I think we all know ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ created by Dos Equis beer. And know the all so famous Corona (Corona por favor) that is now a main stream beer found throughout the United States and Canada.
These famous beers are now at local beach bars with microbrews. Local microbreweries are popping up throughout the Riviera Maya. Microbreweries are not only making interesting beers, but they are also supporting the ‘buy local’ mindset.
Microbreweries started over 10 years ago, but they could not penetrate the beer market due to a very large hold by two national companies. Minerva, a microbrewery in Guadalaja began the fight against the beer monopoly a decade ago gaining ground in 2010 and finally placed in local bars as a competitor in 2013.
Three very important milestones happened in the Mexican beer industry that made way for local microbrews all over the country.
In 2010 foreign companies bought into portions of the two beer giants. Heineken purchased Cuauhtemoc in 2010.
In 2013 two events changed everything. First the ruling by the Mexican Federal Competition Commission that limited exclusivity deals by the big brewers. The breweries had to open up a quarter of their market share to make room for small brewers. This included local restaurants and bars. Second Belgian-based AB-InBev bought the other half of Modelo that it didn’t already own. Modelo was now 100% foreign owned.
When these event took place the beer giants started to see the benefit of, if not need for, microbrews in the Mexican beer market. That is quite a change from the mid 2000s when they opposed microbreweries and refused to give up their monopoly. Public demand seems to have won!
There are just a few local Riviera Maya local brews, far less then you would find in other parts of Mexico, but they are making waves in the Riviera Maya. Watch out for these microbrews.
Pescadores Cerveza Artisanal in Puerto Morelos
Carmen Brewing Company in Playa del Carmen
Patito from Progresso, Yucatan
Mango Moonshine Brewery and Distillery from the Costa Maya
There are two very popular bars known for their selection of microbrews, not just microbrews from the Riviera Maya, but microbrews from all over Mexico.
In Playa del Carmen Club de La Cerveza is the go-to place for beer lovers. Their list of worldwide beers is huge, their support for local microbrews even bigger!
In Puerto Morelos there is a small bar beside the Chedraui Supermarket called Michelados del Semaforo that is a HUGE supporter for Mexican microbrews. It is a popular local place and is just busy all the time.
Okay you are in a for a treat. Vodka fans can check out Cueva Vodka found only at Turtle Bakery in Akumal, a vodka that uses local ingredients including filtered fresh water from the cenotes to make their vodka.
The second super cool distillery is Mango Moonshine in Costa Maya that makes a Mexican Corn Whisky
The third distillery you need to try is outside Valladolid. It is an agave distillery (it is tequila but we can’t call it tequila as it was not produced in the official tequila region of Jalisco) Mayapan Agave Distillery grows its own agave and distills it in their factory.
Listen to this podcast featuring Mundo Maya owner Jungle John and this podcast that tells the tale of Mango Moonshine in the Costa Maya. They are great stories about how these local entrepreneurs started their business.