Coronavirus totally shuts down the Mexican beer industry

MEXICO CITY (THE WASHINGTON POST).- During the bone-dry days of Prohibition, Americans slipped over the border to guzzle beer in Mexico.

A century later, Mexican towns are the ones going dry.

The government has largely shut down beer production, saying that it is not essential during the country’s coronavirus outbreak. The last bottles of Tecate, Corona, Modelo Especial and Dos Equis for Mexican consumption rolled off the lines in early April.

Now the country has a new black market — in beer.

“Many people are desperately searching for beer,” said Raúl Funes, the head of a craft-brew association in Tijuana, just south of San Diego. “It’s like toilet paper.”Mexico’s Grupo Modelo said on April 3 it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries as it was deemed nonessential. (Reuters)

It’s not that Mexico has no booze. The wine industry is still open. But Mexican adults, on average, drink a quart of wine per year. They knock back 72 times as much beer. That is 18 gallons a person.AD

“Beer is a symbol of celebration, of refuge, it’s something to cure depression, to have at a party, a wedding, to drink at home,” said Luis Alberto Medina, the host of a radio show in the northern city of Hermosillo. “It’s always been present in Mexican culture.”

Until now.

The country’s biggest convenience-store chain, Oxxo, announced the doomsday news on April 30: It had only 10 days’ worth of beer left.

Already, six-packs were becoming as rare as cruise ships off Cozumel.

Panicked shoppers had hauled away cases from supermarkets in early April. On a recent day, word spread that a truck was delivering beer to an Oxxo in Hermosillo. A line snaked outside and continued down the highway: scores of people masked, socially distanced — and thirsty.