Drive down the coast of Baja California for about an hour and you’ll end up in Ensenada, BC, Mexico a burgeoning city that welcomes tourists with a gigantic port and a lively nightlife but Ensenada is also a city that is thriving in fine cuisine and craft beer. As you make your way through the coast you can end up in what is Ensenada’s first legal craft brewery “Agua Mala”. Located about 100 yards from the beach in the Sauzal district of Ensenada, Agua Mala calls a few beautifully constructed shipping containers its home.
As you first drive up, you will notice that Agua Mala doesn’t have a huge sign advertising its location, so, don’t drive too fast in your excitement because you might just miss it. once you park and walk into the bottom level you will notice a beautiful mural painted on the side of the shipping containers with a mermaid and different sea creatures that correspond with each of the core beers. As you continue on up the stairs to the main area you will notice a quaint bar area with a few tables and an awe-inspiring view of the ocean. Once you get settled in you can choose from one of the following six core beers that are offered year-round:
- Sirena – A Pilsner styled beer that is golden once poured with a consistent white head that lasts throughout. The aroma of the beer has slight floral and pine notes that immediately come through. The taste of malt and sweet notes combined with the floral aromas provide a well-balanced beer. I would score this beer 4.2/5. ABV 5.2 IBU 23.
- Mantis – A Belgian/Witbier styled beer that is a light golden color with a slight haze to it. The aroma of the beer is consistent with the style of beer and is pure citrus. The taste is a pleasant sweetness with a zesty, orange-citrusy fruitiness. This beer is very delicious and perfect for any occasion. I would score this beer 4.4/5. ABV 5.3
- Mako – A Pale Ale styled beer that is a darker golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is predominantly hoppy with subtle grapefruit notes that combine well with one another. The beer has a subtle citrusy taste that combines well with the roasted malt characteristics. If you don’t want to go full IPA this beer is for you. I would score 4.3/5. ABV 3.4 IBU 63.
- Marea Roja – An Amber Ale styled beer that is a dark red/amber colored beer with a fine white head. The notes of the aroma that jump off this beer are a mixture of peach, apples and honey that combine brilliantly together with the malt notes. The flavors that come off at first taste are a very pleasant in that it does well to match with the aromas. The aftertaste maintains a subtle bitterness. I would rate this beer 4.5/5. ABV 4 IBU 4.2.
- Mantarraya – An Oatmeal Stout styled beer that is dark practically black when held up to a light with a rich dark coffee colored head. The notes that jump off immediately are that off chocolate, coffee and nuts. This beer is smooth bodied very well balanced with its flavor characteristics. I would rate this beer 4.6/5. ABV 4.2 IBU 24.
- Astillero – An IPA beer that is copper colored when held up to a light. The hop and floral notes that dominate this beer are very consistent with the style of beer. The biter hops and sweet malt balance this beer out and make it what it is traditionally made out to be “an IPA”. If you love IPA’s this is your beer. I would rate this beer 4.4/5. ABV 7.2 IBU +120.
Of course with a little bit of drinking one might get hungry, so be sure to look at Agua Mala’s delicious food menu that is like no other brewery you humans have been to. Whether its the Beer, the View, the Food or a mixture of all three Agua Mala is a brewery that is worthwhile. From the friendly human staff to the relaxed atmosphere Agua Mala feels like home and if you’re in a different country or a different planet like us aliens that sure is a good feeling. If you ever get the chance go check out Agua Mala and let them know the Beer Aliens sent you. ¡Salud!
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