Cinco de Mayo Food & Beer Pairing Guide

Photo depiction of a galvanized bucket, filled with ice, with several bottles of beer cooling inside.

Cinco de Mayo Food & Beer Pairing Guide

Food & Drink

Cinco de Mayo Food & Beer Pairing Guide


With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you’ve probably started planning your party menu and are likely wondering which beers partner best with which Mexican foods.

One basic rule of thumb many people use in beer and food pairing is to partner lighter foods with lighter beers and heavier meals with dark beers.

Another general guideline is to select international beers from the same region as the international foods. Most often, they complement each other quite nicely.

Many traditional Mexican foods include spicy peppers that kick-up the heat of a dish. For the spiciest dishes, a good choice is Negra Modelo, a delicious, creamy, full-flavored beer. The pleasant malt aroma and dry hop flavor along with its smooth and mellow taste will tastefully counter the spice in your meal, without overpowering it.

Pilsner style beers have a strong, hoppy aroma, but are still refreshing. Pilsners pair well with high-fat fish such as salmon and tuna, or well-marbled meats like a great steak. Mexican-style pilsners such as Pacifico and Modelo Especial are excellent choices here.

For any Cinco de Mayo party, Corona is always a great call. The classic clear bottle topped with a fresh wedge of lime is an icon that will be especially welcomed by guests at your May 5th fiesta. For those looking for a lighter Mexican beer, Corona Light is the perfect selection to have on ice.

Here are some suggested Cinco de Mayo beer and food pairings, courtesy of Chef Roberto Santibañez of Fonda restaurant in NYC.

Ceviche and Tortilla ChipsCorona Light

Tilapia TacosPacifico

Grilled ChorizoModelo Especial

Chicken MoleNegra Modelo

Mexican Dry-Rubbed SteakNegra Modelo

Gazpacho ShootersCorona Extra

Mexican Corn (Elote)Pacifico

Grilled Chicken Wrap and SalsaCorona Light


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