22 Jan Trump Wants to Know, Is the Wall Done? Where are all the Mexican Lagers?
Where are all the Mexican Lagers?
I know, I know. Mexican Lagers probably aren’t on the top of your list of beers to hunt for. Truly, they’re not on most of ours. And Trump has nothing to do with this site, this post, or anything but great inspiration for political comics. It just seems as though the wall has already been built when it comes to craft beer. Where are all the Mexican Lagers?
If you ask anybody big on good beer, they’re likely to say they’re hunting for IPAs, Stouts, and anything rare. That may be why so few Mexican Lagers exist in Houston craft beer, (or anywhere craft beer for that matter).
The first thing that comes to mind when you’re talking about Mexican Lagers is typically Corona, Dos Equis, Tecate, and Modelo, but there are plenty of others if you happen to visit south of the border. Here’s why this is important to us at Beer Chronicle: everybody has that macro-drinking friend that only sticks to Corona or Dos Equis, or whatever Mexican Lager.
I personally have two good friends like this. One for Dos Equis and one for Corona.
Much like the rest of the team, I pride myself on saying, “Oh you like that beer? Try this one instead” in an attempt to broaden the palettes of my friends (and even strangers in the beer aisle at HEB when I see them grab for Karbach, but that’s a post for another day).
My Corona drinking buddy has an open mind and has tried a few different beers at a BBQ or get together, and has enjoyed them, but he said he’d still rather go with his Corona every time. Namely, he’s enjoyed Buffalo Bayou Sams Daily and Brazos Valley Brewing 13th Can, both very light Cream Ales. He’s curious, so he asked to try The Ranga by Platypus one night, and he hated it, but his curiosity is a small part of why I write this post.
My Dos Equis drinking buddy not so much, and he’s the real inspiration here.
According to Statista, in 2016, Mexican Lagers make up the 8 of the top 10 of the highest selling imported beers in the US with Corona and Modelo leading the pack by a long shot. That’s a big ass market, y’all.
My Dos Equis buddy won’t drink anything else despite my best attempts, and here’s where the problem comes. I’ve tried to offer him stuff like Sams Daily and 13th Can, and he haaates it. So I’ve tried a bit harder to find him some craft options that are Mexican Lagers, but surprise surprise! There are hardly any!
I was up in College Station last winter to grab some Blackwater Draw St. Nipplaus (a mighty fine beer, btw – Nick and I both agree) when I remembered I had a clean growler in my trunk! So of course, I grabbed some Border Town Lager to try with the hopes that I could offer it to my buddy.
While it’s a good Mexican Lager, it’s maltier than I know he’d like, so it’s a no go. I’ve tried a handful of other Mexican Lagers from around the country, and even shared them with him. No go. Still Dos Equis, ride or die. Southern Star recently released Hecho en Conroe, which he actually kinda enjoyed! HALLELUJAH! Hey, Southern Star! When cans hitting shelves? Asking for a friend…
At the end of the day, this is all business, and that’s one reason I love craft beer so much. There’s a scrappiness and ingenuity that make the creativity all the more enjoyable. It makes sense to me that a few more breweries would be making a Mexican Lager (or two) since there’s so much money to be had. I’ve seen several breweries dump $ down the drain for the sake of quality, so I know it’s not all about the $. But this style is a great opportunity at a gateway beer!
We’re all rooting for the underdog, and taking even .125% away from the big fish is a win all day. Why not take a stab at a relatively un-tapped market in craft beer and put out a light Mexican Lager? If not for the $ then for my homies!
What about y’all? Which brewery would you like to see take a stab at a Mexican style Lager? What would you want them to name it? I can see NRB doing one called New Republic of Mexico or Buffalo Bayou maybe doing one called Remember the Alamo, reminding folks that one General Sam Houston saved the ass of San Antonio back in 1836, and it should never be forgotten. (Give me a holler if you like those ideas, and I’ll put together some can art for you too 😏)
Let us know in the comments below. Beers to you, Houston!