What Type of Beer is Modelo Negra? Full Details on This Great Brew

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Modelo Negra is a dark lager brewed by Grupo Modelo in Nava, Mexico. The beer is celebrated by beer drinkers for its captivating chestnut color and flavors of brown bread, caramel, and roasted nuts. 

Negra Modelo could fit into several different beer types, but the use of corn as an adjunct ingredient places it squarely in the International Dark Lager category or BJCP Category 2C.

What Makes Modelo Negra a Dark Beer?

The color of a beer is derived primarily from barley malt. Malt can be kilned or roasted to different levels, imparting a wide array of colors and subsequent colors from the roasting process. Darker malts, like Vienna and Munich varieties, are heated to the point that the grains take on a bread crust flavor and browned appearance.

This process, referred to as the Maillard Reaction, is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars to create melanoidins, the compounds that give browned food its distinctive flavor. 

Modelo Negra Flavor

The beer reminds me of freshly baked brown bread, a la Steakhouse, and Diet Coke. If you unpack that statement a bit, you will discover toasted bread, roasted nuts, and light caramel. 

The roasted malt flavor is balanced with a spicy, noble hop character. This beer is lovely, and even if I’m drinking one in the summer, it gives me a bit of a shiver, like I’m drinking it on a cold fall day.

See here for Andy’s detailed review of Modelo Negra.

See also:

Modelo Negra Brewing Process and Ingredients

Barley malt is crushed and mixed with hot water during the mash. The mash process activates enzymes in the malt to break down long-chain starches into more fermentable sugar molecules. 

The malt solids are separated from the sugary liquid known as wort and transferred to the kettle. There, the wort is boiled, and hops are added to impart bitterness, flavor, and aroma. At the end of the boil, the hopped wort is again moved to a fermenter via a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger cools the wort to a suitable temperature for adding yeast. 

Negra Modelo is a lager; thus, the fermentation process calls on the use of lager yeast. This yeast ferments the best at temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a smooth, clean beer. 

After the beer has fermented and rested, it will be packaged and available for sale. 

How Many Calories in Modelo Negra?

Negra Modelo has 172 calories per serving. This is slightly above average for a beer that is 5.4 percent alcohol by volume (see here for info on popular beers and their calorie counts). 

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Best Way To Drink Modelo Negra?

Modelo Negra can be drunk super cold, but if you allow the beer to warm, you will have the pleasure of more flavor and aroma. I prefer it right out of the bottle or in a frosted mug. 

What To Eat With Modelo Negra

Modelo Negra’s bready caramel flavors are perfect for roasted meats. Think Mexican-style pork chops, Chicken Mole, and steak tacos. 

What Do Other People Think of Modelo Negra?

Most beer geeks have a reserved appreciation for Modelo Negra. And, if beer geeks like it, the general public (Influenster) will inevitably be less thrilled.

ReviewerModelo Negra
Untappd3.8 out of 5
Rate Beer3.5 out of 5
Influenster4 out of 5
Beer Advocate77 (okay)
Average3.7 out of 5

Beers that are like Modelo Negra

Some beers that are similar to Negra Modelo

  • Devils Backbone Old Virginia Dark
  • Dixie Blackened Voodoo
  • Saint Pauli Girl Dark
  • San Miguel Dark
  • Session Black Dark Lager
  • Shiner Bock.

Final Thoughts on Modelo Negra

In a world of overhyped craft beers and bland commercial beers, Negra Modelo is a beacon light for those who simply want a tasty beer. 



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Andy Sparhawk is an avid beer lover and the former editor-in-chief for CraftBeer.com. Andy is the lead writer for The Beer Babe and lives in Westminster, Colorado, with his family. As beer enthusiast and experienced beer judge, he loves sharing his experiences with The Beer Babe's dedicated audience of beer enthusiasts.