The American concept of Manifest Destiny applies to foreign holidays as well. If you celebrate it, we will colonize it and make it into a marketing and/or drinking bonanza. There’s St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and—of course—Cinco de Mayo (watch your back, Bastille Day).
In the case of Cinco de Mayo, Americans took a noted victory of the Mexican Army over the French in 1862 and transformed it into a reason to guzzle low-ABV lagers like Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, and Tecate. But those beers are… boring. Son aburridos, for the español-speaking among us.
Like most things in life, craft beer has an answer for that. American and Mexican craft breweries alike are making some tasty ales that will save you from ever having to drink another thin, tasteless brew.
La Lupulosa, Cerveceria Insurgente
Tijuana is on Mexico’s west coast, so it makes sense for Cerveceria Insurgente to brew up some classic West Coast IPAs. La Lupulosa rocks a 7.3% ABV, is heavy on the hops (the name means The Hoppy One), but cuts the bitterness with sweet maltiness.
Agave Maria, The Lost Abbey
This 13.5% ABV stunner ages a strong dark beer brewed with agave in Tequila barrels for at least ten months. It’s pretty much like doing shots of high-end Tequila… without the lime.
Or Xata, The Bruery
The creamy classic gets an adult update from Orange County’s The Bruery. Or Xata is a blonde ale with all the elements of a perfect Horchata – rice, vanilla, cinnamon and some lactose for texture.
Bomb!, Prairie Artisan Ales
Another boozy delight (13%), Bomb! brings a bit of bite to the party. The imperial stout is aged on coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers – a perfect pairing for any complex mole dish.
Cabotella, Baja Brewing Company
Ok, so maybe you like light Mexican brews. Never fear, Baja Brewing Company (based in Cabo San Lucas) makes a pretty decent craft version of the classic. Cabotella is a simple, refreshing blonde ale crafted at the very tip of Baja California Sur.