These Mexican-Style Craft Beers Will Help You Start Cinco De Mayo Off Right

best mexican style beers
Oskar Blues/Ska Brewing/Anchor Brewing/Uproxx

Cinco de Mayo might not actually have anything to do with the start of summer (technically that’s not until the end of June), but it definitely feels like the ideal day to usher in warm, sunny weather. For us, this weekend marks the beginning of sitting out on patios, going to the beach, and plenty of nights camping under the stars. And a joyous celebration in which you get to savor Mexican cuisine paired with tequila, mezcal, and Mexican beers feels like the perfect way to kick off that bliss.

So, what should you drink on Sunday to mark the occassion? Well, with Cinco de Mayo falling on a weekend this year, we assume you’ll probably be doing a little day drinking, and that means you’re going to want to have some beers to pace yourself. If you’ve already had your fill of Coronas, Tecates, Dos Equis’, and Negra Modelos, keeping that Cinco buzz alive might seem like an impossible task. But we have your back. There are some amazing choices of Mexican style lagers beyond the beers everyone normally thinks of. Here are the best craft beer riffs on the style that are widely available across the US.

Anchor Brewing Los Gigantes

This 4.5 percent Mexican-style lager is a collaboration between Anchor, the famed San Francisco brewery and Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. That makes it perfect for both Cinco de Mayo and baseball season. This brew comes in 16-ounce cans and is light, crisp and full of pale malt, flaked maize, and Cluster and Tettnang Hops.

Full Sail Sesión Cerveza

This 4.5 percent beer is extremely session-able (hence the name Sesión) so you won’t feel bad about drinking pint after pint on Saturday. This light, thirst-quenching beer is exactly what you hope to find when you open a bottle of Mexican-style beer. It works well with all Mexican food, but really shines with spicier foods like spicy guacamole or queso and chips.

Oskar Blue Beerito

Beerito is exactly what you want in an American craft Mexican-style beer. This 4.5 percent lager is light in body, but big flavor and complexity. It’s malty and gets a subtle bite from noble hops. Similarly to Full Sail’s offering, Beerito stands out when it’s paired with spicier Mexican foods, but the strong flavor pairs well with fajitas and tacos as well.

Ska Brewing Mexican Logger

Ska Brewing got in on the Mexican-style beer craze way before it was a craze. In fact, it was the brewery’s first session beer, way back in 1999. That’s probably why Ska’s Mexican Logger (get it?) is one of the best on the market. This 5.2 percent Mexican-style lager has won numerous awards at the Great American Beer Festival. It’s crisp, refreshing and perfectly suited to be paired with nachos, quesadillas, or anything saucy and cheesy.

21st Amendment El Sully

If Mexican Logger is the elder statesman, El Sully is one of the young hot shots. This 4.8 percent Mexican-style lager uses Magnus and Northern Brewer hops along with Pilsner and Vienna malts as well as flaked maize to give this beer a truly authentic taste and color. Like all of the brews on this list, it’s light and very crushable. It pairs well with ceviche, burritos, and a sunny day with friends and family.

Flying Dog Numero Uno Summer Cerveza

Originally introduced in 2014 as Agave Cerveza, Numero Uno Summer Cerveza was created to be just that: your number one summer beer. This 4.9 percent Mexican-style lager is designed to be an easy drinking beer that you’ll go back to time and time again (not just on Cinco de Mayo). Like some of the other beers on this list, it contains flaked maize in order to give it a subtle corn sweetness that pairs perfectly with tacos and spicy Mexican dishes.

The big difference between this beer and some of its rivals is the addition of agave at the end of the boil and lime peel after fermentation.

Epic Brewing Los Locos

Epic Brewing’s Los Locos is a little crazy, but it works. This Mexican-style lager sets itself apart from the pack with the addition of sea salt and lime. At 4.8 percent this beer carries on the tradition of Mexican-style lagers being highly session-friendly and fairly low in alcohol. That makes for a perfect beer to drink while you enjoy yard games, chips and dip, and good times with great friends.

Deep Ellum Neato Bandito

This Imperial Mexican-style lager from Dallas’ Deep Ellum is the highest alcohol content beer on this list at 6 percent. That goes to show just how subtle, easy to drink, and light this category is. It’s not supposed to be a complicated beer with various different hops and malts bringing complex flavors. It’s supposed to be light and pair well with delicious food and sunny days.

Which would you rather grab on a hot day, a stout or a Mexican-style lager? Us too.