The Thing I Miss Most Since Returning to Mexico is, Ironically Enough, Mexican Beer

Linda and I returned to our home in Mexico from the United States a couple of days ago. If you’re curious about the circumstances and timing of that trip, check out this post: Finally Back Home in Mexico!

Since returning, we’ve been practicing self-isolation in our condo in compliance with CDC guidelines. Fortunately for us, our friends here have made this super easy to do by going shopping for us and leaving the items outside our door.

So far, our friends have been able to find all of the desired items on our shopping lists, even toilet paper, with the exception of one item: Mexican beer. All of the major brands of Mexican beer like Modelo, Pacifico and Corona — no relation to the virus– are sold out everywhere.

This is due to the fact that the Mexican government classified breweries as non-essential businesses and ordered them closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Just in case you didn’t already know this, making beer is a big deal here in Mexico. In fact, Mexico exports more beer than any other country in the world — over $4 billion dollars worth a year. That’s more than double what the second country on that list, the Netherlands, exports each year.

So, what’s left on the shelves? Well, if you look around hard enough, you can still find some random craft beers and whole lot of Old Milwaukee.

Although things have gotten bad, apparently they still haven’t reached the need to choke down Old Milwaukee level of bad.

Photo credit: Jane Rodriguez-Hasty

It doesn’t look like Mexican beer will be returning to the shelves anytime soon, so many stores have filled their empty beer coolers with other beverages.

Let’s Wrap This Up

I know it could be much worse. I could live in one of the states or municipalities that has outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages altogether. Still, I can’t help craving the smooth, refreshing taste of a Modelo Especial about now.

Well, until next time! Stay safe and stay healthy!

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

48 Comments on "The Thing I Miss Most Since Returning to Mexico is, Ironically Enough, Mexican Beer"

  1. Jeff Davidson | May 5, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Reply

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

  2. As I have commented before about this. My stockpile of Corona is just as important as all my stockpile of PPE 🙂

  3. Jérôme Croteau | May 5, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Reply

    With ley seca in Yucatan, Old Milwaukee is not even an option.

    • That’s rough over there. Perhaps you could order one of those home brewing kits on Amazon. 🙂

  4. thomas dean hamilton | May 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Reply

    Cant imagine going on a mexican vacation and no beer anywhere. Totally nuts

  5. Forgot to mention, but when I went on three cruises in the Arabian and Persian Gulf this winter, every cruise ship had Corona! And even in the cruise terminal in Manama, Bahrain had cases of Corona. I bought two!

  6. Mexico Bound | May 5, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Reply

    Friends of Annie and I back in the U.S. joked that we had toilet paper and no beer here in Mexico several weeks ago. I sent them a pictures of an Oxxo stacked to the ceiling with beer and something like 40 pallets of Kirkland toilet paper at CostCo. I said this was a rumor I would not believe because I assumed that the warehouses in Riviera Maya would be full of beer (and toilet paper) in anticipation of the normal capacity of high season in the Riviera Maya. Not my worst prediction ever…in the late 70’s I thought the internet was a fad.

  7. The Mega in Zihuatanejo has an abundance of Martens a Belgian pilsner that is quite good. It may rival your Modelo Especial. Have your alcohol delivering angels check out your local Mega.

  8. No alcohol sales of any kind here on Isla. It’s been weeks and weeks. Doesn’t mean we don’t have it (wink) but it’s not for sale in the stores.

    • That’s rough. Stuck on an island with nothing to do all day and ‘almost’ no booze. Sounds a little like Gilligan’s Island…lol.

  9. Tomas Rohlander | May 5, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Reply

    We went to Costco outside Denver the other day and they had tons of cases of Modelo and Corona, I said to my my wife we should buy a bunch and send a care package to our friends in Mexico

  10. Gary Brennan | May 5, 2020 at 5:48 pm | Reply

    We just came from our home in Chuburná Puerto, Yucatan. Shortage of Mexican beer is only because there is a dry law in effect that prohibits the sale or possession of alcohol. Whew. Made it home just in time.

    • As soon as the dry law lifts in the Yucatan, I predict they will sell out of whatever is left in a single day…lol.

  11. Cassandra Garcia | May 5, 2020 at 5:58 pm | Reply

    We are under Ley Seca in Yucatan until May 15! Still have some Coronas on ice. We are rationing them at this point.

    • You may have trouble finding beer after the 15th. Better be the first one in line that day. 🙂

  12. We live in Mazatlan. Due to idiotas having corona virus parties, the governor shut off all sales of alcohol and I believe no one can get the little candies that go in piñatas either. With good fortune the liquor stores will be open again after Mother’s Day. But who knows?!

  13. Mike Tetlow | May 5, 2020 at 6:08 pm | Reply

    We live in SoCal and my wife loves Modelo Especial. We must have gotten our supply BC (Before Coronavirus). She is going to be very upset at this news. So are all our local Mexican Restaurants. Stay safe.

  14. Beth Piacentini | May 5, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Reply

    Wanting to retire in Mexico. Currently living in Northern Arizona. My husband’s only concern is the language barrier. We were looking at Puerto Vallarta or the Baja. ⚘

    • Karen Knapp | May 5, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Reply

      Beth, we retired to Puerto Vallarta 14 years ago and subsequently moved north about a dozen miles, to a small fishing town called Bucerias, in the state of Nayarit. We have never regretted our decision. Although we have taken many classes, my husband and I are far from fluent in Spanish. And many foreigners we know do not speak Spanish at all. Mexican people are incredibly helpful and forgiving for the most part, if you make an effort to communicate in their language. Not speaking Spanish is surely not a deal-breaker.

  15. Shari Wilkens | May 5, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Reply

    Cocktails are your friend now. Vodka, Rum, and of course tequila are readily available. Oh, and Vino!

  16. Puerto Vallarta is almost out of beer, not yet though. Nayarit has ley seca (dry law). It’s getting bad in Riviera Nayarit.

  17. In Merida, in fact in the Yucatan, we have “La Seca” at least until May 15. No alcohol at all is being sold. Well except for the black market. We are surviving but all we have left is tequila and vodka!

  18. We’re in our second month of ley seca here in Merida. The Yucatan government has cited several decent reasons for it — to cut domestic violence while everyone’s stuck at home (apparently 911 domestic violence calls are down almost 50% since no-alcohol period started), encourage people to feed their families rather than spend their last pesos on alcohol, and to stop the big coronavirus parties …. Nearby Progreso just imposed a 7 pm toque de queda (curfew), so I wonder if that’s next for us.

  19. Must be nice. I’m in merida. Ha ha

  20. Hello! I am currently doing a house / pet sit in a small town near Maravatío in Michoacán and I was able to buy beer on the 24th of April. I don’t know if anything has changed since then.
    I have a question related to my stay here. I’m hoping you can point me in the direction of where I can find an answer.
    I am a Canadian resident and I arrived in Mexico on December 15. His means my tourist visa will expire June 15. I’m wondering if you know if they are extending visas at this time and if so how to go about it?
    I would really appreciate if you or anyone on this blog are able to offer me some advice. I have searched the internet but can’t seem to find answers. That could be in part because I’m not very good at searching / researching things online

    • A lot of people have that same question. An immigration specialist that we know went to the INM office in Playa del Carmen this to ask them about extending tourist cards. She was advised that INM is NOT extending the tourist cards at this time.

  21. If one particular video is allowed to strand on YouTube, this may soon be over world wide. If you want to know which video, feel free to PM me. Assuming you have my contact info. I would think you would.

  22. Thank God , Here in Ontario , Canada …..The Beer Store & the LCBO ( Liquor Control Board of Ontario are considered “Essential Businesses ”

    Cheers Mike

  23. That Old Milwaukee I bought a case and didn’t realize it is 0% alcohol… no wonder there is lots of it. Here in Puerto Morelos we have the Pescadores brewery, I think it is still open, as I saw lots of ppl outside on the picnic tables. Alcohol sales are 10 am to 5 pm here in Puerto Morelos, Qroo, but no beer is available anywhere. I think ppl from Merida came over and bought us all out! haha

    • 0% alcohol? Well, that’s downright sneaky. How do they even advertise that beer? All the bad taste of Old Milwaukee without any of the fun? Haha

  24. Steve Penn GERRARD | May 6, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Reply

    A very SAD situation! No MEXICAN BEER is like…NO…NO MAS HONEY BUNNY!

  25. Gustavo Rubio | May 6, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Reply

    Time to try craft beer! Many places here in Tijuana which are microbreweries operate as restaurants as well so they still brew, good thing for us people that like that kind of beer, everything else is not available. Try a blond ale or a weizen, they aren’t that strong and are actually refreshing.

    Cheers from Baja!

  26. victoria kellman | May 7, 2020 at 8:15 am | Reply

    What ever the subject…i enjoy the read

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