Cinco de Drinko: Celebrate the Holiday with These Mexican-Inspired Craft Beers

On Cinco de Mayo, your first thought (after enjoying a margarita, of course) is to grab a shot of tequila and a bottle of Corona, Dos Equis, Sol, Tecate, or Negra Modelo. And that is all well and good, but I’m here to tell you that there are other options for craft beer fans.

Recently, 21st Amendment, Oskar Blues, Ska Brewing, and even Clown Shoes have tried their hands at creating a Mexican-inspired beer.

21st Amendment Co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan really enjoys Mexican-style lagers. That’s the main reason he decided to branch out and create one of their newest offerings: El Sully, a Mexican-inspired beer made from Vienna and Pilsner malts as well as flaked maize and Mexican lager yeast “to create a bright, refreshing flavor that rings in at a drinkable 4.8% ABV and 19 IBUs,” says O’Sullivan.

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He knows a thing or two about Mexican beer since he spent much of his life roaming the beaches of Southern California. The beer is named for O’Sullivan’s alter-ego, El Sully. “You are El Sully when you choose to have a craft beer from an independent brewery,” says O’Sullivan. “You are El Sully when you take a different beer to the party, you are El Sully when you try something other than an IPA. Be El Sully.”

El Sully 2

You might be wondering if El Sully can stand toe-to-toe with the famous Mexican lagers already mentioned. O’Sullivan assures you it can. “It’s crisp and refreshing with a spicy aroma which lingers through the finish.”

Like any good Mexican beer, it pairs well with a variety of spicy food. “Pair with chorizo tacos – a kicked up, spicy version! Pork pairs nicely with the caramel sweetness of the Vienna malts while the Pilsner malts balance out the spice.”

O’Sullivan believes that it’s the perfect beer for Cinco de Mayo for various reasons. “Aside from the fun and festive packaging, El Sully is the ideal beer for celebrating Cinco De Mayo due to its refreshing nature – which is best enjoyed beachside or poolside.” He adds, “Who is El Sully? Grab a can, head to the nearest beach, even if it’s imagined, and perhaps he’ll come to you.”

It all started back in 2015, when O’Sullivan and co-owner Nico Freccia couldn’t decide what beer to put in the fridge at the brewery. Because they couldn’t make up their mind, the decided to create a seasonal variety pack. This was when El Sully first made its appearance. It was so popular, that in March of 2016, 21st Amendment decided to make it a permanent, year-round release. It’s now available on draft and in six-pack cans.


Other Mexican-Inspired Beers Include:

  • Oskar Blues Beerito
  • 5 Rabbit Cerveceria 5 Lizard Latin-Style Witbier
  • Ska Brewing Mexican Logger
  • Twisted X Brewing Company Señor Viejo
  • Clown Shoes Chocolate Sombrero
  • Coronado Señor Saison
  • The Lost Abbey Agave Maria
  • Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout
Photos courtesy of 21st Amendment Brewery.