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Dark Mexican Lager Recipe with Spike Brewing

The Brewer: Mike Cymerman 

Mike (also known around Spike as "Philly Mike") lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but still helps out in our Customer Experience Department. Why? Because he just can't get enough of us. He once said his role was, "Doing whatever it takes to get more people everything they need to brew more beer," and that's a noble cause. 

When he's not online, he can be found in Philly's many coffee shops, breweries, art galleries or taking a stroll through the park. He is also fluent in Spanish and when he left Spike, he spent a few months in Mexico immersing himself in the culture. One might even say that was the inspiration for this cerveza. 




The Beer: Dark Mexican Lager

The darker version of Cal's Loca Lager. While it has some chocolatey and roasty flavors, it is still an easy to drink lager that is just as refreshing after a long hot day as it's counterpart. Don't be afraid to also add a lime and salt rim the glass. The bold can even use it to mix up a Michelada. Pairs well with chapulines..


The Recipe: Negra Loca Lager 



  • 8 lbs Pilsen Malt 
  • 1.5 lbs Vienna Malt
  • 1 lbs Flaked Maize
  • 4 oz Crystal 60L
  • 2 oz Chocolate Malt 
  • 1 oz Roasted Barley 


  • Boil Hops: .25 oz Hallertau-0:60 min
  • Boil Hops: .5 oz Cascade-0:30 min


  • Fermentis W-34/70 Saflager Lager (2 packets) 



OG: 1.053

FG: 1.009

IBU: 25

ABV: 5.8%



BOIL: 60 min

FERMENTATION: 55ºF - 4 weeks 

SYSTEM: Solo System 



Mike Cymerman – Spike Brewing

Spike Summarizes: All Things Mexican Lager

What is a Mexican Lager?

Believe it or not, Mexican Lager has its roots in the mid-19th century, influenced heavily by German immigration to Mexico. German brewers brought their lager-brewing techniques with them, leading to the birth of this now widely popular beer style.

How does Mexican Lager compare to other types of beer?

Mexican Lagers are typically lighter than many other beer styles, offering a crisp, refreshing taste. They're often characterized by a clean malt flavor, minimal hop bitterness, and a smooth finish, making them the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer day.

What is the ideal food pairing for Mexican Lager?

Mexican Lagers are incredibly food-friendly, but they shine brightest when paired with spicy foods. The beer's lightness and carbonation help to tame the heat while cleansing the palate. Think tacos, enchiladas, or a spicy barbecue - this beer style is a match made in heaven for these dishes.

Is Mexican Lager a Summer beer?

While Mexican Lagers are perfect for sipping on a hot summer's day thanks to their light, refreshing qualities, don't let that limit you! This versatile beer style can be enjoyed all year round, whether you're basking in the summer sun or seeking a lighter beer option during the cooler months.

What are the key ingredients in Mexican Lager?

The primary ingredients in a Mexican Lager are water, barley malt, hops, and yeast. Some versions also incorporate corn or rice adjuncts to lighten the body and flavor. The result is a beer that's light, refreshing, and easy to drink.

What's the typical ABV of Mexican Lager?

Mexican Lagers typically have a lower alcohol content, usually around 4-5% ABV. This makes them a great choice if you're looking for a beer that's less potent, allowing you to enjoy a couple without feeling overly tipsy.

How is Mexican Lager beer brewed?

Mexican Lagers are brewed using traditional lager techniques, including bottom fermentation at colder temperatures. This brewing process results in a beer that's crisp, clean, and refreshing, with a smoothness that's hard to beat.

What's the best temperature to serve Mexican Lager beer?

Mexican Lagers are best served ice cold, typically around 38-40°F (3-4°C). This enhances their refreshing qualities and makes them an excellent choice for hot weather drinking.

Why is Mexican Lager beer so carbonated?

The high level of carbonation in Mexican Lager not only provides a satisfying mouthfeel but also enhances the beer's refreshing qualities. It also helps to lift the beer's light flavors, making each sip a delight.

Are all Mexican Lager beers the same?

While all Mexican Lagers share a base profile of being light, crisp, and refreshing, there's still a variety within the style. Some may have a more pronounced malt character, while others might have subtle hoppy notes or a slightly sweeter finish.

What are craft Mexican Lagers?

Though Mexican Lagers are often associated with big names like Corona or Modelo, the craft beer scene has been experimenting with this style as well. Many craft breweries have started to produce their own Mexican Lagers, often adding a unique twist. Some may experiment with different types of malt, or add in unique flavors like lime or even agave.

Are there different sub-styles of Mexican Lagers?

Yes, there are! Two common sub-styles you might come across are the Mexican Amber Lager and Mexican Dark Lager. The Amber Lager is a bit fuller-bodied with a more pronounced malt character, while the Dark Lager, often known as "Negra," has a deeper color and can exhibit chocolate or caramel notes.

How has the popularity of Mexican Lager evolved?

Mexican Lagers have seen a surge in popularity, particularly in the United States. The combination of their easy-drinking nature and versatility with a range of foods has helped to elevate their status. Plus, as craft breweries continue to explore and experiment with this style, we can only expect its popularity to continue to grow.

And that wraps up our journey into the world of Mexican Lagers! We hope you've learned a thing or two and perhaps even found a new beer style to love. Remember, the world of beer is full of rich history, diverse flavors, and endless possibilities to explore. So, keep your taste buds curious, and as always, enjoy responsibly. Salud!


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