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Modelo Especial Review

An imported beer, Modelo is a Mexican lager brand that has brewed and enjoyed since 1925. Especial is a pilsner-style lager, while Negra is a Munich Dunkel-style lager.

Modelo Modelo Especial
Modelo Modelo Especial

Beyond Cerveceria Modelo’s core two beers is a lineup of michelada-style beers that expand upon the brewery’s traditional brewing roots.

The claim of the brand is that Modelo is, “Brewed For Those With a Fighting Spirit”. This could be true, because after all, it is the official beer of the UFC. We suggesting you drink Modelo in moderation, lest you get in the fighting spirit yourself.

Jokes aside, let’s check out what Modelo Especial is all about.

Fun fact, “50,000 bottles of beer were served at the Modelo brewery’s grand opening celebration.”

Types of Modelo Beer

  • Modelo Chelada
  • Modelo Especial
  • Modelo Negra

Types of Modelo Chelada

  • Chelada Especial
  • Limon Y Sal
  • Mango Y Chile
  • Pina Picante
  • Tamardino Picante

Modelo vs Other Beers

Modelo vs Modelito

Much like the Corona/Coronita situation, Modelito is just a smaller, 7oz version of Modelo. The smaller bottle size makes it convenient for packing inside your beach bag or old school foam cooler.

Other than size, there is no difference between a Modelo and Modelito. You should expect the same refreshing taste from the lager beer.

Modelo Especial vs Modelo Negra

Well this one is easy. Especial and Negra are two completely different styles of beer. Pilsners and Dunkels, while more related than say an American Sour and a Pilsner, just aren’t the same beer.

Negra pairs well with a hearty Mexican meats and spicy flavors that balance against the malty flavor of the beer. Negra also kicks in a little more booze, with a nearly 1% increase in alcohol content vs Especial.

A 24oz can of Modelo Chelada
A beer drinker's Bloody Mary

Why stop at 12oz when you can have more!

Modelo Especial vs Modelo Chelada

You’re not going to find the same clean finish with Modelo Chelada that you find with Especial. Doubly so for the Tamarindo Picante, as the latter cerveza is not a smooth drinking light beer. Unlike Negra though, you will find a little less booze in the Chelada, as Chelada Especial is 3.5% ABV.

Here’s a good way to tell the difference between the two. If, on Sunday morning, you decide to get up and drink, and you have two choices, the Especial pilsner beer or the Especial chelada, look to your next move and let your activity decide which beer to quaff.

Por ejemplo ... Going to a tailgate? Perhaps a fantasy football draft? Opt for the Pilsner.

Otro ejemplo ... Going brunch in New York City? Having the in-laws over? Grab the Chelada. The faux bloody taste combined with the hint of herb in the Chelada will make you crave a real bloody mary, and that will let you ignore the in-laws for a while.

At least, that’s our take. See, the Modelo Chelada’s tomato, salt and lime have a habit of washing away the guilt of drinking at 9:36am.

Limon y sal for the win!

A bottle of Corona Extra, an imported Mexican beer
Ha Ha, Corona!

Modelo vs Corona Extra

For drinking on the beach, we’re going to give the nod to Corona. Even if it’s not on the merit of the beer itself, it’s earned from outstanding marketing over the years.

When it comes to enjoying a cold one on the stoop after a hard day of work though, Modelo wins in a landslide.

A bottle of Dos Equis Ambar Especial
Not the OG, but a Vienna-style lager

Modelo vs Dos Equis

Dos Equis is the first Mexican beer you try after Corona. It’s true, and you know it. At this stage, you haven’t even heard of Cerveceria Modelo, and that’s ok.

Both Modelo and Dos Equis have a refreshing taste, and both are great over some tacos, but we have to give the nod to the former, as Dos Equis ever so slightly doesn’t live up to the promises made by The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Modelo vs Pacifico

Comparing these two imported beers is a challenge. Modelo brings some textural variance in its flavor, along with that “hint of herb”, while Pacifico leans on a little extra bitterness to get the job done (perhaps a higher IBU rating?).

A bottle of Tecate Original
Can't go wrong with a Tecate

Modelo vs Tecate

We like Tecates. We enjoy enjoying them over a handful of chips and salsa. However, to us, a Tecate has always felt a bit more beer-y than the rest of the Mexican lagers we’ve tried.

If Tecate and Corona were the opposite ends of a seesaw, then Modelo Especial would be right in the middle.

A tallboy can of Bud Light
THE light beer of light beers

Modelo vs Bud Light

Every day of the week. That’s what we say when we compare Bud Light to Modelo. As in, we’d take a Modelo every day of the week over a Bud Light.

Bud Light might claim to have a light hop character, and that could be true, but to us, it’s more like a light beer character. As in, you’re two steps away from drinking water - that middle step is reserved for Mic Ultra.

A tallboy can of Budweiser, a 5% ABV beer
The King of Beers

Modelo vs Budweiser

Ok, at least we’re closer to an even playing field with Budweiser than it’s light counterpart. The difference here is the orange blossom honey aromas of the Modelo. They’re both mass produced corporate lagers, but somehow, drinking a Modelo makes you feel like less of a sell-out.

Who Imports Modelo beer?

Modelo is imported by Crown Imports LLC. The two companies that make up Crown Imports LLC are Constellation Brands, who is all over your aunt’s kitchen with brands such as Arbor Mist, Woodbridge Wines, Effen Vodka and various Schnapps brands, and Grupo Modelo, S.A. de C.V., the producers of the biggest beers in Mexico (Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, and others).

Casa Modelo is well known in the United States, as the Mexican beer brand completes 2.9 billion dollars worth of sales of Modelo each year. Corona, a sister beer to Grupo Modelo, is next in line when it comes to importation, selling upwards of 2.75 billion dollars of product in 2020.

These numbers far outpace competitive mexican beers such as Dos Equis XX, Pacifico, and Tecate, as well as European brands such as Heineken, Stella Artois, Guinness, Labatt and Fosters.

About Grupo Modelo

Grupo Modelo is a Mexican brewing company founded in 1925. It is headquartered in Mexico City. The company sells beer under the following brands: Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, Pacífico, Victoria, Estrella Jalisco, Negra Modelo and León.

Grupo Modelo also exports beer to the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. In 2013, it was the largest brewer in Mexico and seventh largest in the world. Corona Extra is one of the best-selling beers worldwide. Grupo Modelo has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev since 2013.

The history of Grupo Modelo starts with two entrepreneurs: Don Jesus Sanchez Mejorada and Don Eugenio Garza Sada. In 1925, they founded Cerveceria Modelo, which was later renamed Grupo Modelo in 1931. Today, Grupo Modelo has over 65% of the Mexican beer market share.

Grupo Modelo is committed to brewing the highest quality beers. Their state-of-the-art brewing facilities use the latest technology to ensure that their beers are of the highest quality.

ABV 4.4