Daily beer project

Beer #20: Mexican night

Posted in Imports, Macrobrews by dailybeerproject on February 2, 2010

So tonight I sampled two macrobrewed adjunct* beers of Mexican origin. The title of the post is Mexican night, which is a funny story in itself.**

*Adjunct beers, which refers to beers from the big post-prohibition macrobreweries, are called adjunct because the barley is frequently supplemented with adjunct grains such as corn and rice. I did not know this until today, when I was looking at reviews of Tecate and Corona on beeradvocate.com. For a newbie beer drinker or even an experienced one, Beer Advocate is a tremendous resource. It has reviews of pretty much every beer imaginable, but perhaps even more helpful are the descriptions of various beer styles, instructions on how to pour, and articles on glassware and what is suitable to which style. It’s a great site.

**So the “Mexican night” story. When I was in college I had occasion to visit the home of another student along with a friend of mine. This student rented a room from a professor and his wife in a home near campus. Now anyone who’s spent much time in Latin America knows that the social mores around breast feeding and the age at which a child typically stops breast feeding are “different” than they are in the USA. And by different, I mean breast feeding in public is as common as a “Union Yes” bumper sticker in a Detroit parking lot, and there’s no social stigma about kids breastfeeding well past the age when they have teeth, even molars.

As we’re walking up to the door, I can see through the blinds and catch a glimpse of said professor’s wife with her shirt pulled up to her chin, both nipples exposed, and the three year old latched on to one, washing down his dinner with a little breast milk. She pulled her shirt down when the doorbell rang, but as we’re greeted, first words out of my friend’s mouth are “so is it Mexican night?”

I was like, holy shit, dude, shutup. Even if you’ve seen that stuff in Latin America, you don’t want to make such blatant reference to it, especially since the woman looked like she could have been Latina. What he’d noticed and I hadn’t–apparently because I was distracted by the bare breasts–was a pile of tortillas and fixins for fajitas on the kitchen table. He was making harmless conversation about what they had for dinner, and I thought he was making some ethnically motivated joke in questionable taste about the breast-feeding three-year-old.

Anyway, sharing that story may or may not have been in good taste, but now that it’s out of the way, on to a review of the Mexican beers, Corona and Tecate.

The Corona didn’t taste like much–nothing objectionable, nothing compelling. It was palatable enough, with a somewhat sweet flavor, absolutely no bitterness, and very light carbonation. Not something I’d seek out, but if served at a barbecue, I wouldn’t object. I had read that it was best served cold, so I busted out the frosty mugs for this one, and I think that was the right call. After a few sips, I squeezed a lime into the beer, and now I see why every time I’ve seen this beer served or in commercials, it’s garnished with lime.

The lime took the beer from boring to nice just like that. Still nothing compelling about it, nothing to savor. But as far as beers to drink on a hot day, especially if you plan on having more than one, with a lime, Corona wouldn’t be bad.

Tecate was more or less the same story. It had much more head–about 3.5 fingers when I poured it, but it subsided quite quickly. The beer itself had a little more flavor, but still not much. I could tell when I tried it straight up that it was also begging for a lime. Not surprisingly, with a lime, it also improved meaningfully. It was cold, pleasant, and refreshing. Again, it begged for a hot day and multiple beers. And considering I didn’t feel as if I’d had much of anything to drink after finishing both of them, I can see how people could drink one after another of these under the right circumstances.

Summary thoughts: as I mentioned yesterday, I think I’m coming to the point where I don’t dislike beer any more, and I just like some more than others. These two Mexican beers won’t be anything I seek out with any regularity, but it’s nice to know they’re there, particularly if I go out for Mexican food and choices are limited.

The first time I went to Mexico, having only seen advertising in the USA, I expected Corona to be the preeminent beer. I was surprised that Tecate held that position. After tasting both, I can see why. I liked Tecate better. I wouldn’t mind trying Negro Modelo or Dos Equis, as all are often available at Mexican Restaurants, just to see which I’d choose to accompany a plate of mole amarillo or a chorizo burrito.


2 Responses

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  1. […] Honey Wheat and Uno Mas are both refreshing, hot weather beers. Both have a pleasant bit of sourness to them and are light and easy-drinking. Uno Mas is a Mexican-style lager, but I think it outdoes Tecate and Corona. […]

  2. […] review of this beer. It’s described as a Mexican-style lager, which suggests something like Tecate or Corona. Negra Modelo is also a Mexican lager, but it’s not a typical Mexican lager like its sister, […]

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