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Transcript of Olutkulttuuri-ilta IX
The story of Mexican Craft Beer
The current situation of Mexican Craft Beer
Microbreweries worth noting
Craft beer culture in Mexico is still in its diapers. But its growing... and its growing fast. Its current mission is to become highly renowned worldwide.
Follow its progress here:
By Roberto S. Camp
Old mexican beer history
Alfonso de Herrera founds the first mexican brewery in 1544 by order of King Carlos V of Spain
3 Years after the Mexican Independence (1810) interest for beer making started once again
Beer did not earnestly enter society until 1845 when the Swiss Bernhard Bolgard started the first top fermenting brewery
The last years of the 19th century saw the creation of many new breweries
Initial success with the brewery
Wasn't very successful and became somewhat outlawed due to abuse and misbehavior
They were other drinks at the time similar to beer such as:
Zendecho (pulque de maiz)
Vinos de caña
Vinos de mezquite
The englishmen Thomas Gillons and Charles Mairet, Miguel Ramos Arizpe, and Justino Tuallion were the first to show any interest in the issue.
Tuallion's beer "del Hospicio de Pobres" was the most popular beer of the time
"La Pila Seca' was the name of the top fermentation method
It used sun dried malts mixed with piloncillo
In the first quarter of the 19th century a traveler by the name of William Bullock afirmed that mexican malt was just as good as european, and that hops could be imported while their production started in Mexico. People doubted that beer could ever replace 'Pulque', the most common alcoholic beverage at the time.
In 1869 Emil Dercher (French/Alsatian) open the brewery "La Cruz Blanca'. This brewery started making lager in Mexico City in 1898
In 1879 beer was in the 17th place in terms of industrial importance, very far from tobacco, clothing, shoes and textils
By the end of the century, many micro-breweries (cerveceros artesanales) begun moving to the rest of the country, establishing themselves particularly in Guadalajara, the north west and the south east of the country
In 1891 the "Cervecería Cuauhtémoc' is founded in Monterrey by Isaac Garza, José A. Muguerza, Francisco Sada and the brewer Joseph M. Schnaider,
In 1894 the "Cervecería Moctezuma' in Orizaba, Veracruz.
In 1884 another four small breweries in Orizaba, Veracruz joined: La Santa Elena, La Mexicana, La Azteca, y la Inglesa.
In 1896 la Cervecería de Sonora
In 1899 Gran Cervecería Yucateca®
In 1900 la Cervecería del Pacífico
Contemporary mexican beer history
At the beginning of the XX century Mexican beer was clearer than American due to the use 0f 15-30% of rice
By 1918 there were 36 beer factories in Mexico
Cervecería Modelo is founded in 1925 (think Corona)
Between the 1940's and 1960's it acquired many small breweries
At the beginning of the 1980's Grupo Femsa(Coca Cola) acquired the Cervecería Cuauhtemoc and in 1985 Cervecería Moctezuma. This is how the Cervecería Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma is born (think Sol)
By 1925, the invested capital in the industry approximated 20 million pesos and national production was at 50 thousand liters.
Even then, it is estimated that only 7% of men and 5% of women between 15 and 80 years of age drank beer, the rest were 'Pulque' drinkers.
The (re) Rise of Mexican Craft Beer
(A.K.A. The birth of awesomeness!!!)
(A.K.A. How it all went to shit... )
(A.K.A. The revolution!!!)
Grupo Modelo is now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev
Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma was partially owned by Interbrew until 2004 (when InBev bought Interbrew) it is now partly owned by Heineken
OMG!!! No more real Mexican beer!!! =O
It all began in the 1990's...
These first microbrewers focused on either exporting or a Restaurant & Bar concept
Craft beer had to be treated as a "gourmet" product
The growth of craft beer has been greatly limited because the system is rigged
Some people attribute it to Pepe's and Joe brewery (in Mazatlán)
Others attribute it to Gustavo González, the creator of the Cosaco Brewery who started brewing in 1995, inspired by the craft brewers of the USA
Then in 1997 the Cervecería San Angel and the Cervecería Santa Fe Beer Factory
There was little interest in craft beer during the first decade of its re-birth
Most microbrewers only produced beer for local bar consumption
The Cucapá Brewery originally exported 90% of its production
Some microbreweries in the north west still export most of their beer
Microbrewers approached chefs in fancy restaurants in order to increase the reach of craft beer
In the early 2000's other entrepreneurs started placing specialty beer shops
Craft brewers pay double the tax, up to 46%:
Commercial brewers pay 3.5 pesos/liter
Craft brewers pay 8 pesos/liter
Bars and shop had(have) exclusivity contracts with the big commercial brewers
Local malt producers also have exclusivity contracts, most all craft brewers import their malt from Germany, Belgium, USA and France
Mexican craft beer at the moment represents between around 0.1% of the total market (estimations vary)
According to the Brewers Association...
According to Acermex* mexican microbreweries have increased their selling points in 2010 and 2011 by 1000, when previously they were less than 500
During the last year mexican craft beer has grown by 50% and estimates place that growth as constant during the coming years
A few months ago the CFC" agreed to change the exclusivity laws
The estimations have been placed in numbers ranging from .01% to .1% in general it is only agreed that craft beer represents less than 1% of the mexican market
A craft beer needs to fulfill 3 requisites to be craft:
- 100% Malt
- Production less than 7 million hectoliters/year
- Business needs to be conducted independently
By this measure, for every 20,000 commercial beers, 1 is craft
*ACERMEX: Asociación de Cerveceros de la República Mexicana
In English: Brewers Association of the Mexican Republic
Specialty beer shops have started to become popular. In 2008 Emilio Ochoa and his partner Marco A. de la Garza created the "Beer Bank' Beer Boutique.
The concept is shared by other shops:
- The Beer Box
- The Beer Company
- La Caña
In 2010 the Federal Commission of Competition (CFC) started an investigation towards allegations of duo-monopoly. As a result it has now outlawed exclusivity contracts, effectively removing the biggest roadblock for craft beer in Mexico. While Modelo and Cuauhtemoc-Moctezuma will continue the exclusivity contracts that are still valid, it is forbidden from making new ones.
Based in Mexicali, Baja Californiafirst local brewery since Cervecería Mexicali (est.1923) was sold in 1973.
Started in 2002, focusing on quality beer export, then in 2007 they had a breakthrough ans started producing more. Their beer selection includes:
Centenario Barley Wine
Chupacabras Pale Ale
Clásica Golden Ale/Blond Ale
Light Pale Lager
Obscura Brown Ale
Trigueña Wheat Ale
Founded in 1996, based in nterrey Nuevo León.
It follows the Brewing Restaurant concept, building a restaurant around a small beer factory. Some of their beers are:
El Fraile (Porter)
Matacanes (Brown Ale)
Las Cumbres (Dunkel)
Olinala (Red Lager)
Cerro del Mirador (Dortmunder)
Chipinque (Red Ale)
La Silla (Pale Ale)
Founded in Jalisco on the 5th of December 2002,
but did not start operations until 2003, selling their first barrel in September of that year.
Their current productioncapacity is at 90 thousand liters/month and they have 9 styles of beer:
Minerva Colonial (Kolsch)
Minerva Viena (Vienna)
Minerva Stout Imperial (Sweet Stout)
Minerva Pale Ale
Minerva ITA (Imperial Tequila Ale)
Minerva Diosa Blanca (Blanche)
Minerva 8:50 (IPA)
Minerva Lupe Reyes (Dunkel Double Bock)
Founded by the forerunner in craft beer brewing in Mexico, Gustavo González. While he started brewing in 1995 the brand didn't officially start until the year 2000.
Mainly focused on selling beer in barrels and not bottling their product, they have 3 main beers: La Negra, La Roja and La Güera.
Founded in 2007 by Rodolfo and Jaime Andreu in the Distrito Federal, Mexico.
Have been quite successful with their beer "Tempus", this beer can be found in the north of the country which is quite a remarkable feat. Some of their beers are:
Tempus Clásica Dorada
Tempus Clásica (AltBier)
Tempus Reserva Especial (Scottish Ale)
Tempus Doble Malta (AltBier Imperial)