I was born in Milwaukee, once famous for its beers. When I moved to Mexico, I happily found beers just as good as those in my old home town and several much better.
A few powerful breweries, however, controlled the market and forbade the sale of competing beers in their territories. Dark beers I especially appreciated, such as Noche Buena and Negro Modelo, were often hard to find in Jalisco. The only place I could find Cerveza León was in the refrigerator of a meat packer who happened to be from the Yucatán, where León is made, and he would occasionally drive it 1,850 kilometers to his store in Zapopan.
In recent years a beer revolution has taken place. Microbreweries have popped up all over Mexico, offering competition where there was none before. Local brew Minerva was one of the first, and to my amazement, I found I could buy a Mexican stout that seemed to me every bit as good as Guinness ... and far cheaper.
This happy state of affairs just keeps getting better as more and more competition appears – also from abroad. A few days ago my friend Michael Boudey announced he would be holding the next session of his popular Jazz in the Woods event at “a beer garden on the Nogales Road, owned by the Fortuna Microbrewery.”
What’s this? A new maker of craft beer practically in my own back yard that I knew nothing about?