A good Christmas table should include a tasty seasonal drink. But beyond the typical cocktails, mulled wine and punch, let’s be honest, Christmas beers are what we all plan to drink the most of. After organizing the parties, fighting the traffic to buy the gifts, and closing out the year at work, who doesn’t deserve a refreshing beer full of malty aroma and notes of guava or Mayan chocolate? From craft to classic, here is a list of festive Mexican Christmas beers for you to try this holiday season.
Yule – Cervecería Calavera
Just as in past years, the craft brewery Calavera presents Yule, its seasonal offering they’ve christened the “Mexican Christmas punch made beer.” This dark beer, whose name is taken from the famous Nordic pagan holiday celebrating the beginning of the winter solstice, has a strong, but slightly sweet flavor, thanks to special yeast strains from Belgium that give off fruity aromas.
Cervecería Calavera, based in Mexico State, has been on the market for 14 years. They blend their Christmas beer with notes of various fruits, in particular guava and tejocote (Mexican hawthorn), as well as seasonings typical of this time of year such as cinnamon, cardamom and anise. The Yule bottle is also known for its festive label, which this year was created by Mexican photographer and artist Eduardo Gómez, with an illustration and digital painting inspired by the Norse god Odin.
Erizo – Cervecería Aguamala
With notes of caramel, nuts, vanilla, and a hint of bitterness, Erizo arrives once again from the balmy Aguamala brewery in Ensenada, Baja California to ward off the Christmas cold. This 12% alcohol Christmas ale is a mahogany color with a reddish sparkle and a frothy pearly head. Erizo’s design and name reflect the roots of the brewery founded by Ashleey Sokol and Nathaniel Schmidt, which stem from their passion for science, the ocean and its biodiversity.
Cerveza Ceiba Navideña
From the south of Mexico comes this bottom-fermented lager beer from Yucatan, with 100% natural ingredients and flavors inspired by ancestral Mayan culture. Dark amber in color and with 5% alcohol, Cerveza Ceiba Navideña is a Bock-style delight to accompany the tropical winter. With malty flavors that resemble toasted bread and baked cookies, this beer has been rested on Mayan chocolate.
This craft brand’s goal with the Christmas edition and its permanent lines is to recapture the local ancestral roots of brewing. “The arrival of people ‘from outside’ looking for the classic seal of this land reminded me of my grandparents when they drank Yucatecan beer. We children would watch the adults share and celebrate with this beverage. My mission is to bring back that taste for beer brewed in the Yucatan,” says Carlos Gomory, director of Cerveza Ceiba.
Cabañuela – Cervecería de Colima
One of the best known Mexican craft breweries. This Dunkles Bock beer, with a strong, medium-bodied style, has a copper, slightly brown color and consistent ivory-colored foam. Cabañuela’s caramel and raisin notes combine with a delicious touch of toasted and malty flavors.
Cabañuela, the name given to the rains in the winter months in Colima that paint its volcanoes white, has an imperceptible hop flavor because, according to the brand, its only mission is to accompany the malt flavors and give it a slight sweetness at the end. “We chose hops that, in addition to balancing with a bit of bitterness, provide subtle notes of sour orange peel as a garnish,” Colima assures.
Noche Buena – Bohemia
The classic of classics. There can be no Mexican Christmas without Noche Buena on the table. Bohemia’s Christmas beer was introduced in 1924 and was the first Bock style beer to made in Mexico. Noche Buena, which only began to be marketed in the winter season 14 years after its inception, is famous for its mahogany color with coppery hues and its caramel flavors with notes of bitter coffee bean.
Slovakian hops are used in its production and its foam is dense and creamy. It has medium bitterness and a smooth, robust liquid profile to accompany its aromas of sweet and roasted malts. Bohemia recommends Noche Buena poured in a glass due to its great body and structure, and it pairs well with dishes full of nutty flavors, like breads and desserts.