If you’re tragically not in the know, micheladas are a beer-based cocktail that mix a Mexican beer (like Modelo Especial or Pacifico) with Clamato tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a rim of salt or Tajín. And if you really know your shit, you’ll add tasty garnishes like saladitos, olives, cucumber, mango and/or a Tamaroca banderilla candy.
My mouth is watering just typing this out.
Who doesn’t love a drink that also includes snacks??
And if micheladas weren’t perfect enough, they also cure hangovers!
Parks and Recreation/NBC
Tomato juice, spicy foods and hair of the dog are all individually proven as trusty hangover cures. Together they’re unstoppable, forming a Justice League of heroic hangover fighters. Micheladas are the heroes we all need, and definitely want.
But there are imposters out there.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/Bravo
A lot of places out there will try to pass off some bunk-ass fake micheladas on their menu. One bar once had the audacity to hand me their blasphemous excuse of a michelada that consisted of basic V8 tomato juice and nothing else in it. Like wtf! To make matters worse, they rimmed it with powder pico de gallo seasoning and tried to claim it was Tajín.
At first I thought this had to be a joke. Surely no one would try to pass this sad, unflavored beer water as a delicious michelada.
The Interview/Columbia Pictures
But they did. They actually did.
No, bitch. No.
I survived though, thankfully. And I learned then that when you find that perfect michelada, with it’s delicate blend of salt and spice and, of course beer, it’s like finding true love.
Many were surprised when Mexico’s government declared beer production a ‘non-essential’ service when it implemented measures meant to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. In early April, the federal government mandated the closure of millions of businesses – including breweries.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared a national health emergency at the end of March and called for a halt to non-essential activities that included most manufacturing.
Now, Mexico is running out of cerveza.
As the country faces another month of quarantine, a new crisis looms on the horizon: Mexico is running out of beer.
Beer is in short supply across Mexico as manufactures were ordered closed because of Coronavirus. Mexico’s beer lovers have had a hard time finding stocked shelves after the government deemed the industry non-essential and ordered it shut down.
Since President AMLO declared a national health emergency, beer production is no longer authorized under current sanitary restrictions. This means that production plants from Tabasco to Baja have had to shutter their doors. As a result, beer is a hot commodity. In fact, last weekend at least 25 states across Mexico reported beer shortages both in large supermarket chains and corner tienditas.
Although Mexico is the world’s largest exporter of the beverage — cornering almost 27% of the global beer market — the federal Health Ministry has made it clear that the product is not essential, even after the Agriculture Ministry invited beer manufacturers to resume production in early April.
Oxxo is Latin America’s largest chain of convenience stores and they’re quickly running out of beer.
“If and when we run out of beer, which could happen in the next couple of weeks, that would be negative for sales,” Juan Fonseca, Femsa’s head of investor relations, said on a conference call with analysts. “I don’t want people to get off the call and run to the store, but right now we are probably looking at about 10 days of inventory.”
Although beer production doesn’t pose a major health risk, many see it as possibly limiting adherence to strict social distancing measures. When you drink alcohol, you often become less inhibited and it can also act as a social lubricant – meaning beer drinking may lead to more casual get together or parties.
“I think the government might be afraid if they drink beer, there will be more social interaction,” Padilla said in the call with analysts.
Several groups are urging the government to classify beer as an essential product to help mom and pop tiendas as well as to avoid social unrest.
Mom and pop corner shops and tienditas are struggling to make ends meet since beer often makes up more than 40% of their sales.
“There’s no beer because there’s no production. They closed the plants because of the disease,” said Emilio, a Mexico City shop owner with a few lonely cans of less popular brands of beer left in his refrigerators. Shops carrying ‘No Hay Cerveza’ signs are littered across the city.
“It’s hitting us real hard because beer is what we sell most. Now that we don’t have any, it obviously hurts us. My business supports eight families,” he said among mountains of empty bottles.
Even larger grocery stores are starting to see stocks run low, and the scarcity is being felt at the cash register, as beer prices have risen around 30%. In Tamaulipas, the price of a six-pack has doubled and a case of beer that used to sell for 280 pesos is now going for up to 600 pesos.
Some states are under mandatory ‘dry’ laws while a booming black market is leading many to worry about violence.
Some areas of the country are under government-mandated dry laws either banning outright the sale of alcohol or limiting the hours during which it can be purchased, but the shortage has imposed de facto dry laws on other regions simply because supplies do not exist.
Even in the capital, Mexico City, certain parts of the city have enacted dry laws banning the sale of alcohol.
Meanwhile, smugglers on the northern border are bringing in clandestine shipments of beer from the U.S. Beer runners are taking to social media to sell their illegal beers, which are being trafficked similarly to cocaine and marijuana. Sellers will bring beer to a customer’s door to lower the risk of being caught by police, but purchasers will often pay a 300% premium for the service.
It seems like everybody today is trying to get in on the alcohol business. Whether it’s The Rock with a new tequila brand or Ryan Reynolds buying a gin company, it seems to be all the rage right now that even “El Chapo” is getting his own line of beers.
Say hello to the “El Chapo 701” brand run by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s daughter Alejandrina Guzman Salazar, who also is behind a fashion and lifestyle company built around her jailed father’s brand. The new line of beer, called El Chapo Mexican Lager, was unveiled for the first time to the public on Jan. 14 at a fashion trade show in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“It hasn’t been released for sale to the public yet. I just brought some to display,” spokeswoman Adriana Ituarte told AFP, as the beer line is currently still waiting on government approval to sell beer in Mexico. The alcohol displayed at the trade showed brown, black and white labeled craft beer bottles with the Sinaloa cartel leader’s infamous mustache face adorned on them.
Alejandrina Guzman Salazar’s company is banking on the idea that people will want to buy craft beer, labeled and named after her infamous father, at bars and markets in Mexico.
Beer lovers won’t have to break the bank either when it comes to purchasing the new line of beer which comes in at 70.10 pesos, or about $3.73, for a 355 ml bottle. There is also the name of the brand, “El Chapo 701” which has an interesting meaning behind it. The “701” is a reference to El Chapo’s place on the 2009 list of the world’s richest persons from Forbes magazine (estimated at $1 billion).
The “El Chapo” beer is expected to have a large fan base due to the notoriety of the imprisoned drug cartel leader and a growing market for collectible celebrity alcoholic beverages like these. The company is hoping that, besides just the name and branding of the beer, fans will actually enjoy the drink and keep coming back to it.
“I don’t know if we take the label off and the beer is good if it’s going to sell,’ Ituarte told the Daily Mail. “But obviously the brand gives the plus of sale, we continue with the idea that we are selling and as long as the product is good, people buy it and like it.”
Ituarte said at the trade show that the product will be sold at bars throughout Mexico that also sell stock craft beer, a market that has flourished in Mexico City in recent years due to the growth of microbreweries. The lager was produced by La Chingonería, a Mexico City-based brewery company.
“This is an artisanal beer, with 4 percent alcohol. This prototype is a lager, and it’s made up of malt, rice, and honey so it’s good,” Ituarte told Daily Mail. “And the idea is for it to be sold at bars that stock craft beer.”
This is not the first time that “El Chapo” has seen his name being cashed in on by his family. There has been a clothing and accessories line made in tribute of Guzman.
Salazar’s company has already cashed in on her father’s name with a line of T items such as t-shirts, belts, purses, and jackets all adorned with imagery of Guzman and the 701 logo. The brand has been quite successful in under a year of going public which shows the power of “El Chapo’s” name.
Salazar isn’t the only one getting in on the drug lord’s name. Last March Guzmán’s wife, Emma Coronel, launched a fashion and leisurewear line, licensed by her husband. “I’m very excited to start this project, which was based on ideas and concepts that my husband and I had years ago,” Coronel told CNN in a statement at the time of the launch. “It is a project dedicated to our daughters.”
These dedicated “El Chapo” brands show the notoriety and the power of his name when it comes to marketing. If this new beer line is anything like the clothing and accessories already released under his name, there is sure to be a market for this too.
Guzman is currently serving a life sentence at a supermax prison in Colorado after being convicted on drug trafficking and weapons charges in 2019. El Chapo was forced to forfeit $12.6 billion as part of his punishment.