What Does Tecate Taste Like, And Is It Good?


Tecate Original is a refreshing, pleasant Mexican lager. It was originally designed to be a thirst-quenching, easy-drinking beer for Tecate city’s local workers and maintains a crisp, sweet flavor to this day.

Tecate Original, from Mexico, exhibits the pale color and light, the grainy sweetness of a classic American adjunct lager. Although it is from Mexico, it is quite close to many American-style lagers. It’s very drinkable and has a light, refreshing flavor. Tecate Original is a popular beer available worldwide.

Tecate Original is one of Moctezuma Brewing’s flagship brands. The beer is now available worldwide, but many drinkers might be wondering what it’s like to enjoy one of these refreshing Mexican lagers. In this article, we’ll aim to take curious beer lovers on a trip through the Tecate drinking experience, touching on the beer’s flavor, smell, appearance, and what makes it unique. Read on to certify your Cerveza knowledge.

tecate selfie

Flavor

Most beer drinkers prioritize flavor heavily when considering a brew. Tecate Original, with its crisp, refreshing flavor, is very similar to other beers of the style. It has more breadth of flavor in its palate and more discernible notes than other similar Mexican beers, especially so when compared to a standard American adjunct lager.

Taking a sip of Tecate reveals, as expected, some pale, malty sweetness. It’s lightly grainy, with a character more reminiscent of corn sweetness than that of bread or yeasty. Really, this is not a particularly bread-y beer. 

Tecate has a touch of mineral acidity on the front end, quickly opening up into a nicely well-balanced flavor profile. The corny malts are all there, with some light bitterness accentuating and complementing the beer’s expected sweetness. The result of this balancing act is that the flavor of this beer is very crisp and refreshing despite its more noticeable character than other beers of the style.

Also present is a distinctly floral hop character, with some herby, grassy notes to it. It’s not exactly the freshly cut lawn flavor, but it isn’t far off and is very faint. It’s just enough to notice the presence of hops without being an overt presence of hoppiness.

Overall, Tecate Original has a balanced, crisp flavor that is very refreshing and easy to enjoy. Tecate’s website recommends enjoying this beer with lime, which highlights and exaggerates certain elements of the beer’s flavor profile.

The addition of lime to your can of Tecate, as expected, brings a layer of citric tartness to the palate. This makes the malty sweetness of the beer much more interesting, as it balances out this sweetness and dominates any hint of hoppiness. It also brings out more of the beer’s bitter notes. Overall, the addition of lime does not make Tecate significantly tastier, but it certainly makes it taste different. It’s certainly worth trying Tecate Original, both with and without lime.

It’s easy to picture yourself enjoying an ice-cold can of Tecate on a balcony or by the sea on a sunny day. This beer aims to refresh and rejuvenate and accomplishes exactly that.

Mouthfeel

Tecate’s body is light to medium, with an upfront amount of carbonation. Tecate is relatively full-bodied for a lager but does not have any of the boldness or brashness of a heavy stout or ale.

Tecate aims to be a light, refreshing beer, and each sip goes down very easily. It isn’t overly slick and is perhaps on the thinner side for a Mexican lager, although it has enough carbonated bite to remind you that you’re drinking beer, not water. In comparison to other beers of the style, it’s heftier than Corona but lighter than Modelo.

Tecate has a dry finish and resolutely refuses to leave any trace of itself in the mouthfeel, like a polite house guest making the bed before they leave.

Overall, Tecate Original’s mouthfeel is in keeping with its flavor. It’s fresh, crisp, and very easy to drink.

Smell

Tecate Original has a very light, mild aroma. Raising the glass to your nose reveals some corny malt with a little bit of bittersweet hops on the back end. The hoppy aroma is intact enough to promise the balanced flavor of the first sip, but overall the beer smells of corny grains. It’s a mild, inoffensive smell that neatly encourages the next sip.

Appearance

Tecate poured into a glass, has a remarkably clear, pale straw color. There’s a finger of foamy, delicate white head that dissipates quickly to leave a ring around the glass and some light, white bubbles atop the body of the beer.

Tecate is remarkably clear, a testament to Moctezuma brewing’s excellent filtration. This beer’s clear, pale straw color is definitely in keeping with the style and promises the mild, crisp flavor to come.

Tecate comes in a pretty cool-looking can. The can’s red, black, and silver packaging bears a proud black eagle. This eagle was designed by Chris Mitchell, who aimed to evoke heroism and drama with the motif. The eagle’s shoulders and chest are superhero-broad, and the eagle’s perspective is dramatic as if beholding the noble bird of prey from below. 

Tecate’s masculine, heroic branding reflects the beer’s history as a worker’s drink. The brand is clearly aimed at a young male demographic who prefer an easy, refreshing drink after a hard day’s work. 

Tecate Original Alcohol Percentage and Calories

Tecate has an ABV of 4.5%, a little stronger than that of the other major Mexican lagers. A 12oz serving of Tecate has 141 calories, with 12 grams of carbs. This is fairly standard for a full-strength lager, and Tecate is significantly more calorific than any American light lagers.

Why Does Tecate Taste Like This?

Tecate Original traces its history back to the city of Tecate, Baja, California, where it was designed in 1944 as the “perfect thirst quencher” for the area’s miners. Although Tecate was originally brewed locally, the beer was acquired by the Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma brewing company in 1955. Following this purchase, Tecate became widely available throughout Mexico and in the southwestern US states of California, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. 

Tecate Original, as a lager, is bottom-fermented at low temperatures. Tecate uses a small amount of hops in its brewing process to provide bitterness and balance against the other ingredients. The main source of starch in Tecate Original is malted barley, which is responsible for most of Tecate Original’s sweet, grainy flavor. The water used to brew Tecate is Mexican spring water.

Tecate was actually the first Mexican brewery to use an easy-opening can. Theirs was the first canned beer that did not require a can opener, and this design is still used to this day. 

The town of Tecate is close to the Mexico-United States border. This border spirit, with a foot in two worlds, pervades the Tecate brand story and identity. Tecate, unlike many other Mexican lagers, is sold in silver cans, like many American beers. However, the consistent use of Spanish language and Mexican motifs, like the black eagle in Tecate’s branding, clearly positions it as a Mexican beer. Its popularity on both sides of the border and throughout the rest of the world indicates that this “best of both worlds” mentality has served the Tecate brand very well.

What to Eat with Tecate Original

Tecate Original has a clean, crisp, balanced taste. This means that it goes great with a variety of foods. In particular, the staples of Mexican cuisine, like seasoned meats, seafood, and generous amounts of salt and citrus, make excellent pairings with this lager.

Tecate also encourages the “dressed can” variation of a Michelada for this beer. It’s very easy to enjoy your Tecate this way. Simply add a dash of salt to the rim of your can, some hot sauce (either mild or hot, depending on your preference), and a wedge of lime. The result is a crisp, refreshing, unique beer experience.

What Do Other People Think?

In the below table, we examined various Tecate Original reviews from across the internet. We weighted these reviews to give a score out of ten, and determined an average to see what other drinkers think about Tecate Original.

PlatformTecate
BeerAdvocate5.1
Untappd5.66
RateBeer3.64
Drizly9.2
Influenster8.4
Average Score6.4

Tecate Original’s reviews varied very widely. Ratebeer’s score of 3.64 is remarkably low, while Drizly beer enthusiasts offered a sizeable 9.2.

Most beer drinkers who liked Tecate praised the beer’s crisp, refreshing flavor. Those who did not appreciate Tecate as much tended to dislike its inoffensive palate and lack of boldness or assertiveness in the drinking experience.

Here’s what one Beeradvocate reviewer had to say about their Tecate:

Overall: I dig it. For a cheap but not “corny” or skunked Mexican lager, I’ve always liked this one and it’s fun to revisit it each year but also a nice test to see if my feelings or palate has changed. It hasn’t – this is still quaffable, refreshing, and not off-putting or cheap tasting, which makes it a winner for me

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