Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Modelo Brewery tour

A classic Vienna Lager

We spent our last weekend in Mexico City, partly to explore and enjoy one of the largest cities in the world and also for the convenience of an easy ride to the airport. I was determined to visit the Modelo Brewery before leaving Mexico. After all, a major portion of all beer consumed in Mexico is produced by Modelo and a major portion of all the beer I consumed was Modelo. A battered V.W. bug taxi got us from our downtown hotel room to Modelo in about 20 minutes through heavy traffic. Once inside the air-conditioned and I might add 'shabby' lobby we waited. I have to say here that for a company that I suspect makes millions in profit from the sale of beer, they could have spent a few hundred at least on a new couch and some decorator items. We sat patiently on a tattered green Naugahyde sofa of the 60's era as a few other tourist (locals) joined us. Finally, a tour guide led us all through to the cafeteria for a sample of beer and cheese before we went into the production plant. We were assigned an English speaking tour guide and she nodded approval when we informed her of our interest in Modelo and our own brewing experience. Then she confiscated our camera and said no picture taking was allow in the plant...."for security reasons". We also had to turn over identification for reasons unknown. Then we headed into the promised land of large lagering. We stopped at a colossal sculpture of St. Gambrinus where our guide took our picture. Then into the first of many huge buildings. We progressed form the mashing to boiling to chilling to lagering. On the way out to collect our belongings and the complimentary 'Victoria' water bottles, stickers and of course the picture of us with St. Gambrinus we passed the grain silos. At the time a semi truck was unloading grain into the portal to the silo and I insisted that our guide find out where that grain came from. She spoke some spanish to the labored that was unloading the truck and informed me that the grain came from a maltster in Mexico City that was owned by Modelo. After some further questioning I determined that it is possible to get some grain from Modelo at their malting company if I showed up at the plant with a truck and some money. This was good news and I felt that the entire tour was worth just that bit of information. Finally, as a afterthought I realize I have said nothing about the beer in the entry. Well, I have address Modelo beer in earlier entries and to add more here would be redundant however I will say that Modelo is like Budweiser in that millions of people drink it and enjoy it as their preference in beer and I can't negate that reality. For every beer there is an occasion.

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