First it was masks, then hand sanitizer and toilet paper, then pork ... now it's Mexican beer?
Perhaps one of the most heated debates in Mexico during the pandemic — after disagreements about personal protective equipment and testing — is the burning issue of whether beer should be considered an “essential” item during the lockdown.
Mexico ordered the closure of most “non-essential” industries in late March, including some of the country’s major breweries. The government’s strict stance has not convinced the National Alliance of Small Business.
“At this time of social isolation and unbearable heat, the demand for beer is more than obvious, and it also makes staying at home more bearable,” the alliance said in a news release issued in mid-April.
Now it appears the effects of Mexico’s domestic squabble have spilled across the border into San Diego where, in some areas, it's becoming difficult to purchase one of the region's favorite brews, Tecate. Checks at Ralphs on Sports Arena Boulevard, Vons in Mission Hills and Ralphs in Pacific Beach yielded a solitary 12-pack of the red-and-silver cans in Mission Hills, though the calorically challenged were still able to purchase Tecate Light – some would say, no thanks – in PB.
“The last bottles of Tecate, Corona, Modelo Especial and Dos Equis for Mexican consumption rolled off the lines in early April,” MSN reported this week. It’s not like the country has gone dry, either – wineries are still producing, according to the same report.
A longtime employee at Crest Beverage, which is located on our favorite new San Diego street name -- Liquid Court -- confirmed that the distributor, which handles the major Mexican brands Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, Victoria and Dos Equis, said, “We are out of completely out of stock” of Tecate. He added that customers call and ask for the beer, but “nobody’s really shocked, they understand. The breweries are shut down for the most part, so what can we do about it?”
Corona and Modelo drinkers are safe for now, still brewing beer for U.S. -- but not Mexican -- consumers, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
So what’s a beer drinker to do? Well, some smaller stores may yield hidden caches, and one can theoretically get a Tecate at some of the newly reopening restaurants, which, presumably still have stock on hand. And, of course, there are always Mexican restaurants, whose supplies may not yet have dried up. Whichever way you get your hands on one, drink it like it’s your last – it could be for a while, at least.