Friday, May 25, 2007

The history of Beer in Mexico

by Groupo Modelo

The Spanish Conquest

The first brewery in the Americas was founded two decades after the fall of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán.

On 16 July 1542, the Emperor Carlos V granted Alonso de Herrera a permit for his brewery on the condition that he gave a third of the profits to the Crown and and undertook to transport the vats and other equipment from Europe.

Two years later, on 15 May 1544, Alonso de Herrera was able to report to Carlos V that the business was a great success. This was confirmed on 5 September 1550 when royal officials were ordered to collect the value of a third of the beer brewed in the city for the Crown.



After this auspicious beginning, however, little is known of the history of beer in New Spain. It is possible that the authorities cracked down on its consumption, and in any case it had to compete with a great variety of traditional Pre-Hispanic fermented drinks.

Among the most popular during the viceregal period were such indigenous brews as chicha, zambumbia, and tesgüino.

The Colonial Period

It is hard to estimate the number of small breweries established in Mexico during this period. However, Von Humboldt's figure of 71,806 bottles of beer imported through the port of Veracruz in 1802 suggests that consumption was not inconsiderable.

Grupo Modelo web site

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