Sarah Bennett Cerveza Cucapá pouring at Baja Beerfest
Last weekend, I took a car, a train, a trolley and a very long, meandering walk to downtown Tijuana for the sixth installment of the Baja Beerfest. My goal: to try as much Mexican cerveza artesanal as possible and make it back home in time for a gnarly case of the post-borracha Mondays.
With more than half of Baja California's 50 or so breweries and street food from across the state posted up in tents along main-tourism drag Avenida Revolucion, my mission was easily accomplished.
But in addition to finally getting to try horchata porters, lupulo-filled pale ales and black IPAs from breweries with names like Silenus, Insurgente and Border Psycho, I also discovered a rapidly growing beer scene full of energy, culture and promise.
Sure, proximity to San Diego has helped spur Baja's interest in craft beer making in the last few years, but Mexico's new brewers are hellbent on doing something all their own, something that rejects the Tecate and Modelo that has for decades dominated the cantina landscape and something that must be seen and tasted to understand.
Thankfully, the Asociación de Cerveza Artesanal de Baja California (the equivalent of California Craft Brewer Association) organizes annual and occasional beer festivals across the state, inviting these new small brewers to pour their latest experiments. And with more Mexican homebrewers taking their craft to the public every month, American beer fans will soon be begging to drink what's being made across the border.
In the spirit of trying new things, here's five reasons why there is no better time than now to drink Baja beer.More »