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It’s Modelo Time: The Mexican Lager Is Now the Best-Selling Beer In U.S.

Modelo had already been enjoying a pop-culture resurgence in L.A. thanks to a viral video in 2018 that coined the phrase, "It's Modelo Time." However, at the same time, there was a boycott in Mexicali against Modelo's parent company, Constellation Brands, for intending to open up a brewery in a part of northern Mexico with very little water. This new shift comes on the heels of a boycott against Bud Light.

3:12 PM PDT on June 14, 2023

    After months of boycott from right-wing and conservative beer drinkers, Bud Light's ranking in American beer sales has slipped to #2.

    The new best-performing beer in the country is now Modelo Especial. This is according to retail dollar sales in the month ending June 3, according to Nielsen data analyzed by Bump Williams Consulting.

    The dethroning of Bud Light comes after its parent company, AB InBev, sent personalized cans to transgender actress and personality Dylan Mulvaney on April 1, 2023, featuring her face and a message of support. Mulvaney posted a video of the cans to social media and ignited a firestorm on the far right.

    The video triggered a backlash from some American conservatives and transphobes, including entertainer Kid Rock, who posted a video shooting Bud Light cans with a gun and helped instigate a boycott against Bud Light and Anheuser-Busch more broadly.

    Bud Light's sales fell between 11 to 26%, according to Newsweek. In May 2023, AB InBev's stocks fell 20%.

    Modelo had already been enjoying a pop-culture resurgence in Los Angeles thanks to a random viral video in 2018 that coined the phrase, "It's Modelo Time."

    At that same time, there was also a years-long boycott against Modelo and its international parent corporation, Constellation Brands, in northern Mexico as the company intended to build a brewery in an extremely drought-stricken region of Mexicali.

    The brewery threatened the region's precious water supply, and protestors sometimes used violent tactics to gain momentum. The Mexicali community ultimately thrived in the boycott, named "Mexicali Resiste." After nearly four years of boycotting, Mexico's current president, AMLO, intervened and stopped the brewery from being built.

    The shift to Modelo could be a perceptible indicator of the changing demographics of the U.S., as a beer brand marketed as Mexican is overtaking a beer long trumpeted as a cornerstone of true-blue 'Murican heritage. We get the feeling Kid Rock fans aren't ditching their Buds for a chela, and there's another force driving the popularity of Modelo.

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