We know that you know that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, that it actually commemorates the victory of Mexican forces in an ultimately minor battle against the French in 1862, and that the only reason that Americans celebrate it is due to highly successful beer marketing campaigns. We also know that those millions of Americans buy more beer for Cinco de Mayo than they do for the Super Bowl or St. Patrick’s Day, and they aren’t about to give up this boozy annual tradition, regardless of its origins or actual significance to our good neighbors to the south. It’s the American way, after all.
So if you’re determined to break out the chips and guac to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend, you can certainly do better than a sixer of Corona. If you don’t have the time to dip down to Mexico to seek out excellent craft beers that are actually brewed there, you can try one of these good ol’ American-made, Mexican-inspired beers to celebrate this Mexican-inspired but fundamentally American-made holiday.
And if you haven’t already, please, please throw that sombrero you got at Señor Frog’s in an incinerator.
The only non-lager on our list, this Moody Tongue Baltic porter is meant to evoke the flavors of chocolate and churros. “The flavors hit you in waves: bitter cocoa, candied chocolate and roast roll up on you with hints of cinnamon and caramel throughout,” writes Jared Paventi. “It has all of the trappings of a fine dessert beer or a beer you might have for dessert, but don’t restrict yourself.”
According to Tucker Anders, Saint Archer’s Mexican Lager “isn’t afraid to be straightforward, allowing the simplicity and quality of its ingredients to shine through.” This beer simply “begs for a wedge of lime and a sunny day, and would be an excellent base for a spicy michelada or tangy beermosa.”
Named after the 90s-famous California ska band, Alesmith’s Sublime Mexican Lager has “a malty, bready bite that gives it a little fuller of a feel than your typical Mexican lager,” writes Matt Osgood. “It is a beer you’d want by the pool or out on the ocean or just in the backyard crushing burgers at a BBQ.”
Sun King’s take on a Mexican-style lager hits all the right notes for reviewer Nathan Matisse. He writes: “Sun King created a Platonic ideal of this specific style: mild earthy flavors, a clean and light drinking experience, and a beer you can have all afternoon without falling down immediately.
“Well-balanced, easy-drinking, refreshing: These are the words that come to mind when I think of a good lager,” writes Jesse Bussard of this malty offering from Full Sail. “While not a palate-stopper, it’s a beer worth taking a moment to appreciate.”