Home Brewing: How to make a bad beer better (The art of the michelada)

Have a bad macro kicking around the fridge that you don’t want to give out and you don’t want to drink yourself? Well, you could do what I do: Make a michelada.

The michelada is a popular Mexican alcoholic beverage of a genre known in Spanish as cerveza preparada (prepared beer) and in Englishas a variety of cocktail. There are several variations. In some cases it is similar to a Bloody Mary but containing beer instead of vodka, although a less complicated concoction of Mexican beer with sauces and lime juice added (see recipe below) is also referred to as a Michelada.

In traveling to Mexico – which I tend to do often – I was at first disgusted by the mixure. In Monterrey, Mexico where my in-laws live they take lime juice (fresh), a little pepper, some hot sauce or maybe salsa, Worcestershire sauce, and Clamato and a light Mexican beer. Beers I have used include Negro Modelo, Sol, Tecate, Indio and some others. Corona is not allowed within city borders thank God.


Recently, major American beer producers have begun marketing cervezas preparada, illustrating the wide variety of recipes in the Chelada/ Michelada category. For example, Miller Brewing Company produces Miller Chill which is a “Chelada-style light lager with a hint of salt and lime”. Going a different route, Anheuser-Busch is manufacturing Bud Light Chelada as a combination of lager, clamato, lime juice, and salt.

I warn, you will not like this drink at first but after a bit it will take on the same appeal as margarita. You won’t want it everyday – maybe once a month – but it is a nice way to spice up a cheap macro.


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