Wait, Tecate isn’t brewed in Mexico?

Dennis Lee
·2 min read
closeup of beer bubbles
closeup of beer bubbles

In news I wasn’t expecting, news that cut me to the core, I learned something that feels like a betrayal of the heart: Tecate isn’t brewed in Mexico. Tecate is brewed in... Holland? By Heineken?

In all the times I’ve sat on a restaurant patio waiting for my tacos to come out and sipping an ice-cold Tecate, I’ve never even thought to question its origins. And I’m not the only one: Fox Business reports that one man in New York feels so betrayed he’s actually suing Heineken.

There’s a lot on the website that suggests the beer is brewed in Mexico, including a phrase in Spanish that says “Hecha En Tecate, Baja California, Mexico,” (translation: “Made In Tecate, Baja California, Mexico”). To further contribute to the confusion, the website also displays copy that says “Born and brewed in the land we are proud to share our name with: Tecate, Baja California, Mexico.” The home page uses the word “Mexico” no less than four times.

But if you look carefully at the label on the boxes, you’ll find text that reads “Product of Holland” and “Brewed and canned by HBBV Amsterdam, Holland… Imported by Cervezas Mexicanas, White Plains, NY.” I’ll be honest. I feel duped too.

Miguel Schelmetty, the man filing the lawsuit, claims that this is deceptive advertisement. He states in court papers that if he’d known Tecate was made in Holland, “[he] would not have bought the product or would have paid less for them.” Tecate sells at a price around $11.99 a 12-pack while its competition runs cheaper. The suit also says this is “higher than the price of the product if it were represented in a non-misleading way,”

Schelmetty is asking a judge to file this suit as a class action, so other people can group together to seek damages which are currently unspecified. This news reminds me of the time I found out that Old Style, the mascot beer of Chicago, is actually brewed in Wisconsin, so I can say I know how he feels right now.