Mexico is best known for its strong Tequila and even stronger Mezcal. But along the sleepy Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, you will find the Riviera Maya, a place where people are extremely serious about their beer! With the very first independent brewery popping up in 2012, the art of craft beer is extremely new to the area. Despite their infancy, the craft brewers of the Riviera Maya are becoming world known, with some of their finest IPAs already being shipped to the US. If you are planning on taking a trip to the sunny Mexican Caribbean, then be sure to check out the Club de la Cerveza in Playa del Carmen. This lovely little bar has been voted, by both locals and tourists, the best spot to try local and national craft beers in the whole of the Riviera Maya.
This Playa del Carmen based brewing company was opened in December 2013, by a Canadian entrepreneur known as ‘Jungle John’. John had a vision that Mundo Maya wasn’t going to be just another micro brewery, but it was to be a world-renowned name pushing the boundaries of craft beer flavour. What makes the beers of Mundo Maya so unique is that they delicately mix international ingredients with specially selected, locally grown fruits, spices and flowers.
This is Mundo Maya’s flagship beer, and it sits somewhere between an American and an English style IPA. What makes The Warrior really pop is the addition of local fruit juices, which give it a clean malt flavour with fruity esters and a refreshing citrus hop finish.
Snake Head is a Vienna style lager, which is a very prominent style in southern Mexico. In keeping with its Mayan roots, this craft beer is named after the Mayan Serpent God, which is beloved in many areas of the Riviera Maya. Snake Head is very close to the traditional formula, but with a secret local spice added to give it that Mundo Maya flare. With its crystal clear amber finish, complex malt forefront and sufficient hop bitterness, this is a nice dry craft beer for any occasion.
This jungle inspired craft beer is definitely one for those hot Mexican summer days. Mundo Maya made La Selva in the style of an American wheat beer, but that’s where the similarities end. This refreshing beer is all Mayan, baby! John has infused this beer with juicy oranges that grow in the jungles of the Riviera Maya, giving it a totally unique and local flavour.
This craft beer is the newest addition to the creative Mundo Maya lineup. The uniquely low alcohol content of this hearty oatmeal stout makes it the perfect beer for those chilly winter nights in the Riviera Maya.
The Akumal Brewery Company was the first brewery to open its doors in the whole of the Riviera Maya. Based in Playa del Carmen, Cerveza Akumal paved the way for all the other breweries in the area. This craft beer brewery is very environmentally conscious; all of its bottles and boxes are made from recycled materials, they only use environmentally friendly cleaning products, and all their ingredients are 100% vegan.
American Pale Ale
This was the very first craft beer created by Cerveza Akumal. They went for a classic American Pale Ale which is easily drinkable like a lager, but deliciously complex like any good craft beer should be. They blended together American hops and German malts to give this ale its unique flavour.
English Robust Porter
This dark, medium bodied Porter is an Akumal classic. They mix together only the finest American and German hops, and blend them with crystallised malts, giving this craft beer its spectacular smooth coffee/chocolate flavour. The English Robust Porter is the perfect companion to any indulgent desert.
Indian Pale Ale
This is Cerveza Akumal’s latest creation, which first hit the lips of beer fanatics mid December 2014. This IPA is jam-packed with an intense hoppy flavour, and is Akumal’s most complex craft beer. Due to the large amounts of American hops added to this beer, the Akumal IPA has a rather bitter flavour, and a beautifully balanced copper colour.
Tulum is an extremely eco-minded brewery founded in Cancun. They pride themselves not only on their fine quality ales, but also on their ‘union’ programs which give back to the local communities in the Riviera Maya. Cerveceria Tulum is growing rapidly, and already has breweries in Mexico City, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
American Pale Ale
This craft beer is one of Cerveceria Tulum’s most popular ales. With its all-round great flavour and fruity scent, this is the perfect craft beer to enjoy on a hot beach day. The American Pale Ale has strong flavours of fresh fruit, which are balanced out by the slight bitterness of it’s hops. Enjoy this refreshing ale with fresh fish, sweet and sour dishes and spiced fusion foods.
Cerveceria Tulum’s Golden Ale is their lightest creation. It is an all-round soft and delicate craft beer, with light hoppy undertones and a strong malt and brittle finish. This craft beer is made to pair perfectly with light dishes such as white fish, a popular Mexican seafood dish – ceviche, creamy pastas and even cheese boards.
This deliciously indulgent craft beer is Cerveceria Tulum’s strongest ale. With its extremely dark appearance, it comes as no surprise that the Brown Ale’s flavour contains hints of coffee, with a thick caramel undertone. This dark beauty is specifically made to accompany hearty meals such as steak, hamburgers and heavy stews.
There’s quite a range of beers that are made in the Riviera Maya. Their flavor profile is extremely wide-ranging and offer enough diversity that anyone traveling to the area should consider their own tasting journey. Let us know when you do and which beer or ale you liked best.