Sunday, July 7, 2013

Leaving The Land Of Great Beer

After two fantastic beer filled months in Santa Cruz I'm back in Mexico carrying on where I left off with the Cerveceria Dos Aves project. I hated to leave Santa Cruz, my good friends and homebrewing compadres, the beautiful weather and beach scene, the vibe and of course the awesome craft beers that make the Mexican craft beer scene pale in comparison. I spent more than I should have of my personal budget on beer but I was so starved for the quality craft beer that the States has to offer that I couldn't help myself. From the hoppy malty deliciousness of Drakes Denogginizer and Knee Deep's Hoptologist to the local sour scene at Sante Adairius Rustic Ales I immersed myself deeply knowing that soon I would return to a country that has a lot of ground to cover to reach the level of quality and creativity that seems to be a standard in the brewing industry in California. Of course my mission here in San Miguel is to do my part to help propel the craft beer movement in Mexico in the right direction.

Sante Adairius Rustic Ales

The morning I flew into Leon and shuttled to my new apartment I slept for a few hours before anxiously running down to the brewery to confirm that it was still intact, there weren't any floods and that it still had power. I felt good as I lifted the lid to my kegerator to see full kegs chilled and ready to be bottled or put on tap at The Beer Company. I looked inside my refers checking on more kegs, frozen pounds of hops and chilled mason jars of salvaged yeast that seemed to call out to be released into a fresh batch or receptive wort. I looked over the stacked cases of bottled beer in inventory and pulled a bottled from each batch to refrigerate for sampling later in order to see how they held up over the last two months of warm storage.
The space was a in a little bit of disarray and I could see my first task was to clean and organize including running some hot caustic cleaner through the brewing system. This I planned to follow with a soaking of acid sanitizer making sure my next batch of beer would be free of any spoiling contaminates that may have grown in the murky depths of my plate chiller while I was gone. My second task was to re-establish my contacts with the restaurants and bars that purchased Dos Aves for resale. These business owners are key to moving our product and exposing our brand to the locals and having a good relationship with them is a priority for me. I want to make sure they know that Dos Aves is not a flash in the pan like so many start-up businesses in San Miguel end up being. They need to be re-assured that they will continue to get a well made and fresh product that they will be proud to serve to their loyal customers. My strategy here is to visit each one of them taking a sample of what is currently available and hopefully solicit some sales in the near future.

Cerveceria Dos Aves

Finally, I want to brew! I badly need to satisfy my brewing fix and get my creative juices flowing. Right now the town of San Miguel is slow but in another month things will be picking up and I want to be ahead of the curve this year. Last year I found myself playing catch-up as the demand for my pale ale and Belgian tripel was unexpectedly huge. I reluctantly had to provide beers that could have benefited from another week of cold storage. I don't want to replay that regret and so getting some inventory in stock, especially the tripel would take some of the pressure off of me and the brewery capacity as the season picks up in September/October. I also want to have some specialty beers on hand as a way of getting people excited about what's new coming out of the brewery and also have on hand unique beers that could be used in beer/food pairings which are becoming very popular here.
These beer/food pairings and other events are great for exposing Dos Aves to the town of San Miguel.

So, I'm off and running and the future seems bright with possibilities for great beer and brewing experiences in Mexico.

P.S. Remember to help with my Indiogogo campaign to raise money for the brewery. Go here to see how you can support and possibly get free beer!

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