With the rip-roaring stateside success of Corona in the 1990s, the mighty Anheuser-Busch knew it would need a similar product to call its own. In hopes of blunting the runway success of the Mexican lager, the King of Beers launched its own beer in 1999 that came in clear bottles and bore a Mexican-sounding name: Tequiza.

A fusion of “tequila” and “cerveza,” Tequiza was a 5.5 percent ABV lager brewed with tequila and a bit of agave for flavoring. Despite its sweet profile, Tequiza existed outside of the blooming, yet cringe-worthy, alcopop market of the late ‘90s — think Zima and Smirnoff Ice. Instead, Tequiza was indeed a beer, and it was indeed ahead of its time.

After proving itself in a few test markets across the southwestern United States, Tequiza rolled out nationally, burned hot for a quick minute, and flamed out a few years later. While the beverage may have had more staying power if it debuted in 2023, Tequiza was a promising milestone for what was to come for the beer conglomerate. In truth, Tequiza walked so Bud Light Lime-a-Ritas could walk, and eventually so canned cocktails as a category could fly.

Today on “Taplines,” host Dave Infante is joined by Edmundo Macias, the former brand manager of A-B’s homespun Corona killer that wasn’t. He was front and center for Tequiza’s rapid rise and frustrating fall, and in this episode, your two hosts talk all about it. Tune in for more.

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