Mexican Craft Beer?

I am very fortunate to be involved in events out in the community… One on the events that I have enjoyed helping with over the past few years has been the Annual Fundraiser at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Downtown Bangor.  Director George Kinghorn has come up with some creative “catchy” names since that first “Annual Gala”.  This year…it was called “Fall Fiesta”. In recognition of that “Fiesta” theme, I knew that I would serve Spanish Wine…but…George also wanted to do a “Beer Tasting”…  Now, if you were planning a beer event in October, you might immediately think of Oktoberfest Beer, or Autumn Beer, or even Pumpkin Beer….but, this was the “Fall Fiesta”…so, I knew that I needed to show a selection of Spanish or Mexican beer, but at the same time, I wanted it to be different…so… Mexican Craft Beer?

I thought… why not Mexican Craft Beer?  Most people are familiar with one or more of those big name Mexican beers.  There are those television commercials filmed on sandy beaches overlooking the bright blue sea… or… that world’s most interesting man…and we all have our favorite Mexican restaurants that serve many other well known brands…but, have you ever had a Mexican IPA?

The Cucapa Brewery in Baja California makes one…and several other beers that you would not expect from a brewery… in Mexico  So, we held a Mexican Beer Tasting with five different Cucapa offerings… and the people loved them!

First up… Cerveza Cucapa Obscura American Brown Ale (4.8%)

This beer is dry in style, not too malty (or sweet) like some Brown ales, it is on the lighter side of medium in body and flavor with a crisp refreshing finish…

Second…Cerveza Cucapa Chupacabras Pale Ale (5.8%)

This beer is a little richer and maltier than one might expect from a pale ale. It has a subtle sweetness about it, with just a hint of hops at the end. The canned version of this beer was my favorite beer of last summer…

Third…Cerveza Cucapa Lowrider Double Rye Ale (7.2%)

This beer has a lot going on.  It is made with rye (which is making a come back in beer making)… has a rich malty flavor without being sweet, or overpowering those hints of rye.  It is a very nicely balanced with plenty of hops on the finish. Many of the UMMA patrons went back for a second or third taste of this one…

Fourth…Cerveza Cucapa Runaway India Pale Ale (7.5%)

This is a fairly straightforward IPA that leans in the direction of becoming a “big beer” without actually crossing the line.  Yes, it has plenty of the citrus flavors that you might expect in a a full flavor IPA and yes, it finishes with plenty of hops, but by todays standards it never really goes “over the top”….definitely the best Mexican IPA that I have ever tasted…

Finally…Cerveza Cucapa La Migra Imperial Stout (8.5%)

This is a very well made beer.  The nose exhibits aromas of chocolate…milk chocolate actually. It has a nice medium bodied, chocolaty, roasted malt flavor with a dry slightly hopped finish. This is a very well balanced expression of Imperial Stout that shows no evidence of its 8.5 alcohol content. It could sneak up on you…so…be careful…and enjoy!

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