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.
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?)
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
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!
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?)
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Anything that makes drinking beer easier and better for the environment, yes please!
Others were already thinking of how much fun this could be…
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…
Because why not?!
And for the one person on Twitter who had their doubts…Twitter was ready with the truth.
Like for real though, I don’t know where you live that you thought you carry 24 cans of beer with plastic rings…
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