Colorado’s Best Light Mexican Lagers Blind Tasting Presented by On Tap Credit Union
Back with the first of four scheduled Blind Tastings for 2023, the starting style on this year’s slate is Light Mexican Lagers. The goal is to find some of the best Light Mexican Lagers around Colorado. For this Blind Tasting, a group of eight judges evaluated 35 Light Mexican Lagers. Beers were submitted from breweries of all different sizes from all across Colorado.
PorchDrinking’s Blind Tasting Series is presented by On Tap Credit Union.
The Light Mexican Lager tasting is sponsored by the host of the event, Tonantzin Casa de Café.
Located at 910 Santa Fe Drive in the Santa Fe Arts District, Tonantzin has “coffee and atole drinks inspired in Latin American and Indigenous preparations.” With light breakfast and lunch fare, the courtyard is a beautiful space for catching up with friends or just getting some work done.
Objective and Method
For the Light Mexican Lager Blind Tasting, judges were given the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) guidelines as a reference point but did not need to fully adhere to them. The main goal for the judges was to find a beer that showcases a clean lager with a corn-forward flavor profile.
The purpose of using the blind-tasting format is to remove as many biases and opinions of the judges.
The Blind Tasting consisted of three rounds. In the first round, the eight judges split into two groups of four. One group tasted 17 of the 35 beers and the other group examined the remainder. When profiling the beer, judges rated the beers on aroma, appearance, taste, and overall. Additionally, judges were asked if the beer should move on to the second round. In order to move on, beers needed to either: (1) receive 75 percent of the judges’ votes to move on or (2) scored a total score that was at least one standard deviation higher that the mean.
Of the 35 beers submitted, 10 moved on to the second round. All beers that advanced are awarded, at a minimum, Honorable Mention.
For the second round, all eight judges tried the ten beers that moved on from the first round. Instead of rating the beers, judges left tasting notes and asked again whether the beer should move to the final round. Again, beers that scored 75 percent of the judges’ votes to move on could go to the final round. Of the ten beers, two beers received the proper amount of votes.
Now, in the final round judges tasted the two finalist beers and then discussed as a group which beer (or beers) should receive Best In Show. To conclude the conversation, a hand vote was taken. In the end, the judges decided one beer should win Best In Show and one should win Top Marks.
We acknowledge this system is not perfect and we are continually evolving how the Blind Tasting series conducts, we do appreciate the flexibility this system allows for some of the subjectivity from our judges to be allowed.
The group of judges comes from all different areas of the craft beer industry in Colorado.
- Dev Adams, Advanced Cicerone
- Shawnee Adelson, Executive Director for the Colorado Brewers Guild
- Britt Antley, PorchDrinking Colorado Co-Editor
- Ali Benetka, Integration Consultant at Doozy Solutions
- Scott Grossman, PorchDrinking Writer
- Steve Kurowski, former Marketing Director for the Colorado Brewers Guild
- Ryan Pachmayer, Beer Journalist & New Image Brewing
- Andy Parker, former Director of Innovation for Denver Beer Co.
A huge thank you to all the breweries who submitted beers for the tasting!
Now, let’s reveal the Best Light Mexican Lagers from around Colorado!
- 6 & 40 Brewery & Taproom (Lakewood, CO) – Wrinkle Wall Mexican Lager
- Cannonball Creek Brewing Company (Golden, CO) – Let’s Talk About Mex
- Glenwood Canyon Brewpub (Glenwood Springs, CO) – Hanging Lake Light Lager
- Great Frontier Brewing (Lakewood, CO) – Amigo Mexican Lager
- Lariat Lodge Brewing Co (Evergreen & Littleton, CO) – Lazo Mexican Lager
- Los Dos Potrillos (five locations across Colorado) – Mexican Lager
- The Post (seven locations across Colorado) – Top Rope
- Spice Trade Brewing & Kitchen. (Greenwood Village, CO) – Mexican Lager
Top Marks | Liquid Mechanics (Lafayette, CO) – Cerveza Mechanica
A beer that has “a pleasant hoppiness in the nose” is clean and overall well-balanced according to our judges. Cerveza Mechanica, made by Lafayette’s Liquid Mechanics. Judges said how refreshing and clean it is. The beer scored particularly well on taste and appearance.
Cerveza Mechanica is 5.0% ABV.
Best In Show | Cerveceria Colorado (Denver, CO) – ¡Venga! Mexican Lager
The award for Best In Show of the Light Mexican Lager Blind Tasting goes Ceverceria Colorado’s ¡Venga! Many of the judges noted how clear, clean, and crisp the beer is. It has a nice, slightly herbal aroma. The corn flavors are present, but light and well-balanced with no off-flavors. ¡Venga! is an “excellent example” according to one judge. In the first round scores, the beer was continually rated highest or almost the highest in every category in its group.
¡Venga! is 5.0% ABV.
Other Blind Tastings
The second Blind Tasting of 2023 will focus on Pale Ales that match the BJCP guidelines of 30-50 IBU, an ABV within 4.5%-6.2%, and non-adjunct.
If you missed it, here are PorchDrinking’s previous Blind Tastings:
- October 2021: Märzens
- April 2022: Barrel-Aged Stouts
- July 2022: Pilsners
- September 2022: Fresh Hop Beers
- December 2022: Coffee Stouts: Barrel-Aged and Non-Barrel-Aged