The Brew Site

Advent Beer Calendar 2012: Day 18: Noche Buena

In all the years I’ve been doing this Beer Advent Calendar, I’ve always wanted to work in a beer from Mexico—but never have, largely due to the dearth of breweries in Mexico producing holiday beers. And in fact, the one I always had in mind to include is today’s pick, Noche Buena, which until fairly recently was one of those elusive, hard-to-find beers that weren’t often seen outside of Mexico.

Yes, there’s an elephant in the room: the beer is brewed and distributed by parent corporation Heineken along with the Dos Equis brands and others; as such it may be something of a controversial choice but it has a tradition of being brewed well before Heineken bought the brand and is still something a bit unusual compared to the other macro brands. Noche Buena, or “Christmas Eve” in Spanish, is a Bock-styled beer at 5.9% abv.

Noche Buena was the first Bock style of beer made in Mexico (the style itself originating in Einbeck, Germany, in the fourteenth century). It’s a full-bodied dark beer, intended to be consumed during the winter. The fermentation and maturation period in which it acquires its unique character and flavor is a very delicate process: the Brewmaster apply all his knowledge to make this a success seasonal beer in taste.

The origin of Noche Buena dates back to 1924, when the German brewers who founded the brewery in Orizaba missed the customs of their country and began to develop a new beer. At first they were small quantities for themselves during meetings with old friends, then as special gift called “reserve of the house” for managers and friends of the brewery. It was so successful that they began selling it as a winter seasonal beer. It officially received the name “Noche Buena,” honoring our Christmas tradition.

(I cleaned up the Google translation of the page a bit.)

Untappd. BeerAdvocate: 78/100. RateBeer: 2.7/5, 24th percentile.