Author Topic: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)  (Read 428 times)

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« on: December 29, 2017, 04:53:36 PM »
Next week my wife and I are travelling to La Paz Mexico to visit family friends who are retired down there.  I've done a little bit of research and the microbrew scene in Mexico seems to be fairly poor.  The few I've found are located near the border like in Tijuana.  There is one brewery in Cabo called Baja Brewing (run by an American from Colorado, not surprising) they have a location in Cabo San Lucas and in La Paz.  Friends of ours have been there and said it's not very good, but we may check it out anyway, different tastes and all, plus it's a long trip (9 days) so it won't "ruin the trip".  If we were only there for a day or two we would likely skip it.

There's a beer bar in La Paz called the Beer Box that seems pretty highly reviewed.  Does anyone know of any other can't miss spots? Bars, restaurants etc? 

Of course, we'll also be partaking of the local spirits (Tequila, Mezcal) and probably bring a couple bottles back. So if there's no beer, it'll probably be OK.
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Online EnkAMania

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 05:17:57 PM »
I went to Baja brewing in Cabo and it was meh. 
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2018, 12:52:42 PM »
Ended up not trying Baja Brewing after all.  Never went to Cabo at all and only spent a short time in La Paz (their two locations). 

Did however find a really good brewery in Todos Santos (on the pacific side, Southeast of La Paz) called Todos Santos Brewing.  Run by an Australian couple, very American/New World style, 3 different IPAs, a Black IPA, Brown Ale, Red Ale, Blonde Ale, Stout etc. 

Also tried some Cerveza Fauna from Mexicali that likely would have been pretty good if it hadn't been so old.  Apparently the tiny C-store in El Sargento doesn't get restocked that often.  (Not surprised honestly).

For what it's worth, fresh, draft Negra Modelo is pretty good as well.
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3135
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 03:58:05 PM »
Mexico's craft scene is about twenty years behind us. You can tell because all the breweries have the traditional brewpub lineup or they make a pale ale and a lager for distribution. A lot of the beer isn't terrible but very bland. Those breweries have to educate and expose people to a world beyond adjunct lager, which is easier to do with a basic pale ale or amber than hazy IPAs and pastry stouts. It's what worked here.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 12:23:00 AM »
That's what my own research seemed to indicate.. I'm kinda surprised I found as much as I did.  I discovered Todos Santos brewing in an English language newspaper (The Gringo Gazette).  Ironically when we were in Todos Santos a couple days earlier, we were a block away but just missed it. 

The Cereza Fuana seemed a little more adventurous, they had a Belgian Blonde, a coffee porter, a 9% imperial stout, etc.. more like American craft.  Mexicali is right on the border so they probably have a lot of American customers, and may even distribute slightly into SoCal. 

They also still have pretty much a monopoly when it comes to macro beer.  Grupo Modelo and Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma are the two games in town for lagers.  Modelo does most of the ones we see in the US, Modelo, Negra, Corona etc. Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma does Dos Equis, Tecate and then some smaller brands that don't make it north, at least not to Oregon, maybe California and Arizona.   Similar to the US, but the laws are stricter. I think it's a lot harder for smaller guys to get off the ground.

I think it's growing though, so it will be interesting to see how it changes.  Certainly planning another trip to Baja California, that's for sure!
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2018, 02:57:12 PM »
How did you find Todos Santos in general? My wife and I came extremely close to staying there last month but something came up and we couldn't travel so it's on a short list for next year. We found a great house to rent on the nearby beach.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline ethinson

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 445
  • Why is the beer always gone?
    • View Profile
    • River Pirate Brewing Co.
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 01:01:20 PM »
How did you find Todos Santos in general? My wife and I came extremely close to staying there last month but something came up and we couldn't travel so it's on a short list for next year. We found a great house to rent on the nearby beach.

We were visiting friends who have a house in El Sargento and live down there (retired) half the year.  They've been visiting down there for 10+ years.  They took us to places they already knew about, otherwise we never would have known.  We realized quickly that without a local guide we would have been stuck either in La Paz or Cabo.  We couldn't have done all the things we did on our own, but now that we know they are there we know where to go back to. 

Not much in the way of a beer scene, but besides that Baja California Sur was incredible.
SE Portland - AKA Beervana
Captain and Chief Deck Swabber - River Pirate Brewing Co.
Certified BJCP Beer Judge
2015 Oregon Brew Crew Member of the Year

Offline DeeGood888

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • https://sonicesoap.com/
Re: Mexico (Baja/La Paz)
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 10:13:16 AM »
La Paz Mexico is amazing, I jealous you!