Brew Blog

What You’ll Need to Grow Mushrooms At Home

What You’ll Need to Grow Mushrooms At Home

Mushroom spores or culture 
Glass jars or Unicorn bags
An incubator — you can buy an incubator or make your own
A fruiting chamber — you can buy one or make your own
Substrate — vermiculite & brown rice flour
Filtered or distilled water — tap water will contaminate your inoculum
Perlite — for water retention
A spray bottle — for keeping your substrate moist
70% Isopropyl alcohol cleaning solution — 70 percent works better than 90 percent
A lighter — Bic works, but I prefer using a Zippo so I can leave it on
Nitrile gloves — for sterility
Measuring cup
Large mixing bowl
A pressure cooker or Instant Pot
Mushroom Cultivation Terms & Definitions
Substrate — This is both the medium on which mycelium will grow, as well as its source of food.
Inoculation — The process of introducing the desired organism into its growing environment.
Mycelium — The underground body of the fungi made up of millions of tiny threads.
Sterilization — The process of killing all forms of life within a substrate through very high heat (>121°C).
Pasteurization — The process of killing most forms of life within a substrate through high heat (>70ºC).
Incubation — The period needed for the mycelium to grow and colonize a substrate jar.
Fruiting chamber — The container used to stimulate the growth of mushrooms (fruiting bodies).
Mushroom Legality

Mushroom Legality

Magic mushrooms are illegal in most parts of the world (at least for now).

However, the spores of these mushrooms are often excluded from these laws entirely.

This is because the banned substance isn’t the mushrooms themselves but the active ingredients, psilocybin and psilocin. Magic mushrooms are considered a “container” for these psychedelic substances, which makes them illegal by proxy.

You can order magic mushroom spores legally in many countries, including Canada, the United States (with the exception of 2 states), the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

However, once you germinate the spores, the mycelium and mushrooms they produce are illegal.

Popular Mushroom Strains

Popular Mushroom Strains

When it comes to mushrooms, there are over 200 different species of Psilocybe species. Within these species are hundreds of strains that have been genetically isolated. 

The world is currently going through a psychedelic renaissance. Some 80 years after Alfred Hofmann first took an intentional LSD trip, many researchers are looking to mushrooms for their medicinal properties. In the field of psychotherapy, psychedelics are a point of interest for aiding PTSD, OCD, anxiety, and depression. 

Unfortunately, despite the research that has been carried out, magic mushrooms are still illegal in terms of cultivation and possession. Spores are available in some locales, but only for purposes of microscopy and research.

With so many species and sub-strains out there, how does one know what to choose? Let’s have a look at 10 of the more popular psilocybe mushroom strains.

Psilocybe Cubensis (General)

In the 1950s, a hobbyist mycologist by the name of R. Gordon Wasson took part in a shamanic ceremony in Mexico. This ceremony had previously not been open to “Westerners” before this and entailed the consumption of Psilocybe Cubensis mushrooms. 

Wasson sent samples of these mushrooms to Alfred Hofmann, who cataloged the mushroom’s four psychoactive compounds, namely psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin. 

Currently, there are over 60 different strains of psilocybe cubensis. In general, psilocybe cubensis mushrooms are resilient and are relatively easy to grow (with a few exceptions, such as Penis Envy). 

Different strains offer different experiences. Some lend to a more visual “trippy” experience, while others offer philosophical introspection. Before taking psychedelic mushrooms, it is best to research different strains that are available to you to find out which one is best aligned with your trip goals.

If it is your first time sampling a strain, always start with a low dosage and work your way up to a higher dose so that you can get a feel for it.

Golden Teacher Mushroom Spores (Psilocybe Cubensis)

Often when generally referring to “shrooms”, people more often than not tend to mean Golden Teachers. This golden brown mushroom is a very commonly produced strain. It is favored by beginner and experienced growers as resilient, tolerant, and yielding a large amount of fruit. For this reason, they are a strain that is available in abundance. They do, however, take a little longer than most other p. cubensis to produce fruit, but their easy growing requirements make up for this.

Golden Teachers, as their name suggests, have golden color caps, starting light (almost cream) on the outside and culminating in a rich, dark orange-golden center. The cap also is speckled white. The stipe (stem) of the mushroom is thick and white in color.

The potency of Golden Teachers is regarded as medium to high. The experience is reported to lean towards a philosophical mindset, inspiring deep and thoughtful conversation. Although euphoric and relaxing, the trip tends to be shorter and less visual than other strains.

Golden Teacher is also reported to be beneficial for those suffering from anxiety. Anecdotal reports indicate that Golden Teachers have a lasting effect on combating anxiety post-session, allegedly for up to 3 to 6 months.

Penis Envy Mushroom Spores (Psilocybe Cubensis)

The infamous Penis Envy strain of mushrooms is renowned for its potency. This distinctly phallic-shaped mushroom has 50% higher psilocybin content.  

The origins of Penis Envy are speculative, but many accounts claim that Terence McKenna, renowned psychonaut and ethnobotanist, found the progenitor in the Amazonian Forest. Steven Pollock, a mycologist and colleague of McKenna, was likely responsible for the discovery of the Penis Envy mutation derived from McKennas’s original progenitor.

Penis Envy is one of the more difficult strains to grow as they only drop about 5% of their spores. They also have a longer growing cycle and produce less fruit than other strains. For this reason, it is a rarer strain. The mushroom tends to have a noticeably thicker white stipe, topped with a proportionately smaller golden-brown cap.

Given the high potency of this mushroom, it is not recommended for beginner magic mushroom enthusiasts. The trip is incredibly intense which begins to take effect after 30 minutes. Users report feelings of time being distorted. The trip is very visual, and users often experience synesthesia.

 Albino Penis Envy Mushroom Spores (APE, Psilocybe Cubensis)

Albino Penis Envy is a hybrid mushroom from crossing Penis Envy and Albino PF strains.

For the most part, its physical features are not too unlike Penis Envy. Thick white stipe with a small cap. The coloring comes from the Albino PF, milky white occasionally with a dark blue cap.

APE is reportedly more potent than its PE parent strain, but otherwise, the trip is not too unlike that of Penis Envy, if not a little bit more intense. 

McKennaii (Psilocybe Cubensis)

This lab-created mushroom is named after Terence McKenna. It is considered to be quite a potent mushroom. McKennaii was grown specifically to be a large yielding strain, as well as producing intense experiences. As a result, this is a popular strain among growers.

The mushroom has a cream-colored stipe of medium thickness. Its dome-shaped cap has the golden-brown color of toasted marshmallows. In terms of growth, it is a resilient strain that grows fast and has a very high yield, making it a beginner-friendly strain for growers. McKennaii also has one of the more palatable tastes compared to other p.cubensis strains, often having a sweet flavor with a soft texture.

McKennaii is known for its very visual trip and a sense of taking a magical journey through alternate worlds. It is a great mood-enhancer, with users reporting long periods of giddiness and laughter. At higher dosages, the trip has the potential to be very self-exploratory and is ideal for those looking to work through an issue. 

PF Classic (Psilocybe Cubensis)

PF Classic is one of the most well-known strains of psilocybe cubensis. It was developed by the legendary cultivator Robert McPherson. The PF in the name of this strain refers to McPherson’s pseudonym “Psilocybe Fanaticus”. McPherson is also responsible for creating the PF Tek method of growing, which is commonly used by cultivators today.

The cap of the mushroom is larger than other p. cubensis strains and takes on a saucer-like shape. It is rust-colored with a light cream-colored stipe. The veil which holds the spores in place does not tear until the mushroom has matured. This means that cultivators can allow their PF Classic mushrooms to grow fairly large in size. This characteristic is preferable for cultivators who enjoy a clean setup.

PF Classic is a higher potency mushroom, but it is also a good choice for beginners to take. The high is comparable to a marijuana edible, with there being a strong sense of a full-body trip. The hallucinogenic nature plays on the senses, making one’s surroundings very appear and feel incredibly enjoyable.

B+ Mushroom Spores (Psilocybe Cubensis)

The B+ strain of psilocybe cubensis is an all-around beginner-friendly mushroom. Whether you are looking to cultivate or consume it. Some people have speculated that it is not a pure P. Cubensis strain but rather a hybrid created from P. cubensis and P. azurescens. 

Developed in Florida by a cultivator known only as “Mr G”, B+ has been one of the best-selling strains for cultivation since the 90s. They are less sensitive to cold temperatures and are known for having consistently large yields. A mature mushroom also contains a huge amount of spores, making it prolific among cultivators.

B+ is a mushroom of medium potency. Users report that this strain leads to a feeling of connectedness with others as well as feeling a deep sense of empathy. It offers a relaxing, almost lethargic experience and is less predisposed to nausea. It is often used by those looking for a more spiritual experience.

The cap is large and caramel in color, while the stipe is white, of medium width, and fairly long. 

Liberty Caps (Psilocybe Semilanceata)

Liberty Caps are one of the most commonly found wild mushrooms of the psilocybe genus. This is due to the versatility that allows it to grow in a number of different environments. Although originally found in Europe, it has since spread to almost every continent. 

In the wild, Liberty Caps are one of the most recognizable strains of psilocybe mushrooms. Often found in meadows and pastures. It enjoys a damp and cool environment. Unlike many other psilocybe mushrooms, Liberty Caps do not typically grow on animal dung, although it does prefer areas where the ground has been fertilized by dung. Despite being a commonly found mushroom in nature, these mushrooms have proven notoriously difficult to cultivate at home.

The cap has a distinct conical, pointed spear shape. As the mushroom ages, the cap develops furrows from the center of the cap extending outwards. The cap ranges from cream in color to brown, sometimes with olive tones. It is a relatively small mushroom with a very slender off-white stripe.

The potency of this mushroom can vary from one to the next; therefore, it is always best to start with a low dosage. The trip consists of deeply insightful thoughts, although users do report feeling a sense of depersonalization which could be alarming to some. Time and spatial distortions are to be expected.

Wavy Caps (Psilocybe Cyanescens)

Wavy Caps are known for their distinctly shaped wavy caps, as the name suggests. This outdoor-loving mushroom is often found in areas with a woody substrate. Indoor cultivation of wavy caps has some challenges. Firstly it has a long growth cycle and is very temperature-dependent, as it only begins fruiting at colder temperatures. Outdoor cultivation is more likely to yield a successful harvest.

Wavy caps have a symbiotic relationship with human urbanization; therefore, as the global expansion of humans has become increasingly more accessible, this mushroom has spread across the earth.

The wavy pileus that is the most identifiable characteristic of the mushroom is chestnut brown in color. The stipe is white in color, but due to its high content of psilocybin and psilocin, it easily bruises blue when handled. 

Wavy Caps are reported to be medium to high potency mushrooms. The trip contains bright, colorful visual hallucinations. Overall the trip is very akin to that of psilocybe cubensis strains.

Flying Saucers / Azzies (Psilocybe Azurescens)

Originally found in Oregan, USA, P. azurescens by Boy Scouts, it was officially classified in 1996 by renowned mycologist Paul Stamets. For the most part, this is a rarer mushroom, growing almost exclusively on the US Pacific West Coast. 

Much like Wavy Caps, Azzies prefer colder temperatures, as well as woody substrates for growth. They also prefer outdoor cultivation rather than indoor.

Nicknamed “Flying Saucers” due to the very unique shape of their caps. The cap is also a rich golden color that can grow up to 10cm in diameter. They have a thin stripe which also tends to bruise dark blue with handling.

Psilocybe Azurescens are the most potent mushrooms of the psilocybe genus. They have a high concentration of psilocybin, psilocin, baeocystin, and norbaeocystin – the 4 psychoactive compounds in magic mushrooms. It is estimated that these quantities are two to three times more potent than that of P. cubensis strains. Its high potency makes it a suitable mushroom for micro-dosing.

The vast number of mushrooms in the psilocybe genus can make choosing the right mushroom for you a daunting task. Hopefully, our list has provided you with helpful information. Before cultivating or consuming magic mushrooms, research the legality of doing so in your area so that you don’t accidentally end up on the wrong side of the law. 

Additionally, if you are choosing to consume mushrooms, ensure that you start by ingesting a low dosage so that you can avoid any adverse effects. 



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. By The original uploader was Lex vB at Dutch Wikipedia. - Originally from nl.wikipedia; 
Various examples of mycelium in different sizes, environments and species.

Mycelium (plural mycelia) is a root-like structure of a fungus consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae.[1] Fungal colonies composed of mycelium are found in and on soil and many other substrates. A typical single spore germinates into a monokaryotic mycelium,[1] which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible monokaryotic mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium, that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms.[2] A mycelium may be minute, forming a colony that is too small to see, or may grow to span thousands of acres as in Armillaria.

Through the mycelium, a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment. It does this in a two-stage process. First, the hyphae secrete enzymes onto or into the food source, which break down biological polymers into smaller units such as monomers. These monomers are then absorbed into the mycelium by facilitated diffusion and active transport.

Mycelia are vital in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for their role in the decomposition of plant material. They contribute to the organic fraction of soil, and their growth releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere (see carbon cycle). Ectomycorrhizal extramatrical mycelium, as well as the mycelium of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, increase the efficiency of water and nutrient absorption of most plants and confers resistance to some plant pathogens. Mycelium is an important food source for many soil invertebrates. They are vital to agriculture and are important to almost all species of plants, many species co-evolving with the fungi. Mycelium is a primary factor in some plants’ health, nutrient intake, and growth, with mycelium being a major factor to plant fitness.

Networks of mycelia can transport water [3] and spikes of electrical potential.[4]

"Mycelium", like "fungus", can be considered a mass noun, a word that can be either singular or plural. The term "mycelia", though, like "fungi", is often used as the preferred plural form.

Sclerotia are compact or hard masses of mycelium.

Reevaluating Dry Hop Techniques

Reevaluating Dry Hop Techniques

Reprinted from BSG Craftbrewing.

As craft brewers, many of us have adopted a brewing-inspired version of the ”day you stop learning...” mantra: “The day we stop improving, is the day we turn in our boots.” Inspired by that attitude, maybe it’s time to reconsider your dry hopping procedures, or at least take a hard, educated look at them.

With that attitude in mind, here’s a look at some more recent dry hop studies that might help you take a refreshed look at your brewery’s dry hopping methods.

Contact Time and Aroma Extraction

Everyone seems to have their own formula when it comes to the length of time the beer is on hops to control the intensity of dry hop aroma. Often, when it comes to maximizing aroma, the assumption has been the longer the better. Some recent research, however, suggests that may not be the case.

Several studies have shown that concentrations of monoterpene alcohols and hydrocarbon hop fractions reach near-full extraction in beer after being on dry hops for just 24 hrs. Further, some of these constituents can come out of the beer solution and back into hops due to those aroma compounds’ hydrophobic nature. Additionally, hop thiols such as 4MMP, known for their fruity, tropical aroma, are also extracted rather quickly, with most being found in beer within 2 days of dry hopping. 1, 2 Considering contact time as a way to mitigate hop creep on beer with higher dry hop loads, it may be time to consider how long you are leaving your beer on hops.

Sensory studies bear out what chemical analysis has shown when it comes to aroma extraction. Aroma intensity was the same for beers dry hopped with pellets for six hours and four days. Shorter dry hop times were also rated with higher fruity characteristics from monoterpene alcohols and thiols while longer dry hopped beers were ranked higher for herbal notes from polyphenols. 3

Considerations for Agitation

Agitating or stirring has been known to shorten dry hop time needed for effective extraction of desired hop aroma in beer. Under laboratory conditions, active mixing of dry hops was shown to maximize both hydrocarbon and monoterpene alcohol extraction in as little as four hours- with subsequent reduction of these compounds over time. Hop astringency and bitterness increased under agitated dry hop routines suggesting it’s possible to “over extract” undesirable hop compounds. This is confirmed when looking at polyphenol levels in long-agitated beers. Brewers should also be aware of how the type of pump they use when recirculating this way can affect their final beer. Shear forces and their effects not only on hops but also how they may act on any yeast left in the tank should be considered. There is evidence that high-shear mixing can lead to the extraction of undesirable flavors in beer from both hops and yeast, especially when both are present. 4

The Benefits of a Quick-Turn

While turning out a tank of finished beer more quickly may be a benefit production-wise, shorter hop contact time may also reduce certain unwanted hop flavors and aromas in your beer. Potentially undesirable polyphenol compound levels increase over time, meaning getting the beer off dry hops can reduce overly herbal hop character. Sensory analysis has shown that while perceived bitterness increased, iso-alpha levels decreased over time as hop leaf material absorbed iso-α-acids in beer. 2 In some extreme cases, polyphenol extraction has been attributed to what some are calling “hop burn” in dry hopped hazy beers.

Temperature: Aroma Extraction & Mitigating Hop Creep

When considering beer temperatureduring dry hopping, research has shown that dry hop extraction happens quicker than originally thought, even at 34-39°F (1-4°C). In fact, linalool extraction time was reduced when dry hopping occurred at cooler temperatures (34-39°F, or 1-4°C), finding maximum extraction after two days. Linalool levels were the same in warmer dry hopped beers after two weeks. 2 Again, when looking at methods to mitigate hop creep, it should be noted that hop diastase has been shown to be reduced at cooler temperatures.

Tank Volume & Geometry

It may be no surprise that the volume and geometry of the tank you are dry hopping can have an effect of the efficiency of dry hopping extraction. 5 That said, how many brewers adjust their dry hop recipe for different tanks?

If you are dry hopping a 100 bbl tank from the top but the original recipe was written for a 20 bbl batch, then simply multiplying the dry hop addition weight by five may not give you the same results. While there is no algorithm we can suggest, simple arithmetic does not take into consideration the contact time of the pellets with beer as they fall through the height of a full tank nor the effects of Fick’s law of diffusion (a favorite of dry hop fans). In this instance, trial-and-error may prove the best method for adjusting your dry hop weights beyond single batches. Agitating the beer/hop solution could help reduce the differences between batch sizes, but that’s not always a viable option and comes with the previously mentioned considerations.

Multiple-stage Dry Hopping

A number of brewers tout the possible dry hop extraction benefits of breaking up larger dry hop additions into smaller quantities- the multiple stage dry hop. While research has shown that there is significant positive sensory affect for multiple smaller additions on the pilot scale, the evidence is not so clear for larger size batches. 6 More comparative studies on this dry hop method is needed before any firm recommendations can be made.

Often overlooked: Impacts of Hop Variety & Addition Timing

Though we’ve looked at how hops are used in dry hopping, we’d be remiss if we didn’t look at what hops are used and when they are used in the brewing process. Brewers have often considered a variety’s total oil content when making choices for dry hopping. However, studies have shown that a higher oil content in a given variety is not a good predictor of a higher hop aroma in beer. 6 In other words, just because one lot of a hop is higher in oil, that doesn’t mean it will impart more aroma than a lower oil lot.

Though certainly not completely understood at this point, concentrations of hop oil volatiles and precursors (thiol and geraniol) should be considered when evaluating hops for aroma and dry hop additions. When considering a hops contribution to aroma in today’s hazy beers, the relationship between essential oils and precursors and beer aroma is further complicated by yeast enzymatic activity on these hop components. So, despite several yet-unknowns, it’s fair to say it’s the makeup of these essential oils that matters most, not the amount of total oils.

When selecting hops for maximum aroma potential it makes sense to look at a hop’s volatile oil and precursor levels. For example, Lafontaine and Shellhammer suggest that geraniol precursor dominant hops may be better suited for pre-fermentation additions or added during fermentation where yeast can convert the precursors to more potent aroma volatiles. Meanwhile, hops that are rich in geraniol would work better in dry hop additions where they volatiles will not be lost in kettle evaporation and don’t rely on yeast metabolism. 7 Therefore, when comparing lots within a variety, higher geraniol hops may be more desirable for dry hopping.

Thiols in hops have become an increasing interest to researchers and brewers of late. These sulphur containing compounds have very low detection-thresholds and thus a large impact on aroma in beer. Unfortunately, thiol concentration data in hops is very hard to come by as they are quite difficult to measure with only a few labs across the globe capable of this analysis. While it may yet be hard to come by thiol numbers, researchers have suggested hops with higher thiol precursors could best be used pre-fermentation to maximize aroma potential. Subsequently, hops with higher free thiol levels could be used for dry hopping. Researchers also point out “the difficulty around trying to define general analytical markers of aroma hop quality… and that the timing of hop additions during the brewing process is a major consideration for determining what constitutes ‘hop quality’ for any given variety or usage.” 7

β-pinene was found to be particularly high in Centennial and CitraTM hops- two varieties favored for dry hopping. Though the oil was not extracted into the beer, it suggests that β-pinene may be a good marker for other compounds that are important to dry hop aroma in beer. No doubt we will see additional research focused on these “dry hop potential” markers in future research. For now, let us all appreciate the brewer’s skill in choosing varieties for dry hopping.

Perhaps more than with any other traditional brewing ingredient, hop research is continually offering new insights into its chemistry and interactions in beer. Dry hopping is an ever-evolving brewery activity that likely will continue to challenge how brewers hop beer. Thought cliché, brewing truly is an art and a science, and brewers are more than happy to blur those lines.

  1. Wolfe, P.H. “A Study of Factors Affecting the Extraction of Flavor When Dry Hopping Beer.” unpublished M.S. Thesis, Oregon State University, 2012.
  2. Mitter, W., Cocuzza, S. “Dry Hopping- A Study of Various Parameter.” Brewing and Beverage Industry International, March 2016.
  3. “Dry hopping potential of Eureka!TM A New Hop Variety.” BrewingScience, Vol. 72 2019
  4. Wolfe, P., Qian, M. C., & Shellhammer, T. H. “The Effect of Pellet Processing and Exposure Time on Dry Hop Aroma Extraction.” ACS Symposium Series Flavor Chemistry of Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages, 2012. 
  5. Hauser, D., et al. “A comparison of Single-Stage and Two-Stage Dry-Hopping Regimes.” J. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem 77(4) 251-260, 2019.
  6. Vollmer, D., Shellhammer, T. “Influence of Hop Oil Content and Composition on Hop Aroma Intensity in Dry-Hopped Beer.” J. Am. Soc. Brew. Chem 74(4):242-249, 2016.
  7. LaFontaine, S., Shellhammer, T. “Investigating the Factors Impacting Aroma, Flavor, and Stability in Dry-Hopped Beers.” MBAA Technical Quarterly 56(1):13-23, 2019.

Submitted by Chad Kennedy, Hop Specialist - BSG Hops

A Brief History of Mexican Lager

A Brief History of Mexican Lager

By John Moorhead

Taco lovers, guac-makers, and salsa-dippers take note: Mexican-style lagers are in and for good reason. They’re sessionable, flavorful, crisp, and smooth. The U.S. craft beer market has been slow to adopt its southern neighbor’s most popular style, the Mexican-style lager, until recently. With more and more craft brewers having a go on the style, Mexico’s beer roots are much deeper than you may know. Let’s take a look.

First New World Brewery

The term Mexican-style lager is misleading. Prior to the Spanish conquest, fermented beverages made from corn (tesgüino), agave (pulque), and honey (tepache) were common, and to this day, Mexico is home to diverse groups of people who still brew these pre-Hispanic libations the ancient way. However, the first European-style brewery in the New World was built by Don Alonso de Herrera of Spain. He’s first mentioned on August 23, 1541, with his brewery opening in 1542 in the city of Najara—though the brewery didn’t last very long.

Origins of Mexican-Style Lager

Fast forward a couple hundred years. Mexico’s brewing history is one of ups and downs. Unlike its neighbor to the north, there is no established European-style brewing tradition for much of the colonial period, but it kicked off in the 19th century after that small scuffle called the Mexican War of Independence concluded in 1821.

After the war, German and Austrian immigrants began settling in what is today Texas and Mexico, but there isn’t a direct line from those settlers to modern day, mass-marketed beer. In fact, the Mexican-style lager has more in common with Vienna lager than with the light, fizzy beers many associate with the country today, and for many years it was easier to find Vienna lager in Mexico than in its native land.

Dos Equis Origins

Mexico’s first large-scale brewer Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc, opened in 1890 and began production of a Czech-style Bohemian Pilsner.

A few years after Cuauhtémoc’s founding, German-born Wilhelm Hasse brewed a beer called Siglo XX (20th Century) to welcome in the new century. It became known best for its two Xs, and was soon renamed Dos Equis.

Dos Equis Homebrew Recipe

Originally developed by Anton Dreher in Vienna in the mid-19th century, the malty, copper-colored beer began to fall out of favor in Europe as pale lagers took over. However, brewers trained in the Vienna style made their way to modern-day Mexico, where they continued the Vienna lager tradition.

The beer’s influence greatly grew when Maximilian I, a Vienna-born member of the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico in 1864. He and his band of beer drinkers brought a love of Vienna lager with them, and although Maximilian I did not last long as Emperor—he was executed in 1867—a taste for Vienna lagers continued.

Resurgence of a Style

These German and Austrian beer origins are still around today, and there are signs that a new wave of microbreweries in Mexico are beginning to tap into their country’s roots, and the German lager tradition is getting a new look from smaller brewers.

Balanced, palate-pleasing and smooth, these lawnmower crushers will change the way you view Mexican beers. Below are a few prime examples that we think you’ll enjoy—with or without lime.

¡Viva México! ¡Vivan las cervezas mexicanas!

Mexican Lager Recipes

Sweet Mischief Vienna-Mild

After Charlie Papazian visited Bohemian Brewery in Salt Lake City, he was sold on the Vienna-style lager, but planned to brew an English mild ale. So, in true homebrewing fashion, he combined the two.

OG: 1.040, FG: 1.010, ABV: 3.9%, IBU: 25, SRM: 14

Since This is NHC I’ll Keep The Beer Names Nice and Clean…Vienna Lager

In 2015, Andy Wiegel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earned gold for his Vienna lager recipe in the National Homebrew Competition. Thanks for “clean” name, Andy!

OG: 1.050, FG: 1.012, ABV: 4.9%, SRM: 14

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reprinted from

John Moorhead, the National Homebrew Competition Director, lives in Boulder, Colorado. If he isn’t tasting, brewing, or talking beer, you’ll see him running, roaming or biking around the mountains – or cooking Thai food and blasting vinyl. Occasionally, John will write about homebrewing happenings, and if he plays his cards right, they might show up here on