What You Didn't Know About Tecate

Whenever you want to celebrate with a south-of-the-border adult beverage, grabbing a signature Mexican beer makes any moment feel more festive. The Mexican brewing tradition dates back hundreds of years — according to Beer and Brewing, German and Austrian immigrants began widespread brewing operations in Mexico during 1864. By the beginning of the 20th century, the country boasted more than 35 independent breweries. When we think of Mexican beer these days, Tecate immediately springs to mind as one of the most easily-found Central American beers at most supermarkets. While this beer makes us imagine hot, sunny beaches and serves as a great pairing to spicy meals, you might start associating it with tulips, windmills, and wooden clogs after learning about its true country of origin. 

According to The Takeout, if you examine a box of Tecate very carefully, you can find the phrases "Product of Holland" and "Brewed and canned by HBBV Amsterdam, Holland... Imported by Cervezas Mexicanas, White Plains, NY," printed on the sides of the packaging. This iconic beer has in fact been brewed in Amsterdam by Heinekin and masquerades as an authentic Mexican beer, despite the beer's website containing copy stating "Born and brewed in the land we are proud to share our name with: Tecate, Baja California, Mexico," and "Hecha En Tecate, Baja California, Mexico," (via The Takeout). If you feel betrayed by this news, you aren't alone.

Is Tecate committing food fraud?

One New York resident didn't take this news kindly and decided to take action. According to Fox Business, Miguel Schelmetty has filed a lawsuit against Tecate for the false advertisement due to the fact that "[Tecate] sold more of the Product and at higher prices than it would have in the absence of this misconduct, resulting in additional profits at the expense of consumers," the court documents explain. Schelmetty additionally has asked the judge presiding over the lawsuit if the case can get filed as a class action lawsuit, so that others who feely equally wronged may join and seek compensation for the damages dealt through this misleading labeling.

Next time you want to crack open a cold beer, think twice about where the beverage says it came from. Despite Tecate's Dutch origin, you can't beat its crisp, refreshing taste and the beer still goes great with barbeques, hot summer days, and relaxing on the beach. Time will tell if the beer gets rebranded to show off its European roots, but until then, we can only keep appreciating the drink for its taste, even if it can't claim to have authentic Mexican roots.