Dos Equis. Corona. Maybe Modelo or Pacifico. A mountain of limes. These are the dominant players of Cinco de Mayo (other than tequila, of course).
Look at most bars and restaurants this weekend, and you’ll see these brands everywhere on a variety of green, red and white banners. Many revelers might think these are their only options when it comes to celebrating the anniversary of Mexico’s unlikely victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
However, there is another way. As with just about any holiday that is one-dimensionally synonymous with certain beers — St. Patrick’s Day and Guinness is a prime example — craft brewers are cracking the surface and incrementally shifting drinkers from the predictable over to their side. Irish stouts by craft breweries abound in Texas and throughout the country, and the influx of options means many loyalists exercise their ability to choose more than ever before.
One Texas brewery is doing its part to break into the conversation of Mexican-style beer, and it just so happens to be one of the closest in Texas to Mexico.
Big Bend Brewing in Alpine is only about 80 miles from the border, and with its line of “Tejas” beers, it’s clearly trying to own a segment of the market that many Texas breweries have not been able to crack.
With the branding of the Tejas line, it fits visually with other relatable Mexican label designs and Big Bend’s typical price point for these beers is an obvious play to sit alongside the import price of Mexican beers. Some DFW stores have seen six-packs hovering around $6-$7, which means it can be even more affordable by several dollars than its imported contemporaries.
Perhaps the most interesting of the Tejas line, which also includes Tejas Lager and Tejas Clara, is Tejas Negra. A traditional German-style Vienna lager, Tejas Negra is comparable to the ever-popular Negra Modelo. Pouring a brilliant amber, its bready malt character is balanced by a modest amount of hops for a beer that’s both refreshing and satisfying. Enjoy with Tex-Mex without reservation.
The transition might be a slow one for some, but for those who love Mexican-style beers, Tejas Negra is certainly worth a try. But please, don’t shove a lime into it.
Pucker up: Fort Worth’s Martin House Brewing is hosting Sour Fest at the brewery at 10 a.m. Saturday with 18 different sour beers to choose from, including its new raspberry sour, True Love. Entry is $15 and features four samples. martinhousebrewing.com
Two two-year anniversaries: McKinney’s Tupps Brewery (tuppsbrewery.com) and Richardson’s Four Bullets (fourbulletsbrewery.com) are both celebrating two-year anniversaries at their respective breweries Saturday. Tupps will feature 20 beers on tap with tickets ranging from $25 to $45 (advance tickets available) while Four Bullets features nine beers and runs $15 for admission.