One of my favorite things nowadays is the trend towards shopping local. In recent years, stores and markets offering only local products have been springing up, reminding us of the importance of supporting local businesses.
I have been very impressed by the wide range of excellent quality products that we can find in our region, and it was due to this interest in local things that I recently became aware of the enormous variety of craft beers made in Yucatán.
The culture of craft beer and tap rooms
Thanks to social networks, and my own adventuring here and there, I discovered the existence of a large community in Mérida that gets together to enjoy craft beer.
Many of these meetings take place in tap rooms, spaces created by the breweries to serve their drinks in a comfortable environment, along with a food menu.
Although my knowledge of beer is very limited, I can’t help but note the effort these small companies are making, producing quality beverages and managing to position them above many international brands. In a short time, they have created an entire subculture of people brought together by a common interest.
Some of the Yucatecan breweries with the greatest presence
Despite the fact that beer production in Yucatán dates back a couple of centuries, the rise of craft producers began only a few years ago. If you are as curious as I am, you will surely be interested in trying some of them.
When thinking of Yucatecan craft beer, the first thing that comes to mind is invariably Cerveza Patito. Since its creation in 2015, and in addition to a very successful line of beers, the company has launched their own restaurants, under the name of Hermana República, alluding to Yucatán’s history of independence from México.
You can try their beers at any of their three locations, in Xcanatún, Avenida Colón, or Victory Platz. There you will find a regionally-influenced menu to complement their iconic Yucatecan lager, IPA, Belgian blonde ale, porter vanilla, and dry stout. Patito also has points of sale throughout México.
Ceiba was born in 2012, with the aim of recovering Yucatán’s beer tradition of yesteryear. Its name comes from the tree considered sacred by the Maya, which they have adopted to show their commitment to the quality and solidity that it represents.
Its production combines European ingredients of the highest quality, ensuring that each recipe pairs particularly well with typical dishes from our region. The company offers four regular lines (Dorada Premium, Ámbar Mestiza, imperial stout, and IPA), as well as seasonal editions.
Cerveza Cuerno de Toro
With innovative names and special-edition beers, such as La Diabla and Rocketman, Cuerno de Toro has focused on innovation and collaboration since its creation in 2015. This joint work with several brands has resulted in unique beers.
The brewery offers four beer lines: Joya (cream ale), Emperador (Mexican IPA), Tormento (imperial red ale), and Titán (oatmeal stout). In addition, they serve around 50 experimentally-produced beers at the Cuerno de Toro Taproom, located in downtown Mérida.
Inspired by Yucatán’s Emerald Coast, the company began in 2018 with beers such as Celestún American Pale Ale, Colorada Tropical Ale, Oasis Oatmeal Stout, and Yucatán Citrus Pale Ale. The latter, made with local orange, was created in collaboration with the Yucatán Tourism Board.
True to their mission to preserve the Yucatecan coasts, the company’s young founders also created an organization called Limpiemos Yucatán (let’s clean up Yucatán), which seeks to restore beaches, mangroves, and coastal fauna.
In addition to outlets across the state, you can find Esmeralda at Bird Tap. This taproom in downtown Mérida offers local and national beers, a selection of vinyl records, and a menu of Neapolitan pizzas.
I stumbled upon this brewery thanks to the opening of Taproom Mastache on Avenida Cámara de Comercio last year. I visited for a nice afternoon and was very pleasantly surprised.
On its terrace, you can choose between 30 styles of beer. Their beer lines include ultra,
American lager, Vienna lager, pilsner, blonde, pale ale, IPA, red, and stout, although they also
offer experimental beers such as Mangomita Sour, Jamaica lager, and rye lager. You can also visit them at Jardín Mastache, in Ciudad Caucel.
By Regina Zumárraga
Communicologist specialized in food and product photography. I’m passionate about learning about the culture and gastronomy of different places. In my free time, you can find me at the beach.
Photography by the restaurants and Jonathan Alcocer for its use in Yucatán Today.
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