Record breaking 172! What? Yeah, for those involved in homebrewing in 'the States' this number seems pretty insignificant. The number of entries for the recent American Homebrew Association competition had a staggering 7,823 entries submitted by 1,733 homebrewers so the Mexican event appears to pale in comparison but the hobby is growing rapidly in Mexico and this seemingly small number represents what will surely be the beginnings of a craft beer movement that compares with the early days of craft beer in the U.S. These low numbers compare to the number of attendees that participated in Boulder and Denver in the early 1980's. And like looking into a crystal ball, I can see the future of homebrewing in Mexico growing quickly in the same way it did (and is) in the U.S.
|Spicy Irish Ale takes gold|
There were 114 registered participants, judges and stewards according to the Competencia Amateur - Cerveza Mexico 2012 with 13 categories of beers. If you're a gringo you should go to the above link and check out how the beers are broken into styles, very interesting. And even more interesting to me is that the best of show winner was from the spiced/veg./herb category. Emilio Andrés Saldana Hernández took the ribbon for his spicy Irish ale called Tlaxco Lacandona (a loose reference to an indian tribe in Chiapas?). One of the prizes awarded was a scholarship to the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago.
Other exciting news to hear was that my friend and fellow homebrewer Francisco Kameko took the bronze for his Dunkelweizen in the wheat beer (Cervezas de Trigo) category. As a new brewer, Francisco participated in my homebrewing classes at Cabrillo College several years ago and now brews all-grain batches in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico (my home away from home) as well at at his home in S.F. Congratulations Francisco.!"The student becomes the teacher". Francisco was happy to receive the recognition for a beer that he had previously won an award for in California, a validating accomplishment. But, he said that submitting the beer in Mexico was a little difficult in that it needed to be sent by courier to Mexico city and the entry fee was an unusually high $70 usd.
|Francisco takes the bronze|
It feels good to know that the culture of brewing is becoming popular in Mexico. I'm looking forward to the expansion of the craft beer movement and a growing homebrewing movement. Maybe if more people start homebrewing in Mexico the prices for homebrewing equipment and ingredients will go down. As it stands, I can hardly afford it. We'll see. Cheers!