Craft beer in Tijuana? You’re kidding right? I couldn’t believe it either. After all, many San Diego residents have a hard time believing that a trip to Mexico is safe let alone that it could be fun. But I set out just to see if it was possible and happened to taste some solid Mexican craft beers (cerveza artesanal) in the process.
Like any area that is still in the early stages of the craft beer revolution, you aren’t going to find craft beer in your average bar. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you went on a trip to Tijuana and never realized that there was an option for exploring craft beer (minus some of those billboards around town advertising a craft beer festival I happened to see).
If you are still with me, you might be wondering where you can have some decent beer in Tijuana. From my brief amount of research before going I found two places to try local craft beers. While at one of them I met someone who visits regularly and suggested another location I didn’t get to visit. Don’t expect to visit many local breweries but you will find two craft beer bars and one small local brewery that runs a brewpub.
Places to visit
Fundadores 2951-b, Juárez, 22150 Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
A local brewery focusing on European styles of beer like you might find at Gordon Biersch. I wasn’t particularly impressed by the lineup but then all the beers are 100% malt.
The brewery is open starting at 1PM during the week and offers taster flights as well as serving food.
BCB Tasting Room
Orizaba 3003-E5, Fracc. Neidhard, Tijuana, México
BCB resembles the big brewpubs in San Diego such as Toronado. BCB has 30 taps and sells individual tasters as well as full pints. They also have a solid lineup of food, though because it was mostly Americanized I didn’t order any of it. Pints are anywhere from 45 pesos (just under $4) up to over 100 pesos (around $7). If you can’t find a good local Mexican beer to try you will find that they have a great selection of beers from the USA including a number of major IPAs and even more in bottles and cans.
Boulevard de las Américas 22429 (Boulevard Aguacaliente), Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
I didn’t get to visit this location but I met someone at BCB who highly rated this place as having a great selection.
Impressive local cerveza I got to try
The first time I visited BCB I went straight for some local (read: Mexican) IPAs and I had some solid ones.
Cucapa Run Away IPA
This IPA offered some solid dark malt flavors and was quite bitter.
Fauna Lycan Lupus IPA
This IPA had some powerful citrus flavors and was strongly bitter. I was quite impressed by the balance of flavors here and ended up buying a pint.
Insurgente Lupuloosa IPA
A solid bitter IPA with a strong grapefruit flavor it almost seemed to kill my ability to taste other beers even though it is about as bitter as the Fauna.
Monastika Libertina Belgian Strong Ale
A Belgian strong ale at 9%, this offered a great balance of flavors with a little hop kick that worked nicely with the Belgian yeast flavors. It had some delicious apricot flavors. I was very impressed by this one.
Noble IPA (Anaheim, CA)
This IPA is not from Mexico but since I haven’t gotten up to visit Noble yet I had to take this chance to try it on tap. This was a deliciously satisfying IPA with tropical fruit and citrus flavors and a good amount of mosaic hop flavors.
Overall, I was quire impressed by the availability of craft beer in Tijuana and would certainly be able to get my IPA fix if I ever go down for a longer visit.