One more international event for the Mexican Caribbean this weekend! Puerto Morelos is playing host to the Soy Cerveza International Beer Festival on November 29 and 30. The main square and malecon will be lined with stalls representing craft microbreweries and world-famous brands from Mexico, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and the United States.
The Mexican craft breweries participating in the festival are Cucupa (Mexicali, Baja California), Calavera (Celaya, Guanajuato), Benevolo (Pachuca, Hidalgo) and Criolla (Veracruz). They are joined by several leading international breweries: Blue Moon (United States), Mikkellen (Denmark), Leffe and Duvel (Belgium), Brouwerij de Molen and Heineken (Netherlands).
Festival events include seminars given by Sommeliers and Chefs, beer tastings and a varied live music program in the evenings.
The history of Mexican beer making
Although the tradition of drinking fermented alcoholic drinks in Mexico dates from the days of pre-Hispanic civilizations such as the Maya and Aztecs, with pulque made from the sap of the maguey plant, balche from flowers, and tesgüino from corn, 16th-century Spanish colonists were the first to introduce wheat and barley-based beers to the country. However, the Spanish Crown did not encourage the local production of beer in its colonies, taxing it heavily to protect beers from the Mother Country and other parts of Europe, and discouraging the growing of barley and wheat.
After Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821, the stiff colonial taxes on local beer production disappeared and breweries began to spring up. The industry was further strengthened by the brewing expertise of German immigrants who settled in the country in the second half of the 19th century. Today, Mexico is one of the world leaders in terms of beer production and craft microbreweries are emerging in different parts of the country.
If you are interested in attending the Festival and sampling the different beers on show, purchase a festival bracelet (cost $100 pesos per person). They are on sale at Los Micheladas del Semaforo by the bridge at the entrance to Puerto Morelos and at the Benito Juarez Municipal Tourism Office in Cancun on Ave. Coba next to the Fonatur Offices.