We hopped down to Tijuana last Friday to attend the Baja Beer Fest. Over the past few years, the craft beer scene has really been taking off with our neighbors to the South, and this was very much in evidence with the collection of great Baja beers available at the festival.
We started out with Old Mission Brewery from Ensenada. We tried their two IPAs - Dos Pablos IPA and Red Agave IPA. The Red Agave was interesting - it is an amber colored IPA incorporating agave nectar, but I preferred the Dos Pablos - light and hoppy.
Next up, we stopped at Cerveceria Insurgente. These guys were one of the first in Tijuana's emerging craft beer scene. We tasted their beers last year on Turista Libre's Tijuana craft beer tour, and they are still going strong. They had a number of beers at the fest, including a very nice Saison.
My favorite beers of the fest were the IPAs from Cerveceria Kudos. Their IPA, double IPA and extra dry hopped IPA were all fantastic, and would not be at all out of place here in San Diego.
Cucapa from Mexicali was a no-show, but we did get to try some Mexicali beer. Big Bad Brewing was on hand with with stout and a strong ale, both of which we enjoyed.
We also tasted some beers from another Tijuana brewery - Muñeca Prieta - who had a a very nice Tripel.
As the afternoon turned to evening, the fest started to get more and more active, and we started to get hungry. Fortunately, there were plenty of food options. We sat down at Tacos Kokopelli and grabbed something to eat.
The "Kraken" taco is octopus that they were grilling up. Some of the pieces were a bit large and chewy, but overall the flavor was fantastic.
We also had their portobello mushroom taco, which was very good, but our favorite was the marlin pibil:
Super tasty. Doing a pibil with smoked marlin is a great idea.
Overall, the fest was a very nice way to spend the day. The quality of craft beer in Baja right now is really good, and seems to be getting better all the time. We look forward to returning to the festival next year!