HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO :: Mexican Craft Beer

by Harvey Gold on May 5, 2014

Just a taste

Just a taste

In our house, we have a passionate, if secular, relationship with colorful, south of the border religious icons. Día de Muertos, Our Lady of Guadalupe… even the “Drug Saint,” Jesus Malverde, are all represented here in the form of pictures, mirrors, statuettes, dioramas and fiber optics. We’ve even paid a couple visits to the famous 50 foot tall Our Lady of Guadalupe in Windsor Ohio, as seen in the wonderful publication “Weird Ohio.”

So when we went to one of our favorite Mexican eateries, Tres Portrillos, and spied a line–up of 4 brews with cool labels, advertised as Day of the Dead craft beer, we were interested.

unnamedIntroduced in May of last year (2013) by Cerveceria Mexicana, we found Tres Portrillos offering their Lager, Porter, Pale Ale, and a Heffeweizen. Also produced is a Blonde and an IPA.

My latest fave at this restaurant is what they call a Spicy Grilled Burrito. Most “family” style Mexican eateries I’ve run into may put a couple bottles of hot sauce on the table, and can certainly bring over a side of jalapenos if asked, but in general little to no inherently, out of the kitchen spicy dishes, so this addition to the menu excited me. I got mine with steak, stuffed with onions, peppers, mushrooms, probably some measure of cheese and covered in a sauce with chorizo. The spice came from… somewhere or other, but is most definitely there and delightful.

unnamedSo naturally, I would have liked to have tried their Hop on or Die IPA, the one style out there charged with cutting through spicy foods. In the absence of this, all bets off, I decided to try the Pay the Ferryman Porter. Innapropriately but charmingly served like every other respectable Mexican beer, wth a frosted mug and a lime, which I did not use, I nonetheless found this to be a decent average porter. There was the requisite pop of black coffee and/or unsweetened chocolate, and a decent bitter that served to define the beer rather than one associated with lots of hops, which would have also provided a citrus note to cut through the heat of the food. Oops, there I go, still astonished that a Mexican restaurant would carry a line of craft beers, one of them NOT an IPA.

UnknownOK, so the burrito offered some tasty, spicy goodness, the brew was OK, the label and name of it cool, and I would have probably enjoyed a Negro Modelo in that frosted mug with the lime more… or maybe I should have squeezed that wedge into the porter for a new international taste sensation. I’ll likely order their Queen of the Night Pale Ale next time out… or (sigh) choose between a tasty Negra Modelo or a dark Dos Equis.

No matter… Ole, Gringo!

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