The Minerva Brewery, located in Guadalajara has risen from one of the wealthy suburbs
on the outside of town. Its distribution within Guadalajara the city is fairly widespread
and its success probably owes as much to the young liberal population of the city
as it does to the Westernized upper crust. I found their diverse selection of beers
a refreshing sight, though they weren’t executed perfectly.
MalVerde Clara - This was probably the least impressive of the Minerva brews. It
poured with a promising head but had no nose to speak of. The brew had a filtered
straw color. The taste was very disappointing, with strong overtones of corn. There
was also a distinctive metallic taste, which Jess identified as iron. It really
ruined a beer that didn’t have much going for it to begin with.
Viena - What?! A Vienna style beer brewed in Mexico. It would have come as a surprise
if it wasn’t sitting next to the even more surprising Imperial Stout discussed below.
When I got this beer back to the apartment and poured it up I was impressed by what
I saw and smelled. With good lacing and the aromatic European hops I was happy to
try what might have been the best beer in Mexico. The taste was there, even if it
was a bit subdued. Overall I enjoyed the experience, but maybe just because I had
been so long without anything like it.
Imperial Stout - I was very excited to find this somewhat unusual style available
in Guadalajara. My surprise overcame my miserliness and I bought several to share
with the rest of the crew despite my disappointment at the 6% alcohol content, well
below other Imperial Stouts. Pouring this beer I was heartened by the full, dark,
coffee color. A smell and a sip made it clear that this was not on par with the
likes of North Coast’s Old Rasputin. The beer was smooth and sweet without the obligatory
spiciness to balance it out. It was a descent beer, great by Mexican standards,
but certainly not an "Imperial" Stout.