Lágrimas Negras from Ramuri Cerveza Artesanal, Our Drink of the Week
All right, beer hipsters, this is it. Anyone can get great beer in Orange County and San Diego, but the best-kept secret is something you'll have to head south for--south past that weird traffic light that says "México".
The Mexican beer we get up here in the States is like having sex in a boat--fucking close to water--and in order to lend any flavor at all, it gets adulterated with lime, Clamato, Worcestershire sauce, and the like. Most of the mass-market stuff in Mexico is like that, too, with Tecate being the king of Baja beer--but there's hope. Craft beer has spread south from San Diego and there are several craft breweries in Tijuana and Mexicali now. Most don't have tasting rooms open to the public, but there are specialty beer bars where you can taste them.
Ramuri Cerveza Artesanal set up a booth at last year's Baja Culinary Fest and just about everyone who tried it loved it. They specialize in dark beers, stouts mostly, which flies in the face of Mexico's tradition of light, fizzy lagers; of those, the best is Lágrimas Negras ("Black Tears"), their oatmeal stout.
No lime wedge required--just a trip to the reinvented Tijuana.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.