Cancun Palapa

Finding Beer Beyond Corona & Dos Equis in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Relaxing on the white sand in front of bathtub-warm turquoise waters, shaded by a palapa, beer in hand sounds ideal. You know what could make it even better? If that beer wasn’t one of the fizzy yellow lagers that Mexico is best known for.

Both Jess and Josh make it no secret that they aren’t huge fans of clear or light lagers. But only Jessica had the opportunity to go down to Cancun (for work – tough job, we know), so it was up to her to do the hands-on beer research in finding the good stuff.

Tulum Swing Bar

With palapa roofs and swings at the bar, the Mayan Riviera’s drinking establishments can’t be beat. And it’s not all yellow and fizzy cerveza. The main alternate styles seem to have a certain taste profile: darker, heavy on the malt, light on the hops, but still easy drinking for the beach. There’s dark/dunkels, Vienna style lagers, and amber lagers.

To find these guys, keep your eyes out for the words:

  • o(b)scura
  • negra
  • ambar

Some of the more easy to find aren’t craft/microbrewed, but they are still unique to Mexico – or at least we’ve never seen the dark malt-bomb of Bohemia Obscura, the Munich-style dunkel Leon, or others up here in Ontario, Canada.

Beyond the Mexican macro. . . where’s to find the craft? Well, we have a few recommendations.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN

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Club de la Cerveza 

5th Ave, between Calles 34 and 38, Playa del Carmen

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Right on Quinta Avenida – or 5th Avenue, PDC’s main tourist drag – Club de la Cerveza is an oasis of casual tables for sipping beer amid the fluorescent lights and thumping bass of the other shops and bars along 5th Ave.

 

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The beer list is a full book, with pages of Mexican microbrews and interesting craft offerings, as well as a good list of imports.

Just a single page of the menu
Just a single page of the beer menu

And the fridge is packed full, some familiar up here, and some delightfully less so.

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Jess wasn’t there for food, but the free popcorn was a bonus!

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Elsewhere in Playa del Carmen

Jessica didn’t get to visit, but she strolled past the delightfully German-looking  Manne’s Biergarten (Calle 4 Norte, between 10th ave and 15th ave) which apparently has a decent selection of Mexican beers beyond the standards, plus German imports. 

 

CANCUN

Casa Tequila

8.5 km Kukulkan Blvd | Next to the Convention CenterCancun

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Since Jess was in Cancun for a conference, she didn’t have much time to escape the hotel zone and head to Ciudad Cancun, so she went on the hunt for a place to get some local beer. Surprise, she found a place right beside the conference centre: Casa Tequila.

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It might be a  touristy place and the food is probably more on the side of what tourists expect over authenticity. But hey, that beer list is pretty decent for central hotel zone, and the food (authentic or not) was good!

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Elsewhere in Cancun

The big grocery store in the Hotel Zone, Selecto Super Chedraui (Blvd. Kukulkan 9) has a pretty large beer selection – craft, imports and macros – so even Josh was able to partake in the batch that Jess brought home.

Jess didn’t make it out to Ciudad Cancun, but heard that Estadio Cerveceria and The Beer Box are also good places to grab a cerveza! Just call ahead for Beer Box, because a lot of the reviews or posts we saw online had people disappointed that they showed up when it was closed.

Carvings at Tulum
Carvings at Tulum

 

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