Cinco de Mayo is upon us!! For some Mexicans, the day is a historic celebration of national pride but in the United States, it's more a celebration of Mexican culture.
For a lot of people, it's the day to indulge in Mexican food and margaritas but we're all about cervesas. Craft beer is all about creativity and when it comes to experimenting with new ingredients and wild flavors, look no further than your local brewery. This year more than previous years, local breweries are really stepping it up with celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
The most popular beer of the day is the Mexican Lager and the local breweries are delivering them big time this year. The funny thing about this beer is that it's not actually a "style" of beer. It got its origin from Vienna lagers with German brewers who migrated to the U.S. southwest and Mexico. Breweries like to do their own takes on the beer but essentially it's an American light lager with the mostly additions of flaked maize among other ingredients. Light and crisp, it's definitely a summertime lawnmower beer that's totally easy to drink and very refreshing.
As we always say with craft beer - it's a journey and on Cinco de Mayo, why not celebrate with exploring the beer offerings around the state!
Some of the local breweries are offering variations of the Mexican Lager:
Mason Jar Lager Co, Fuquay-Varina: Luchador Mexican Lager Release, Jalapeño Lime Helles Cask, Mole Schwarzbier Cask, Tropical Mexican Lager Cask
The Glass Jug Beer Lab, Durham : 2 Mexican-style Lagers, one classic version and one with lime zest.
The Gose is a great style for brewers to incorporate into their Cinco de Mayo beer creations. Traditionally it's an an old German unfiltered wheat beer that offers a little lemon sourness, some herbal/coriander characteristics and a strong saltiness (from either the water or added salt). Doesn't this kind of lean towards a margarita? Well, a few breweries around the state took advantage of the style to make their own:
Legion Brewing, Charlotte: Grapefruit- Jalapeño version of our Margarita Gose, "Juan Direction"
Wise Man Brewing, Winston-Salem: Jose Gose - a tequila barrel aged margarita gose
A new trend for some breweries is to create cocktail-style beers - take the traditional cocktails you remember and do it with a beer twist. They are true brewed beers, not mixes, and the results are amazing. Two breweries are offering Mexican-style "cocktail" beers this weekend.
Vicious Fishes Brewing, Fuquay-Varina: The Margarita
Ecusta Brewing, Brevard: Mojito Sour.
Finally, some brewers have created Cinco de Mayo-inspired beers that will go exceptionally well with Mexican cuisine.
Lenny Boy Brewing, Charlotte: Mirage (Belgian Triple) that we aged in Tequila barrels
Cabarrus Brewing, Concord: "Makin' Love At Midnight" Pina Colada Milkshake IPA
Shortway Brewing, Newport: Nacho Ordinary Blonde brewed with roasted chili peppers
Check out all the North Carolina Brewery Cinco de Mayo events all over the state - https://bit.ly/2KvMyR8
Remember to celebrate in moderation and please do not drink and drive.
The NC Beer Guys are ABC11 Influencers. For more on all things beer, check out their website.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a North Carolina beer!