Mexican beer has come a long way since that first crisp beer you ordered from the imported side of the menu in 1981, when beers like Corona were first made available in the U.S., both in the cerveza artesanal world and the macro-brewed mainstream Mexican beer world.
Although the demand for Mexico-brewed beer has been growing, only the latter variety of beers has been successful in making the crossover. That's partly due to the high price tag that is clipped on tight to the process of legitimately bringing in an imported beer. In a nutshell, it involves extensive chemistry-based testing to prove listed ingredients, a painstaking label approval legal process, finding a reliable importer to work with, and then finally finding a distribution company that is interested and willing to work with a foreign brewery, and any potential issues that may arise. Though you may still be able find Mexican craft beers like Cucapá and Tijuana Brewery beers that are brewed in the border towns of Tijuana and Mexicali if you look hard enough.
But there is some good news brewing for beer enthusiasts thirsty for genuine Mexican beer.
As far as craft beer, Mexico-based Cerveceria Insurgente has announced its first venture into the United States under a collaboration beer with Stone Brewing Co. and Chris Banker of the American Homebrewers Assn.: Xocoveza Mocha Stout.
Xocoveza is a milk stout brewed with cacao, coffee, chile pasilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. About 1,300 barrels will be made and distributed to 41 states (including California). Look and ask for it at your favorite beer stores around the first week of September.
"We're really excited about the release of this beer and feel it's a great chance for people in the U.S. to get a taste of some classic Mexican flavors. Thanks to Julio Trejo [a local Mexican beer enthusiast beer blogger] spreading the word about our beer, we think we'll have great success," says Iván Morales, co-founder and brewer for Cerveceria Insurgentes.
In macro-brewed Mexican American beer news, Yucatán-based Montejo beer will now be imported to the Southwestern United States under Anheuser-Busch.
The beer is a Mexican-style lager and will weigh in at 4.5% ABV, adding yet another suitable Mexican beer to wash down tacos and chug all day long at any outdoor event. The flavor is somewhere between a Corona and a Pacifico, very light and refreshing.