Journeys Sout​h

Get way Off the beaten path in Latin America, the US Southwest, and beyond

Sol

Sol is a popular Mexican beer that is common across the nation, especially in coastal areas. The beer is a pilsner style lager that was created in 1899. The beer tastes extremely light, but registers at 123 calories. 


Sol is my favorite day drinking beer while on the beach in Mexico. The alcohol content is 4%, making it light enough to polish off 20 of them and still make it out that evening. 


​The beer can be drank with lime and salt, but I prefer it alone. Lime and salt may be needed however if the beer tastes skunky. The clear bottles are sometimes problematic by letting the beers taste wander a tad. 


There are now versions with tomato juice and lime already prepared in the beer available in some parts of Mexico. 

Tejas Lager


My only encounter to date with Tejas Lager was at a little restaurant in Alpine, Texas. Alpine is about 90 miles from the Mexico border, in far West Texas.


The beer is brewed by Big Bend Brewing Company, which is located in Alpine. It is a pilsner style lager, with a little extra hops. I enjoyed the beer, but not the price tag. The beer was a little pricey for drinking it in the actual town it was brewed.


The beer has a definite IPA taste kick to it. The alcohol is 4.7%.


Regardless I would drink another if I get a chance. Next time I would go for a cold mug, instead of straight out of the can.



Gallo - Famosa 


Famosa is actually Gallo, the most popular Guatemalan beer. It is labeled and sold as Famosa in the United States and a few other places.


Realistically you will only find the beer in Guatemala and in Guatemalan restaurants in the U.S.


The beer is still one of my favorites, just light enough to not make one full, but heavy enough beer tastes to seem legit.


​The cerveza was founded in 1886 and is based in Guatemala City. The alcohol at 5% is about the ideal strength for the drinking traveler.


They do serve the beer with lime and salt in some places. It is fine either way depending on your preference. It has similarities to light Mexican beers, but you can taste the hops and alcohol slightly more. After a couple dozen it will start to dry your mouth out. Lime and a glass of water will help this. 


I first encountered the beer at El Portal, a somewhat hidden bar near the Ciudad de Guatemala centro. The bar is a traditional Guatemalan bar, serving snacks, full meals, and playing local music. You will actually find the beer on tap here. 


The bar became famous as a handout spot for Che Guevara while he was living in Guatemala City and helping to plan the Cuban revolution.


If you get a chance to go to the bar you should do so. It is in a somewhat dangerous place after dark, so make sure to plan accordingly. 




Cerveza in Latin America


Cerveza (the Spanish word for beer) can not be overlooked while traveling in and around Latin America, the US Southwest, or the Caribbean. Drinking beer used to be a major part of machismo (macho) culture among men. Now it has become a popular pastime for men and women alike.


Liquors are still very popular in most Latin American countries, such as tequila, mezcal, rum, and others. However I always recommend to stick to beer when doing some serious traveling, especially when you are off the beaten path and hitting some sketchy places.


Drinking beer out of a bottle (botella) or can (lata) can ease your mind if your worried about those horror stories of being drugged while abroad. Even more importantly, drinking beer will make sure you do not get flat out shit faced after a few drinks, which could happen when drinking tequila or rum (ron).


Try to avoid being too American by ordering expensive beer or something from home. Just look around and see what everyone else is drinking. This will likely be the cheapest and the freshest beer to get. You may not love it at first, but beer is a very acquired taste. After about eight of them you will probably love it just the same. 


Salt and lime is expected in some places, yet frowned upon in others. If they offer it, then its ok. If they do not, it is best not to ask.


It is not acceptable to walk around with beer in hand in public in most Latin American countries. If it is in a beach city, your chances are better. If not, be careful. 


Remember, in most Latin American countries the bartenders work almost exclusively off of tips. Tip them generously. If you come back the next night they will always remember you. You may even get a free beer next time.


Make sure to check back frequently as I will update this page with reviews of cervezas and places to drink at.



Toña


This is the most common beer in Nicaragua and it is a pretty solid one at that. Unless your at a gringo tourist trap, your likely to grab the beer for under $1 at any bar or cafe.


It has an alcohol content of 4.6%, which is just enough to get your buzz on and make it the whole day drinking these bad boys.


It is your standard lager style beer, but has a little bit of an earthy taste. You can find this at some places in the US if you want to try it before your trip.

Frio


This beer really sucks. I would avoid it for the most part. It is a light beer that is brewed in Memphis, not Texas. If you want a really light beer that is really cheap, then go for it.

Ron Mojito


This really is not a beer, it is more of a mixed drink in a can. Regardless, it is damn good. They are found in Mexico and I am not sure you can find them anywhere else.


It is fairly close to a Cuban style mojito. It is almost perfect to walk around in public with, as it looks like a soda can.


If anyone has seen this outside of Mexico let me know.