Monday, February 2, 2009

Cerveza de San Miguel

Finally, a place I can go for a pint of ale! Not only ale but ale on draft! Not to mention 'pint glasses' what a novelty here in Mexico.

Cameron Carroll with beer taps ^

Matthew Carroll at the bar

The new restaurant and brewery on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende called Cerveza De San Miguel has opened to the public and I visited on opening day for a couple of pints (did I say a couple, I mean a few) and to talk with the new owners Matthew Carroll and his son Cameron. Update: This brewery closed about a year after writing this post, very sad. They were still putting the finishing touches on the place when we arrived and there was plenty of wait staff to cater to the expected superbowl fans that would arrive later. I was immediately impressed with the gleaming draft tower at the bar. Eight or ten tap handles in a row mounted to a length of shining chrome, it was beautiful. We grabbed a stool and ordered the signature pale ale to start. The Carroll's both took some time to talk a little about their venture and about brewing ales. They originally planned to have their brewery on the premises until they realized the costs and difficult logistics associated with procuring large brewing equipment and materials here in Mexico. They instead opted to contract out their pale ale recipe and have the Minerva brewery in Guadalajara produce it. A beer similar to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, their pale ale is much like Sierra Nevada in color, maltiness and mouthfeel but with an English twist, in that they use Golding hops throughout the process rather than Cascade hops which produce the familiar citrus notes to the Sierra flavor. Matthew talked nostalgically about brewing five gallon batches of home brew on his three tier, gravity fed system back in the states. He has lived in Mexico now for several years after traveling back and forth to the U.S. for ten years. While talking, I ordered a stout that is brewed by Minerva and dispenced with a traditional nitrogen/co2 blend draft system that the Carroll's have installed along with a state of the art Glycol cooled serving system that runs from a walk-in refridgerator where the kegs are stored and tapped, out to the bar where the faucets disense perfectly chilled and carbonated beer. The stout is black with a thick tan head, creamy full mouthfeel and the flavors of coffee, chocolate and malt and a good bitterness from the hops and roasted barley. Besides their own beer and the Minerva brands, they also have several Modelo and Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma brewery brands on tap. Matthew Carroll said he hoped to expand the business in the future, possibly adding the brewery to the facility and liked the idea of having seasonal and specialty beers available throughout the year. Next I tried the Vienna lager and I was very impressed. The beer fits the classic definition of the style, with big malt flavor, slightly sweet but a nice hop balance. A very quaffable beer and far superior to the Modelo brand. I didn't get the chance to try Minerva's 'Colonial', which is a Kolsh style lager so I will be heading back soon, maybe I'll see you there.
To get to Cerveza de San Miguel, go past the Fabrica Aurora a couple of minutes by taxi. It is on the paved highway just out of town.
Cerveza de San Miguel
Kilometro 2.5 Carretera a Dolores San Miguel de Allende GTO, C.P. 37700

Not to be confused with cerveza san miguel (Grupo Mahou San Miguel, the Spanish beer brewery ) or the San Miguel Brewery in the Philippines

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