As a beer lover, and a person who has visited many a brewery in Mexico, the UK and the United States, I must tell beer lovers everywhere that Guadalajara is home to an award-winning brewery that you must visit: Cerveceria Loba.
When you walk into the brewery you are greeted by the staff and six huge aluminum tanks that shine like the moon, eliciting an instant desire to taste their award-winning beers. The brewery’s restaurant Umho (which means “smoke” in Spanish) is on the second floor in an area that was once the building’s outside terrace. With time, the owners covered the area and now it has some 20 wooden tables where the delicacies of Umho are served alongside their now-famous beer.
One particular beer is aptly named Clandestina, so named and modeled after a well-known American beer brewed during America’s Prohibition. The owners and brewmeister educated themselves quite well before starting the business, including tasting many competitive beers.
They wanted to make excellent beer, each with a unique approach to taste, body and color. Clandestina is a New York-style blonde prohibition beer, yet upon first sipping, there is a most refreshing taste, and a surprising one due to its herbs and spices. I have not tasted another beer that comes near its wondrous and satisfying taste that lingers for a bit. To drink this beer is akin to having a first slice of fresh foie gras.
I also tasted a wonderful lager – Paraiso – which won a gold medal at the International Beer Challenge in London this year. It was selected as North America’s best beer overall. Quite an accolade for a Mexican beer. Once you try Paraíso, you’ll forgo the others, believe me.
At the cerveceria’s restaurant, you will find a variety of unique, ultra-modern plates using the finest produce in the area. The Crostini on Aguacate is a sublime starter, and quite filling. Topped with the famous Mexican peasant-style cheese panela and a splash of caramelized corn, it’s finished with a generous portion of freshly sliced avocado. It is a mouthful of crispy, sweet and softness to start your dinner.
The Beef Tartare explodes in your mouth, giving you a kick on the palate that you did not expect. It is not a spicy kick but more of a light, acidic attack that is pleasurable to say the least. Other dishes to try are the Tostadas de Pulpo, Tacos de Pescado – a common dish now seen everywhere, yet with a fried fish that is crunchy and spectacular.
My favorite main dish was the Costillas de Res, which is prepared with the brewery’s Porter beer, reduced down to a stunning and rich sauce. A wonderful potato puree, silky and smooth as anyone would want, accompanies the ribs.
The restaurant’s bread is made onsite. There is a light brioche for sandwiches, a pan de campaña, and a regular sliced bread.
Now, back to the beers. Carvecería Loba makes an awesome Double IPA with a taste of grapefruit, a perfect finishing touch to a great meal. I opted for the Double IPA as my dessert.
The brewery also serves mixed drinks. One of the fan favorites, and one drink you see fly-off the bar is the Sueño Rosa, a refreshing tonic made with guayaba extract, pink prickly pear and a half of glass of lager. The drink comes over ice cubes and is then given a garnish of a fresh flower, or carnation. You must try this drink. I found it to be quite innovative and delicious.
The list of beers, of course, is extensive. Loba IPA starts the list, followed by Clandestina, their award-winning beer Paraíso, then one called Alfa – a tasty light beer with a big alcohol content – then the Negra, a chocolaty superb beer that will give any porter a run for its money. Although the bar serves tequila and mezcal, the liquor list is limited because as the manager said, “We want to sell our beer.”
The staff is friendly and helpful in describing the various tastes of the available beers. They are well-trained and knowledgeable in all things Cervecería Loba.
I highly recommend this brewery in Guadalajara, not only because of its new-found stature in the beer industry, but because you will be impressed with every aspect of their show.
Calle Gregorio Dávila # 76 Colonia Americana Guadalajara 332-035-6401 5 stars out of 5 Price: $$