Bienvenido loyal reader. Please join Bruce and Mary on yet another beer adventure. Yeah, they are beginning to sound like a one-note-wonder but they actually do have some info that may be of interest to fans of Mx beer. BTW: Bruce and Mary saw the title of this post on a T-shirt in Vegas many years ago and love to use it every chance they get…Cheers!
One thing that we really love about Mexico is the incredibly low prices on almost everything down here. It has allowed us to raise our standard of living to well above what we had back in the States, on a fraction of the income. But, and that’s a mighty big but, beer prices are out of whack. Now I know buck beers in the joints are a heck of a draw to us gringos but consider that with the Mx minimum wage at about 60P/day, a long and hard day’s work will buy a laborer and his pal two and a half buck beers each. Just doesn’t seem right, eh? So I did some research. Ok, I can hear you already, “Bruce, you’re way too lazy to do any research for your weekly blog!” And you know, you’re right but I made an exception in this case as this is way too important a subject to guess at. So I dug into my notes from the Living in Merida book project and this is what I’d like to share: There is a beer duopoly in Mexico. The only two brewers are FEMSA and Grupo Modelo. FEMSA is a general beverage company dating back to the 1890s and their brands are: Tecate, Sol, Dos Equis, Carta Blanca, Superior, Indio, Bohemia, and Noche Buena. Grupo Modelo produces Corona, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, Modelo Light, and Pacifico. For the domestic market only, they also produce Victoria, Estrella, Leon, and Montejo brands. And a more recent development is the purchase of Grupo Modelo, lock stock and barrel (they’d previously owned 49%) by Anheuser-Busch InBev, this past summer. And if that name doesn’t look quite right, it is because Anheuser-Busch was purchased by InBev, (brewers of Stella Artois and many other brands) in 2008. This company, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium controls 25% of the global market, and is the largest brewer in the world. My beer drinking friends, this is not good news. Soon the world may be controlled by one big bank, one media giant, and one energy company but the thought of only one brewer, well it’s just too scary to think about. So, back on track, here is the story of our beer experience so far in PV.
This is our beer store, Xuper Cosas, on the corner of Calles Caranza and Aguacate in Old Town. We have bought beer at Oxxos (the ubiquitous C-stores of Mexico), the super minis, and at Walmart. The single best beer deal we have found was 8 packs of Superior (our house beer in Merida) for 55P at Walmart, but that deal went away quickly. The last time we were at Walmart they had Party Packs (an assortment of 8 beers) for 60P, but who knows how long that will last. The best deal I have seen at Oxxo is 18packs of Tecate Light (ewww!) for 150P. But here at Xuper Cosas, we can buy, day in and day out, 24-bottle cases of Pacifico for 185P. This is as good as it gets, in our experience so far, but for the locals it is still 3 days of minimum wage labor for a case of beer. And Mexicans like their beer as much as we do. This presents problems. On a micro scale, our good friend Jaromey the property mgr ameliorates this problem in a very creative way whenever she strays into the contracting business. She pays her workers not only on the usual Fridays but also Wednesdays as well as this is the money that actually makes it home to the family and is not burned up in the cantinas. Not a bad idea for all you Mx contractors out there. Here, as in the States, construction tradesmen drink lots of beer.
Cases of beer are piled up in the corner. They also have a walk-in cooler for cold ones. You can see the liquor display to the left.
Of course they have coolers full of singles, as well.
Hmm… I guess there’s other things for breakfast, too.
And what beer store would be complete without lots and lots of snacks.
They even have my beloved Guayamex Sardinas!
This is our first time at Xuper Cosas so we have to cough up an extra 96P for the deposito. Be sure to keep the receipt if you ever want to cash in your case of empty bottles. Norma and Carlos are very helpful and friendly.
Be warned that these cardboard cases are very flimsy with no cut-outs for carrying, so it is very awkward to do so, as I think you can see. This is what inspired us to finally quit talking about and actually get…
A beer cart! Now, life is good.
Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. Bruce and Mary love comentarios addressing well, anything you like and they promise to acknowledge each and every one of them. And if any of you PV readers should know of better beer deals, please share! Hasta proximo Domingo!!