What is behind our beer?
My work takes me to Playa del Carmen in 2010. On weekends I like to explore and get to know different places, I will never forget the day I met Akumal beach. The sea was a giant swimming pool in which I spend all day swimming with turtles, fish and even a stingray, literally I spent swimming about 4 or 5 hours, I left just to eat something. Sitting there enjoying the view was when I realised I wanted to live in this area.
A year later in one of my trips to the beautiful city of Tijuana (Tijuana makes me happy) I have always said Tijuana is one of my favorite places in this world, there's my family, the people is great, also you find great beer and food. This city has influence me so much that inspired the name of our company, which is called The Independent Brewing Co. as a result of the acronym TIBC, which means Tijuana Baja California. On this visit I realised that the craft movement had grown exponentially, and being a good beer fan I drank all I could so when I came back to Playa I took out the old pots.
Today we are happy and privileged to say that we were the 1st brewery that opened in the Riviera Maya, however this wasn´t easy and as they say we had to break rocks since we were the first ones here, at that time there were only two small bars selling craft beer in Playa del Carmen and when we were trying to enter other places, almost all doors were closed because of the two big breweries that had exclusivity contracts with almost all venues, either way we kept looking and insisting at places that were self-sufficient, places with purchasing power, generally independent, that they own their own licor licenses so they could sell whatever beer they wanted. Eventually we earned the trust and support of this first customers which have been for us our first promoters.
The first brewing "attempt" of "Akumal Beer" was made when I was trying to return to life a recipe that I made years ago, it was until late 2012 when the final recipe which change almost entirely from the original one was ready and that's when "Akumal Pale Ale “ was born, the first beer brewed in Playa del Carmen. At first we only sold draft beer in 7.75 gallon kegs to these enthusiastic first customers and months later we introduced packaged beer in a case of 12 bottles 12oz each, which help us to have more customers because of this new package.
Great year for our industry in mid July it came out a new law which opens market for small craft beer producers to On Premise channel (bars and restaurants), along with this, the two big breweries send a nationwide statement where they announced, that any craft beer could be sold with their clients although they had an exclusivity contract, at the time I read this letters immediately printed them and they helped me to succeed in making some new customers.
We gave birth to our second and third beer “Akumal Beer” an "English Robust Porter" and our final Turtle a delicious and well balanced "Indian Pale Ale", in this year we were glad to announce that also 2 new breweries were born, “Mundo Maya Brewing Co” and “Maya Tulum”, we are really pleased to see that now we are not alone, we know that to create a great beer culture we need to be more people producing great beers.
I would not finish this story without giving credits and thanks to our customers, above all they were the first ones who believed in our project, they have been certainly our biggest promoters and without you all there would be no story to tell.