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.
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
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.
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.