For the last 150 years, the global beer industry has been dominated by large corporations producing bland beers predominately from the Lager family. Without realizing it, beer drinkers around the world have become used to the homogenized taste of light, pale beers, which are solely intended as thirst-quenching beverages.
This phenomenon has occurred across the world and Mexico is no exception. The country’s large breweries have been concerned only with making multimillion-dollar profits, offering very low-quality products and paying little or no attention to the environmental or ethical consequences of their production. Domestic barley intended for beer is monopolized by the two main beer conglomerates and small-scale brewers must depend on imported malt. Small-scale beer production makes up a very small percentage of the market.
In response to this national situation, Slow Food in Mexico has launched Slow Beer Mexico, a taste education campaign intended to promote quality craft beers made locally, encourage the creation of new styles (many of which are new to Mexico) and promote local production of ingredients such as barley and other grains or hops, which are an essential part of modern brewing.
The Slow Beer Mexico campaign promotes the use of quality domestic malt in micro-brewery recipes, as well as the use of traditional foods included in the Ark of Taste and Slow Food Presidia in Mexico such as domestic malt, corn, cacao and Habanero chili, to name a few. By using these ingredients, brewers not only support farmers and the local market, but they also open up new taste and flavor possibilities, helping to stop these culinary values being lost.
In addition to supporting the use of traditional foods to make beer, the campaign aims to promote a craft beer movement that is structured, organized and, above all, founded on quality. In this area, Slow Beer Mexico has the academic support of the Mexican Enogastronomy Institute (AMEG), whose work consists of promoting the quality of Slow Beer Mexico craft beer.
On 25 April, with Paolo di Croce (Secretary General of Slow Food International) in attendance, the Slow Beer Mexico campaign was officially launched, promoted by the Slow Food network in Mexico with the support of Mexican craft breweries interested in sustainable beer-making, including La Bru (Morelia), Tatuaje (Mexico City), 6 Hileras (State of Mexico), Madrina (State of Mexico), Cervecería del Llano (Mexico City) and Border Psycho (Baja California). The first local Slow Food group has also been created to promote sustainable craft beer on a local level, the Craft Brewers of Mexico City Convivium.
Although only a small handful of brewers are currently involved, the idea is to reach out to other brewers and who share Slow Food’s approach of ecogastronomic sustainability and are making good, clean and fair craft beers with a distinctively Mexican identity.
Find out more about Slow Beer Mexico:
Slow Food Mexico website: www.slowfood.mx
Email: [email protected]