8 Refreshingly Crisp Mexican Beers To Try


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In recent years, Mexican lagers have seen enormous growth worldwide, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. Crisp and refreshing, the best Mexican beers also pair well with flame-grilled meats, spicy street food, and seafood dishes.

Although the history of brewing in Mexico goes back to pre-Aztec days, the arrival of German and Austrian immigrants in the 1800s supercharged Mexico’s beer-brewing industry and introduced the classic lagers and dark beers.

Mexico has since become a powerhouse in beer production with seemingly endless Mexican beer options. We deep-dive to find the most refreshing Mexican beers for your chilled events or sunny BBQ.

Best Mexican Beers

I’ve selected 8 of the best Mexican beers, concentrating on their light and flavoursome crisp lagers, several of which are pilsners.

1. Sol Cerveza

Sol Cerveza
Credit: Sol

Overview

  • Brewery: Moctezuma Brewery 
  • ABV: 4.5% (9 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Pale Gold

Review

Sol Cerveza was born near Mexico City in 1899 (source). A ray of sunlight illuminated the first bottling of an experimental recipe, highlighting its golden colour and prompting the German brewmaster to name it after the sun. 

The brewery soon moved to Orizaba, and the beer became widely popular throughout Mexico. Sol now exports it to over 70 countries.

Sol makes their beer, a classic Mexican lager, from malted barley with hop extract for bitterness. Glucose syrup adds the distinctive sweet edge typical of Mexican lagers.

Taste Notes

A light-bodied and well-balanced beer, Sol Cerveza is crisp and slightly sweet, with aromas and flavours of ripe orchard fruits and toasted malt. Smooth on the finish.

Best Served

Serve chilled and drink from the bottle with a wedge of lime pressed into the neck. Sol Cerveza pairs well with seafood and gently spiced chicken dishes. It’s similar to some of the crisper beers that pair with Indian food I recently reviewed.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Estrella Jalisco Original

Estrella Jalisco Original
Credit: Estrella Jalisco

Overview

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • ABV: 4.5% (9 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Pale Gold

Review

While the Mexican state of Jalisco is better known for tequila, it is also the birthplace of this exceptional beer. Guadalajara-based Estrella Jalisco has brewed its Original since 1910.

Estrella Jalisco Original is a premium pilsner brewed in a style pioneered in Pilsen, Czechia. It is made from pale barley malt and bottom-fermenting yeast to produce a crisp, refreshing beer.

Taste Notes

A light-bodied and well-balanced beer with high carbonation. Reveals crisp apple, citruses and grain mid-palate, leading to a mainly dry finish.

Best Served

Estrella Jalisco Original is best-served ice cold with a slice of your favourite citrus fruit. Pairs well with any seafood dish, especially paella or mussels.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Modelo Especial

Modelo Especial
Credit: Modelo

Overview

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • ABV: 4.5% (9 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Light Gold

Review

Modelo first brewed this beer at their Tacuba, Mexico City brewery in 1925, and a popular beer in its native Mexico. Modelo introduced Especial to the American market in 1990, which is now the fastest-growing beer in the US. 

You can easily recognize it by its classic stubby bottle and gold foil. Modelo Especial is a pilsner-style lager brewed with malted barley, non-malted corn, and Saaz hops. 

Taste Notes

This beer shows the aromas of hops and pale malt with orange blossom and a hint of barley. A light, medium-bodied beer with a light hoppiness with a crisp finish, a bit like an Italian beer.

Best Served

Enjoy Modelo Especial chilled in a frosted glass. This beer pairs well with spicy Mexican food such as fajitas and burritos.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Victoria Mexican Beer

Victoria Mexican Beer
Credit: Victoria

Overview

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • ABV: 4% (8 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Agustin Marendaz started brewing this beer in 1865 in Toluca, and it has been going ever since. By 1890 the company was already a leading manufacturer and exporter of beer, and in 1935, Modelo acquired it. Soon Victoria was the only beer left of the original line-up, a testament to its popularity.

Victoria is a Vienna-style lager brewed with toasted barley malt that gives a slight sweetness, non-malted corn, and hops for bitterness. Produces a mildly frothy aromatic head.

Taste Notes

Smooth and light-bodied, Victoria is balanced, with more peppery hop bitterness than most Mexican beers. The sweetness from the malt and flavours of caramel and sweet apple add lift. Carbonation is crisp and light, and the finish is dry.

Best Served

Enjoy Victoria beer chilled with a shot of tequila or mezcal. Pairs well with peppered steak and most seafood dishes.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Dos Equis Lager

Dos Equis Lager
Credit: Dos Equiz

Overview

  • Brewery: Moctezuma Brewery
  • ABV: 4.2% (8.4 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Light Gold

Review

A German brewmaster set up the Moctezuma brewery in Veracruz in 1884 and created this beer in 1897. He named it Siglo XX, where Siglo is Spanish for the century, and XX is Roman numerals for 20, after the dawning 20th century. 

However, Mexican beer drinkers nicknamed it “Dos Equis” or “2 Xs”. This beer has become well-known through ads focusing on “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Dos Equis is a pilsner-style lager made from malted barley with the addition of corn starch or corn syrup and light Saaz hops. It’s moderately carbonated so as not to overpower with bubbles.

Taste Notes

Balanced and flavourful, Dos Equis has subtle and sweet malt notes, earthy tones and a touch of mild spice. A slight hoppiness leads to a clean finish.

Best Served

Dos Equis is best served chilled and sipped from a frosted glass. Try with a shot of Cachaça on the side. Pairs well with most meat and fish dishes and street food; especially good with a gourmand burger.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Corona Extra

Corona Extra
Credit: Corona

Overview

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • ABV: 4.6% (9.2 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Light Gold

Review

Corona Extra has been brewed in Mexico City since 1925, becoming one of the biggest-selling beers in Mexico. A pilsner, Corona Extra is brewed from malted barley and corn, with only a slight touch of hops.

This beer quickly became a favourite with American tourists, and in 1979 it was introduced to the American market. This beer is the quintessential taste of summer, beaches, and BBQ.

Taste Notes

Corona is a refreshing and crisp beer that offers citrus and honeyed malt aromas that continue on the palate, with slight floral hops and subtle skunking.

Best Served

Traditionally served chilled and drunk straight from the bottle with a wedge of lime pushed into the neck. Pairs well with aged tequila and most BBQ food, such as sausages, burgers, steaks, and chargrilled veg.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Pacifico Clara Cerveza

Pacifico Clara Cerveza
Credit: Pacifico

Overview

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • ABV: 4.5% (9 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Pale Gold

Review

In 1900, 3 German brewmasters set up shop in the resort town of Mazatlán, Sinaloa, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and began producing pilsner. 

The beer soon became famous in Sinaloa and Baja. In the 1970s, American surfers travelling to Baja brought back a taste for Pacifico beer. It has been a West Coast favourite ever since (source). 

Pacifico Clara Cerveza is a crushable pilsner made with malts roasted in a distinctive process from two-row and six-row barley and touched with light Saaz hops. 

Taste Notes

Pacifico has light perfumed grassy aromas and citrus spicy hop notes with the mild bitterness of barley and light carbonation leading to a tart finish.

Best Served

Enjoy Pacifico Clara Cerveza chilled, at the end of the day, watching the sunset with friends. This beer makes an exceptional accompaniment to all kinds of seafood or beach BBQ nibbles.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

8. Bohemia Pilsner

Bohemia Pilsner
Credit: Pilsner

Overview

  • Distiller: Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma
  • ABV: 4.9% (9.8 Proof)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery has produced this fine pilsner since 1905, named after the Czech region of Bohemia, where pilsner originated. 

However, this Mexican beer is a German-style pilsner with a lighter body, paler colour, and more pronounced hop bitterness than a Czech-style pilsner.

Bohemia Pilsner is a pale pilsner made with malted barley and Styrian hops sourced from Czechia. 

Taste Notes

Bohemia is a complex pilsner that is crisp and dry with grassy, floral, and vanilla biscuit notes, a light body, and assertive hop bitterness.

Best Served

Bohemia Pilsner is best enjoyed chilled, perhaps side by side with a shot of tequila. Pair with any spicy or salty food.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

Corona Extra

My top pick is Corona Extra because it’s everything a Mexican beer should be; refreshing, clean, crisp, slightly zesty, and perfectly carbonated. Works well with all sorts of seafood, steaks and BBQ food.

Mexican Beer Q&A

Andrew with Corona Extra and Tequila
Corona Extra works well with any decent aged-tequila

What’s The Most Popular Beer In Mexico?

According to ANInBev, the most popular beer in Mexico is Corona. It is also the most popular Mexican beer worldwide and the 6th most valuable beer brand globally (source).

What’s The Most Popular Pilsner In Mexico?

The most popular Pilsner in Mexico is Modelo Especial, a pilsner bottled with a distinctive wide bottle and gold foil over the cap.

What Is The Most Popular Dark Beer In Mexico?

Grupo Modelo also brews Modelo Negra, a sweetish, Munich-style dunkel beer that is one of the best-selling dark beers in Mexico. Mexican beer drinkers generally favour beers with low bitterness and high clarity.

What’s The Strongest Mexican Beer?

The strongest beer in Mexico is Modelo Negra, at 5.4% ABV. This dark beer features toasty black malts, Galena hops, and a medium body. It is relatively sweet and is officially considered a bittersweet beer. It makes a great beer to relax with, but not one for everyday drinking, for which Mexicans favour their lagers.

What’s The Strongest Mexican Lager?

The strongest lager brewed in Mexico is Bohemia Pilsner, at 4.9% ABV alcohol by volume, with Corona Extra coming in second at 4.6% ABV. Most lagers in Mexico come in at slightly over 4.0% ABV.

Conclusion

The best Mexican beers offer an exciting world of crushable lagers with varied flavour profiles that we are sure you will enjoy. While Corona Extra is a great beer, there is more to Mexican beer than just one brand. 

Sipping your way through all the beers on this list will give you an appreciation of the excellence of Mexican beer.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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