The Mexican market offers a wide variety of fermented and distilled beverages, with beer standing out as the most popular alcoholic drink. According to the National Statistics Institute (INEGI), in 2018, Mexico’s beer manufacturing industry consisted of 18 establishments and close to 13 thousand employees. In that same year, sales of beer produced in the country reached a value of nearly 169 billion Mexican pesos and a per capita consumption of approximately 65 liters. Craft beer has become popular in Mexico in the past few years, with production increasing from close to 11 thousand hectoliters in 2011 to an estimated 189 thousand in 2018. In that year, the most sold type of craft beer was the pale ale.
After beer, tequila, a distilled spirit made from the blue agave plant, is the second most popular alcoholic drink among Mexicans, with production amounting to 309 million liters in 2018. Enjoyed by 68.7 percent of men and 71.8 percent of women who drink alcohol, tequila is most consumed by young adults. The beverage is widely enjoyed in the West of the country. Recent data shows that tequila consumption is almost twice as high in Mexico’s Western region than it is, for instance, in the North. Another well-known agave-based alcoholic beverage originated in Mexico is mezcal. Its production has increased more than threefold throughout the last years: from a production volume of 1.5 million liters in 2014, it had reached five million by 2018. Both tequila and mezcal have become increasingly popular not only in Mexico, but also abroad, particularly in the United States.
The frequency in which Mexican consumers enjoy tequila, mezcal, or any other alcoholic drink varies considerably, with one third of them consuming alcohol only once a month, while one in every four claims to drink alcoholic beverages once a week. As for the amount, almost half of the consumers drink less than five glasses when attending parties, whereas 17 percent declare consuming 11 or more glasses of alcoholic beverages in every event. Whether more, or less frequently, in a higher or lower amount, consumers in Mexico have something in common: they prefer alcoholic beverages in social gatherings, particularly enjoying the company of family and friends.