Celebrating Cinco 

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Jason Jacobsen

Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates the 1862 Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla, is coming up this weekend. While the holiday is probably a bigger deal in the United States than it is south of the border, it's still a great excuse to quaff an ice-cold, Mexican-style lager. Here are three for your consideration:

Mazama Brewing Salud!, $1.89-$2.09

This pours a light amber, something like a Dos Equis, but with a more generous head that leaves an attractive lacing. It's definitely a malt-driven lager on both the nose and on the palate. Soft hop aromas with a touch of spice add interest to the brew, while smooth biscuit and light citrus notes back those malt flavors. It's a well-balanced, worthy effort from this Corvallis, Oregon-based brewery.

Melvin Heyzeus, $1.59-$1.89

A crystal-clear, straw-colored brew, this pour is topped by an egg-white head and offers the subtle aroma of cornbread and a hint of fruity hops. The flavors are a lively mix of lightly bitter citrus and sweet, creamed corn, with touches of cracker, melon and spice. Completely refreshing, it finishes clean and crisp. This is a fitting tribute to light Mexican lagers.

Tecate Original, $1.19-$1.49

A paper-thin head tops this clear, golden pour. Other than a touch of herb, there isn't much happening aroma-wise. The flavors are light and clean with soft malt, bread dough and earthy grain coming through—a hit of lime and a sprinkle of salt couldn't hurt.

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