We take you to Mérida to discover three craft breweries on a tour of Turibus that are certainly worth knowing. Are you ready?
For its exact mix of history, culture, fun and beach less than an hour from the city, we chose to escape to Merida towards Ciudad Blanca, on the weekend and we found a delicious surprise: Turibus was premiering a tour of the three breweries most interesting crafts of the Yucatecan capital. Tour and tasting of beers in the same afternoon? Of course!
First stop: La Ceiba
The appointment is in the Central Plaza to board the Turibus, shortly before 5:00 pm, just when the heat begins to subside. The first journey takes us to the La Ceiba brewery, located in an industrial area near the center. It occupies the entire block, but the plant covers only one third of the land; the rest is a garden with species of local flora, such as jícaras, zapotes, guayas, henequén and, of course, ceibas.
Its producers, pioneers in Yucatecan craft beer, receive us under the palapa of the beer garden to let us know the ingredients and that we begin to establish a sensory connection with the product. Then we go to the plant, where we understand the process and let ourselves be enveloped by the aromas of malt and hops. Finally, the tasting leaves us an indelible mark: the taste of beer as imagined by the Belgian monks of the Middle Ages.
Well not so much. It happens that since 2012, La Ceiba has been perfecting the texture of its beers to make them lighter, friendlier and fresher, perfect for the palate and peninsular heat. Our tasting includes a “tropicalized” IPA (aromatic and fruity), a mestizo amber with caramel notes and the famous black stout, a little bit shabby but very, very friendly.
Second stop: Nación Brava
The next stop takes us to Nación Brava, one of the most delicious and experimental proposals of the peninsula, and perhaps Mexico. This site, famous for its twelve varieties of draft beer, is constantly changing its recipes to offer new flavors and textures according to the seasons: in spring-summer they offer rather fruity, citrus and refreshing beers; in autumn-winter they explore more robust, spicy and caffeinated styles, such as stouts and porter brown.
Emerging from the union of the Ciudad Blanca and Cuerno de Toro breweries, Nación Brava was established where it was previously the restaurant La Linda. Ovidio Suarez and Rodrigo Loeza have added chef Betty Ancona to their culinary proposal. Thinking about beers, Betty adapts the typical pub cuisine to the local palate, drawing inspiration from the southeast cuisine.
So, in our pairing with beer we tried some fingers of Tenosique cheese, Tabasco, some sausages made by a German lady who lives in Merida, fried yucca and some kibis stuffed with Sikil pak that fly our heads. The menu is so interesting that we are looking forward to going back to try their castacan tortilla chips and pork tacos.
Third stop: Hermana República
The third and final stop takes us to Hermana República, the house of the Patito brewery, whose pilsner laguer has become one of the classic craft of the peninsula. On the way it gets dark and we see how the city, cooler, returns to its second air. We cross the rooms of this old house in the center and reach a terrace with huge trees, very appropriate for our tasting.
On the table there are different styles, from his already classic pilsner and American pale ale, to the weizenbier and the vanilla porter. Here the pairing is with snacks of Yucatecan cuisine that in its preparation includes the beers of the house, so there is no waste. The experience is so good that time goes by.
It’s almost 8:00 at night. The bus takes us back to the Central Plaza, we remember the variety of “chevas”, as the locals tell them, and trying to choose our favorites. The only consensus we reached is that if it had not been for this beer tour, we would not have discovered this new face of Yucatecan cuisine.