Discovering Baja Beer Craft at Mingei International Museum- San Diego Beer Week
Name: Baja Beer Craft 2015
Where: Mingei International Museum, Balboa Park – 1439 El Prado San Diego, California 92101
Cost: The “Baja Beer Craft Tasting Event” was $25.00. Craft beer tastings, small plates of “BajaMex” food, live Reggae music, and access to curated art were included.
If you missed this first annual event, watch for it next year during San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) which is coordinated each year by the San Diego Brewers Guild. SDBW is a great campaign I support as a Guild member because it promotes craft beer produced by San Diego County breweries.
For information about SDBW 2016, check the Guild website here. I predict more Baja breweries will attend next year to showcase their artisanal beers. In the mean time, look for the elusive craft beers from Baja at local eateries and bottle shops in San Diego.
About: Sponsored by Discover Baja Travel Club, this San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) event was presented by Baja Test Kitchen in partnership with Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park, to highlight Baja beers and “BajaMex” beer food.
Eleven Baja breweries brought samples of their brews to showcase at the event. Most of the breweries came from Mexicali, though breweries from Tijuana, Ensenada, and Cabo San Lucas also attended with an array of beer styles.
In 2007, Baja Brewing Company (Cabo San Lucas) became the first craft brewery in the state. Three years later the Baja craft beer scene started to explode and now there are well over 50 small-batch breweries making beer.
Whether it was the repeal of Mexico’s Exclusivity Laws (which ended unfair agreements between the giant Mexican beer makers and distributors) in 2013, proximity to San Diego’s robust beer industry, or simply the continued expansion of the artisanal food and beverage movement, Baja California has become the craft beer capital of Mexico over the past 8 years.
What I ate: The first taste was a Baja-inspired tostada made by Baja Test Kitchen: a crispy, mini corn tortilla topped with tender chunks of pork belly and a sprinkling of garden fresh radishes, tomatoes, and micro-greens.
It was followed by another tostada made by Chef White, for which he combined seafood and pork.
What I drank: The evening began with beers from Border Psycho and ended with Baja Brewing Company’s Blonde Ale, Cabotella.
In between I sampled beers from the nine other breweries, including Agua Mala’s Astillero IPA (Ensenada) which won Silver at last year’s World Beer Cup.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed all the beers I tasted, my favorite beer of the evening was a Session IPA with Mosaic hops made by Cerveza Urbana (Mexicali), pictured below.
Likes: Both the beers and tacos were magnificent. Baja beers are different from those I’ve tasted throughout San Diego County, in a good way. Drinking them inspired me to search them out on this side of the border, and I am already making plans to taste them where they were made.
The Verdict: The event to showcase artisanal Baja Beers and the culinary dishes of the region featuring Chef White and Baja Test Kitchen was a success. This was the first year for the event and if you have a chance to attend next year, by all means do so. In the mean time, I recommend joining me to visit Baja breweries via Let’s Go Clandestino with Angel Miron, Curator of Beers for the event.Share This: