|Brewer/owner Jorgé Torales|
Jorgé Torales is probably the youngest professional brewer I've ever met. Thin and energetic he comes across as unassuming, but passionate about brewing. He and his brother who have been brewing for close to ten years, own and operate the smallest brewery I've ever come across. Toro (a play off his name, Torales) brewing or Cerveceria Toro fits easily into one of the grafittied 40'x40' roll-up storage units with plenty of room to spare. But Jorgé and his brother have managed to operate the brewery and make enough sales of their three signature beers to stay in business. In fact they have been professional brewers for the last year and a half and are looking to soon expand. After being invited in, Jorgé, obviously proud of his product, was anxious to have us sample a couple of his beers but I wanted to take a look around first.
I listened in amazement as Jorgé explained their process."The grain is mashed-in and left to rest."
Here he points out the false bottom for the tun which looks a little like an aluminum screen door."When the mash is complete the hot wort is pumped to a holding tank (their conical fermentor). This is a no-sparge process. The wort is held in the fermentor while the grain gets cleaned out of the mash tun. Once the tun is clean, the wort can then be pumped back in, the vessel is now the boil kettle. After the boil, the beer is cooled with an immersion chiller and then pumped back into the fermenter. This transfer oxygenates the wort at which point the yeast is pitched."
Jorgé brews once a week and they produce about 2,000 12oz. bottles per month. This production will double to 4,000 per month once they receive the additional fermenter that they ordered for their expansion.I noticed his malt mill against the wall in the next room. I was fascinated because it's basically the same type as I use for homebrewing in Mexico except a little larger (but not by much).
|Mash tun and boil kettle|
|False bottom screen door|
|Beer bottle labels|
ready to stick
We got up to leave and I took one last look around but there wasn't any more to it. The basics of the basic. As we said our goodbyes to Jorgé and readied to head back to San Miguel I felt privileged to witness the spears tip of the craft beer movement in Mexico. In the future, Jorgé Torales and Cerveceria Toro may very well be looked back on as the pioneers of the craft beer movement here in Mexico. They are definitely part of the beginning of craft beer movement that seems to be mimicking the U.S. of the early 80's.