honeyed oatmeal stout. Their branding is super fun and even le rinde honor to pop culture symbols such as The Dude from The Big Lebowski. Now, can you imagine yourself having one of these after a day walking under the blistering sun in the Rio de la Plata? We certainly can! 

Beer: Sarandi
Country of origin: Argentina
Type of beer: red, black and honey
Pairings: a good asado argentino, of course, pibe!

Credit: cervecerasarandi / Instagram

We love a good, chunky beer can. This boutique brewery in Buenos Aires has gotten a sort of cult reputation. Distribution is still limited, but they are favoring quality over quantity. They are not trying to be fancy or pretentious: it is a true cerveza de barrio that goes well with a traditional Argentinian asado (BBQ). The Argentinian craft beer industry is living a great moment. As reported by The Korea Times, some Argentinian beer labels are breaking into the Korean market: “’I am honored to see to premium Argentine beer imported to Korea for the first time,’ Argentine Ambassador Alfredo Carlos Bascou said during the campaign at E-mart headquarters in Seongsu-dong, Seoul, July 25. ‘I hope to see other Argentine beers in the very near future.’” Argentinian wine is loved all over the world, and beer might be the next big thing coming out of the South American country. 

Beer: Cerveza Guin, Vanushka
Country of origin: Guatemala
Type of beer: stout
Pairings: meat-based dishes (did anyone say tacos de arrachera?)

Credit: cervezaguin / Instagram

Guatemala is living a tourism renaissance thanks to the vibrancy and beauty of its population, its Mayan ruins and the ventures started by expats from the US and Europe. Out of Quetzaltenango comes this recently released stout that is chocolatey and light at the same time. Don’t be surprised if Guatemala becomes a small chelera powerhouse in the future. After years of social unrest, Guatemala is slowly but surely becoming a viable and interesting tourist destination, and it is important to support small local businesses. 

Beer: Cerveza Cuello Negro
Country of origin: Chile
Type of beer: Stout
Pairings: chocolate truffles, strong cheeses, beef pies

Credit: cervezacuellonegro / Instagram

Chile has had constant flows of German immigration, and that has transpired into the outstanding craft beers. This one has a nose and a taste of chocolate and coffee, like any good European-style stout. You can also get tinges of caramel that warm you up in a winter night. User Grumbo says in Rate Beer: “Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, sweet aniseed, coffee and black treacle with a hint of tamarind. Moderate sweetness with medium to heavy roasted bitterness”. We love a good dark beer on a rainy afternoon.

Beer: Green Hops
Country of origin: Colombia
Type of beer: pale ale, dark ale, red ale
Pairings: strong cheeses, charcuterie, a nice crusty loaf of sourdough bread

Credit: greenhopsbeer / Instagram

The design in their bottles is as hipster as it gets but also reminds us of the great golden pieces that Colombian craftsmen have perfected since before colonization.  This Colombian craft brewery is located in Bogota. They specialize in ales, which is a type of beer brewed using a warm fermentation method. The result: a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste. Yes, please.

Beer: Cusquena Roja
Country of origin: Peru
Type of beer: Amber lager
Pairings: salty and spicy food

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This Peruvian beer is a classic in the South American country. It is not fantastic, but it will do the trick if you are looking for something a bit more sophisticated than the average beer. User lutton says in Beer Rate: “Bottle in Lima. Small foam. Slightly richer red-orange body, slightly in the Vienna territory. Slightly richer, caramel malt. Not too sweet but much more than the regular Cusquenas.”

READ: This Mexican Beer — Made by Women Sommeliers and Cerveza Experts — Aims to Be The Best in the World

This Mexican Beer Brand Is Winning Awards For Their Can Design And What It Means For The Environment

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This Mexican Beer Brand Is Winning Awards For Their Can Design And What It Means For The Environment

@BrandFuel | Twitter \ Codigo Web / YouTube

Let’s be real, plastic waste is a huge problem. And it’s one that has recently taken over our collective consciousness as we try and cut back on our waste – in particular, single-use plastics. 

One of the most obvious and unnecessary plastics are those pesky rings that hold cans together. Whether you’re drinking Coke or cervezas, these plastic rings are terrible. They often end up littering landscapes all over the place and animals like turtles and birds can get them wrapped around their little necks. 

So, the news from Mexican-beer company, Grupo Modelo, that they’re working to replace this plastic, is huge. 

Credit: @BrandFuel / Twitter

The beer world had one of the earliest plastic problems: six-pack rings. Getting rid of these rings became a big concern when word got out that they could entangle marine life. And yet, here we are, decades later, and – despite some interesting efforts like sticking cans together with glue or rings that are actually edible – the six-pack ring problem still hasn’t been definitively solved.

But thankfully, Corona is working towards a couple of solutions.

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

So how does it work? According to Mexico News Daily, the top of each can screws into the bottom of another, creating an interlocking tower up to 10 cans high. The format makes the product even more portable than before, meaning you don’t even really need a plastic bag to carry it. 

Of course, stacking cans end-to-end isn’t always ideal. Ten standard cans stacked on top of each other would be four feet tall. That’s far more conspicuous and unwieldy than holding a couple of six-packs under your arms. But at the same time, since these Fit Pack cans can be twisted apart and put back together at will, they provide an advantage six-packs don’t: You can stick together as many or as few cans as you want at any given time.

The plastic-free packaging concept, dubbed the Fit Pack, made the shortlist of the Innovation category at the Cannes Lions international awards show this year.

In a promotional video for the new cans, Carlos Ranero, Marketing VP for AB 1nBev, says, “In the beverage industry, there have been many solutions for cutting back the use of plastic; however, none has been fully adopted because they require the use of other materials. This solution has a very simple approach that can bring great financial benefits thanks to the complete removal of plastic materials in packaging.”

Fit Packs are currently being tested in Mexico only, but the company is planning for a wider rollout in the future.

Not only is the company testing out stackable beer cans, they’ve also been testing out biodegradable rings in Tulum, Mexico – obviously a major beer mecca.

Last year, the company also tested six-pack rings made from plant-based biodegradable fibers with a mix of byproduct waste and compostable materials. These were designed to break down into organic matter that won’t hurt wildlife. The plastic-free rings were first launched in Tulum, Mexico, with plans to expand at a later time. For the sake of Mother Earth, we’re hoping these products earn a spot on grocery store shelves.

Beer drinking Twitter was totally here for the news.

Credit: @power97wpg

Anything that makes drinking beer easier and better for the environment, yes please!

Others were already thinking of how much fun this could be…

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Like, let’s be real, you were totally thinking the same thing.

And many were glad we may no longer have to hear about the horrors of plastic waste.

Like all too often you turn on the news and hear about animals being stuck, caught, wrapped up in plastic rings. Many even suffocate.

While at least on Twitter user thought about the implications for beer can furniture…

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Because why not?!

And for the one person on Twitter who had their doubts…Twitter was ready with the truth.

Credit: @power97wpg / Twitter

Like for real though, I don’t know where you live that you thought you carry 24 cans of beer with plastic rings…