Van Dieman Mexican Lager

Smoked, Spiced Mexican Lager

There's a rapidly growing number of beers bearing the Mexican lager or cerveza tag leaving Aussie breweries as 2023 draws to a close (this is the third consecutive one posted to our New Beers page), although one – this one – is very much not like the others. Sure, while most are straightforward pale lagers with some maize in the grist there are some that feature the addition of citrus or spices or even a little chilli, but Van Dieman have gone a few steps further in creating a Mexican-themed diorama in beer form.

As well as using flaked maize, the Tassie brewers infused their estate malt with Tasmanian Manuka (tea tree) to create a smokiness, then included some Tasmanian Mountain Pepper for a touch of spice.

That said, it's the impact of the Taiheke hops from New Zealand that leads the way, playing the role of the lime wedge in a bottle or the squeeze of juice atop your taco, with the smokiness from the Manuka coming to the fore upon taking a swig. Perhaps it's a trick of the mind caused by everything else at play – including the hardworking skeletons on the label – but there seems to be a corn chip character to the taste too.

Rather then create an easygoing lager to pair with Mexican dishes, Van Dieman instead aim to bring elements of those dishes into the liquid itself, albeit in a manner that keeps things pretty light on the palate.

James Smith

Published December 11, 2023

Van Dieman

537 White Hills Road
TAS 7258

(03) 6391 9035

By arrangement only

CBCo Goldy

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