With that popular Mexican holiday fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about what else our two countries share in common. Negra Modelo, Corona, Dos Equis, Budweiser, Coors Light, and countless popular macro beers found here and in Mexico are variants of a German-style beer called lager. If that factoid doesn’t impress you then let me point out that many popular styles of beer aren’t lagers. Barleywines, pale ales, porters, stouts, sours, wild ales, hefeweizens, and basically any other common style you can think of are classified as ales.
So how did North America and our southern neighbor become awash in lagers? The answer is history, of course. Two years ago, I spoke with local historian and author Brian Brown, founder of the beer event compendium blog BeerInBigD and co-author (along with Paul Hightower) of North Texas Beer, a Full-Bodied History of Brewing in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Beyond to find out why lagers reign supreme among beers.
“The founders of [breweries like Anheuser and Busch] were part of the big German immigration of the 1840s and 1850s,” Brown said. “Many of them settled in St. Louis and Milwaukee specifically, and they brought with them recipes from the old country.”