Friday, June 3, 2016

Craft Beer in Mexico...a Visit with Cerveceria Dos Aves!

As home brewers and craft beer aficionados, one of our first missions was to check out the craft brew scene in San Miguel. We had heard that things were starting to pop down here, and soon discovered the brewing magic taking place at Cerveceria Dos Aves. We found our first taste from this delightful brewer at Cumpanio, a small restaurant and bakery located just down the road from us. Between my broken Spanish and the handsome young bartender's limited English, we managed to communicate what we were looking for, and he produced a few varieties of the brew. Big IPA drinkers, we quickly choose the Imperial IPA and were immediately impressed with the quality of this beer. Being from Oregon where the craft brew scene is pretty robust, we are not easily impressed, but this was damn good beer!

Over the next couple of days, we managed to sample a few of their other brews as we visited some of the other watering holes in town. After posting a tweet that included the hashtag #dosaves, we got a message back from the brewers and an invitation to visit the brewery. We made our way across town and wandered through a residential neighborhood before arriving at an unassuming concrete building with no sign, but a couple of half-open blue steel doors. We bent down and wandered inside and were immediately greeted by Francisco with whom we had been chatting. His partner Mark joined us, and the two of them gave us the 5 peso tour!

Francisco met Mark while attending one of his home brewing classes on the Central Coast of California. At the time, Mark was living part time in San Miguel and Francisco and his wife were working on launching a B&B there as well. The two formed a bond, and were soon fermenting the plans for a brewery.

The Dos Aves operation is the very definition of a "micro-brewery". Three stainless steel fermenting tanks and the hand operated bottling line fill the main part of the small building, while two smaller temperature controlled rooms housed their aging and storage facilities. Mark and Francisco do all the brewing and bottling themselves and only recently added a young man to help them with the cleaning. Much of the equipment has been engineered and created by the brewers themselves, and they have done an impressive job of creating a brewery on a limited budget.

During our visit, Mark kept the samples flowing, and we were treated to a smorgasbord of their delightful beers. My personal favorite was the Triple Belga, a Bronze Medal winner at the 2014 Mexico Professional Beer Competition. This is a classic light colored Triple beer with a perfect blend of clove-like flavor, fruity esters, and a sweet light finish.

Their growing list of Gold Medals is as impressive as their beers and the perception of Mexican beers is going to be changed forever by these talented gentlemen. While you currently cannot get Dos Aves outside of Mexico, if you visit San Miguel you will find it at many of the local restaurants!

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