Indio beer is brewed by Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma in Monterrey, Mexico is 5 percent ABV.
This column has not delved into many Mexican beers, mostly because the majority of them are bland, mass-produced light products that differ little from their counterparts around the world.
If I had to name my favorite beer from south of the border, it would probably be Noche Buena, a dark beer that I used to find during the holidays. However, I have not seen it - in Wisconsin at least - for many years. Dos Equis Amber and Negra Modelo also are nicely made beers from Mexico.
It was a pleasant surprise to run into Indio. There is nothing outrageous or extreme about it - just a solid, amber-colored lager with a pleasant caramel malt flavor and enough bitterness to balance the malt out. The sweetness is minimal, allowing the drinker to taste the malt, not the sugar.
What is outstanding about Indio is that it is exceptionally crisp and refreshing. The 5 percent ABV beer doesn't have a champagne effervescence, but the carbonation is almost tingly while still allowing all the flavors to come through. It's also a very clean-tasting beer, both in the drinking, the finish and the aftertaste. It somehow maintains a solid mouthfeel throughout this.
The herbal hops used in Indio are noticeable and a welcome change from the piney hops used in many American amber beers.
The Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma brewery is a subsidiary of Heineken and also produces Tecate, Dos Equis and Carta Blanca in Mexico. I have no hesitation saying that Indio is a much better beer than Heineken and compares favorably with any of the world's amber lagers.
Bohemia is another beer from the same company that is also of high quality. It's a pilsner that shares the bright, clean characteristics of Indio with an emphasis on pale malts and a bit more bitterness. The German hops come through nicely, also.
It pains me to see the popularity of mediocre Corona beer when there are much better choices to be had from Mexico. It takes more than a cute, trendy ad to fool a true beer aficionado.