carmen beer co

When your friend opens up a craft brewery in Mexico, and asks if you want to come help him out for a couple months, you say yes. At least I did. I put my “real” life on hold and seized the opportunity. In January I moved to Mexico to learn how to make beer. Located in Playa del Carmen, the aptly named Carmen Beer Co brews craft beer in an emerging beer market.

I have just returned from this epic 5 month journey to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, learning to brew beer from Jeff – a good friend i met 12 years ago while traveling through Argentina. Jeff is a well traveled beer judge and experienced home-brewer who has just started his own brewery. During the last 5 months I brewed my first ever batch of beer – a 1800 litre batch of Dry Imperial Stout; the Carmen Negra – and many more afterwards.

Brewing my first beer in the Caribbean

 

Following Jeff’s direction, I completed the entire process from start to finish; milling, mashing, brewing and fermentation. First, here are a few pictures from my first batch of beer from early January.

 

Ingredients (Water, Grains & Hops). 2017

Maceration and Boiling Tanks. 2017

Fermentation Tanks. 2017

Testing the Beer. 2017

The finished product. 2017

 

Carmen Beer Co.

 

This was quite the 5 month experience. Along with brewing beer, I helped out with many things around the brewery. I learned about many the many sides of the production process; from keg cleaning to beer dispenser installations at some of our points of sale. I tested the beers daily during the fermentation process, checking for temperature, taste and checking the gravity. I helped with cocktail and menu creation in the brewpub. I even starred in a few promotional videos for the Brewery’s social media feed.

Let’s just say it was a well rounded experience.

The Brewpub Entrance. 2017

Tasting Board. 2017.

Kitchen Construction. 2017.

Kitchen Construction. 2017.

Carmen Beer Co. 2017.

Holbox. 2017.

Tasting Board. 2017.

Kegs. 2017.

Tanks. 2017.

Keg. 2017.

Imperial Stout. 2017.