Vamos a tomar unas chelas?

Or, as we say, let’s drink beer.

Chela or cheve is the Mexican slang for beer.

A large range and variety of beers are brewed in Mexico, and some of them are top selling beers in markets other than Mexico, including the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.

The majority of beers in Mexico are lagers, pilsners, Vienna-style light and dark beers, as well as Munich dark beers. Local micro breweries produce a small range of ales.

Even before the Europeans arrived, ancient civilizations had been fermenting plants and corn grains to produce alcoholic beverages in Mexico.

For example, pulque, still sold today, is made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant and creates a thick, milky, and quite potent mixture. And in Aztec times, the drink was sacred and taken only by the elite.

But beer production began to flourish in Mexico after México’s War Independence. In the latter part of the 19th century, an influx of German immigrants brought additional knowledge and expertise to the field which caused the local market to diversify and improve its products.

By the time the Mexican Revolution was over, there were more than thirty-five breweries operating in Mexico. Consolidation of the industry began in the early 1920s and kick-started a process that brought about the beer market we see today.

During the consolidation, smaller breweries were absorbed into the one of the “big-two” breweries, Grupo Modelo or Cerveceria Cuautehmoc-Moctezuma, which emerged as the dominant players of the Mexican beer market. Successful beers were mass produced and distributed regionally or nationally, and less successful beers disappeared from the market altogether. Smaller breweries that were not bought-out were forced to close as they could not compete with the inefficiencies of scale brought about through consolidation.

MB for FatfeedsUKDisclosures

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