The craft-beer craze isn’t exclusive to the U.S., as proven at last year’s Ensenada Beer Fest, which hosted more than 120 breweries from throughout Mexico. If you’re planning to attend next month’s fest, get your tickets NOW! Most of these breweries are very small and unable to produce anything for distribution north of the border. But the products of larger companies can be found in Santa Ana at Alta Baja Market and El Indio Cerveza y Botanas.
Before Donald Trump builds his wall, you should plan a road trip to Baja California for some freshly brewed suds. One of the larger breweries in Tijuana, Border Psycho Brewery was founded in 2010 by brothers Roberto and Javier Albarran, who gave up their day jobs in Mexico City to join the growing craft movement. The tasting room has a long bar with plenty of seating and a comfortable lounge area that features the work of local artists. Tequila, sotol and mezcal are also on hand, as well as small bites from the in-house kitchen. The knowledgeable bartenders speak both Spanish and English and can tell you everything you need to know about Border Psycho’s core beers and the collaborations with the brewery’s amigos in San Diego County.
Belgian Black IPA, a 9.3 percent ABV brewed in Tijuana with Three Punk Ales from Chula Vista, offers a delicious hoppiness with a toasty finish. A collaboration with Mason Ale Works produced Zonkey Imperial Coffee Stout. Inspired by the Spanish cocktail carajillo—which combines coffee with brandy, whisky, anisette or rum—this brew is made with orange and vanilla. Mason Ale Works plans to open its own bar in Tijuana in April and will have two booths at next month’s Ensenada Beer Fest.
At 10.3 percent ABV, Border Psycho’s Brutal Imperial Stout on Nitro was phenomenal, with tons of chocolate and coffee and hints of licorice—try it with a shot of mezcal. And La Perversa(2) (7.7 percent ABV) is an imperial IPA, with a hoppy floral aroma and tropical fruit notes. Also good with a shot of mezcal! If you’d rather not drive down to Tijuana or drive across, it’s easy to take the train, then hop on the trolley and grab a cab to Revolucion. Salud!
Border Psycho Brewery, Calle Libertad 1751, Azcona, 22055 Tijuana, B.C., Mexico; borderpsychobrewery.com.