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Brewery building begins, bringing beer brands back

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Officials break ground on a new brewery in Hunucmá. Photo: State of Yucatán
Officials break ground on a new brewery in Hunucmá. Photo: State of Yucatán

Hunucmá, Yucatán — Montejo and León Negra beers, two beer created and historically produced in Yucatán, came a step closer to coming back home yesterday after a 14-year absence. Construction of a massive production facility was officially kicked off with great fanfare.

The new 5-billion-peso Yucatán Brewery will be the eighth plant in Mexico operated by beer giants Grupo Modelo and AB InBev.

Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello and the head of the Ministry of Economy, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, led the ceremonial ground breaking, represents the largest deal made in the modern history of the company, state officials report.

Rendering of the planner brewery in Yucatán. Source: Grupo Modelo
Rendering of the planner brewery in Yucatán. Source: Grupo Modelo

A long-term benefit from this deal is that the historic investment will influence other world-class businesses to gain a foothold in Yucatán, the governor said. More immediately, thousands of direct jobs will be created, and 75 companies will benefit from services required by the brewery, officials said in a press conference.

The high-tech production facilities will also produce its own aluminum cans to facilitate the sale and export of not only Montejo and León, but also Corona Extra. The plant may also recreate Carta Clara and other beverages with a specifically Yucatecan identity, says David Alpizar Carrillo, secretary of economic development.

The management of the firm owned by Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch said that cases produced in the plant will be shipped through Puerto Progreso mainly to throughout North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Eventually, the plant will roll out increases in production capacity, up to 15 million hectoliters annually, depending on demand.

 

Source: Anhueser-Busch
Source: Anhueser-Busch

Economics aside, there is some historical significance to this homecoming. Cervecería Yucateca in Mérida, creator of the Montejo and León trademarks, was acquired by beer giant Grupo Modelo in 1979 and closed in 2002 to move operations to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. Founded in the 19th century, Montejo’s original brewery was an important part of the state’s economy and social fabric.

According to Grupo Modelo, Yucatán represents 10 percent of Mexico’s consumer market. The plant will increase Grupo Modelo’s assets by 10 percent and the state government will benefit from tax revenue from the acquisition of land for the complex, located less than 15 kilometers from the state capital.

What are these beers like? Introduced in the 1960s to celebrate the brewery’s anniversary and named for the state’s first governor, Montejo is a clear Pilsner-style beer and a “nice change of pace,” according to a review on the webzine Transitions Abroad; and León is “a beer that looks darker and maltier than it really is. It is like a wimpier version of Negra Modelo, but is widely available in large returnable bottles and is often one of the cheapest six-packs of cans in a supermarket.”

Source: Press releases

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