Grupo Modelo S.A. de C.V. – Modelo Especial


Many Americans know the comforting brown appearance of bottles of Negro Modelo, possibly the last good decent beer for sale on the shelves of your average grocery store or Wal-mart. The others have fallen to consumerism, which is separate from capitalism because it relies on mass preference, and have become the fast food version: essentially soft drinks with beer flavor and separately distilled alcohol injected. This creates a wasteland of plenty. There are many options, but almost all of them cater to morons, and so the options are paltry.

Modelo Especial turns out to be not a Corona clone, but a relatively rich beer with plenty of grainy taste and some spice behind the sweetness. I was pleasantly surprised since, given its widespread availability, I assumed it was designed for morons. However, its obscurity as a Mexican beer — at the time when most people are drinking hipster microbrews that are universally bad because they overemphasize difficult and obscure flavors over simply making a quality beer — may have protected it from the Great American Gold Rush. Every weekend, millions of zombies leave their undead jobs and get in their cars to go home. Because their heads have been drained of any thoughts by the sheer stupidity and illogicality of what they are called to do, there is one option for the weekend… get loaded! — and they do this by trotting on down to Wal-mart in their golf shirts and buying, well, you wouldn’t want to get the usual mainstream beers would you? Just something enough imported to be quality… that means you go to the 9.7-11.8 cents/ounce category of Familiar Imports… and it turns out most of these are fakes… so you grab whatever looks good, go to the checkout and head home. If you drink five of them quickly you might not notice that they are basically burpwater soft drinks flavored like beer, and get a good buzz going. Modelo Especial has escaped this crazy rush because it remains consistent and marketed at lower income, so it does not have the pretense and “unique/different” factor of hipster beers or Familiar Imports, and thus is bought only by — you guessed it — actual appreciators of quality beer. The crowd cheers.

But this beer, unlike the unfortunate Corona Extra to which it is frequently compared, has an abundance of flavor that is more balanced than it is extreme. The hipster beers shit the bed by trying so hard to be ironic they become subtly disgusting, and the audience of sheep is too neutered to simply stand up and say that these beers are vomit fodder. The Familiar Imports are all basically watery and have a pulpy, rotting vegetation taste at this point. But Modelo Especial carries on, with a slight undertone of the pungent smell of its fermented origins, but mostly a warm and broad taste that works in sweetness like a summer evening. Like Negro Modelo, this is a beer to be enjoyed during normal events in life. It will impress no one from the label, but they will actually enjoy drinking it instead of pretending to like another over-priced over-fetishized hipster brew. Full of warmth, it is like the best of Mexico, a simple but entirely rewarding experience.


Tags: , ,

6 thoughts on “Grupo Modelo S.A. de C.V. – Modelo Especial

  1. Jim Nelson says:

    i just had a really good beer from germany – aventius dopplebock tap 6 – 8%abv – delicious $4 for a big bottle! wow!

    1. Emperor Tomato Ketchup says:

      If you mean Schneider Weisse’s Unser Aventinus, I wholeheartedly agree. I can’t believe how cheap it is, even here in Sweden.

      1. Jim Nelson says:

        thats the one

  2. OliveFox says:

    Pretty much right on with Modelo Especial I think, always a pleasant surprise when I remember it exists, but it is only a 3/5 based on the company it keeps I would surmise. But I still am uncertain about the Hipster/Microbrew connection. Are you saying that companies are essentially catering to Hipsters with beer that resembles quality beer but is just phony swill? Or are you upset that Hipsters gravitate toward micro-brews/specialty beers in order to make themselves feel “unique?”

    Location may be a bigger factor. I am closer to Washington DC and usually “fancy micro-brews” customers are law students and business-men, causing a lot people outside the DC/Metro area to think micro-brews are more about wealth than uniqueness. But then again, Baltimore, with its phony dive-bars usually cater to art student hipsters who ride bikes to class, live in a loft and smoke American Spirits and are super excited that they aren’t scared of black folks. But usually they are the Pabst and National Bohemian crowd. My brother tells me that in Richmond, VA all the hipsters drink Old Crow or cheap Red Wine. Perhaps I am missing something, but I don’t understand the connection to Hipster and Beer/Alcohol other than just where they happen to live.

    Just so long as they stay away from my precious Kolsch and Munich Brews, Islay Scotch, and classy Italian wines than I will be more than happy. But again, I do not understand what makes something a “hipster beer.”

  3. Torpid Angel says:

    You’re mixing your stereotypes here. The guys who are “trotting on down to Wal-mart in their golf shirts” aren’t “drinking hipster microbrews that are universally bad because they overemphasize difficult and obscure flavors over simply making a quality beer.”

    In the ’80s, Metal took aim at the Prep — a suburban WASP conformer.
    In the ’10s, Metal takes aim at the Hipster, and thinks he evolved from a Prep. BUT NO

  4. Catastrophist says:

    Surely you aren’t speaking of the Corona Familiar Mega 32oz with the ‘Familiar Imports’ comment? Corona is undrinkable except for that one. I have heard that even the ‘same’ beers have completely different ingredient/amounts in different size bottles, and many taste tests have proven it. Though all the larger versions are always better, so maybe its psychosomatic.

Comments are closed.

Classic reviews: