Mexican-Style Lagers We Love For Cinco De Mayo

No one should need a reason to celebrate Mexico’s culinary and beverage-based contributions to the world. The nation has one of the most widely beloved and diverse foodways on the planet and its keystone spirits — mezcal and its more famous cousin, tequila — are finally getting much-deserved whiskey-levels of global attention. Even Mexican lagers are starting to see the shine they deserve.

Sun King Pachanga

ABV: 4.2%Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

You don’t have to wait until Cinco de Mayo to enjoy this crisp, refreshing Mexican-style lager from Indianapolis’ Sun King Brewery — it’s available year-round. Brewed with Pilsner and Six-Row malts as well as a smattering of Bravo hops, one sip of this brew and you’ll want to drink it from now until October.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll be greeted with aromas of sweet malts, bright, floral hops, and subtle citrus zest. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of fresh-cut grass, sweet cereal, pine, and just a bit of hop bitterness. It all ends with a dry, crisp, subtly sweet finish.

Bottom Line:

Like many Mexican-style lagers, Pachanga is a session beer. It’s light, refreshing, and a great accompaniment to Mexican food or grilled meats.

21st Amendment El Sully

ABV: 4.8%Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Story:

El Sully is named for one of the founders of San Francisco’s 21st Amendment. It doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, announcing on the label that it’s a Mexican-style lager that was “hecho en America.” Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, and Acidulated malts as well as flaked maize and Magnum and US Golding hops, this year-round beer was made from warm-weather drinking.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to breathe in the aromas of sweet malts, citrus zest, and caramel sweetness before taking a sip. The palate is swirling with flavors like flowers, caramel apples, cereal, and a light, refreshing bite of bitter hops. The finish is crisp, clean, and mellow with just a touch of treacle and spicy hops.

Bottom Line:

We dare you to find a beer more worthy for a day at the beach, while eating guac dusted with a touch of sand, than El Sully.

Stone Buenaveza

ABV: 4.7%Average Price: $10.99 for a six-pack

The Story:

Stone Brewing isn’t content with doing what everyone else is doing. That’s why, when they decided to launch a Mexican-style lager, they made it a little different from its counterparts. In an ode to the Mexican tradition of adding lime and salt to beer, Stone Buenaveza does just that.

Tasting Notes:

Take a moment to enjoy the vibrant scents of crisp, fresh lime juice, sea salt, and a nice, malty backbone. Take a sip and you’re sure to pick up flavors of sweet corn, citrus zest, subtle piney hops, and just a hint of salinity. It all ends with a combination of sweet malts, bright hops, and a wallop of lime.

Bottom Line:

If you’re a fan of margaritas, this is the beer for you. While there’s no tequila in it, the salty, citrus flavors are prevalent enough to pair well with birria tacos or mole.

Belching Beaver Buenos Tiempos

ABV: 4.8%Average Price: $12 for a six-pack

The Story:

With a name like Belching Beaver, it can be difficult to take this San Diego brewery seriously. But with beers like Buenos Tiempos, it’s getting more difficult not to. This Vienna lager is bright, thirst-quenching, and subtly hazy beer that pairs well with cheesy quesadillas or any meat you want to throw on the grill.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find fresh aromas of corn sweetness, light grains, and subtle citrus. The palate is swirling with flavors of sweet malts, caramel corn, slight yeast, and just a hint of bitter, floral hops. The finish is sweet and ends with a combination of citrus and subtly spicy hops.

Bottom Line:

Cool label aside, this is a pretty stripped-down version of a Vienna lager. What it lacks in flavor, it makes up for in refreshing crushability.

Deep Ellum Neato Bandito

ABV: 6%Average Price: $10 for a six-pack

The Story:

When you think of craft beer, you might not immediately think of Dallas, Texas. But the folks at Deep Ellum are trying to change that. One of the brewery’s best options is its Mexican-style lager Neato Bandito. This full-flavored, bold version of the iconic style has a Texas-sized kick of 6% ABV, making it an “Imperial Mexican-Style Lager.”

Tasting Notes:

Before sipping, take a few seconds to take in the scents of maple candy, clover honey, sweet malts, and subtle floral hops. Sipping this beer reveals notes of caramel, more honey sweetness, and slightly spicy hops. The end is sweet, fruity, and subtly bitter.

Bottom Line:

If you only drink one Mexican-style lager on this list, make it Deep Ellum Neato Bandito. It’s by far the most well-rounded, flavorful offering on this list.

Melvin Heyzeus

ABV: 5%Average Price: $9.99 for a six-pack

The Story:

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll find a nice, sweet corn flavor from the flaked corn as well as citrus zest, and tropical fruit flavor. The palate is full of sweet malts, more crisp corn, lime, and just the right amount of bitter hops flavor. The finish is thirst-quenching, slightly sweet, and ends with a smattering of floral hops.

Bottom Line:

Wyoming’s Melvin is known for its IPAs, but you shouldn’t sleep on this Mexican-style lager in early May or all through the summer.

pFriem Mexican Lager

ABV: 4.4%Average Price: $3.99 for a bottle

The Story:

Hood River, Oregon’s pFriem is well-known for its high-quality beer offerings like its Helles Lager, Hoppy Lager, and Pilsner. This might make you overlook its Mexican-style lager and that’s a big mistake. Brewed with Gambrinus Pilsner, Carafoam, and Acidulated malts along with flaked maize, lager yeast, and Perle, Czech Saaz, and Tettnang hops, this is a complex, well-balanced version of the popular style.

Tasting Notes:

Breathe in the scents of sweet corn, dried orange peels, salted caramel, and floral hops. Take a sip and you’ll find flavors of sweet malts, freshly baked bread, fresh corn, and citrus hops. It all ends with a nice combination of corn, citrus, and sea salt.

Bottom Line:

This highly sessionable beer seems like it was created to be paired with grilled meats and a hot, sunny day. The combination of citrus, malts, and hops pair perfectly with a warm afternoon spent grilling.

Epic Los Locos

ABV: 5.1%Average Price: $11.49 for a six-pack

The Story:

This 5.1%, year-round, Mexican-style lager was crafted to be brought to a beach. But if you don’t have a large body of water near you, you can still enjoy this beer brewed with Weyerman Pilsner, and Carapils malts as well as yellow corn, Amarillo hops, lime juice, and sea salt wherever you find a comfortable seat in the sun.

Tasting Notes:

On the nose, you’ll enjoy scents of bright citrus, wet grass, sweet corn, and just a hint of floral sweetness. This full-flavored beer is filled with notes of lime zest, bready malts, fresh corn, and a slight salinity. The finish is a crisp combination of citrus and sea salt.

Bottom Line:

When it comes to sweet, complex, thirst-quenching Mexican-style lagers, it’s really difficult to beat Deep Ellum Neato Bandito with its corn to lime to salt ratio.

As a Drizly affiliate, Uproxx may receive a commission pursuant to certain items on this list.

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