Sunriver Brewing Company

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Brewer's Blog - Latin Lager aka Mexican Lager

We love Mexican lagers.  So do you.  C’mon, admit it.  Set that IPA down for a minute and let’s be honest about things.  Maybe they’re your camping beer.  Maybe they’re your Mt. Bachelor parking lot beer.  You probably have one in your refrigerator right now.  Mexican-style, or more broadly Latin-style, lagers are wonderful beers.  Brewed in pale, amber, and dark variants, these beers all share similar characteristics – approachable, simple, clean and easy drinking.  Often times, they are served with a slice of lime or a pinch of salt to add some complexity.  These are also exceptionally food friendly beers, as they pair well with most anything, but are particularly well suited to taking on the spice and complexity of Southwestern and Mexican foods.  Whether they’re brewed south of the border at industrial mega breweries like Modelo or Dos Equis, or at Northwest craft breweries like Sunriver Brewing or Ecliptic Brewing, these beers are ingrained in our culture and represent one of the largest segments of beer sales worldwide.

Latin lagers have their origins in the late 1800s and early 1900s as German, Czech and Austrian immigrants made their way to the Americas.  They brought their lager brewing traditions and beer styles with them – Helles Lager, Vienna Lager and Munich Dunkel.  Those styles just happened to be a perfect match for the warm climates of Mexico and Central and South America.  Today those beers are represented as Latin pale, amber and dark lagers.  Coincidently, this phenomenon also took place to the north in the United States, and resulted in the rise of national brands like Pabst, Coors and Anheuser Busch.

At Sunriver Brewing Company we brewed our first Mexican-style lager in March of 2017.  When designing this beer, we drew from several of our favorite modern interpretations of the style, including Pacifico, Bohemia and Full Sail’s Session Cerveza.  Its initial release resulted in a gold medal from the North American Beer Awards.  We started brewing this beer again earlier this year and have officially branded it as Deseo Latin-style Lager.  Our interpretation of the style is based around an all malt grist featuring a combination of Northwest and German sourced products.  Deseo’s hopping rates are on the low side and follow same methodology as the malt, featuring a blend of hand selected Oregon grown Mt. Hood hops along with the finest imported Czech Saaz hops.  Finally, the brew is fermented cold with a Czech pilsner yeast.

 The resulting beers encompasses everything that we love about the style.  It is pale, bright and well-carbonated.  There is a wonderful interplay between soft malt sweetness and delicate, floral hops.  The beer finishes crisp and clean, urging another sip.  Enjoy this wonderful lager, we sure will.