Tag Archives: Beer

Expo Cerveza Artesanal Part 2 – Friend Brewers – Drunk Matt

It’s funny how things can change from one day to another.

I’m still pretty much broke, but great things are in the horizon, including a Tijuana Adventure tour this Friday and a lot of work from home that will be $$$. This upcoming adventure should be fun, it’s four accountants from San Diego. Which reminds me, I should email him with the plan instead of typing this…

—————– Expo Artesanal Part 2 – Drunk Matt

Round 2. Walked by the Adelita’s girls again, now with the courage that beer provides, I can take a lot of pics without being shy.


I knew my palate was gone from drinking a lot of tiny samplers of beers in many places and I still had to hit up the brewers that I can call friends. So I went to Ley Seca because I’ve been craving Juan’s beer for a while. But… they were having some troubles. So instead I visited Luis Durazo over at Teorema.



I asked for a sampler. He gave me a full cup of double IPA at around 10% alcohol.


Luis. Don’t hate me for this. But this was probably the beer that I enjoyed the least. It wasn’t bad. There was actually no bad beers in general. It was just syrupy.

I think I also have really high standards and regards when it comes to Teorema. The concept is great, the logo is cool, the execution is well done, beers are not there yet though. When I first had Teorema, it was in their brewery room which remains in Avenida Revolución. I had two beers, don’t remember the names or the kind, but one of the beers was just superb.

For some reason, it tasted like key lime pie. The foamy light beer floated to the back of your palate and lingered there leaving you with some sweet tart flavor while the liquid smoothly went down. This is the Teorema beer that I want to taste, but so far all the ones I tasted don’t come even close to that first try. My roommate wrote an article about those beers and about Teorema a few years back, he stole my “it taste like key lime pie,” bit. Read here.

Also. Luis keeps saying he will open his tap room soon. 2 years ago he said they were about to open. A few months ago he told me he will be ready by the end of May. And now he says that it will be ready by the end of June! So… Luis… OPEN… SOON!


With Teorema in one hand but not truly loving the beer, I went to seek out more new brewers that I never met. I saw Cervecería Heisenberg, the concept is basically they are the Walter White but instead of cooking meth, it’s beer. Alright concept I guess. I enjoy it. Now… beers I can barely remember what they tasted like. I talked to brewer Oscar Lencioni and my notes read that I had an Imperial IPA with columbus, zythos, amarillo and cascade (I might be wrong).

I went to say hi to the guys from Baja Brew Labs… and the older Echavarria just started giving me beer! No notes. I don’t remember the beers, but if you haven’t check it out, Baja Brew Labs is in downtown Tijuana and they are doing really creative things in there. Also.. YAY PING PONG table in their brewery. So that’s always fun.


My notes have random hops and initials that I don’t recognize. But apparently many brewers are using mosaic, chinook, nelson and cascade a lot.

Next to Baja Brew Labs, Cerveza Cardera, one that I never had before. I talked to Armando Cardenas, the brewer, but drunk Matt could barely concentrate. Notes say I had a “bourbon chips french toast blah!” Which means I had a dark beer that I thought BLAH!


Then finally went back to Ley Seca for my craving of Gringo Pale Ale, single hop Citra.


Now.. this was the best beer I had in the fest.

Of course I am bias. I liked Juan’s brews since a few years back, but not only that, Citra from what I have learned, is my favorite hop so far. I think I’m also liking single hop brews, it’s an honest flavor. The Gringo Pale Ale was just spot on what I like. Hoppy, citrusy, perfect body…

Speaking of perfect bodies…

I spotted a girl I recognized… She looked at me, I forgot who she was. A few minutes later I saw her again….

Oh yeah!!! It’s my ex-girlfriend’s friend. I texted my ex, she was on her way to the beer fest.

Yep. My attention deviated from beer tasting to hanging out with my ex-girlfriend (who was easily the prettiest girl in the expo.. Or town.. Country… world?!)

Before hanging out with her, I had a job to do, so I went for last round of brewers.


Zombie Brewery from Ensenada, had their black IPA I believe, notes just say simcoe, centennial, chinok, amarillo and columbus.


Then I went to Doble C Brewery which is spelled out like //c. This concept I truly enjoy, the beers, I forgot, but in my notes I gave them approval. Notes read “Chinok mosaic pale ale, buena. Sombra verde. Nutty after. Buena.” Didn’t write the names of the brewers or where they are from, but I hope to see them again soon.


My ex arrived. From there on, I just stayed with her. She said she wanted dark beer, so I took her to Norte because it’s a guarantee that their Porter is going to be spot on (and it was). Then her and her friend wanted to taste something different, and I took them to Vibra (which I’ll remind you, their fruit beer was my favorite surprise of the fest).


At some point in the night I visited Angelo who was previously with Norte Brew, but is now at Tijuana Homebrew Club (THC). This is an interesting place, it’s a monthly gathering of brewers who like to do things different. I had a tiny shot of their Grapefruit IPA. I don’t remember it.


The main event. Kinky started playing and the expo was packed. I’m guessing that 80% of the people went mostly to see Kinky. More than 50% of the people that went to the expo drank Indio and if they drank a craft beer, they only tried one.



I tried drinking a lot of them, and still didn’t even cover half the ground!

Shout out to El Sauzal, La Belga, Madueño, and others who offered me free beer but there’s just so much a man can drink in one night!

CHECK OUT THE FULL ALBUM OF MY TIJUANA ADVENTURE (sorry for shouting)!

 

Until next time on more beer adventures! You know where I will be.

Tap Tuesday and Thursday Adventure – Beer Fests Are Not For Me – Tons of Pics!

Tap Tuesday was fantastic.

It easily is my favorite day of the week. And yes, I am obsessed with taking pictures of food, beer, and my adventures.

Major praises go to Peninsula’s sour beer (inside Fauna) and Border Psycho’s smoked wheat.

The sour is a standard sour, a bit flat, but flavorful. Praises to Peninsula for having the balls on creating a sour. Keep them coming. I’ll keep drinking them.

Smoked wheat (aka Grodziskie or Polish Champagne) is a really old and unique style of beer that was very well done by Border Psycho. Roberto Albarran says they smoked their own wheat, and also that some people have been hating it, others loving it. HIGH PRAISES from me. This beer tastes not like any other I’ve had in my life. No wonder they call it Polish Champagne, it’s super light, sparkly and tastes like… SMOKED MEAT.

This is your lunch beer, you can have this with a nice salad or something light like that. Vegans that miss the flavor of meat should drink this beer. In fact, if you are a vegan and you are reading this and want some meat tasting beer that has no animal product, GO DRINK THIS. Seriously. It’s fantastic. Alas, is not for everyone. My friend Willy got disgusted by it.

Full album for Tap Tuesday here:


Also!

Thursday!

I organized a redditor meeting, it didn’t go as well as I wished. I admit it, it was my own fuck up by confusing people on /r/Tijuana. Oh well. A few people showed up, and they encouraged me to keep doing. Next redditor meeting is June 30th.


The meeting was over at Border Psycho, so I ate there. Just looking at the pictures I made myself hungry again. Their chorizo Argentino with Chimichurri in a panini is just exalting. I mean.. They mixed my favorite things in one plate. 1 I love hot dogs. 2 I love chimichurri. 3 I love beer.

The hot dog is so fucking tasty. And surprise surprise, they can actually prepare good potatoes that go great with the oily chimichurri and the dijon mustard on the side. I ate like a savage man and it was goddamn glorious.



Insurgente had a keep a glass night, the first one of its kind in Tijuana (that I know of). Great success by them. I was #12 in line at 7:45, got there just in time. Minutes later, the line was long as fuck, as if they were giving away free beer. Went back to Border Psycho to avoid the crowd, check the redding meetup and drink a Sospesso IPA and their Simcoe De Mayo.

Score!



Chad was over at Fauna with our favorite southerner, Martin – (besides the voodoo man himself). Myself and the few redditors that showed up went over there. Fauna was packed.

We got a corner for ourselves when this ball of floof appeared to order a beer at the bar.


I couldn’t help myself and took tons of pictures and for some reason, this morning I gave floof a hipster as fuck personality when posting the pictures.

Full album of Thursday:



NOW BEER FEST

Yep. I am probably not going. Two very good reasons:

1. It’s the weekend and there’s too many people in this sort of stuff.

2. I AM BROKE AS FUCK.

I’m still waiting to get confirmed for a new job, but besides that, no money. And I have obviously been spending way too much on beer and food.

If I go to the beer fest, it would be on Saturday, too tired today and…  Someone needs to give me a free ticket. And brewers have to give me free beer in exchange of pictures. Because I have 190 pesos left in my wallet and I don’t get paid until Sunday (and it’s not very much 😦 )

Also, we already have a daily beer fest, it’s Plaza Fiesta and it’s great on Tuesdays!

I know… I know… there’s advantages to the beer fest.

1. It’s a fest, so there’s live music.

2. You get nice little memories and shingadilings.

3. Lots of people if you are into seeing lots of people.

4. All the brewers are there showcasing new brews.

There’s probably many other good reasons to go to the beer fest, but not when broke and tired. Also, several other events happening in Tijuana that are cheaper. So I might go to Comuna because they have a promising show and drink Baja Brew Labs because Pinche Paco in Comuna keeps just brewing Blonde Ales and BBL has young creative minds I like to support. Also! The Jazz and Blues fest on Sunday should be great!

Ok. I’m done for the day. Tune in next time when I’ll explain why I hate Tropic’s so much (… maybe). Also… other writers keep saying “soon, soon soon! SOON! SOON!” So maybe we’ll have other content that is not just mine.

—Matingas

Beers, Tours, and More Beers – Mamut Redemption

I am typing this at Fauna in Plaza Fiesta waiting for an anniversary burger, drinking a Lycan Lupus. There is a lot in my mind. It is all work related.

My birthday was chill. I am now 30. My brother and his wife gave me a beer guide of Mexican craft beer. There is a lot to read and learn. I also got tons of fancy spices from my cousin in Seattle who works at World Spice. More to try. Excited to try all.


Like every week, I drank a lot of beer. The surprise of the week happened on Sunday.

I had a mini Tj Adventure with friend/co-worker Andy. He came down with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s boss and husband. We started at Cevicheria Nais, then Nelson and finally Plaza Fiesta. We drank IPAs at Paralelo 28 and then Andy wanted pizza from Mamut.

I wasn’t excited about Mamut and suggested against it, but we ended up there. Surprise surprise! Mamut was pretty damn good.

I got an American pale ale, it was decent. Definitely better than many Mamuts I’ve been having. I also tried their hoppy wheat. It had more of an IPA taste than a wheat. Also surprisingly good.

Pizzas were also way better. We got the Oaxaqueña and the Tijuaneada.

xuLNHtf
(Pic by Andy Boyd)

Oh shit! My burger arrived. Time to take pics.
fauna
(cellphone potato pic)
Burger was a meaty tasty disaster, but way too salty. I ate 82% of it and gave the rest to Lex, the beertender in Tigre that recommended it.


Fries were alright. Nothing special. Ketchup vessels.

I am now drinking my second American IPA from Ludica called Pinball.

It’s funny that it’s an American Indian Pale Ale. IPAs deserve a better name, but I guess it works.

I’ll finish this later, Chad and Bobby just got here.

——————————- I wrote that on May 17th. I should have published it the very next day. Instead I waited and now I want to type more.

Andy is an amazing photographer and every time he comes to Tijuana he works magic. Here’s the full album of his Sunday. I joined halfway through this:

The Pinball IPA at Ludica is great and my favorite in Tigre right now. I loved their Seven Seas brew, but they are not doing it anymore. I asked about the hops in the Pinball and I believe Cascade and Mosaic (and another). But I might be wrong. Bare with me while I venture to learn more about hops and try to recognize them by blind taste.

Like I mentioned before, I also had a lot of other beers after my last post. I went to Madueño and Silenus and took pics of the beers. My mistake is I didn’t take notes.
madue
I had this, which I think was a pale ale. I remember it was good but on the sweet side. I went with my friend Justin and he got a Porter on Nitro (I believe). It seemed like the nitro wasn’t connected. Had no foam or bubbles or anything. Taste was there, the nitro… wasn’t.

Oh… and I put the Indio in there as a joke. I made fun of people who go to craft beer tap rooms and ask for what they can get in a normal dive bar. I mean.. it’s cool. I was at Chips yesterday (my favorite dive bar) drinking Indios. I like Indios… but WHY would you go to a tap room and not get their beer?! I don’t understand this logic. Is like going to a restaurant and asked them if they can bring you some Sabritas. silenus
Silenus as always did not fail. Both beers were delicious. If I remember correclty, Black IPA and Xanthos IPA. Strong brews, with a bit of syrupy taste, but excellent nonetheless.

I kicked Justin’s ass in MarioKart. He cried. He stopped playing. I want to play more. It’s Tap Tuesday today, might as well go to Silenus and play SNES. Street Fighter challengers, step right up.

I also went to BCB with some friends on a Friday. The place was PACKED. I didn’t even know they expanded. And WHOA the prices. Seriously?! No pictures here because I didn’t think I would be writing about it. Got Lupulosas. Took the stereotypical selfie everyone gets in this place.
selfie
(Lol)
The girls I was with ordered seasoned fries (they were bleh fries). We had to keep asking for more ketchup because they give you a tiny container with a buttload of fries. They also got some mushrooms that were ok. Nothing special.

We were sharing one of those large tables with strangers. There were lesbians on a date (one with a very distracting cleavage). They were getting all sorts of food. THEY DIDNT EVEN FINISH IT. They got the whole meat and cheese plate and some chicken wings. None of them looked extraordinary special, but there’s no way you can fuck up a plate of cold cuts and cheese. THE GIRLS LEFT MORE THAN 25% UNTOUCHED!

I also went to In-Ko-Pah 3 on Saturday. Justin grabbed a shit load of Ballast Points. I didn’t know this, his brother works there. So… SCORE! We also stopped by an Albertson’s before camping.. and holy selection!!! I ended up grabbing a 6-pack of randoms for $10. Justin still has like 4 of them.. which reminds me… I should go to his place soon.

Here’s the full In-Ko-Pah album:

For more info on that… I posted on my personal blog what went down.

Finally.. I went to MAMUT again yesterday. And I feel like talking about Mamut.

Yes. Last time I talked a bit of shit about the place because sometimes their brews are horrible. But Mamut has done A LOT for the beer scene in this city. I remember when it first appeared, beers were going for free, then 10 pesos, then 20… So yeah.. it kinda feels like I’m getting robbed paying 60 pesos for it in Plaza or the actual place, yet I can pay 40 for the original location. Which I guess it’s cool.

I know Juan José since he started. I always believed in Mamut and craft beer in Tijuana. He has always been an awesome guy with me. Many times offering his newest batches for free. I have seen Mamut grow from a baby to what it is now. It has expanded insanely quick to include mezcal, wine and food. For a time, Mamut hosted other restaurants and brewers.

Kitchens, cooks, brewers, beertenders, waiters, everyone has come and gone. Staff doesn’t recognize me anymore because they are all new. They only one that stays there is Chapo, the loyal sidekick with a great attitude and a passion for beer. So yes… Mamut can be shit sometimes, but it can also be great. And overall, it’s a fantastic place and I know that Juan Jose has Mamut because he loves beer (yes, more than money).

Like I said. Mamut is a rollercoaster. It has its ups and downs. Sunday, the new pizza convinced me that the kitchen is doing quality now (it was never bad, it was basic and cheap). Their beers were also damn good. So I went again yesterday to the one upstairs.

I wanted Lupulosa, but they ran out. I got the hoppy instead, with the 50/50 burger. I also wanted to try the hot dogs, probably soon. Hoppy Wheat is their best beer right now (not pictured). It tastes like a nice and light pale ale, with not much wheatiness to it, probably single hop. 2016-05-23 19.08.37
AHH you can’t even see the meat in the picture WTF?! The burger is small for it’s price and when I took my first bite, the meat was pinkish and seemed raw. I’m not going to lie… IT WAS GREAT! Not the best burger in town, but damn good. I guess the pinkish comes because the bacon is mixed into the beef. It had baby spinach and I believe arugula as well. But my favorite part is… YOU CAN TASTE THE CHEESE. So many burgers make it so meaty that they forget the cheese is a very important add-on. I forgot to read the description, but I’m guessing it was Mozzarella…

Fries were also good. Chipotle mayo nice and unexpectedly spicy.

After that, I went to the downstairs original Mamut for cheaper beers. Fuck damn… they didn’t have the hoppy wheat 😦

ok… I’ll try the the barley wine. Yep.. yep.. drinkable. Not bad at all.

Ok… Let me try the Doble Red and the Amber Ale.

UNDRINKABLE. Or at least for me. They tasted like cough syrup mixed with tonic water (in a horrible fashion). Both of them tasted bad, with a slight difference of bad. I mean… I usually don’t make assumptions based on a little tiny sampler. I like to drink the whole pint, make sure I get to know the whole beer (not only how it tastes, but how it makes me feel). But yeah… There was no way I was going to waste my money with those beers.

I got the Barley Wine. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It was straight up decent. Friend got the Imperial Stout. It was good, not much to say about it.

Funny story: while drinking them beers in Pasaje Rodriguez, a cholillo walked by and said “Hey man! Do you play Magic!?!”

HAH! Holy fuck! I do! I mean… I haven’t in forever. But I used too. So he takes out two packages from his bag-pack and says he will sell them to me for 100 pesos. Yes. The cards are most likely stolen from Plaza de la Tecnologia. Fuck it. I’ll buy the three booster packs for kicks. Here they are:
2016-05-24 12.35.39
If you have a store in that Plaza, you have some merchandise stolen, and you happen to read this. You can have them cards back. I know … I know. I already opened them. But hey. It’s better than never seeing them again (there’s two that are valued over a dollar).

After that, Norte Brewing Company for some of that delicious Penthouse. Bumped into more friends and some people visiting from Mexico City. And … we continued the night to Chips.

And now here I am. Typing all this crap. I said I would do it more often and then waited a long ass time to do it. Now this post is ridiculously long. No one reads this much. But fuck it. I wanted to start writing more and more.

ITS TAP TUESDAY! So I’ll go drink beer and write some place else that is not my apartment.

— Matingas

Sunday Posts – New Mamut + 1994 Turns Three – Reddit Meeting

 

There was no tour this week.

I’m not posting about a tour this time.

Instead, I am doing what I envisioned for the website, minus my shitwriting.

I’m going to talk about my Tijuana Adventures. I have invited other writers to do something similar. I have been getting great reactions when I tell people about what TJ Adventure is turning into. And other people have shown interested in writing. Of course, the writers I invited still have deliver nothing, but I haven’t either, so I can’t ask for much. I also haven’t change the site as much as I would like.

Let’s talk about beer and reddit.

I missed tap Tuesday this last week. I ended up having a few caguamas over at Nelson’s Bar late at night instead. The intention was to post every Tuesday, but I’ve come to the realization that Sundays work best (I’ll post on my other blog on Mondays, work the rest of the week).

On Wednesday I had a few new beers I haven’t had before in Plaza Fiesta. I also ate a Torta Ahogada from El Jerezano which is connected to my least favorite brewery. The torta was outstanding though. It wasn’t drowned like the name ahogada suggests, but happily swimming over a sauce with stout and mezcal (or so it claims).

I posted the Reddit Alien inside Border Psycho for the next /r/Tijuana meetup on May 27th, 7:00 pm. This should be a fun time with fellow redditors, last meeting went great.

Now let’s talk about beer. I need to talk more about beer, but also learn so much more.

I had the Mosaic IPA by Cerveza Urbana inside Legion tap room. Surprisingly good for a brewery I never tried before. More hoppiness and some citrusy flavor would have been ideal for me, but the beer was a well balanced IPA that sits well.


It was followed by Simcoe De Mayo IPAs by Insurgente. This brewery never disappoints (or very rarely). Simcoe is a type of hop hailing from Washington and has a piney taste. The beer was similar to their famed Lupulosa but with different hops (and a denser yellow color). At Insurgente I ran into this little puppy, whose owner is the beertender at Norte.


After that, my night and the pictures I took are blurry. Only good picture was sausages hanging inside Voodoo Stu’s kitchen.

The other TJ Adventure I had was on Saturday, though it was short-lived. I ate a Champi burger at Indie inside Colectivo 9 and had a Lycan Lupus from Fauna (easily on the top 5 IPAs in Tijuana). I followed by three IPAs in Norte (that’s usually enough to get me to bed). I was on the list as media for the event in Mamut Brewery, but I wasn’t very interested in going (I prefer to avoid huge crowds). I ended up inviting a female friend and we went together.

Mamut had a show to inaugurate their new space with Ruben Albarran (of Cafe Tacuba), DJ Chucuchu, and Sonidero Travesura. An incredible line-up to dance all night.
mamut 2The place was FUCKING PACKED. The menu read that they had Lupulosa, fuck yeah, way better than having a Mamut brew, especially priced at 60 pesos. OH FUCK. There was a huge line to order in their actual bar. Decided to go for a mezcal in the bar in the back instead. The two bars in the back were serving mezcal or a Stout or Farmhouse (Saison). The mezcal was not such a good idea. It was delicious (I don’t know shit about mezcal though), but it also made me very drowsy.
mamut 3The new area of the Mamut Brewery is very cool and very big with art by Teak and El Norteño. Mamut has expanded like crazy and I heard that they have a 4th location already. Unfortunately all the expanding has left the quality of beer behind. For the past months, Mamut has served beer that is barely drinkable. At least they were selling it for 30 pesos in Pasaje Rodriguez, but still, beer had the texture of mud and the smell and taste of fermentation through dirty tanks. They started picking up, having slightly better brews, but still not to the level they once had. Mamut is a complete roller coaster, you never know what quality you are going to get.

With all this said, I said fuck it, I’m going to have a Farmhouse brew. I had a taste of my companion’s Stout, it tasted like soapy water. The Farmhouse had the same taste, except with a bit more of a yeasty after finish. I finished my beer and went home before midnight (Sonidero Travesura was still playing, didn’t see anyone else).
mamutMamut is definitely a great place in downtown Tijuana, with great parties and food, but their beer at the moment… I rather drink Tecate (which is what I’m drinking as I am typing this!)

Ok. I already wrote a lot. And I hope my blog posts to be way shorter than this. I should probably post more than just Sundays but whenever I feel like it except like a ¼ of the size of this blog post. I should just write a mini blog every time I go out for new craft beer or food in Tijuana. That will probably work… right?

Oh shit! I forgot to mention. 1994 had their third year party! I wasn’t there, but I wish I at was. It was probably the beer party of the night.

—Matingas