Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brewing Ingredients In Mexico

I have finally found all of the reliable material suppliers in Mexico needed to successfully brew beer at home. It has taken a couple of extended trips down here to accomplish this task and I would hate for anyone else to have to go through the ordeal, so I am providing the following information to all those that live in Mexico or plan to visit Mexico long enough to brew beer while you're here.

First, a big thanks go out to Cliff Piequet at Back Street Brew Pubnow known as Hornitas Brewery who turned me on to MiCervesa. Both he and I have been searching for this source of bulk grain and ingredients going back a couple of years.

I placed a 'group buy' order with MiCervesa because they have a $250 usd. minimum. I was very happy with the service and they have a great inventory of grain. They also sell pellet hops by the pound and dry yeast by the case (38 pgks.) that can not be mixed. The pale malt is $43 for 25kilo bags. If you brew all-grain and you can make the minimum, this company is the way to go.


The other wholesale supplier is Complementos Alimenticios for malt extract. There is no minimum cost amount but the smallest quantity for DME (dry malt extract) is 25 kilo bag at $86 or $1.56 per pound. That's a good price if you're brewing extract or partial mash beers. They also have liquid malt extract. Again, the service is good but you must arrange delivery yourself. For this company and for MiCervesa I used a local courier FridayServices. Very friendly, quick service and they comunicate with you during the process which is unique and valuable here. The last wholesaler that I know of, but have no experience with, is Maltayderivados. They have bulk 6-row grain and are out of Mexico City. I think they are connected to the Modelo group. I believe that the minimum order is 50 kilos.

One thing to know about purchasing from these wholesalers is that they require you to deposit the purchase amount into their bank account and then fax or email the receipt as proof before shipping. They don't have any type of on-line payment system. Some patience is required when going to a Mexican bank to accomplish this task. Take a book to read while you wait in line.

The following are the homebrew retail outlets that are available on-line down here and have a reasonable amount of homebrew materials when it comes to ingredients and equipment. I have not tried to order from them yet so I can't comment on their service, but purchases can be made on-line and they will do the shipping with their prefered shipper. I have had some email communications with them and they are responsive and helpful. The downside to these retail outlets compared to the States is that the costs are substantially higher. So, if you can order bulk, do it. It's just another reason to brew more beer.










I hope that this information is helpful and can save you some time and effort. If you have any questions about this, ask it in the comment section below and I will respond likewise. Also, if you have more information on additional resources for brewing ingredients or equipment in Mexico, let us know. Cheers!

12 comments:

vhw said...

thanks for the info, just looking into it myself but right now is hard to find a provider with decent prices (compared to morebeer.com or homebrewing.org)

so far the advanced kit from cervezacasera seems to have the best price for a 'complete' kit but i'm still trying to figure this thing out.

again, thanks for the resources!

Beer Diary... said...

Hi VHW,
good luck with your brewing in Mx. and thanks for reading Beer Diary...

Matt Annas said...

I have looked at most of these sites and also haztucheve.com has some good prices on equipment. I just moved to the DF two months ago and brought with me some of my equipment from the US. I keg my beers as it saves me many frustrations, but now I am faced with several you do not have with bottling. Do you know of any place that sells 5# CO2 tanks? That is the main item that I cannot find down here. That and also carboys? Buckets are easier to clean but I love being able to see a work in progress.

Cheers,
Matt Annas

Beer Diary... said...

Hi Matt,
First, thanks for checking out Beer Diary...
I don't think I can help you in Mexico City but in San Miguel there is a medical gas place that sells tanks and co2. Here is the info: http://www.seccionamarilla.com.mx/Informacion/oxigenos-san-miguel/oxigeno-medicinal/guanajuato/3909900
It seems there should be a place like this where you're at. Cheers!

timo said...

Where do you get your CO2 and do American regulators work on Mexican gas tanks?

Thanks
Tim

Mark Taylor said...

Hi Timo
Tanks and regs. are the same in U.S. And Mx. I purchase gas (o2, co2) from Infra in San Miguel

timo said...

Mark,
If you are willing to pay the duties, are you allowed to bring beer making equipment into Mx?

Mark Taylor said...

Timo
There is no problem bringing home brew equip or ingredients into Mx
If you're flying down you can not bring co2 tanks on the plane

timo said...

Thanks Mark. I find that even accounting for the VAT tax, equipment is very expensive here. I wanted to bring a Blichmann 50 liter Brew Easy in. With a few fermenters. I drive. I have a pickup with a trailer. this year I just brought a motorcycle in with an assortment of draft lines,taps, gas cylinders, etc. I hope to have a 240V line put in by next year. I really want to go all electric. I am in Progreso, Yucatan. A long way from suppliers. However, in Merida, a micro brewery is about to open. The bottling laws are rather cumbersome so they installed a can line. They signed up 103 outlets to handle their product. I am so tired of Mexican beer. I am not interested in bottling. Just selling pub stile draft to a lot of Canadiens who live here. That was why I was interested in Nitrogen-CO2 suppliers.

timo said...

Hi Mark,
How did your area beat the Beer Cartel? It seems that here, in Progreso, if you are not selling Modelo Group or Sol, you can pretty much forget about a license. The town wants a non-refundable $150,000 just to apply for a license. Then if approved, another $250,000 for the license. Anyway, I am told the town will not approve the license. $150,000 down the drain if I did it.

Mark Taylor said...

Hi timo,
The two beer monopolies in Mexico (Modelo and Cuatemoc Moctezuma) were sued by SAB/Miller and Minerva a couple years ago. These large breweries are now by law not allowed to prohibit other breweries from encroaching on their market. They have been restricted to 25% of market shelf space so that Miller and subsequently craft brewers can sell their beer. We are capitalizing on this change and provide our brand to many restaurants that previously were exclusive to the Modelo brand. The License to mfg/sell is still prohibitive but if you can afford the State lic. than there are no more obstacles to success. Cheers!

timo said...

Unfortunately, the Cartel fought back by buying most of the outlets. There is not one independent outlet in Progreso or Chicxulub. In Merida, yes, there are many independents. They also procure the licences for outlets with restrictive covenants. If you sell their product, the license costs $0. To sell another product, the license is about $30K USD. Plus, in smaller places, not much can overcome the payoffs to restrict independent licenses. There can be 3 cartel restaurants in a row. If you want to open an independent across the street, all at once there are too many outlets.

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