From the Beer Writer: Rip Current Brewing might not name the beer they essentially cloned when creating Corriente Negra. Good for them, but I’m not hobbled by any legal issues, so I can share the surprisingly warm place I hold in my heart for Modelo Negra. I have downed many a gold-foiled bottle of this amber-hued Mexican lager during band rehearsals. Poolside chaise-lounging in Cancun has given me plenty of cause for consumption, as well. But living in the craft beer capital of the world, there’s little cause to reach for a macro-lager, no matter how powerful the nostalgia factor, especially with the introduction of this week’s featured beer, which has a good amount of toasty, caramely notes and just enough sweetness for it to mimic its inspiration. Throw in differentiators like Corriente Negra’s slightly increased body and greater compatibility with food, and you have yet another example of why thoughtfully constructed craft beer is superior to cost-driven, industrial-minded macro offerings.
From the Brewer: “Earlier this year, we introduced Corriente Negra Amber Mexican Lager. It was loosely based on a craft version of a mass-produced Mexican lager with negra in its name. This beer style was traditionally brewed in Vienna, Austria, but over the many decades it has become more commonly produced in Mexico with some slight modifications. Most notably, corn is introduced to reduce ingredient costs. Corriente Negra harkens back to the style’s Viennese roots, but uses a small amount of corn to keep it a Mexican-style lager. This 5.1% alcohol-by-volume (ABV), quaffable beer has a soft, elegant, toasted-dough character, and finishes crisp and dry. Our first batch was very popular and was recognized with two gold medals at the LA and SD Fairs, so we decided to rebrew it and give it a light-colored sibling. Its blond hermano, Rip Especial Light Mexican Lager, is a 4.6% ABV Mexican lager with a bit more corn to resemble those popular, clear-bottled macro lagers. Our version imparts a bit more malt complexity with hints of corn while remaining dry, refreshing and crush-able.”—Paul Sangster, Co-owner & Brewmaster, Rip Current Brewing