Putting the “Craft” into Mexican Beer

Craft Beer Baja

Ensenada Brewing captures local maritime traditions in their logo.

Ensenada Brewing Co. & Cerveza Cucapa invaded La Puente in what is becoming a beery part of the east-Eastside.  Craft brewing and Mexico might not be a combination on beer lovers’ lips yet but with these two breweries in the vanguard a whole new flavor profile may be set to join your palate.

The meeting of the brewers was held at Colonia Taco Lounge just off of the 605 freeway.  Just look for the sign that says “Guisados and Beer.”  The two breweries were showing their wares to the L.A. Beer Blogger group to spread the word about what they have been brewing.

Ensenada Brewing from Baja California started the assembled off with their Horchata stout.  The aroma on this beer was amazing.  Sweet with a big hit of lactose and a touch of pie spice. Next came a smoke beer that had 20% of its grain bill comprised of the Bamberg-ian smoked malt, and it showed.  Brewer Paul Woronicz finished his presentation with an Agave Red IPA that had Jalisco-grown agave added to our favorite hoppy style.

Then Cerveza Cucapa brought out their bottles.  They started with Lookout, a blonde ale which was my favorite of the day.  Light and crisp with a touch of bitterness in a beautiful light golden colored ale.  For such a light beer it had many varied flavor notes to it.  They then moved up to the Chupacabras Pale which had citrus flavors in the forefront but wouldn’t scare away those who are afraid of the hops.  Cucapa finished with their Runaway IPA which was a straightforward pine aroma driven IPA that could compete with many California IPAs.

The Beer of the Week is Pit Stop Porter, part of the session line of canned beers under the Maverick (not the Apple operating system) moniker from Half Moon Brewing.  It is a sweet porter that drinks almost like a vanilla and chocolate shake.  But the beer is not heavy at all.  This would be great in a beer cocktail or paired with a brownie for a really sweet dessert.  You can find their cans at various BevMo’s in the Southland.

Your Homework this week is to share some bottles while also helping the local non-profit School on Wheels at Brews for Books at the Dutch Chocolate Shoppe in Downtown Los Angeles. Not the normal locale for either schooling or drinking but Certified Market from Monrovia has teamed up with Inside the Cellar to create a unique event from 6 pm to 11 pm with live music, food trucks, silent auction and beer.  You can get (5) six-ounce pours of specially curated craft beers for $15 or go the VIP route and gain access to a VIP Bottle share.  Sounds like a win-win.

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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