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Rating: 4.3/5 (21 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Grupo Modelo
  • Website:
  • Country: Mexico
  • State:
  • Style: Dunkel Lager
  • Malts:
  • Hops:
  • ABV:
  • IBUs:
  • Tasting Notes:
  • Preferred Glass:
  • Food Pairing:
  • PHM Grade: B+

Negra Modelo

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250+ reviews into this thing we call the Perfectly Happy Man, it’s about time we reviewed what is in my opinion the best Mexican beer available. Negra Modelo is brewed by Grupo Modelo, a massive brewery that accounts for 63% of Mexico’s beers. Lurking in the shadows behind this big Mexican brewer, however, is American giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. They seem to have their dirty paws everywhere…

While Negra Modelo is brewed in Mexico and bears a Spanish name, it is actually a Munich-style “Dunkel” (dark) lager first brewed in Mexico by Austrian immigrants. So right off the bat it gets some props for having European roots. Negra Modelo comes in a memorable short brown bottle with a trademark gold label. And while its label is more or less ordinary, I must say that the bottle feels great in your hand … it’s the little things that make a man smile.

My lovely little lager pours a dark brown, with a shy white head that fades pretty quickly. Smells roasty and sweet thanks to those Munich malts, but the nose isn’t really a complete experience. Before drinking, I expect a medium-bodied beer, easily drinkable, malty and sweet. And upon the first sip, Negra Modelo delivers just those things. Not super carbonated, not hoppy. It’s a Munich lager through and through, adapted to be drunk in quantity. And it don’t need no stinkin’ limes.

Before getting to the grade, I want to mention a couple things that I took into consideration. First and most important is the fact that most people consider Corona to be the best Mexican beer – some nincompoops would even call it the best beer ever, anywhere. And while that is obviously preposterous to the learned beer community, I’ll point out to novices that Mexican export lagers like Corona, Modelo Especial, Sol, etc. are mass produced and historically boring. They’re just the Mexican versions of BudMillerCoors … made for people who drink beer to achieve drunkenness, not enjoy the experience, taste, and context of a beer. Negra Modelo isn’t the only Mexican beer that has character, but it’s on a very short list. A bottle of Negra Modelo next to a bottle of Corona is like Clint Eastwood next to Ryan Seacrest.

Can there be a clearer metaphor?

ABV: 5.4%

Grade: B+

Negra Modelo, 4.3 out of 5 based on 21 ratings
  1. the best Mexican beer i’ve ever had. a solid go-to on any occasion. and never with a lime.

    Matt — March 15th, 2010, 2:16 PM
  2. I’m definitely of the opinion that Cucapá makes the best Mexican beer. They are newbies in the game though possibly the only Mexican craft beer:

    Chris - — March 15th, 2010, 2:35 PM
  3. Chris, just checked out their site, it looks pretty cool. I’d like to try all those beers, I wonder where they distribute to. If its available in my region, I would definitely like to get some.

    Matt — March 15th, 2010, 3:06 PM
  4. Looks like they’re only in Southern Cal. Might have to reach out to our West Coast staff for some reviews…

    Taylor — March 15th, 2010, 3:57 PM
  5. Cucapá is nasty negra modelo is very good tho

    david — June 6th, 2010, 2:45 PM
  6. I had this beer for the first time last weekend at a dive of a Mexican restaurant. The only reason I dropped by again this weekend was because of this mysterious, new to me beer I had just discovered.

    I’m not a beer expert but I know what I like and this is GREAT beer! It has the perfect smell and texture and taste and when I read up on it online I was reminded of the great head it pours. I swear I have a very pedestrian palette but I simply know what I like and this is it!

    John — June 21st, 2010, 8:52 AM
  7. John, that’s great … Negra Modelo is a real winner. Especially in a dive.

    Taylor — June 21st, 2010, 1:42 PM
  8. The most awsome beer Ive tasted,smooth rich taste not bitter very pleasing O’yeah baby this one rocks!

    Mrs. Mason — February 19th, 2011, 2:22 PM
  9. But Ryan Seacrest is young and hip!

    John — February 20th, 2011, 6:25 PM
  10. Insanely great beer, as all those that came from Mexico. Sol was one of the first beers I drank ever, needless to say, those that fallowed tasted like **** maybe Heineken.

    Kes krediti — May 11th, 2011, 7:17 AM
  11. “…is American giant Anheuser-Busch InBev”

    But InBev is not American, is it? As much as that rankles, you must be honest.

    “… the Belgo-Brazilian giant Anheuser-Busch InBev”

    Shin Kan — February 17th, 2012, 6:33 PM
  12. New to drinking beer and Negra Modelo is the best tasting beer I have tried so far. Some that I have tried include coors and coors light, bud platenum, bud select, samuel adams, red stripe, miller chill lime, miller lite, george killians, new castle brown ale, wild blue, and red bridge. George killians was probably second best.

    mike — April 7th, 2012, 1:53 AM
  13. Negra Modelo is by far the best Mexican beer if you are a beer enthusiast with a proper beer pallet that has been honed over years of swilling brew. If you like light and watery beer then you will probably disagree and reach for another Corona, or perhaps another Bud/Miller/Coors Light that many are so fond of. Don’t get me wrong- I do like Corona, just not enough to pay the premium for it.

    sam — July 4th, 2013, 12:08 AM
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