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A Beer Lover's Guide to Cinco de Mayo

May 05, 2017

By Eno Sarris, May 05, 2017

Today is Cinco de Mayo! It's not really considered a beer holiday by most. It might barely be considered a major holiday by some in Mexico. North of the Rio Grande the fifth of May is a major drinking holiday, if that sort of thing exists or should exist, and so beer lovers are faced with a quandary: am I supposed to drink margaritas?

As with any of these sorts of events, there are fundamentally two ways to go.

1) Don't take part at all.
As a noted curmudgeon that loves the company of others but hates cheesy things, this is usually my play.

Don't even go get chille rellenos from that spot you like because it'll be a zoo. Don't go out. Don't go anywhere. Don't put El Mariachi on at home either.

Crack open a good old IPA or double Stout, put your feet up, and enjoy some wrestling. Wait, no you might see some lucha libre style action. Baseball! Wait, Adrian Gonzalez might hit a homer or see Roberto Osuna nail down a save. Tarantino flick. No, dammit Danny Trejo, you're too awesome for words.

Rocky. That's it. Rocky marathon! With an American beer. Put your star spangled banner socks on, why not. Be different by checking out, I guess.

There is a way to find a half-way point.”

2) Get on the slippery slope
I've definitely done this one a ton. The ole' two fingers up in the air and a 'whoo hoo' and a nervous smile as you arrive thinking you’ve checked the box. And before you know it, you’re in the mix.  

Get a Corona and have normal conversations with people as you catch up. Don't do Tequila shots, don't wear the hat. Don't wonder why you're celebrating a medium profile victory of the Mexican army over Napoleon's French army in a six year war that happened nearly two hundred years ago.

Then somehow your second is one of those Corona margarita waterslide looking things you’ve seen at the airport and you’re judging yourself. It’s fine, everyone else is in the same glass.  

There is a way to find a half-way point, somewhere in between the Rocky marathon and you, shirtless and rubbing your nipples on the dance floor with a ten-gallon sombrero on. Cultural appropriation has its limits, man.

You can probably get one of these sweet but not too sweet stouts near you.”

Mexican craft beer has taken off recently. If you're lucky enough to live close to the border, you might be able to score some great beer from Cerveseria Insurgente in Tijuana. You might see some Ceveceria Calevara if you're lucky. Actual, Mexican craft beer is not super easy to find in America.

If you can't find any, there's still hope. Mexico has inspired American beer in at least two ways. 

If you want something light and crushable to avoid the aforementioned nipplefest, then try a Mexican-style Lager! 21st Amendment has an award-winning version – El Sully – that you can find at your local grocery store in many states. Around the country you might also find Ska Brewing Mexican Logger, Anchor Los Gigantes, Oskar Blues Beerito, Deep Ellum Neato Bandito. BeerGraphs says that last is the best. 

If you can wait a day, you can even get some La Garza from Stony Creek in Connecticut. They're having an all day bash on Saturday to celebrate the launch of their new Mexican Lager designed to "mimic the laid back vibe of Baja" according to Andy Schwartz, brewmaster. They have plenty of what makes a Mexican Lager Mexican – Mexican Lager yeast, and flaked maize and flaked wheat – but also Falconers' Flight and Ekuanot hops to give that feeling of a lime squeeze. 

Or there's Mexican chocolate, that savory sweet awesomeness that has invaded our stouts and planted a flag. Westbrook Mexican Cake, Kane Mexican Brunch, Blue Jacket Mexican Radio, Schlafly Mexican Chocolate Stout, and Due South Mexican Standoff all mean that you can probably get one of these sweet but not too sweet stouts near you. 

Now you can hang out with everyone on your own terms. You rebel.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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