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Negra Modelo

Negra Modelo: Best Beer in Mexico

3.88 average, 224 votes
by Mark Stevens
2009 March 30

Rich, Malty Negra Modelo is Best Beer in Mexico

Negra Modelo
At A Glance
Negra Modelo
Pros: Rich robust malt profile
Cons: Anheuser-Busch owns a percentage of Grupo Modelo
Recommended: Yes

Negra Modelo is one of the richest tasting, most robust beers in Mexico. A complex beer, redolent with caramel and chocolate flavors from the malt, the beer is perfectly balanced with a bit of spiciness or nuttiness in the hop aspects of its flavor profile. The beer is brewed by Grupo Modelo, headquartered in Mexico City, with breweries throughout the country.

Negra Modelo probably fits most comfortably in the Munich Dunkles category, although I’ve also heard arguments that it could be considered a Vienna-style amber. I feel that the beer is too black for a Vienna and that it has too much roast malt character to compare well with other Viennas, so I consider it a dunkle. (In some states of the U.S. the beer has the words “dark ale” on the label. This is only due to certain state liquor regulations. The beer is definitely a lager. In fact, Modelo makes no ales.)

Sample Conditions
I drink this beer frequently in Mexico — it is my favorite of all Mexican beers. I also buy it often in south Texas where it sells well and is always fresh. I have only sampled bottled versions.

Appearance: Very dark, almost opaque black. Probably about a 20 on the SRM color scale. Very well conditioned, but not excessively gassy. Light, tightly-formed head when poured into a glass. No appearance flaws.

Aroma: Nutty and spicy are my initial impressions, followed by a very complex malt aroma with some toasty and chocolate elements. No aroma flaws noted.

Flavor: Complex malt flavor hits me right off with lots of the biscuit-like characteristics that I associate with Munich malts. Some chocolate flavors and maybe a hint of dark currant. The malt/hops balance is right on target with a little bit of the spicy character that I associate with European noble hop varieties. The hops are assertive, but never really dominate. There may be just a hint of low diacetyl, which I suspect only because of the full rounded mouthfeel of the beer, not because of any flavor flaw. The beer tastes quite clean.

Overall Impression:
Negra Modelo is an oustandingly well-crafted beer and is probably the single best beer produced by any mega-brewery on the American continents. (It is certainly head and shoulders over anything in the U.S. or Canada). The quality of this beer can, I think, compare favorably with some of the great lagers of southern Germany. Good stuff!

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michael gordon

love the negra…hate the especial

michael gordon

love the negra…..hate the especial


I only had it in the bottle until a recent road trip. I had a 34 oz draught with carnitas and my wife laughed at me while I cried!



If you want a real darky choc/pepper drink a coopers extra stout from australia only 6.2% alc/vol , far more robust, I can tell you coopers has more choc or peppery overtones than this beer negra modelo, I reckon IMHO,this beer is pretty piss weak for a 5,4% alc /vol drink, I guess you cyber lords haven’t tried south australian coopers extra stout…….best bloddy darky by far! ok! the barley might be over done but nice after the first one!

[…] made in small batches. Both of these run in the $30-$35 range. 1/2 cup amber beer – I prefer Negra Modelo though you can use Shiner Bock if you’re cutting costs. Just be sure it’s an amber beer […]

[…] the chiles, thinly sliced, and the tomatoes. The liquid was a bit low, so I added a half-bottle of Negra Modelo. (I set the other half aside for later; the meds keep me from killing the evidence finishing it […]

George Smit

I was first introduced to bottled Negra Modelo in Mexico. It is truly my favorite Mexican Beer.
The local Mexican Restaurant, Viva La Vida, Oakdale, NY, has it on tap.
The fresh tap variety makes the bottled form pale, no pun, in comparison.
I agree that it is more comparable to a Munchen Dunkel than a Viennese beer.
It is rich, but not too heavy, complex but not too bitter.

[…] you run off to your nearest liquor barn for a few cases of Negra Modelo, a bottle of Tres Generaciones, and a half-case of Infinite Monkey Theorem syrah, note that the […]


I have yet to try this beer and came across this when researching (yes, I’m that nerdy).

I couldn’t help but notice the idiots who didn’t pay attention to the mega-brewery part of “single best beer produced by any mega-brewery on the American continents”. Mega-brewer’s produce some pretty rancid crap most of the time, so the micro-brews in Canada making a better beer would be a) probably true and b) not a valid argument because again, you didn’t read correctly.


And I love me some Negra Modelo. A fine beer.


“better they (sic) some Canadian beers before announcing ‘best N.A. beer’ buddy” – Fair enough but I think Kokanee Gold is a poor suggestion because imo, it’s your run-of-the-mill, highly overrated pilsner that is more akin to a weak lager.

And note that Mark said “…and is probably the single best beer produced by any mega-brewery on the American continents”…..not micro.


This beer is great. You can find it in most walmarts in the south…and just about any Mexican resturaunts. Pace yourself with this one, it’ll knock you on your ass.

Al Dente

Modelo Negro is what Vienna lagers used to be. When Modelo Negro was introduced in the 20’s Vienna lagers were darker. Modelo Negro stayed true to the style but Vienna lagers have since lightened up in both color and flavor. Regardless of how we classify it Modelo Negro is a lovely beer. It is tasty without being pretentious, expensive, or difficult to find. Not sure if Modelo Negro is the best beer in Mexico but it is very good. Bohemia is another excellent Mexican beer but much harder to find. Never seen or tried Cucapa but I’ll keep an eye… Read more »


You should try CUCAPÁ that is really the best beer in Mexico.


this beer is the fucking shit


but …. have you tried Kokanee Gold ? … better they some Canadian beers before announcing ‘best N.A. beer’ buddy … lots of great micro brews in Canada.


My good friend likes this one …. will try it next time I go down there or visit Tequila’s again … really have to get down there !

Any thoughts? Please comment!x