Lágrimas Negras from Ramuri Cerveza Artesanal, Our Drink of the Week
Laila Derakhshanian

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.

One thing this beer does not have is a huge head; it's got the minimum possible carbonation, so you have to pour the beer straight down into the pint glass to get a thin layer of head. This is a heavy beer--low-carbonation beers drink slower--so take it slow. Once you take a sip, though, it's great. Though it's an oatmeal stout, the oatmeal just provides an undertone to the roasty, nutty, almost chocolatey flavors.

No lime wedge required--just a trip to the reinvented Tijuana.

Rámuri beers are available for purchase at:

The Beer Box - Blvrd. Sánchez Taboada, 4499, Zona Río, 22030 Tijuana, B.C.; 011-52-664-407-80-92; thebeerbox.com. On the corner of Blvrd. Abelardo L. Rodríguez, in the Zona Gastronómica, next to Pampas Steakhouse.

Beer City - De Las Ferias, 11727, Fracc. Villa Lomas de Tijuana, 22034 Tijuana, B.C. 011-52-664-621-11-48. On the hill behind the Hippodrome, just off Blvrd. de las Américas.

G. Salinas Vinos y Cervezas - Blvd. Salinas 10650, Aviación, 22014, Tijuana, B.C.; 011-52-664-971-09-53; gsalinasvinos.com. Near the corner of Escuádron 201 in the Zona Gastronómica.

Wal-mart Macroplaza - De Los Insurgentes, 18015, Zona Río 3ra. Sección, 22226 Tijuana. B.C.; 011-52-664-625-75-76; walmart.com.mx. At the intersection of De Los Insurgentes and Manuel J. Clouthier.

Wal-mart Galerías del Hipódromo - Blvrd. Agua Caliente, 11999, Hipódromo, 22024 Tijuana, B.C.; 011-52-664-681-61-50; walmart.com.mx. In the mall at the corner of Aguacaliente and Blvrd. de las Américas, in front of Caliente Stadium.

See the Google Map here or visit their Spanish-only website at cervezaramuri.com.

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