This coming Saturday Craft Beer Tasters is traveling to the capital of the great state of Baja, California Mexico to visit “The City That Captured The Sun” – Mexicali. This will be our 4th visit to Mexicali, but our 3rd visit for a Mexicali beer festival. The last time we visited Baja for a beer fest was last November…
November 9th, 2013 is one of the fondest memories of this Craft Beer Taster. That Autumn day I found myself visiting the capital of the Mexican state of Baja California. I was walking the streets of Downtown Mexicali, specifically Reforma St., to be exact, just across the border from Calexico, CA enjoying a “cheve” of “Cervezas Atresenales” with some of Mexico’s best craft beer brewers. The event I had attended was The Mexicali Beer Fest Artesenal. This event, truly one of the first Mexicali had ever organized. Rodrigo Hernández and Rafael González from Mexicali’s “Big Bad Brewing Company” in coordination with Héctor Corella from “Amante Cerveza Artesanal” produced the festival which featured more than 20 Mexican craft beer breweries from around Mexico and beyond.
Taking place over 10 hours in Mexicali’s beautiful “Centro Historica” - this event was part beer fest, part food fest, part concert, part beer seminar, and all fun. With an entrance fee of $100 pesos (or about $7.50 U.S.) along with an incentive of 5 free tasters for the first 1,000 guests – this event was very approachable, and bustling. Having attended multiple beer festivals around Baja (namely Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali) in the past, I was quite excited in anticipation of the atmosphere of fun and friendship that always permeates these events. What was the biggest surprise, and one that surely added to the excitement was witnessing the range of participating Mexican Breweries that were pouring at The Mexicali Beer Fest.
Beer from around Mexico, namely Los Cabos, Ensenada, Monterey, Mexicali, Mexico City, Tecate, and Tijuana were featured at this past year’s event! What breweries were on hand? Amante from Mexicali, 686 Cervecería from Mexicali, The Big Bad Brewing Co. (Tres B) from Mexicali, Cerveza Zombie from Ensenada, Cervecería Legión from Mexicali, Veintidos (22) Craft Beer from Mexicali, Cervecería Aguamala from Ensenada, Border Psycho from Tijuana, Cerveza Rámuri from Tijuana & Los Cabos, Cerveza Cucapá from Mexicali, Cervecería Reforma from Mexicali, Gato Gordo from Mexicali, Mi Cheve from Mexicali, Bad Habit from Mexicali, Cerveza Coromuel from Mexicali, Funes Cerveza Artesanal from Tijuana, Hellixir from Tijuana, Cerveza Urbana from Mexicali, Cervezas Riviera from Ensenada, Cervecería Albur from Moneterrey Nuevo Laredo, La Chingonería from Mexico City, Cervecería Mamut from Tijauna, Cervecería Península from Mexicali, Maltería Santería from Tecate, and Picachos Brewing Co from Mexicali were all be on hand to share their wares.
Craft beer, or rather “Cervezas Artesenales” from throughout Mexico were the focus of this event, but there was much more than beer on hand at last year’s fest. Food from local eateries showed off the diverse and eclectic tastes of host city Mexicali. Additionally, there were seminars about craft beer, beer tastings, and pairings for guests on hand. Moreover, special guests were lined up for this event from the The United States, and were on hand to lend their expertise to the already thriving Mexican craft beer culture. These guests included John Palmer author of “How To Brew” fame along with Ryan Brooks, Brewer at Coronado Brewing Co., Carlos Martínez, Brewmaster at Cucapá Brewing Co. (Mexicali), José Melquiades, Brewer from Coralillo Brewing Co. (Mexicali), formerly from Cucapá and brewery owners as well as head brewers from the aforementioned breweries.
Moreover, journalists from outside of Mexico were present to document the event. These individuals included yours truly Dr. Gonzalo Quintero (Dr. Q) of San Diego based Craft Beer Tasters, along with other groups of journalists and brewers from the LA area including Sarah Bennett of Beer Paper LA, Randy Clemens of Los Angeles Magazine, Erika Bolden of L.A. Weekly, Lynn Lieu of Desert Sun – Palm Springs, Roy Chavoya of Beers In Paradise, and Tomm Carroll of Celebrator Beer News. I give it up for the aforementioned journalists, many of whom were new on the scene. They packed their passports, changed their dollars into pesos, and headed to Northeast Baja last year, some for the first time, and it was great to see the festival from their perspective.
This Saturday April 12, 2014 Mexicali will be celebrating their first ever Spring Beer Fest at Vicente Guerrero Park with 16,000 sq. ft. of beer, music and absolute hoppy-ness.
Tickets for this event will cost you only $150.00 pesos (about $12 USD) and you won´t believe all that you will get.
Following their smashing success last Fall with over 3,400 visitors, 26 breweries, 7 bands and local restaurants and having a blast for over 10 hours; they have decided to host a Spring time party!
There will be 5,000 thousand people coming from all over Baja and So-Cal, 36 breweries (including San Diego, CA based breweries Green Flash and Coronado Brewing Co.), 10 local restaurants, 7 live bands, Audience Awards, and Artist performances.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS EVENT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Héctor Corella Vega, Cerveza Amante, Festival Organizer
Rodrigo Hernández Mijares, Cervezas Tres B, Festival Organizer
Rafael González Mosqueda, Cervezas Tres B, Spiritual Guru