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  • Writer's pictureLos Mexicanos

Beer History in Mexico.

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

Hailed by many as one of the best in the world, Mexican beer has a long and tortuous history, which we will tell you about today.

The origins of this drink in Mexico date back to 1542, when King Charles I of Spain authorised the opening of the first brewery run by Alonso de Herrera, in what is now the municipality of Amecameca, State of Mexico.

Master brewers were sent from Europe to manage the beer production, but this enterprise failed due to high production costs, which led to its closure in 1549.

Therefore, it was considered better to import beer from Europe, transporting it in specially equipped ships. During this period, beverages such as pulque and aguardiente remained the mainstay of the Mexican population.

After Mexico's independence, many foreigners migrated to the new nation, who naturally preferred beer to traditional beverages and distillates. As a result, small artisanal breweries were established, mainly in Mexico City.

As the brewing technique was almost secret, it was still necessary to bring in master brewers from the old continent, as they were so jealous of the recipes that they even had to sign contracts in which they undertook not to teach the recipe or the practice to anyone else. In addition, barley malt and hops had to be imported, which made it difficult for the brewers to succeed.

In the mid-19th century, the demand for beer increased due to the immigration of Germans and Swiss, as well as the influence of Maximilian of Habsburg, the second emperor of Mexico. It was during this period that important breweries began to emerge.

In 1890 the Cuauhtémoc brewery was established in Monterrey, Nuevo León, the first large-scale industrial brewery in the country. It was followed four years later by the Moctezuma brewery in Orizaba, Veracruz, and in 1900 by the Pacifico brewery in Mazatlan, Sinaloa.

During the period of the revolution, its demand decreased, and it was in the 1920's when large brewing companies began to emerge, such as Modelo, home of the famous "Cerveza Corona", founded in 1925, beginning to export beer to the United States in 1930.

In 1943, the Tecate brewery was created, which in 1954 launched the first Mexican beer in cans. Then, in 1960, Cuauhtémoc created the famous "Caguama", whose popularity continues to this day.

The industry remained stable and successful over the following years, and in 1985 two of the largest breweries, Cuauhtémoc and Moctezuma, merged to form the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma brewery, responsible for popular beers in Mexico, such as Indio, Dos Equis and now also for the distribution of Heineken in the country.


BeerLabTeam. (2020, mayo 8). La Historia de la cerveza en México. Recuperado de The Beer Lab:,Europa%20para%20liderar%20la%20producci%C3%B3n.

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