Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Beer Factory

A view from outside the Beer Factory in Mundo E.
 I hadn't been to the Beer Factory in a long time, but after spending a lot of time sampling some of the newer microbrews available in the city, I thought I should make another trip up to the Beer Factory to see how they compared. The one I went to is located in the Mall Mundo E in Tlalnepantla, just outside of Mexico City. The mall itself is pretty horrible with a fake main street facade and fake sky painted on the ceiling like a nightmarish version of a shopping mall from Las Vegas. The horrendous atmosphere does not disappear upon entering the Beer Factory. The place is giant, reminiscent of chain restaurants like TGI Fridays or Chilis but with slightly more of a sports bar feel. They have giant television screens and loud obnoxious music to make me despise the place even more.

One of the fermentation tanks you can see inside the restaurant.

A sampler of their cervezas exóticas.

What makes the place worse is that they offer what are called cervezas exóticas. I know Mexicans have a tendency to desecrate beer by putting lime, salt, tabasco, clamato and whatever else they can think of in their beer, but its mostly forgivable since it is usually mixed in with beer that is undrinkable on its own. However, these concoctions of their Mediterranean Light Ale mixed in with fruit juices are absolutely horrendous. On this particular sampler were coconut beer, mango beer, cranberry beer, tamarind beer, strawberries and cream beer, and passion fruit beer. I would have a hard time telling the difference between these and a sampler of Boing! if I was doing a blind taste test. Despite being absolutely terrible, I would guess fully half of the people in the Beer Factory were drinking these beers. The coconut beer seemed particularly popular. Mexican craft brewers have a long way to go. 0 out of 5 for all of their cervezas exóticas.

A sampler of their cervezas artesanales.
 Now, the real beer that they do have at the Beer Factory. Despite all the problems with this place, their beers are not that bad. On this sampler is their Mediterranean Light Ale (4%ABV), their Coronel Pilsner (5.2%ABV), their Coyote Pale Ale (4.8%ABV), their Santa Fe Vienna Lager (5.6%ABV), their Luna Llena Stout (6.0%ABV), and a seasonal beer, which they called "Summer Beer"(8.0%ABV).  The vienna lager was probably the worst of the six, since I only had a few sips it is hard to say whether or not I would prefer this over a Negra Modelo or a Bohemia Oscura. Probably not. It gets a 1 out of 5. The pilsner was drinkable but nothing special, 2 out of 5. I'm not really sure what to think of the Summer Beer, it was slightly sour and malty, but light and easy to drink. If I go back anytime soon I'll have a full glass, but the jury's still out on that one.
Coyote Pale Ale
 The Coyote Pale Ale is probably their best beer in my opinion, but it is not great. It is an English style pale ale, and I'm slightly biased towards American pale ales, but the Coyote still have a good amount of hop flavor. It is just a little bit too light for my tastes when it comes to pale ales. Somewhat similar in taste to the Minerva Pale Ale, and nowhere near as good as the Cucapá Chupacabras Pale Ale. I give it a 3 out of 5.
Luna Llena Stout
 The Luna Llena Stout is also a decent attempt at a stout, although it is pretty light and bland. I prefer full-bodied, robust stouts and the Luna Llena does not deliver there. It has a nice roasted malt flavor, but is really lacking in any hints of chocolate or coffee. This beer is similar in style to the Sierra Nevada Stout which is decent, but not a stout I would drink when there are other options. This beer gets a 3 out of 5.

Mediterránea Light Ale
I didn't actually drink this beer, I just tried some of it, but it is pretty self explanatory. Tastes like a light beer with just a hint of hops. Better than your typical Mexican lager, but nowhere near as good as the Pale Ale or the Stout. However, I would much prefer to drink this if I was sitting on a hot beach somewhere. Sadly, I don't think that will be happening anytime soon. 2 out of 5.

The Beer Factory is also a restaurant. The only thing I had there were french fries (not recommended) and their cheesecake. They make a mean cheesecake, one of the best I've had in the city. They also make neapolitan style pizzas which look pretty tasty from what I saw at other tables. Next time I will be trying their pizza.

You can order their beers in a number of different sizes. The samplers of 6 beers are around 65 pesos. Any of their craft brews can be ordered in 300ml glasses for 53 pesos, 500ml glasses for 69 pesos, or 1L glasses for 131 pesos. You can also order giant tubes of beer at your table, that come with a frozen core and your own tap. Not sure how much those cost, but they seem to be popular. Two guys sitting next to us ordered two of them, not sure if they had to spend the night at the mall or not. The fruit drinks that supposedly have beer in them cost a little bit more than their real beers. Not only are the fruity beers downright wretched, they are more expensive. Why would anyone order these?

The Beer Factory has several locations around the Metropolitan area, just check out their website. However, most of these locations are not particularly convenient if you are located near the center of the D.F. The Mundo E location is not particularly easy to get to, but it is the one I know how to find. Probably the easiest way to get there is to get off at the Rosario metro stop on the orange line and grab a cab to Mundo E. Every cab driver in that area should know how to get there. You can also catch a bus from Rosario, which is what I do. If you ask around, someone should tell you which bus to take to Mundo E. The mall is not close, so expect to be on the bus for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment