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Tesgüino is a corn beer made by the Tarahumara Indians of Sierra Madre in Mexico.[1] The Tarahumara regard the beer as sacred, and it forms a significant part of their society.[2] Anthropologist John Kennedy reports that "the average Tarahumara spends at least 100 days per year directly concerned with tesgüino and much of this time under its influence or aftereffects.".[3]


The general Tarahumara term for an alcoholic beverage is "Sugíki"; "batári" is used when the beer is specifically made from corn or lichen flour;[4] "paciki" is used when the beer is made from fresh corn stalks.[5] While tesgüino made from corn is considered the most sacred, the Tarahumara also make beer from agave[2] and wheat,[4] as well as other alcoholic beverages made from fruits such as peaches, berries, crab apples, cactus fruits, and mesquite seeds.[6]


The beer is made from corn kernels which are soaked, then ground up, boiled and left to ferment naturally with wild yeast. A local grass is used in place of hops for flavouring.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NPR: The Sacred Corn Beer of the Tarahumara
  2. ^ a b Southwest Agave Project
  3. ^ John G. Kennedy, Tarahumara of the Sierra Madre, AHM Publishing
  4. ^ a b TARAHUMARA (rarámuri)
  5. ^ Pennington, C. W. (1983). Tarahumara. In W. C. Sturtevant (Ed.), The handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 10. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution.
  6. ^ Tesguino


  1. ^ Boza is a European beer made from wheat.
  2. ^ Pulque is a Mexican alcoholic beverage made from agave.