Beerwatch: Latin American Beers

Considered ‘refreshing’, Latino beers have become a feature of the Summer sun here Ireland.

This should surprise no one as they’re popularly known as ‘Sunshine beers’ and naturally one might expect demand for Sunshine beers to increase in the Summer months.

What’s different about the taste of a Sunshine beer? Well, not much. It’s more to do with the fact that they’re light in nature because light beers will quench a thirst. Indeed Latino beers tend to come from the other end of the spectrum from beers much heavier in alcohol.

The great beer guru Michael Jackson is clear on the difference between the two strengths of beer: “One might be a Summer refresher, the other a Wintry nightcap,” he once wrote.

In South America, a ‘Michelada’ is the result of adding salt or lime or other ingredients to a Latino beer (but more of that later). Michelada derives from the phrase ‘mi chela helada’ or ‘my light cold beer’ – perfect for the Summer months in the beer garden, whether in Lima or Limerick.

According to some, the Michelada has rapidly become the flagship of the Latino beer market.

European immigrants introduced beer to Latin America. In fact some Mexican Latino brands can boast a heritage going back more than 100 years when German and Swiss brewers established companies there in the 1800s.

But these beers don’t just comprise light lagers. Dark beers too can be found in Latino beer’s lineage.

In the US, the Latino/Hispanic beer drinker has become an increasingly valuable consumer category to US brewers who’ve now focused in on this market with a view to extending sales.

The Hispanic element of the US population is expected to comprise 15% of the total US drinking-age population this year according to the US Census Bureau. Thus the growing buying power of this ethnic consumer set is expected to hit $1.5 trillion this year alone, according to Nielsen.

This population segment is likely to grow to 18% by 2025 and to 25% by 2045 predicts Donna Hood Crecca from industry research firm Technomic, quoted in an article in Fortune last year.

So as part of the largest “self-identifying” group in the US, Hispanics devote roughly half of their beverage alcohol volume spend to beer and AC Neilsen considers them to be trend-setters.

Beer – most likely Latino beer – can be found in 45% of Hispanic households in the US.

The most popular beers among Latino populations in the US are Tecate, Corona, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Bohemia, Pacifico, and several varieties of Modelo. These beers are all imported from Mexico and most of them are types of lagers.

In South America itself, those drinking Latino beers have their own customs such as adding salt, lime or even hot sauce and clamato juice to the product to produce a Michelada.

Here in Ireland, drinking a Latino beer has come to be regarded as a refreshing activity and one that doesn’t challenge the tastebuds since the beer is mostly enjoyed ice-cold and with a slice of lemon or lime by decidedly non-Hispanic Irish punters in pubs and clubs around the country.


C&C Gleeson adds star performer to beer portfolio

CORONA 330ml Limelow

C&C Gleeson has expanded its beer portfolio by adding one of the world’s leading beer brands to its range and becoming the exclusive distributor of Corona Extra and Corona Light in Ireland.

C&C Gleeson is now managing three of the top 10 beer brands in the world as Corona joins Stella Artois and Brahma in the C&C Gleeson portfolio.

“Corona leads the ‘Sunshine Beer’ category around the world and is a brand we’ve always admired and respected” said Corona Brand Manager Laura Faulkner, “so it’s a particularly welcome addition to our business.

“In terms of growing the C&C Gleeson business, acquiring exclusive distribution rights to Corona presents a fantastic opportunity for us to expand our trade reach, offering customers across the island of Ireland an extended collection of some of the most popular drinks brands not only in Ireland, but globally.”


The Mexican Ambassador to Ireland Carlos Garcia De Alba and Corona Brand Manager at distributors Barry & FItzwilliam Laura Faulkner.


Under C&C Gleeson’s ownership Corona will enter the Summer with a heavyweight marketing campaign across outdoor, radio and online, reminding Irish consumers exactly why they love Corona.

Having added Corona to the mix, C&C Gleeson becomes Ireland’s third-largest distributor to the trade and the company will support its new star performer to ensure it continues to grow its market-leading position.





Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a deliciously light, smooth beer with a Mexican vibe that has had lemon juice added during production to produce a delectable refreshing taste during consumption and as an aftertaste, states Santa Cruz distributor Comans Wholesale.

Santa Cruz has an ABV of 4.2% and is available in 2×12 330ml clear bottles. Cool, sassy and mischievous with a feel-good character are the first impressions of Santa Cruz, according to the company. Ask your Comans Sales Representative for further information.






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