After a surprisingly positive experience tasting several microbrews on the market in Yucatán, I decided to give it yet another go and taste even more local beers.
As I mentioned in the previous review, in my opinion, Yucatecan craft beers have not been all that good until relatively recently. I am unsure if the dramatic improvement comes from a maturing of the industry, the use of higher quality ingredients, or perhaps an influx of new brewers with experience from elsewhere. I suspect the answer is a combination of all three.
On this occasion, I made my way to the HOP3 Festival de la Cerveza in Mérida’s Paseo 60. Unlike the Festival del Taco y Cerveza Artesanal a couple of weeks ago, this event was not held during the daytime and was not nearly as blistering hot. Festival organizers, if you are reading this, avoiding the daytime is definitely the way to go.
Several of my new favorite local beers including the American Stout by Fervor and Acasillados’ Cerveza de Miel were at the event. But in the spirit of trying something different I chose to refrain from my new favorites and try out other breweries and new varieties.
Although the sun had gone down, it was still warm so I decided to choose mostly beers advertised as light and refreshing. It is April in Yucatán after all.
Redstone Red Ale, Meteoro Brewing Co.
This “toasty” 4.5% beer is a good deal lighter than you would expect given its color. It has a fairly decent body but still goes down very easily. The level of carbonation was just right and helped provide an extremely nice mouthfeel. It was served really good and cold. I could see myself picking up a six-pack of this in the future.
Summer Lager, Casa Pinillos Brewing Company
With an alcohol volume of just 3.8 this Summer Lager is in many ways exactly what you would expect, light and refreshing. But this lager’s body was lacking to the point that it bordered on watery. It was also light on carbonation and as a result not particularly foamy.
I was a little disappointed because my previous experience with Casa Pinillos Session IPA had been so positive. Though it was not my favorite brew of the night, it was by no means bad and went down well on a hot and humid spring evening.
Cometa Redish Ale, Cerveza Villamil
This reddish beer has hints of nuts and caramel but manages to still be very light. Despite having so much going on, this 5% beer was surprisingly balanced but lacked much body or texture to speak off. It also had a considerable hopsy aftertaste. Looking around Cerveza Villamil’s Facebook page it would appear this beer is still in a bit of an experimental phase, so I would cut them a little slack.
Witbier, Milos Brew Cerveza Artesanal
This 4% wheat beer served on tap is accented with rosemary and mandarine, though the former is much more noticeable in the taste and the latter when it comes to aroma. It goes down very easily but toward the end of the glass, you are likely to feel a slight aftertaste. Founded in 2020, Milos has already made its line of products available in several locations including The Beer Box, Taberna Montejo, and at the DeLorean Bar.
Rose Pale Ale, Cerveza Aventureros
I am usually not a huge fan of beers that try to pack too many different flavors into one bottle, but this Rose Pale Ale’s unique mix of mango, guanabana, and passion fruit is downright delicious. The alcohol volume of this particularly great-tasting beer is 5.6% and is also notable for its abundant foaminess. Aventureros’ brewery appears to have begun in Jalisco but has now moved at least some of its operations to Yucatán. It sounds like there is an interesting story here and I will be reaching out to them to see if I can bring it out in the near future.
Once again I was very impressed. Even with the beers I was a bit more critical of, I think there is something interesting there. But my favorite of the night had to be the Rose Pale Ale by Aventureros. To be fair, this was the last beer I indulged in on this particular evening, but I think it says something that when I got hungry and ordered some food I went back and ordered another.
As most of these breweries are quite small, most are still relying on a home delivery model, though a few are available at some stores and bars. Check out their Facebook pages for more information regarding availability.
Well, there you have it. Let me know if you disagree with any of my assessments or if there is some delicious local beer that has somehow avoided my attention thus far. Until next time, bottoms up!