Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homebrewing Club In SMA

I met with the local homebrewers here in San Miguel de Allende and tasted a mix of Mexican homebrew. Although the group was small (only 7 of us at this meeting) all were enthusiastic about brewing beer here in SMA and sharing information about their processes.

Mexican Homebrewers
Caguama field
Behind these walls are brewers
The club doesn't have a name yet and this meeting was really the first in a series of efforts to solidify the group. A unanimous decision was made to elect Mike Baumgartner (possibly against his will) as president or at least the official organizer responsible for bringing this band of renegade brewers together for regular meetings and brew related activities.

Mike brought out several caguamas of ales that he has designated by batch number. I think we sampled #'s 9, 16 and 26? Each one tasting different than the other but all with a malt forward quality. Barry brought a good example of an English ale similar to 'Old Peculiar' and I almost guessed the secret ingredient. Fernando brought a sample of the beer he's perfecting in order to sell at his restaurant La Mesa Grande called 'La Bruja' and I brought in a few styles from the selection I'm promoting through the smallest brewery in the world 'Dos Aves' including a German hefe, pale ale and dry stout. I making good progress with the water I'm using for these beers and learning a lot about which minerals impact the aspects of beer flavor, clarity, bitterness and maltiness.

La Mesa Grande's Pale Ale

This was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Sampling homebrew and getting to know each other and discussing the topic of brewing.

All the while I'm still sampling the Mexican craft beers that are available here and although Calavera in all it's versions is readily available in a number of locations here I never got a chance until recently to review their version of the American pale ale. This is what I thought of this beer:

Calavera's American Pale Ale

The aroma is sweet, perfumy and flowery or floral with very mild citrus notes. It is slightly cloudy with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The flavor is immediately sweet light caramel maltiness, honey and alcohol even though the abv. is low at 5.4%. There is a tropical fruit quality of papaya and pineapple. This beer has a moderate to low carbonation that leaves a thin watery feel in the mouth.

They've got a great and easily recognizable logo featuring a skull in a crescent moon and it makes me consider whether the Dos Aves logo will have this same attraction to the public.
I couldn't get to their website at www.calaverabeer.com although this is printed on the label.

Anyway, I'll be reviewing other Mexican beers in the near future here as I continue to update you with the progress of the brewery. Cheers!

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