BFFs: TEQUILA & BEER
Mexican brews, especially the exported ones, are not known for having much in the way of flair. But there are now 16 independent breweries in Mexico trying to distinguish themselves from the two massive beer conglomerates that make most of the beer in the country.
One of those, a Guadalajara brewery called Cervécería Minerva, is taking craft beer to a new, Mexican heritage-appropriate level with the release of its ITA.
The so-called Minerva Imperial Tequila Ale is a strong ale of 7 percent alcohol that is aged in used tequila barrels from Reserva de los Gonzalez.
Brewery owner Jesus Briseño, in an interview with a Mexican radio station, described the flavor imparted by the oak and the anejo tequila formerly in residence as fresh tobacco, tequila, and vanilla.
No word as yet when we’ll see this brew in Texas, but Briseño told industry newsletter Beer Business Daily that he is in talks with U.S. importers and distributors. Meanwhile, at least one San Antonio brewery is discussing a tequila barrel-aged beer, so we may have some homegrown fit for South Texas palates soon.
In general, Minerva beers are worth a taste if you know somebody coming in from Mexico to bring you some. Alamo Beer owner Eugene Simor brought some back from a visit to Monterrey for a tasting party and all were solid, from the Malverde pilsner (named for the patron saint for Guadalajara drug kingpins) to the Minerva Viena dark lager.
ACCF IN APRIL
Brewers, start your kettles. The annual Alamo City Cerveza Fest Homebrew Competition and symposium has been set for April 29-30. Deadline for entering in any Beer Judging Certification Program (BJCP) category and Funkiest of Show is April 3.
Bexar Brewers Homebrew Club President Ron Haluzan says there were 400 entries last year and plenty of help is needed in April to judge, especially in the first round. This is work, but loads of fun.
The event itself includes second round and best of show judging, along with guest speakers, a raffle, raucous awards ceremony, reception, and optional Saturday pub crawl. Watch BexarBrewers.org for details to come.
A very limited number of tickets are available for Pedicab’s February 13 Prohibition Party tasting. Offerings will include beers not available in Texas, such as the popular Pennsylvania brew Yuengling Black & Tan, Bell’s Oberon, Orkney Skull Splitter, Sink the Bismarck from Scotland’s BrewDog, and Double Pecan Porter from Austin’s (512) Brewing Co.
Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current and is author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. Please send beer news and event information two weeks in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.