GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Mexican beers have joined the global trend of new flavors with handmade brands made with raw materials such as fruits, chocolate, vanilla and spices.
Elba Copado, owner of the Copado microbrewery, started making flavored beers because she did not like the taste of the traditional drink and eventually found that the combination with fruit was popular with customers.
Coffee, cocoa, vanilla and fruits are some of the ingredients that Copado has added as a distinctive touch to beers.
“The elements are chosen according to each person and their tastes,” she said.
“It is similar to gastronomy, there are already recipes.
“The chilaquiles (fried tortillas in spicy sauce) will always be chilaquiles, the beers alike, there are well-defined styles and with based on that we customize the style.”
The creation process can take days or weeks, as the brewer masters rehearse the chemical formulas and recipes over and over again until a different beverage is found.
“You have to know about beers, styles, know some chemistry, have common sense and here imagination is very important because you can put many ingredients as long as they harmonize with the drink you are making,” Copado said.
A WORLD TREND
The manufacture of craft beer with different flavors is a trend that has spread around the world.
“A trend among the producers of this beverage consumed worldwide is the artisanal or small-scale production to which special flavors that surprise consumers can be added,” Guillermo Gutierrez Chimal, commercial director of Escala brewery, told Efe on Tuesday.
Although artisanal production covers 0.16% of the beer market in Mexico, the search for new flavors is a plus in the Latin American country, which is fourth place in beer production in the world, after China, the United States and Brazil.
In 2016, Mexico produced a total of 10.5 billion liters with a growth rate of 7.8% in its annual production, according to data from Cerveceros de Mexico.
Artisanal production and the addition of new flavors is a “worldwide macro-trend that is that people are tired of taking the same thing and want authentic products,” Gutierrez said.
It is also a growing potential market niche, he added.
Escala currently produces 12 styles of beer and each month creates a special, with flavours including chocolate, peanut butter and marzipan.
For Valentine’s Day the choice was a beer with red fruits and for Mexico’s Independence Day in September, there was a variety with a regional chili pepper.
“We play with the ingredients we have available and although they are not the beers of the line, they already have a clientele,” Gutierrez said.
“It is not easy to reach people’s palate when they are used to certain flavors because you have to find that beer for more special extra ingredients you have knows beer and those notes of marzipan, chili, vanilla chocolate, you have to take care that don’t be overwhelming and don’t steal beer’s attention,” he added.
Alejandro Magallanes, director of Cerveza Loba, said that there is a tendency to enrich the classic flavors of beer with natural ingredients.
The brewers were given the task of combining flavors, yeasts and temperatures to result in products such as Loba Paradise, with includes Mexican fruits such as guava or prickly pear, and Loba Sport, based on a combination of wheat with oatmeal, orange peel and coriander seed.
“The issue is always to be at the forefront, we have to take advantage of the fact that in Mexico we have access to spices and fresh fruits easily and propose new things in the market,” Magallanes said.