Huatulco Life was inspired by people with a passion for Huatulco and the Mexican lifestyle. It is a place to find out more information about the region and enjoy the beauty of the Oaxacan coastline through the photo gallery. From time to time, other interesting tidbits about Mexico make their way into the pages of this blog. Enjoy!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summertime Cervezas

Beer in Mexico has a very long history, and beer production, or at least the closest cousin to beer was being produced long before the Spanish conquest.

The first official concession to brew beer with European style barley was granted in 1543, and is thought to have occurred somewhere just south of Mexico City.  Initially, both production and consumption were small as many of the ingredients were difficult to find, and beer was still competing with local style brews.  Also, beer was heavily taxed and regulated by Spain to protect home markets.  This further served to slow the growth of the beer market in Mexico.  However, at some point during the few years prior to the Mexican independence, the consumption of beer was becoming more established and more accepted.

It wasn't until the latter half of the 19th century that beer production really began to take off, namely due to an influx of German immigrants flowing into Mexico.  From the mid 19th century to the early 20th century numerous breweries opened up throughout the country, and by 1918 there were 36 beer producers in Mexico.  However, in the 1920s the Prohibition in the United States saw many people crossing the border to drink beer, spurring numerous breweries to form just across the border.  This business was now booming but it was two producers who ended up swallowing up the smaller players...Grupo Modelo and Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma.  Most of the brands that we know today were the creations of smaller breweries that eventually ended up in one of the two big brands mentioned.

So, now that are your armed with the short historical timeline of beer in Mexico, what about the different types?  Let's have a closer look...

Corona is by far the best selling beer in Mexico and also the best selling non-domestic beer in the U.S. and the U.K.  Corona was created in 1925 to celebrate the producers 10th anniversary, and it has been going strong ever since.

Victoria was first brewed in 1865 and has a long history in this country.  It is brewed in a Vienna style and is lighter in color than many other beers brewed in this style here in Mexico.

Dos Equis was first brewed in Mexico in 1897 by a German brewer and the original name was Siglo XX...the XX stood for 20th Century marking the arrival of this beer in that century.  The original version was an amber, and today the Dos Equis amber is the best selling imported beer in the United States. 

Tecate beer was named after the city of Tecate, Baja California and is one of the most popular beers in Mexico, and has a strong connection to various sporting teams and events.  This beer was also the first canned beer in Mexico.

Negra Modelo is also a very popular beer in Mexico and was first sold as a draft in 1926.  The beer itself has been classified as a Munich Dark style.

Bohemia is probably one of the most respected beers in Mexico and has reached a distinction of being one of the finest beers anywhere in the world.  The name itself come from the Czech Republic and in particular the Bohemia region which is famous for its beers.  In 2009 the company produced the first wheat beer in Mexico called Bohemia Weizen.

Sol was originally introduced in the 1890s and has a strong market presence in Mexico and is also exported globally.  Stereotypically, this beer has been seen as a "young persons" beer as they tend to promote their product with sexy advertising.  The name was derived when a ray of sunshine fell onto the pot while the brew master was preparing the mash.

Noche Buena is a holiday beer that only arrives a month or two before Christmas.  It is always heavily anticipated as its rich, dark flavors are the perfect compliment to the holiday season.  Noche Buena or literally "good night", refers to the poinsettia (noche buena means poinsettia in Spanish) that adorns the bottle.

Carta Blanca is a pilsner style beer that was first introduced in 1890.  Carta Blanca which means "white card" in Spanish was given to people as a sign of respect in its early days.  Since then, this hard to find beer continues to be respected and has won many awards...the only difficulty is finding it.

Pacifico is another pilsner style beer that was originally brewed in Mazatlán, and you guessed it, was named after the Pacific Ocean.  Pacifico's greatest success has come in the northwestern part of Mexico and parts of the United States.

There are many different beers, and many different styles, but the one thing that is common among all of them...not matter which one you are sipping, they all taste great when your laying on the beach!

Have a great weekend!

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