Top Ten Mexican Craft Brews for Cinco de Mayo

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The history of craft beer in Mexico traces its history to before the Spanish conquest when the natives brewed fermented beverages with ingredients ranging from corn, cocoa beans to agave.

One of them is a drink called izquiate or tesgüino, which is brewed with corn. Then the Conquistadors introduced barley, which would eventually become the main ingredient in Mexican beer.

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Fast-forward to Mexico in the early 20th century when a combination of German cultural influence and prohibition in the United States brought a boom in beer production. Grupo Modelo--which brews Corona, Modelo and Pacifico--was formed in 1925. Between them and Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma Brewery (FEMSA)--which brews Dos Equis, Tecate and Sol--both companies control at least 90 percent of the beer market in Mexico. Because of the duopoly, growth is extremely difficult for craft brewers in Mexico. When someone mentions "Mexican cartels," the term certainly applies to breweries as well.

However, Mexican craft brewers are aware of the demand for their product and have made some progress in recent years. There are many craft breweries that exist throughout the country, although not as many as in the United States. Here is a list of Mexico's most interesting brews that we'd like to see on store shelves in South Florida.

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10. Cerveceria Hacienda

Cerveceria Hacienda makes three beers all weighing in at 7 percent alcohol-by-volume: Hidalgo Stout, Jaguar Pale Ale and Catrina Red Ale. Started in 2007, Cerveceria Hacienda is a boutique brewery operating out of a converted Hacienda in the countryside outside of Pachuca, Mexico.

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9. Consorcio Cervecero de Baja California

This Tijuana brewery is one of two microbreweries in the city and located a few miles south of the (in)famous Revolucion Boulevard. The brew six lagers and have a brewpub attached to the brewery: Tijuana Light (3.5 percent ABV), Bronca--a pilsner (4.9 percent ABV), Guera--a pale lager (4.8 percent ABV), Brava--a Dunkler Bock (5.9 percent ABV), Morena--an amber lager (4.5 percent ABV) and Bufadora--a Dopplebock (7.5 percent ABV). Here is a little video to watch about the TJ brewery, courtesy of It's Just A Life Story blog


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