Anyone who regularly reads my work will know that I’ve been getting increasingly enthusiastic about developing craft beer markets in Latin America of late, most specifically in Brazil, but also in parts of Argentina and Chile. And this year past, I added the youthful but gradually developing craft beer scene of Mexico to the mix.
From my time tasting in Mexico, I was able to identify ten solid craft breweries with strong potential. Of this ten, the standout for me was and is Microcervecería Gourmet Calavera.
There are other craft breweries in Mexico that are doing things right – Cucapá, Jack, Primus and Minerva all spring to mind – but none to my mind doing as many things so well and showing such potential as Calavera. From their highly credible American Pale Ale, loaded with tropical fruit and citrus notes, to the brewery’s trio of Belgian-inspired brews, led by the spicy, peppery Tripel, to the perhaps style defining Mexican Imperial Stout, with its roasted chili-chocolate notes, this is a small brewery with many successful irons in its fire.
But fine beers are just the starting point. Calavera has also shown great initiative in both getting its beers out to market and promoting the nascent Mexican craft beer scene as a whole. Its involvement in the pioneering craft beer program at the Fairmont Mayakoba hotel and resort is indicative of the brewery’s inventiveness on both of these fronts.
And so, for stretching Mexican beer styles and helping to promote craft beer in the outrageously oligopolistic Mexican market, my pick for Latin American Brewery of 2012 is Microcervecería Gourmet Calavera.
Thursday: 2012′s Australasian Brewery of the Year!