Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lower taxes on Mexican microbrews?

A PRI Senator from Baja California introduced a bill to reduce the amount of taxes on microbrewers. According to this article in El Universal, microbreweries are charged about 8 pesos on every liter they produce, but the bill would reduce the tax to 1.6 liters. The major industrial brewers pay about 3.5 pesos for every liter they produce. I hope this passes, but my guess is that this bill comes a little too late in the budget process for the next fiscal year, and all legislators will be leaving office before the negotiations next year.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Record Show and Concert, October 29, 2011

This is out in Iztapalapa, doubt I'll make it down there for this, but maybe I'll be feeling adventurous that day?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

History of Punk in Mexico

There is a new book out about the history of punk in Mexico, and El Universal has a story on it. They also have a music blog post where you can check out youtube videos of several of the classic Mexican punk bands. I haven't seen the book yet, but it is supposed to be available at El Chopo. I'm going today to see if I can find it!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bop! is closed....

Last time I tried to go to Bop! Libros y Discos, they were closed. And not just closed as in not open, but there was no longer an actual building behind the storefront. Not sure what happened, but it is a bummer one of the better record stores in the city is gone.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pictures from Cerveza México, Sept 2, 2011

 I was too busy drinking beer to take good pictures, but at least these will give you an idea of what Cerveza México was like.

Cerveza Casera stand. They had a pale ale and hefeweizen to try.
Cervecería Hacienda, makers of Jaguar Pale Ale, Hidalgo Stout, and Catrina Red Ale.

A glimpse of Cerveza Querétaro, Cervecería Amalias, and La Chingonería.

The crowd, and Cucapá in the background.

Calavera and Bohemia
La Chingonería's Házmela Rusa Stout, and the glass we had to buy to sample everything.

Another glimpse of La Chingonería stand, and the Beer Company in the background. They were out of their IPA.

Cervecería Primus with Tempus beers to try.
Cervecería Rámuri with three different dark beers to try, two stouts and a smoked porter.
Veracruz Brewering(?!) Company. They had a pilsner to sample, out of the dark beer.
The Beer Box installation. Offering samples of Cerveza Guadalajara, and a new organic brewery from Huixquilucan, Edomex.

Rámuri Diablo Blanco Mexican Lager

 Rámuri Diablo Blanco Lager

5.0% ABV

2 out of 5

I picked up this bottle at the recent beer festival, Cerveza México. Cervecería Rámuri is based out of one of the Bajas, not sure which. I'm pretty sure they are from Tijuana, BC, which is what they said at the fest and what their facebook page says. But, the bottle says Los Cabos, which is in Baja California Sur, so maybe Diablo Blanco is produced there.

Anyway, this "premium mexican lager" is one of the most tasteless beers I have ever had. In one sense that makes it better than a Corona, Sol, or Tecate, because there is no way I want to taste anything like those beers and I'd much prefer a Diablo Blanco over some industrial Mexican lager. But, I like the taste of beer. When I want a beer it means I don't want sparkling water.

I've never seen this available for sale in Mexico City, but it is possible one of the beer stores picked up some stock while these guys were in town for the festival. Can't say I recommend searching for it though.

Rámuri Diablo Blanco stand at Cerveza México, Sept 2, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mexico City beer festival starts today!

Cerveza Mexico at the World Trade Center starts today and goes through September 3rd. Home brewers, craft brewers, and industrial brewers will be there. I hope to return with lots of beer and pictures!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A couple great articles on Mexican craft beer (in Spanish)

There are a couple new articles up at that are really well written actually engage in some much needed criticism. The first is a review of the recent beer festival in San Miguel de Allende and includes some reviews of newer microbreweries. The second is a critique on the quality of some of the craft brews and the way some restaurants/shops/bars treat beer, leading to some pretty awful experiences. If you read Spanish, I highly recommend checking them out. My own personal perception if the craft beer movement in Mexico is that there is very little criticism of the quality of the beers being produced. There needs to be some more honesty if craft beer is going to grow here, so those who are interested in trying a cerveza artesanal are not turned off by tasting a poor-quality or poorly-treated beer.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The lack of posting

My work is taking over my life right now, so I haven't had a lot of time to update the blog. I'll try to post when I can, and hopefully I'll get back to a more regular blogging schedule in a few weeks.

Purple Hand Honey Ale

Purple Hand Honey Ale

1 out of 5


This beer is really boring. If there was a blind taste test between a Bohemia Clásica and this, it would be hard to tell the difference. It basically tastes like one of the better commercial lagers. It is supposed to be a honey ale, but the flavor of honey is so unnoticeable.

This beer is also fairly expensive. I bought it a long time ago at the Beer Box for something like 45 pesos if I remember correctly.

Cerveza Homero Hefeweizen

Cerveza Homero Hefeweizen

4 out of 5


When I first moved to Mexico City I was able to easily find the fabled Duff Beer and drank a fair amount of it. It was a solid pilsner that was much better than your typical Mexican lager. Sadly, it disappeared from the market, probably due to copyright problems. It is supposed to be coming back as Ffud, but I still haven't seen it available where I shop for beers.

Despite my longing for another bottle of Duff, at least there is Homero hefeweizen to satisfy my craving for a Simpsons related beer. This hefeweizen is very solid, medium-bodied and cloudy like a wheat beer should be. It has nice hints of banana and oranges, but the fruitiness is not overpowering. The one problem with the beer is that is was a little too carbonated.

You can buy a bottle of Cerveza Homero at El Deposito.

7 Barrios de Cervecería Lesnez

Cervecería Lesnez is based out of San Luis Potosí and produces the 7 Barrios line of beers. I'm generally not impressed, although their Brown is pretty decent. They also make an blond ale which I haven't seen available anywhere in the city.

7 Barrios Amber Ale, 2 out of 5, 5.1%ABV 

This beer was fairly nutty, with hints of caramel and vanilla. Definitely did not taste like an amber ale to me. It may have been too old and certainly wasn't enjoyable.

7 Barrios English Brown Ale, 4 out of 5 , 5.1%ABV

The Brown is the best of the 7 Barrios beers I have tried. It was easy to drink and slightly hoppy, not something I'm used to tasting in most of the boring brown ales available in Mexico City.

7 Barrios Hefeweizen, 1 out of 5, 5.1%ABV

Wow, this is one of the worst hefeweizen's I've ever had. Very weak and light, almost no flavor at all. There is a slight hint of sourness to it that makes it unpleasant.

You can buy all three of these beers at La Belga.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Calavera's Smoky Scottish Ale on Tap!

I just recently reviewed Calavera's Smoky Scottish Ale and fell in love with it. Thankfully, you can also enjoy this beer on tap at El Deposito. I have to admit, this beer works slightly better in the bottle. The smokiness of the beer becomes a little sour in the draft version, but it is still an enjoyable beer.

Bayernbräu Weissbier

Bayernbräu Weissbier


3 out of 5

When I think of German-style beers, the first thing that comes to mind is that they taste like bananas. Not all of them, but I've had a few too many that do. This weissbier, made in Puebla, tastes just like bananas. I tend to like wheat beers, but not when they have an overt banana flavor. If you like that style of beer, then you'll probably like this weissbier. I also found the beer to be slightly too carbonated.

Bayernbräu Brewery in Puebla seems to have recently started making this beer again. I had learned of the brewery many months ago and starting investigating where I could find their beer, but came up empty. A Beer Box employee told me they closed up shop. Obviously he was wrong and I'm glad to see they are producing again.

You can find this beer for sale at La Belga.

Calavera Morningstar IPA

Calavera Morningstar IPA

??? ABV

4 out of 5

Calavera has recently released their IPA, and they have done a fine job of it. I was a little skeptical because their American Pale Ale (not yet reviewed on this site) is a pretty poor excuse for a pale ale. The Morningstar, however, is a solid example of an American-style IPA, with strong floral hops. In fact, after drinking so much beer from Mexico, I've started to forget what it is like to have a beer like this, where the hops are like a punch in the face. They dominate the beer and I love it! The only critique I have of this beer (and it is a small one), is that there is a slight sweetness to it. I noticed the sweetness right away when I first sampled it, but it started to fade the more I drank.

Right now the Morningstar IPA is only available on tap. You can find it at El Deposito, Makena, and a bar I haven't had the chance to check out, El Trappist in Condesa at Alvaro Obregón 298, Local D. I enjoyed this beer at El Deposito, where it cost 80 pesos (!) for a half liter.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Minerva Imperial Stout

Minerva Imperial Stout


3 out of 5

When I think of Imperial Stouts, I think of beers that could substitute for a meal. They are thick, creamy, and full of flavor. Minerva's Imperial Stout has a decent flavor, but it is so watery that I would hesitate to even call this a regular stout. Maybe a black lager instead? It isn't a bad beer by any means, there are nice aromas of chocolate and coffee, and you can really taste the toasted malts. It is actually a fairly drinkable beer that I wouldn't mind having again, but if people buy this and think this is what an imperial stout should be like, that is really unfortunate.

You can find this beer just about anywhere that sells craft brews. My local Superama usually has this and the pale ale available for about 18 pesos a bottle. You can also get it at La Belga, El Deposito, The Beer Box, Beer and Fashion, The Beer Company, etc etc.

Calavera Smoky Scottish Ale 80/-

Calavera Smoky Scottish Ale


5 out of 5

I have been a little harsh on Calavera on this blog but I knew they could do better than the beers I have previously sampled.  They nail it with this Smoky Scottish Ale, which I absolutely loved! I remember seeing this beer for sale when I first arrived in Mexico, but never got around to trying it. It disappeared from the market for a while, but now it is back and I just tried it for the first time. It is a fairly light-bodied brown ale with a slight sweetness and nuttiness, and a slight hint of caramel. The underlying flavors really complement the smokiness of the beer well. One thing I don't particularly like about run-of-the-mill browns is that they are sweet, which for me, makes it hard to drink more than one. The smokiness in this beer, which is very very noticeable, dries the beer out a bit and makes it much more drinkable. I am also a complete sucker for anything smoked: cheese, oysters, chiles, beer, etc. If its tastes smokey, I'll probably like it. So, if you don't like all things smoked, then maybe this beer will be a little too strange or unappealing, but if you do, then I highly recommend it. Next time I'm at the beer store I'm stocking up, because this beer is about to become a regular.

I purchased this 330ml bottle at La Belga for ~30 pesos. It is also available in a 750ml version.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Cervezas de barril en Graciela!

Cucapá Chupacabras Pale Ale
If you haven't been to Graciela in Colonia Roma yet, you need to go. They are really changing the game as far as beer bars go in Mexico City. The last two times I have been they have had Cucapá beers on tap. As far as I know, no other place in Mexico City does. While what they have available at any given time may vary widely, they have had their Honey, Obscura, Clasica and Chupacabras on tap.

Graciela Amber Ale
Graciela also has a rotating arsenal of house beers. So far I have tried their Blond Ale, Brown Ale, Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, and the above pictured Amber Ale.

All draft beers are 50 pesos for a 1/2 liter, 100 pesos for a liter. I recommend the half liter since sometimes they give you a little more (and you can try more beers!).

Lorelle Meets the Obsolete

Front: On Welfare LP
 Lorelle Meets the Obsolete is my new favorite band from Mexico. Originally from Guadalajara, they now reside in Mexico City. A few months back they released their first album, On Welfare, via Captcha Records out of Chicago.
Back: On Welfare LP

They play fairly noisy (but mellow) modern psychedelic rock with some elements of drone that would be more at home in Austin or Brooklyn than here in Mexico.

You can go stream the entire album for free over at their bandcamp, or at the bottom of this post.

When I first heard the record I was bummed that I would have to wait until I return to the US to pick up a copy of the vinyl, but I checked out the band's tumblr page and they are willing to set up personal meetings to sell you a copy of their record. I of course took advantage of this and just got my copy a few days ago. The vinyl is very high quality and the packaging is just beautiful. If you want a copy and are in Mexico City, just get in touch with the band. Black vinyl is 100 pesos, color is 150. (Amazingly, this is cheaper than ordering the record from the label!!)

Right now they don't have any scheduled shows but they told me there is a possibility they will be playing in Mexico City in early September, and they have a confirmed gig for late October.

Vintage Vinyl Record Convention, Mexico City, 2011

 Since I first found out about the Vintage Vinyl show I couldn't contain my excitement to actually attend a record show in Mexico. While I have enjoyed shopping for records in Mexico in the street markets and in the stores, record shows are much more interesting and I was starting to miss the ones back home. Unfortunately, the Vintage Vinyl show, supposedly the first record show in Mexico City, was a let down.
 I am pretty happy with my finds, but it was fairly difficult to find anything worth buying at the show. Part of my disappointment is probably due to me expecting something similar to record shows in the US geared towards collectors. Vintage Vinyl was definitely not geared towards record collectors. It seems the main audience were people who still casually listen to records or younger hipsters that have recently gotten into vinyl.
 Most of the available records at the show were the typical American/UK rock and pop that you can find anywhere in Mexico. Lots and lots of common records from the Beatles, CCR, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, plus countless other classic rock and 80s pop records. There was virtually no punk or metal, hardly any jazz (except one guy who had probably 50 Oscar Peterson records?!?), few sellers that had any rock mexicano, and only two sellers that had any new vinyl from current Mexican bands.
 I recognized some of the sellers here. Discos de Ayer and Retroactivo Records were present, although they certainly didn't have anything special at the show (you would be better off going to their stores). There was also one seller from Balderas that I recognized, plus a lot of vendors who typically sell in other markets like Lagunilla, Tepito, etc. I don't think anyone who sells at El Chopo came to the show, which I found somewhat surprising. I did learn about Discos Amapola, which I had not heard of before, but they deal mostly with newer imports that I can get for cheaper when I travel back to the US. One thing Discos Amapola and their friends at the show should be commended for is that they brought a few record players for people to listen before they buy. They were extremely friendly, and let me check out some records I hadn't heard before. Stores/sellers that let you listen before you buy definitely deserve repeat business.
 Despite my complaints, I had a good time at the show and I hope it happens again next year.

I did find a few records I have been looking for, plus a couple others I picked up on a whim.

What I found:
Coil - Panic/Tainted Love 12"
Esquivel - Latin-Esque LP
Caronte - Magos y Dragones LP
Toño Quirazco - Homenaje a Santo y Johnny LP
The High Fidelity Orchestra - My Girl LP
Polvo - Have You Ever Been There?/Can't Get Enough? 7"
Los Rockin Devils - Pata Pata Psicodelico 7"
Question Mark and the Mysterians - 96 Tears 7"
Inservibles - ¿Cual es tu pedo, ñero?
Inservibles - Demo 2008 7"
Darkness - Requiem cassette

The Polvo, Toño Quirazco, and High Fidelity Orchestra records were all on my want list of Mexican records and I'm really glad to have found them for reasonable prices at the show. I'll be doing individual posts of these in the future.

I'm not a huge Coil fan, but I do love their cover of Tainted Love so I had to get this 12". I remember being a young teenager when the Wax Trax Black Box came out. There was a VHS companion to the box set which included a video for Tainted Love, and it is probably still one of the darkest and most disturbing videos I've seen. Whenever I hear this song, no matter who is singing it, the images of this video always come to mind.

The Caronte LP is probably one of the worst Mexican metal LPs out there, but it is also one of the earliest releases on the Mexican Avanzada Metalica label. I'm trying to collect as many releases from that label as possible so I figured I should pick it up, plus it was cheap. Los Rockin Devils are a pretty run of the mill Mexican garage band, but I loved the cover of this 45 so I grabbed it. Question Mark and the Mysterians are great, so I couldn't pass up this Mexican pressing of their 96 Tears ep. Inservibles are a current lo-fi punk band from Mexico City which a friend recently turned me on to. Discos Amapola had their records so I decided to grab these. Esquivel is pretty hit or miss for me, but I hadn't seen the Latin-Esque LP before, and his records are hard to find in nice condition. Probably the biggest surprise of the record show was the Darkness cassette I found. I had never heard of them before, but the tape was basically free. There is literally no information on this old-school Mexican death metal band online, but this album is absolutely amazing. Right now I don't have a way to transfer cassette to mp3, but this music needs to be shared.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Craft Beer in Guanajuato?

I am heading to the city of Guanajuato soon for work, but I haven't been able to find any information on places to drink or purchase cerveza artesanal. Are there any readers out there that know the city and can recommend some bars?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Have you even been to these places?

Chilango magazine's webpage has a new article up on places to buy vinyl in Mexico City. There is really not much interesting here, but this description of El Chopo is mindblowing:

"What you will mainly find is Mexican rock, from the time of rock n' roll of the likes of César Costa and Los Hermano Carrión, to lps of bands like La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata, Three Souls in My Mind, Caifanes, La Maldita Vecindad, the early works of Javier Bátiz and a lot of other things."

Really? Has the author of this piece ever been to El Chopo? You can find this type of music at El Chopo for sure, but it isn't very easy and only a few sellers deal in this kind of music there. El Chopo is mostly metal, punk, and goth, with a  minority of sellers dealing in other things like rock mexicano, jazz, blues, reggae, and techno. Sorry Chilango, but you need some better reporters.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Record Show in Mexico City Tomorrow!

I've posted about the Vintage Vinyl Record Show that is taking place before, but I just wanted to remind everyone that it starts tomorrow and goes through Sunday. The show is taking place at the Foro Cultural MUJAM in Colonia Doctores.

If you are reading this and attend, let me know what you pick up! I'll be posting my finds on the blog.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One thing Americans can learn from craft beer in Mexico

A typical beer section in the U.S. (taken from Draft Mag)
Draft Magazine has a new story up about "beer paralysis," the inability to make a decision when shopping for beer. I have experienced beer paralysis on numerous occasions in the U.S., primarily because there are so many choices and many of those choices are fairly expensive. Buying beer becomes an ordeal since it usually takes about an hour to come to a decision when faced with such a wide array of choices. Of course, I can always buy a six-pack of something I know is great (which usually means I just buy a six-pack of something from Deschuttes or Great Divide), but when there are so many craft beers to choose from, I'd rather try something new. The problem is that, in most places in the U.S., you can only buy a six-pack. If the beer happens to be mediocre or terrible, then you are stuck with 5 extra bottles of garbage and just wasted 8-12 dollars.

In Mexico, this is never a problem. Nobody sells craft beer in 6-packs, everything is sold by the bottle. The practical reason for this is that craft beer is fairly expensive here, especially compared to what most people make in a day's work, so sellers are much more likely to make a sale of a few bottles of something unknown to most people rather than expect somebody to fork over 150 pesos on a beer they have never tried. But, I never face beer paralysis in Mexico, because I can just go to any store, buy as many bottles as I want, and mix it up between what I know to be good and a few beers I haven't tried before.

I have been to a few stores in the U.S. that do allow you to make your own six-pack or buy by the bottle, but half the time the only beers available are ones where the employees broke a bottle from a six-pack. Needless to say, this means the individual bottle selection is pretty small. Now that I know the benefits of buying by the bottle, it will be hard to transition back when or if I ever move back to the U.S. Craft beer lovers in the U.S. need to start raising hell and demanding that their favorite beer stores start offering more beers by the bottle. It seems like a win for everyone since more people will be able to try more styles of beer, which is good for the breweries, and it is good for the stores since more customers will become familiar with more of their product.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cucapá La Migra Imperial Stout

Cucapá La Migra Imperial Stout


5 out of 5

Yes! Cucapá does it again! This beer is absolutely amazing. Previously I had tried the Winter 2010-11 version of this beer, and while I thought it was ok, it was not the greatness I had come to expect from Cucapá. This imperial stout is much hoppier than most other versions of the style, but I am a complete hop-head and that is why I like this beer so much. It almost comes close to a Black IPA in hoppiness, though not quite. It also has nice chocolate flavors that really complement the hops and roasted malts. The bottle says it also contains piloncillo from Sonora which one might think would make the beer sweet, but the sweetness is not overpowering. In fact, the beer has a fairly bitter finish. The one thing I would like to see is some more body in this beer, it is fairly full-bodied, but when a beer is labeled as an imperial stout I expect a much creamier beer. Still, this beer is great and I'm already dreaming about the next time I can have one.

I got this 650ml bottle at La Belga for 120 pesos.

21 Beer Pale Ale

21 Beer Pale Ale


2 out of 5

First thing's first, this is not a pale ale. At least compared to every single other pale ale I've ever had in my life (except for some of the recent disasters I've tried), you will be sorely disappointed drinking this beer if you want a medium-bodied, hoppy ale. However, this is not a bad beer at all and I would drink it again if the price was right. This pale, yellowish ale is very light-bodied, with a slight hint of malts, and tastes very bready. I would liken this beer more towards an amber or blond ale, but even the better amber and blond ales I've had are not as light as this beer. When I first poured it, it looked a lot like a Corona or some other terrible Mexican lager, but thankfully the lightness of it is deceiving. Had this beer been labeled something else besides a pale ale it would probably get a higher rating, but because of false advertising I only gave it a 2.

21 Beer is produced in Zapopan, Jalisco, but is owned by a company out of Canada?? I don't really understand what is going on here, but you can check out their webpage for more info.

I picked this up at The Beer Company in Coyoacán for around 25-30 pesos.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Various Latin American Beers

From L to R: Barba Roja Stout (Argentina), Patricia Dunkel (Uruguay), Bucanero Fuerte (Cuba), Patagonia Pale Ale (Chile)
My experience with beer in other Latin American countries is similar to most traveler's experiences with beer in Mexico. If you are lucky you get a choice between clara and obscura, other times you get a choice between a light beer and an extra light beer. So, if I happen to find a beer in Mexico from another Latin American country that looks more interesting I won't hesitate to try it. I don't know if these beers in their own countries are considered cerveza artesanal or not since I've never had them in their country of origin, but they are all at least a step above the usual swill that passes for beer.

Barba Roja - I've only tried this stout from Barba Roja, but I've seen several other less appealing styles they make, like a pale ale with herbs and flowers. According to their website, they make 13 different styles but I've only seen three available in Mexico. (If someone knows where to find their smoked red ale, let me know!). This stout is a fairly standard stout, similar in body and flavor to a Sierra Nevada Stout. It is a little too light-bodied for me, but it is very drinkable and a well made beer. My local Superama has a special section dedicated to Argentine products, and that is where I found this beer. I haven't seen it available anywhere else, although there must be an Argentine restaurant somewhere in the city that serves this beer.

Patricia - Pictured above is a Patricia Dunkel, which I was not a big fan of. It is an ok brown ale, but much sweeter than I like. I've also had their porter and their lager. Patricia's porter is a really good beer and worth trying if you like porters. The lager is decent as well, although not particularly special. I've seen the porter and lager for sale for about 25 pesos a bottle at City Market in Colonia del Valle. The dunkel is available at the Beer Company in Coyoacán (along with the porter). If you happen across an Uruguayan restaurant in the city, you are also likely to find Patricia beers. I've found it available in Uruguayan restaurants in Colonia Narvarte and Condesa.

Bucanero - The Bucanero Fuerte from Cuba is a strong lager with 5.4%ABV. They also make an extra strong lager (Bucanero Max) with 6.5%ABV, but I have not seen it available anywhere in Mexico. I was pretty disappointed with this beer, it isn't much different from a Heineken, but with a slight sourness to it. I've seen Bucanero at The Beer Company and at La Belga.

Cerveza Austral - This Pale Ale from Chile is pretty awful for a pale ale. It is very malty, with almost no hops discernible in the nose or the taste. It is drinkable, but if you are expecting a pale ale this will be a serious letdown. I found this at The Beer Company, along with a few other styles from the same brewery which I am now unlikely to try.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Psicodencia - Cahui 7"

Front cover
Psicodencia were a fairly unique punk band from Mexico City in the 1990s. Prior to finding this record, I had not heard of the band, but the cover intrigued me and so I decided to pick it up. To my ears, Psicodencia's style is reminiscent of the 80s Chicago punk sound, especially some of the later records from the Effigies. They are slightly more experimental and complex than most punk bands I've heard from Mexico, which for me is a definite plus.

Rear cover
From the information I can find, they formed in 1990, went through a number of lineup changes, and then finally stopped playing in 1999. Their earliest release was the 5-track Cahui 7" that came out in 1990. In addition to the 7", they also released three compilation tracks, one each on each of the three volumes of the "El punk no está muerto" series. Psicodencia's final recording was a 13-track demo called "Evo" released around 1995. I like the 7" so much that I'd really like to get a copy of this Evo demo, but I'm guessing that will be pretty difficult.
 Check out the tracks on the Cahui 7" on youtube:
1. La gente sigue riendo
2. Cuanto me podrá costar?
3. Policía, no me dejas existir
4. 2-14, 3-28
5. Lárgate a tu tierra

You can also check out Psicodencia's compilation tracks from the "El punk no está muerto" series.
1. Q2 (Vol. 1)
2. Sol de kuwait (Vol. 2)
3. Monotonia (Vol. 3)

Finally, Psicodencia has an old myspace page up with a few tracks that I can only guess are from the Evo demo. Check out those tracks here.

I was lucky enough to find the Cahui 7" at Retroactivo Records.

Picador Pale Ale

Picador Pale Ale w/Ginger and Honey


0 out of 5

I really have no idea who produced this bottle-conditioned pale ale. It says on the bottle it was made by Guadalajara Beer Tour Ltd., which makes me think it was made for a special occasion and is not produced on a regular basis. That is a good thing, because this beer is really undrinkable. I would like to think that something went wrong in the production of the beer, and that someone did not knowingly bottle a beer so terrible. Imagine a Heineken that was really really sour. That is what this beer tastes like. There is no resemblance to any pale ale I have ever had. I could not tell if there were any hops in this beer at all. The ginger and honey are also completely unnoticeable. After suffering through a 1/3 of this beer, I poured the rest down the drain.

You are unlikely to find this beer in Mexico City. I found a bottle at the Beer Company in Coyoacán, but this may have been the last one.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Retroactivo Records

Retroactivo Records in Colonia Roma is the biggest record store I have been to in Mexico City (besides El Chopo). They have thousands of used records of all different genres, although most of their stock is rock and pop. Unlike some of the other record stores in the city that I have been to, Retroactivo also carries a small but decent selection of new records from mostly Mexican groups. They also manufacture vinyl, so for local bands looking to get some records pressed, Retroactivo might be a good option.

On my visit here, I picked up this 7-inch from local band, Los Explosivos. This record was released by Retroactivo Records. Mexico has a pretty large scene of garage and surf bands, and Los Explosivos are one of the better ones that I have come across. Check out the tracks on this record if you are interested.

Los Explosivos - mini rolanroll!!!
1. Bailando!!!
2. Lo que me exita...!!!
3. Moscas y arañas (originally by Los Negativos)
4. Creo que esto

Retroactivo Records is located at Jalapa 125, between Guanajuato and Chihuahua. The closest Metro stops are Insurgentes, Niños Heroes or Hospital General. You can also get here by Metrobus by getting off at the Alvaro Obregón stop on Linea 1, or the Jardín Pushkin stop on Linea 3. Just check out the map to figure out which stop is most convenient for you.

Cerveza Hanna - Jamaica Rubi

Cerveza Hanna Jamaica Rubi (Hibiscus Flower Ale)


2 out of 5

This beer is a little hard to review because it doesn't really taste like beer at all. Hibiscus flower water (agua de jamaica) is ubiquitous throughout Mexico City, but I have not seen anyone attempt to use it in an alcoholic beverage before. On its own, hibiscus flowers are really bitter so I thought it might make for an interesting addition to beer. I have no idea what else is in this ale, but the taste of hibiscus is overpowering. It is more like a fermented agua de jamaica than anything that resembles a beer. This is not necessarily a bad thing, so for someone that generally doesn't like the taste of beer, this might be more appealing. For readers familiar with kombucha, and especially kombucha made by GT, this beer by Cerveza Hanna tastes remarkably similar to their Trilogy or Cranberry flavors. For those that are not, just imagine carbonated agua de jamaica that is slightly pungent.  The color of the beer isn't quite as dark as agua de jamaica, it is more of a strawberry red. The beer is bottle-conditioned, and from my experience upon opening it, the makers added too much sugar because it exploded everywhere. While I only gave this beer a 2, it isn't particularly bad for what it is. If you want to try something unique then this beer is at least worth trying once.

I don't know anything about Cerveza Hanna. On the bottle it says this beer was produced for the Guadalajara Beer Tour, so I'm guessing they are located somewhere in Jalisco. I found this bottle at The Beer Company in Coyoacán, located at M.A. Quevedo 847, but I think it was the only one left at the store.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Graciela, Taller de Cerveza - Part 2

Last week I blogged about a new brewpub that just opened up in Colonía Roma, Graciela Taller de Cerveza. On my first visit, they only had a couple Tempus beers on tap but their menu did state they were going to have a draft pale ale in the future. Well, I just returned from there and their house draft beers are now available. They offer a blond ale, a brown ale, and a pale ale, none of which are available in bottles from Cervecería Primus, the owners of the bar. All three beers are excellent and I highly recommend trying them out. The pale ale is a solid English-style pale, the brown ale is slightly hoppy and very drinkable, and the blond is one of the best I've had from a Mexican craft brewer. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, but that just gives me an excuse to return soon to take pictures and write up some more detailed reviews of these great new additions to the craft brew scene in Mexico City.

Red Pig Mexican Ale

Red Pig Amber/Pale Ale?


4 out of 5

This beer was very surprising. The brewer, Cervecería Mexicana, doesn't make the most exciting beers, and there is no description on the bottle that told me what to expect regarding this beer. A 4 out of 5 is a little generous, should be more like 3.5, but I don't want to start using fractions.

 Red Pig is a medium-bodied copper colored ale, pours with little head, and tastes like a slightly sweeter version of a pale ale. It is slightly caramely and pretty hoppy, but finishes dry and sort of flat. It is somewhat similar to the Minerva Pale Ale, but I think I prefer the Red Pig for its slightly more complex flavors. If this beer was slightly less watery and a bit more hoppy, this could be a really solid and interesting beer. I find this beer to be fairly drinkable and won't hesitate to drink it again if the price is right.

Red Pig is available at La Belga for 25 pesos/bottle.