A Trip to Paradise – My Week in Mexican Craft Beer Hell

Craft Beer Hell

Craft Beer Hell

Craft Beer Hell

So maybe the phrase craft beer hell is a little extreme, but if you know anything about me, you understand my love for craft beer over the macro stuff. Read on and you can decide for yourself. Over the past several days, I’ve been in paradise. My family is on another vacation together and this time we’ve chosen the beautiful white sands of the Riviera Maya, just a short drive from the city of Cancun. We are staying at a first class all-inclusive resort that has just about anything you could possibly want – Iberostar Playa Paraíso. This place is massive and easy to get lost in. There are four huge sections of this place – Paraíso Beach, Paraíso Del Mar, Paraíso Lindo and Paraíso Maya – much like the five boroughs of New York (and frankly nearly as large) on a slightly smaller scale of course. We’re staying in the Paraíso Maya section and the room my fiancée Sonia and I share is fifty yards from the beach. Sounds perfect right?

The food is amazing and is served almost constantly throughout the place, there are gyms and spas and shopping galore. Nightlife is also present throughout. So what am I missing? Beer. That’s where I think they may fall a little short. I’ve searched high and low for even a trace of craft beer – something quite popular and continuously on the rise in Mexico. I had no problem finding it in Cabo, so I figured it would be here as well. But alas, I have yet to find it. In Cancun, at such a renowned establishment? Hashtag OMG, hashtag SMDH, hashtag what am I going to do.

For starters, the only two beers I’ve found on tap are Dos Equis Amber and Dos Equis Especial. Wait a minute, I can get Johnny Walker Black or Glenfiddich (both excellent bottles of scotch) at the drop of a hat – which by the way has been my drink of choice on this trip – but the only draft beer I can get is Dos Equis? Bottle selection isn’t huge either. We’re talking Bud, Coors, Heineken, Miller and Old Milwaukee. The closest thing I found to craft beer is Bohemia, but that’s not really craft either. Hashtag sad face.

Please don’t get me wrong, this is a five star joint all around. Ask anyone who has stayed at one of these places about their experience and you almost certainly become a referral. In other words, 9 out of 10 will be raving about the place. My only bone to pick here really is the lack of craft beer. I’m just shocked or astounded to be honest with you.

Have I ventured out and hit other places in the city? No. That defeats the purpose of an all-inclusive. And this place has practically everything you could ever want. But if there was any downside to my time here – and my apologies for being a beer snob/craft beer devotee – it’s that I don’t have the options I was really hoping for when I got here. If they have a customer comment or survey option about things to make this place better, I’ll be the first to tell them to up their game when it comes to beer. Cheers…

About Jason M

Texas Style - Having grown up down south, I've grown an appreciation for the "bigger is better" mantra. Bigger and bolder flavor is something I crave in my beers. Some people are hop-heads, all they drink are IPA's and other hoppy beers. Others are big on wheat beers. Some like it dark. Me? I'm an all-the-above kind of guy. I've had a love for all varieties since I was young and that has not changed. Good beer is good beer.

I'm constantly seeking out the latest and greatest new variety, because despite having an old-time favorite beer, drinking the same old flavors over and over gets old. That being said, I've got to try something new, explore my boundaries. After all, variety is the spice of life, no?

Favorite Beers - Unibroue La Fin du Monde, Founders Backwoods Bastard, Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine

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