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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tap Handle #396: Cervecería Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma - Dos Equis Ambar

Tap size:  11"
Rarity:  Rare
Mounting:  internal 3/8" nut

I had initially associated this tap with Mardi Gras, but it was actually created in 2013 as part of a Halloween promotion that included a contest to win a trip to Miami and be in the Dos Equis Ultimate Masquerade Party. The promo ran from September 1st to October 31st, 2013. As a result, this tap, and its companion green tap for the lager, were limited and are hard to come by. I didn't take a lot of photos because the front and back are simply reverse images of each other, as are the sides to each other. The painting and decals are really quite beautiful...the mottled paint was hard to capture on camera.

Click through to read more about the Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma brewery, their Dos Equis brand, and to see more photos of this beautiful tap...

The Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma brewery was founded in Monterrey, Mexico in 1890 by José Calderón Muguerza, José A. Muguerza, Francisco G. Sada Muguerza, Alberto Sada Muguerza, Isaac Garza Garza (brother in-law of Francisco and Alberto, married to their sister Consuelo Sada Muguerza), Joseph M. Schnaider, and Wilhelm Hasse. Hasse was a German immigrant who wanted to brew German beer in Mexico. His opportunity came thanks in part to Emperor Maximilian I, who in 1864 had left his native Austria and seized power in Mexico, bringing with him Polka music, the backing of the Habsburg and Bonaparte dynasties, and a love for dark Vienna lagers. Maximilian was executed in 1867, but the brewery continued to produce his beer until it was purchased by Hasse and his partners for 150,000 pesos, with Carta Blanca becoming their first brand. Cuauhtémoc brewery produced its first beer barrel in 1893 and won first prize in the Chicago and Paris world fairs.

During the Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910, the brewery's founders supported Victoriano Huerta. As a consequence, his rival Venustiano Carranza seized the brewery, so the families fled to Texas. They re-acquired the brewery through the intervention of U.S. and Russian diplomats. In 1943, company executive Eugenio Garza Sada with his brother and other prominent people founded the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), and in 1973, the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame was opened at the site of the company headquarters. Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma was headed by Jose Calderon Muguerza and the two Garza Sada brothers Eugenio (who was assassinated in 1973 in a kidnapping attempt by Mexican left-wing guerrillas) and Roberto. After Eugenio Garza Sada's assassination, Eugenio Garza Lagüera, a son of Eugenio Garza Sada, was named CEO of Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma.

When oil prices fell in 1981, Mexico's economic boom, financed with borrowed money, abruptly halted. Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma's holding company found itself more than $1 billion in debt the following year. Only nationalization of the bank that the holding company had invested in saved the company and the brewery. In 1985, the integration of brands that had diverged over the years added XX, Superior, Sol, and Noche Buena to Carta Blanca, Tecate, Bohemia and Indio. In 1988 Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A. de C.V.(FEMSA) was formed as the main subsidiary containing the beer and other companies. In 1991 Javier Garza Sepulveda, who owned 47 percent of the holding company, tried to wrest control from Eugenio Garza Sada. Sepulveda filed several suits charging Sada with fraud and mishandling, but was unsuccessful due to the corrupt Mexican judicial system. In 1994 FEMSA sold a 22 percent share of its beer business to John Labatt Ltd. of Canada and signed an agreement with Labatt to associate their respective companies in the United States. In 2010, the Dutch brewing company Heineken International announced it would acquire the beer activities of FEMSA, including Cuauhtémoc-Moctezuma Brewery.

The Dos Equis brand was created by Hasse in 1897. He originally named the lager “Siglo XX” as a Roman numeral way of ushering in the upcoming 20th century, but over the years it came to be called Dos Equis, which is Spanish for “two Xs.” Dos Equis has gained in popularity recently thanks to its "The Most Interesting Man in the World" advertising campaign created in 2007 and featuring the tagline, "Stay thirsty, my friends."

Ambar, an amber lager, was created later and was first exported to the U.S. in 1973. It has a burnt caramel amber color with a thick foamy head and a soft, caramel malty nose. The palate features a very creamy, soft and clean maltiness with a very subtle hint of chocolate. The beer slowly thins into the finish, where it is slightly sweet.

Ratebeer weighted average: 2.44 out of 5
Beer Advocate: 72 (okay)

Source Material
Dos Equis website

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