For every 100,000 beers drank in Mexico, only 8 are craft brews.
That’s one sad little number.
Rodolfo and Jaime Andreu, makers of Tempus artisanal beers at Primus Cervezas, have been trying to increase that number since 2007. And they’re not alone. Other Mexican microbreweries, although small in number, are big in heart. Craft brewers in Mexico began fighting the good fight for quality and uniqueness in beers, like that offered by microbreweries in the US, just about a decade ago. Despite being ten years in, it remains more than a struggle.
Craft brewers say “the vast majority of restaurants and bars in Mexico are off-limits because the establishments have agreements to buy only from one of the two giants, Grupo Modelo or Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, in exchange for equipment and discounts.” [LA Times] Distribution isn’t the only problem. The little guys have to fight the huge corporations for ingredients and even bottles. Most of the time, these microbreweries end up having to import everything, jacking up the cost of production even higher.
Luckily, younger Mexicans seem to be liking the idea of richer, more flavorful craft beers. According to an article in the LA Times, “Drinkers of Mexican craft beer say it’s worth paying a few pesos more for a drink that stands out from the mass-produced brews, even those that are well-regarded. ‘I like it more. It’s thicker and creamier, and probably less bitter too,’ said Emanuel Ordoñez, 22, a university student.”
I certainly hope these ideas begin to take a stronger hold on the country as a whole. I’d love to see Mexican craft beers, like the four delicious Tempus styles currently offered by Primus, distributed in the US.
Cheers to all of these microbrewers’ hard work and dedication. Keep on fighting the good fight for great beer.
[techtags:MEXICAN BEER, CRAFT BEER, PRIMUS CERVEZAS, TEMPUS, MICROBREWERIES]