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Do you know the history of your Cinci de Mayo brew?

Cerveza Pacifico. Picture taken by me on the p...

Cerveza Pacifico. Picture taken by me on the pacifican beach of Mexico easter 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somehow, in the mists of time, the true reason for Cinco de Mayo has morphed from a minor Mexican holiday – it celebrates a little-known Mexican victory over France in the state of Puebla — to a major American beer bash. That is not a complaint, merely an observation of the power of the American beer industry. But, what most beer lovers do not know is
that many of the Mexican beers that feature red, white, and green color schemes, brightly smiling and beautiful Mexican women, and serene beach
scenes, are really German styles brought to our Latin neighbor by Bavarian immigrants as far back as the middle 1500’s.

Fermented beverages are nothing new to Mexico; history provides plenty of examples of beverages being made from such familiar ingredients as maize (corn), agave, and even cocoa beans. But, the first
evidence of beer comes from a short-lived brewery established by Alfonso de Herro in the 1940’s. This was well before the first breweries were established in either North America or Canada and establishes
Mexico as the home of the first home to beer in the Americas.

From there the history of beer in Mexico jumps ahead to the 1800’s. The influx of Bavarian immigrants saw the beginnings of the beer industry and the birth of many of the familiar brands we now consider Mexican beer. Brews such as Corona, Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, and Sol all owe their existence to German brewers, living in Mexico.

Indeed, all are recognizable European beer styles that, for one reason or another, fell out of favor in Europe, but found great approval south of the U.S. border.

Negra Modelo

A Munich Dunkel Lager, the name simply means dark lager. This smooth and sessionable brown lager displays subtle caramel character, a sweet and malty backbone, and very faint hops character. This beer pairs very
favorably with beef fajitas, enchiladas with a rich mole sauce, or other spicy Mexican fair.

Dos Equis

Long before the most interesting man in the world was born, Dos Equis began its life called as a Vienna Lager called Siglo XX. It was brewed to welcome the 20th century by German-born Wilhelm Hasse at his Moctezuma Brewery. The Ambar version of this brew is the more traditional and most closely resembles the Vienna Lager it is based on. It has a sweet, toasted malt nose with a similar, mid-palate sweet flavor. As with most brews of this style, hops are barely present and provide very little character to the beer. As a companion to Mexican
dishes, serve this with spicy salsa and chips or carnitas.

Cervaza Pacifico Clara

More commonly known as Pacífico, this Pilsner-style beer was first brewed in 1900 when three Germans opened the Cerveceria del Pacífico brewery in Mazatlán. Like its cousin Corona, Pacifico is characterized
by slightly skunky aroma and flavor that is enhanced by the addition of a lime. Though it may not score highly on many beer websites like Beer Advocate, this is one of the beers locals are most fond of. Drink this
one while sitting at the beach on the Mexican Riviera with a plump lime wedge and forget about the world for a while.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in Beer, Beer Styles

 

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Beer 101 Seminar at Intuition Ale Works

Yet another great event taking place for American Craft Beer Week: Intuition Ale Works is holding a beer tasting seminar just in time for the Jacksonville Craft & Import Beer Festival on Thursday, May 19th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. This Beer 101 Seminar is a sit-down beer tasting in honor of American Craft Beer Week! And the really great thing is that the Festival is the very next evening so everything you learn you will be able to immeidately apply.

Brewer and brewery owner Ben Davis will talk about the history of brewing and beer and walk you through flights of four different styles of beer: English, lagers, Belgians, and extreme beers.

Light food pairings for each of the flights will provided.

If you purchase your tickets this week you can take advantage of an special early bird pricing! Tickets are $15 if purchased this week and $20 after that. Attendance will be capped for this private event so get your tickets while they last.

Visit the following link to purchase tickets:

 
http://intuitionalebeer101.eventbrite.com/

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Intuition Ale Works Tap Room during regular opening hours (Wed-Sat 3pm to 11pm).

 

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