Mexican Lager style

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by officerbill, May 22, 2022.

  1. officerbill

    officerbill Savant (968) Feb 9, 2019 New York
    Society Trader

    Sorry for the delayed reply.
    Yeah, Munich Dunkel would fit, didn't think of that one. I've put in a change request
    beergoot likes this.
  2. StonedTrippin

    StonedTrippin Poo-Bah (24,101) May 28, 2011 Colorado

    totally agree with the OP that we are to the point where i do think it warrants its own style, have been saying that for awhile now, hazy pale ale and italian pils maybe also in the running, but for me mexican lager is top priority. there is a distinct mexican lager yeast brewers are using now that is much more expressive than the mostly neutral strains we find in american adjunct lagers, and while many used to fit more neatly under vienna lager too, that is no longer true. additionally, a lot of them employ corn now, as a flavor agent and even a terroir/agricultural component, not just a fermentable sugar adjunct, and i think its important that we distinguish the difference. not saying all beers that call themselves mexican lager cant belong to american adjunct or vienna, just that there are enough of them now that cannot that they should have their own style category...
  3. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,516) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    I don't know if they're different enough from AAL, but I like them!




    REVZEB Poo-Bah (12,178) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    So technically I don’t think this is needed. BUT I lean the more styles the better, so why the hell not? New drinkers who rely on styles can quickly learn the subtle difference between adjunct lagers and specifically Mexican lagers
  5. Rug

    Rug Poo-Bah (2,231) Aug 20, 2018 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    I'm still vouching for Czech Dark Lager as a style as my priority. Or even split it into Tmavý and Polotmavý since they seem to be really popping up more frequently. Thoughts? I know you review a lot and I'm wondering if you run across these a lot too
  6. Giantspace

    Giantspace Meyvn (1,051) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I was gifted a few of these. It’s a nice beer with real lime in it. Flaked corn, does that really change the beer? A refreshing beer on this humid night. Is it different than AAL, not much if at all.


  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,543) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    According to Master Brewers Association's The Practical Brewer:
    Essentially, a brewery can use the flaked corn without the need for a separate cereal cooker, traditionally used when the adjunct is rice or corn grits. (MC, of course, and many other brewers use corn syrup, which also eliminates the need for the cooker.)

    Well, other than the added lime? But if every time a craft brewer gets "innovative" and adds a different flavoring ingredient to a recognized beer style it creates a new beer style... well, that's gonna create a whole lot more beer styles...:grimacing:
    #47 jesskidden, Jun 14, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  8. StonedTrippin

    StonedTrippin Poo-Bah (24,101) May 28, 2011 Colorado

    yeah definitely agree with this, as distinct from european dark lagers, but from a purely categorical standpoint i think czech dark can be a subset of euro dark, where mexican lager cannot rightly be a subset of either american adjunct or vienna, as in a square is a subset of a quadrilateral, but a triangle obviously is not. thats the only reason i slot mexican lager as top priority for new category here, but i agree that breaking out czech dark also makes good sense, nice call!
  9. Rollmeaway2loadout

    Rollmeaway2loadout Disciple (376) Jan 30, 2016 Illinois

    The Mexican Lager and Italian Pils should have separate style listings.
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  10. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,194) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    I don't understand this thought train. Mexican lagers have historically been primarily extensions of (north) American industrial beer brewing or perhaps descendants of the Vienna brewing tradition. The vast majority are certainly reasonably conceived of as a certain type of pale adjunct lager. If anything, the distinguishing features of Mexican beer are the consumption styles (either with a wedge of citrus or with the michelada treatment).

    I haven't seen anyone present a compelling difference in brewing techniques or ingredients to justify a totally different style
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  11. REVZEB

    REVZEB Poo-Bah (12,178) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    Ok I thought about this more, and there should definitely be a separate style for Mexican lager
    1. It's popular enough on its own so the top 100 list for its style would actually be interesting (unlike other styles on this site where the results are few)
    2. Beer is supposed to be fun, and more style leading to conversation is fun
    3. More lager styles the better
    4. If rice lager can be its own style, I don't see how Mexican lager can't be
    5. #VivaLaMexicanLager can join the #SplitUpSaison #FreeCzechDarkLager #GetInspired movements
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  12. StonedTrippin

    StonedTrippin Poo-Bah (24,101) May 28, 2011 Colorado

    sounds to me like you are thinking more of the macro mexican lager scene, the typical stuff we see imported, pacifico, modelo, dos equis, victoria etc etc etc, but my line of thinking is from a somewhat craftier approach where the yeast is an intentional part of the flavor experience, corn is used as much for taste as for cheap fermentables, and some amount of (often noble) hops are perceptible, a far more robust lager in general than the aforementioned macro imports, stylistically different enough to warrant its own category, at least for me.
  13. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (2,194) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    What are examples of this style? Are any of them made in Mexico? What's the history of these beers in Mexico?

    I have heard that the Mexican craft brewing scene has really developed a lot in the last decade or so, but I'd need to see some evidence that there is a unique lager style that is "typical" of Mexican breweries. Otherwise it seems like people are pointing to American breweries leveraging American romanticized notions of Mexico to market adjunct lagers (often flavored with margarita like flavors or sometimes basically vienna lagers or dunkels), and that feels like a really weird thing to label as a "Mexican Lager".
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  14. StonedTrippin

    StonedTrippin Poo-Bah (24,101) May 28, 2011 Colorado

    fair enough, no doubt the cultural appropriation thing is real, and definitely a watch out with these. i hope to have some time this weekend to dig in a little deeper to some examples that i think typify the style the way i am talking about so we can discuss and circle the wagons on it a bit. cheers
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,321) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Or as George Constanza said, "If you believe something is true, it is true". Sounds like familiar territory.
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,824) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Frank 'imparting' wisdom to his son:

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  17. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,819) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    Might as well just give every country (or maybe even region/city) their own version of each style and call it done. Every few years each one can get the new BJCP additions as well. American craft brewers want to evoke a particular feeling (no matter how vague or even contradictory that might be) and neither geography no history should get in the way of that. Besides, I think everyone knows that the most popular style in Mexico = strong'ish stouts with lactose, cinnamon, and chocolate.
    mactrail, zid, gyorgymarlowe and 3 others like this.
  18. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (246) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    No we haven't, honestly Mexican Lager would be such a broad brush category it would almost be pointless.

    They are trying to emulate the vibe of tequila in the summertime, hence why lime and salt are in EVERY "Mexican" beer produced in the State. But I can't all be negative, honestly Corona is my lifeline at shitty clubs and young people bars with sticky floors where you can't trust a draft beer. Corona with lime ice cold will do the job in a pinch.

    $3-5 dollars a 12 pack and a slice of lime, that's the difference
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  19. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (246) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    We have too many damn categories as it is, I feel like one of the biggest complaints about the craft beer scene I recieve from "normies" (for lack of a better term) is that craft beer is intimidating and unapproachable. They tend to be "overwhelmed" with the options. Just last weekend my buddy said "I don't want to have to get a PHD to enjoy a beer", and I think adding all these new styles will just further this line of thinking.
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  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,824) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Your buddy needs to drink:

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  21. REVZEB

    REVZEB Poo-Bah (12,178) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois

    See I hear the opposite, where people want more exact styles and descriptions to inform decisions. The myriad of options aren’t going anywhere, so why not label them more effectively? The top beers per style list help paint the picture of what the style is like as you try more of the beers on the list.
    I’m also curious if this site appeals more to newbies or “phd drinkers”. I started here as a noob, and I loved the wealth of knowledge here, but I recognize my experience may not be the norm
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,685) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    And of course you told him it's silly (I refrained from the word ignorant here) to think you do, right? Right?
  23. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Meyvn (1,149) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia

    Totally agree. A "Mexican style" lager could be a pale golden lager, a Vienna lager, a Dunkel, etc. You can't really pin that down as a single identifiable style.
  24. md3kcn

    md3kcn Zealot (567) Feb 4, 2021 North Carolina

    No, you don't understand - it has organic lime juice and REAL sea salt in it! It's definitely worth $6.00 for a 16oz can!
    officerbill likes this.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,824) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You are indeed correct here! :wink:

  26. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (2,516) Sep 15, 2014 Colorado

    That beer is so good! I loved it when I lived back in NY. The summer of 2020 it was my go-to beer.
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  27. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,838) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon

    Very late. But I think yes. And not all lagers from Mexico are Mexican style lagers. Tecate for instance is a just above average American lager.
    Bohemia is a good Mexican lager pretending to be a pilsner.
    I mostly discount the new craft versions. It's meant to be cheap working man's lager..I think the only US one I would include is Full Sails Session Cerveza. It was designed over a decade ago for the immigrant workers in Hood River
    mactrail likes this.
  28. TheHammer

    TheHammer Poo-Bah (1,677) Feb 15, 2009 Canada (ON)

    As far as style differentiation, I find Mexican Lager or Mexican Cerveza has a couple hallmarks that distinguish it from other Lagers.

    Appearance: Gold to yellow in color, the more Amber stuff tends to fall into Vienna Lager territory and the Black of Negra Modelo into your Dunkel Lager. Sometimes slight green if agave is used.

    Smell: Raw grain smell, like wheat in the field kind of smell. Occasionally Agave that can be present, but that's uncommon.

    Taste: Again, raw grain malt that doesn't tend to become sweet, and sometimes has a straw presence to it. Low bitterness. Agave is sometimes present but again, uncommon.

    Mouthfeel: Low-Medium body, leaning towards low, tends to be fairly clean with just a mild malt aftertaste.

    and last and I certainly am not advocating for it being a requirement for reviewing, but near always as it almost seems to beg for that slight sour and bitter touch of lime to balance it, which it works wonder with it as the absences of sweeter malt leaves a niche for it here.

    If I had to say the closets style to it, it would be Vienna Lager which can often have that Grain presence, but Vienna Lager tends to have a more medium body, a bit more of a sweeter malt presence, more an amber coloration and varies on hoping.

    Compared to other styles, Adjunct has that corn presence, American Lager is straw focused and more varied in bitterness, Pilsners are clearly their own thing with the characteristic crisp bitter hop end, Pale lagers like Festbier and Helles are more biscuit-like with more hoping and heavier body, your various darks and ambers are just that, light lager is it's own thing (of which I feel Corona is) and Kellerbier has the characteristic peppery note and unique fermentation.

    Just my take on it.
    Rug likes this.
  29. TheHammer

    TheHammer Poo-Bah (1,677) Feb 15, 2009 Canada (ON)

    Bingo, this I find to be the hardest issue with defining Mexican Lager. A lot of Lager from Mexico happens to be other styles.

    Like, I would say Corona is Light Lager, Negra Modelo is clearly Munich Dunkel, Dos Equis Amber is a Vienna Lager. I also think, a good number of Mexican Lagers suffer from adjucting. That you can tell there's something different here, but it's buried under the adjuncts, like Sol and Dos Equis Lager I feel suffer from this to a degree.

    That's of course even before we get into the occasional Agave bolstered beer, which are almost things unto themselves.

    There used to be a beer Lakeport brewed called Brava that back in the day had more of that grainy style but over time seemed to become more and more adjuncted. There was one up north in Sudbury I had called Guera I felt fit the bill, but was a bit too light.
    #69 TheHammer, Sep 13, 2022
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2022
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  30. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,566) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    I’d bet that at a Mexican restaurant most people that order a Modelo draft actually got served a Bud of Miller etc. wouldn’t even notice or doubt it’s not a Modelo (maybe a regular drinker would but not the once per year mexican food/ Modelo drinker). I’d bet most would complain about the beer being served in a draft pint and would rather have it served out of the bottle with a lime wedge in it anyway.
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  31. Electros

    Electros Poo-Bah (2,581) Feb 20, 2007 Canada (ON)
    Moderator Society Trader

    I have thought for quite sometime that an all encompassing Caribbean Style Lager category is a great idea.
  32. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (539) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Whether it's added or not is for others to decide. I've tried a few American craft brewers and to me they all seem to be fine but at the price point of craft vs. Mexican AAL? The taste and feel is negligible I'd rather drop the coin on something else from that American craft brewer and go with my usual Mexican AAL stand by Sol or Modelo.
  33. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (539) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Soooo Carib and ring to rule them all :beers:
    Electros likes this.
  34. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (539) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    Are they overwhelmed or surrounded by BA folk pontificating, just sucking the adventure out of it? I also think this is a cop out and hear this a lot from folks who only listen to the radio and are overwhelmed if they venture out. Where's the Lewis & Clark in these people? If you're curious jump in the pool, who cares about fitting in, the masses are asses. I think anything niche is more intimidating because of the exclusivity of the sycophants that want to be above it all and lord over all rather than give back and enlighten the curious.
    "How do you guys know all this stuff??"
    "We're curious is all, what else is out there, that type of thing. What would you like to know?"
  35. Electros

    Electros Poo-Bah (2,581) Feb 20, 2007 Canada (ON)
    Moderator Society Trader

  36. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (246) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I think it's human nature to look for excuses not to participate in things haha, would be my rationale behind it. But I think there is a little truth in their arguments.
  37. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (246) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    I told him it's the only doctorate worth having (he's a med student)
  38. Amendm

    Amendm Meyvn (1,121) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    The other B.A has this category;
    Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager.
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  39. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (236) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Is anyone in here from Mexico?

    If so, would they share their opinion?

    If they did, would anyone care?

    That pretty much sums it up for me.
  40. moodenba

    moodenba Defender (625) Feb 2, 2015 New York

    I wouldn't assume that Mexican beers use a Mexican yeast. ABInbev and Heineken own the big 2 in Mexico and they might be using corporate strains from elsewhere. Corona and Modelo are owned in the US by Constellation (purchased from ABInbev) and brewed in Mexico by them
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