Being an Alien, I find myself much less afraid of crossing the Earthling created border, and entering the wonderful country of Mexico. We all are well aware of the craft beer explosion in San Diego, and much of the U.S., but little has been said about the the quickly growing craft beer scene in Baja California. Just a word of advice, do not be afraid to cross into Tijuana. The news about the violence is way overblown in the media north of the border, and I have been doing it for years with no problems. Drive or trolley to the border, park your car there, cross on foot and take a cab to the BCB Tasting Room.
So I first walked from the border to Zebra Bar, on Revolucion Ave and Calle Sexta (6th), about a 20 minute walk from the border. I started with a $2 Victoria lager, then went with a Tijuana Brewing Company Bufadora (7.5% Bock) and this beer only ran me $3 for a pint. After this I was ready to check out BCB Tasting Room! We jumped in a cab and about 7 minutes later, I was finally there. The area is not a hip area like Revolucion, but it didn’t matter, I would stay here for hours to come.
The rustic, wooden BCB Tasting Room (Baja Craft Beers) sign was small, and hard to see. I can see how one could drive by, looking for it, and not even see it. The entrance was very interesting. The right and left of the doorway was made of some sort of rusty wire. Reminded me a bit of rebar. There was this big rock wall that kept the sunlight from shining right in the bar, but the rock was held together with more wire. This created an interesting effect of light glowing through the small cracks between the boulders. We walked inside and noticed there was a film crew there, complete with microphones, lighting and cameras, interviewing the staff at BCB. We quietly walked around the cameras and lights and made our way to the bar. In trying to slide the bar stool back, I was surprised at how heavy the bar stool was. It seemed to be built from iron and thick wood and felt to weigh about 40 pounds. The bar was natural, coated wood and the decor was more rusty wire, brick and wooden beer signs. The ceiling was very high and that made for it not being too loud that you have to yell to the person next to you. The lighting were suspended lamps, using hollowed out kegs for the lamp shades.
And now, the beer! The selection was superb! They had 42 taps of beer ranging from Baja locals like Ensenada Brewing Company, San Diego local beers like Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, as well as further favorites like Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout and Delirium Tremens. Just a quick estimate on their bottle count and they have easily over 200 beers on bottle. When ordering a beer, they always serve in appropriate glassware and if ordering a bottle, they pour the beer into the glass for you, leaving the bottle for you to top off your glass or admire the label. The prices were very reasonable, I think around 10 beers ran us around $35. They had a kitchen there, but I was not interested in eating, but consuming liquid calories. BCB also brew their own beer which is readily available on draft. We watched the Pacquiao/Bradley fight and consumed many beers and finally headed home. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back.
If you are a craft beer fan, stop being scared, and cross the border for a great experience in craft beer and Mexican culture. You can thank me later.
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